English Premier League – Match Day 25

English Premier League - Football

Match Day 25 is upon us with another 10 great looking fixtures to keep us on our toes. The biggest of the lot will no doubt be the top of the table clash when Leicester head to Manchester City, with a win giving them a huge advantage at this stage of the season. Another 3 points will give them a 6 point lead over Man City and a 5 point lead over Tottenham and Arsenal if they both win this weekend. It’s a crucial game for Leicester for their title fight and an even more crucial period given they head to Arsenal next week as well. Wins in both of those games will be massive. They can only look ahead to this weekend though as they take it one game at a time.

**Odds from Sportsbet as at 6th February

Manchester City ($1.61) versus Leicester ($5.5), Draw ($4)

A 2-0 win for Manchester City the last time they met Leicester made it 4 wins in a row in all competitions against them and they’ll be eager to make it 5 this weekend to pull them back to the rest of the field. There’s an excitement and fairy tale about Leicester at the moment and I’m sure they’ll head into this with no fear but they’ll also approach it like all their other games where they look to attack on the break. That’ll mean a lot of possession for Man City and should translate into a good share of opportunities as well and for all Leicester’s performances, they still do concede a fair amount of shots on goal (averaging around 13 per game). With Aguero back in form in front of goal it could make for a tough day for Leicester’s defence given he has 5 goals in his last 3 league games. It shouldn’t take away from Leicester’s chances here and they’ve already shown how dangerous they can be on the break. It’s a difficult one to predict but Manchester City might just nick this. No doubt Leicester will be dangerous but I just feel with Aguero in good touch and given they should dominate possession and attacking opportunities, it should be enough to get them across the line.

Predicted score: Manchester City 2-1
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.65 (85%)
Next Best: Half-time Draw at $2.25 

Aston Villa ($2.5) versus Norwich ($2.9), Draw ($3.25)

The gap didn’t widen for Villa, but it still remains a hefty 10 points to safety with Norwich sitting on 23 points. It’s a crucial game for both here with Norwich looking for 3 points to get some breathing space on the drop. Problem for Norwich has been that they’ve just been a bit unlucky. The Liverpool game was a cracker and they missed out on a point or more there whilst the early goal conceded against Spurs during the week set up the game for another loss. It’s a good opportunity here to try and get something from Villa who are clearly struggling but they can’t take it for granted as Villa will be fighting for everything. What makes it tougher for Villa though is that one of their better performers in Jordan Ayew will miss this contest through suspension. Given he’s their top goal scorer this season with 5 and the team has only scored 15 times in total this season, his absence will be missed. It makes for an intriguing contest with the game truly up for the taking but in the end I just think this may end up in a draw. Villa will make it difficult for Norwich to score whilst I’m sure Norwich will be looking to tighten up themselves after conceding 8 in their last 2 league games.

Predicted score: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.6 (80%)
Next Best: Double chance Norwich at $1.53

Liverpool ($1.45) versus Sunderland ($7.5), Draw ($4.33)

Liverpool were undone by a spectacular goal from Leicester’s Jamie Vardy last time out but you’d expect them to bounce back against Sunderland this week. On form they are both even winning 2 of their last 6 including 1 draw but and Anfield game should perk the Liverpool players up a bit to bounce back from that Leicester loss. Sunderland did well to keep Manchester City to 1 goal during the week but ultimately it was another loss and another blow in their survival bid. I think they’ll again look to build on that defensive performance having conceded 2 in their last 2 games but they are prone to a lapse as shown when they conceded 4 against Spurs the week previous. There’s an unpredictable nature to this one but I’m backing Liverpool to deliver here. They’ve shown at times how good they can be this season and I think they’ll show enough to get the 3 points here.

Predicted score: Liverpool 2-0
Best Bet: Liverpool to lead at Half-Time at $1.91 (75%)
Next Best: Liverpool to win to Nil at $2.3

Newcastle ($2.05) versus West Brom ($3.75), Draw ($3.4)

It all fell apart against Everton for Newcastle when they lost 3-0 thanks to 2 late penalties, an injury to Mbemba, and a red card for Lascelles. Newcastle will be stretched personnel wise but luckily they’ve brought in some fresh faces through January so they’ll still have a decent side to face West Brom. The Baggies have been in good form over their last 6 in terms of not losing (just the 1 loss) but on away form they’ve failed to deliver with just the 3 points from their last 6 away. I think Newcastle will be far more comfortable at home this week where they’ve lost just once in their last 5 home games. The positive they can take from the loss to Everton though is that it’s at least another game for them to bed some of their new faces in and I think that’ll do them a lot of good. It will be tight but I think Newcastle will take this.

Predicted score: Newcastle 1-0
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.61 (70%)
Next Best: Newcastle to win either half at $1.61

Stoke ($2.7) versus Everton ($2.7), Draw ($3.25)

The Potters are on a bit of a rough run losing their last 2 games but they are clearly a better side than that. Everton poses a tough test and will be on the up slightly after a 3-0 win during the week albeit against a lowly Newcastle side. The difficulty for Stoke here is that they’ll be stretched in defence through multiple injury concerns. A boost though will be the debut of Imbula who signed from Porto in January. Starved of opportunity, he’s an immense talent and a fantastic buy once again for Stoke. It’s certainly not a match winning signing for this one but it should add some defensive stability in midfield given their current defensive injuries further back. Taking the defensive issues into account it should open up the door for Everton and there’s really no doubt their attacking credentials are at question here given they have scored 43 times this season, behind only Leicester, Man City, and Tottenham. Everton have had a lot of draws away from home but this looks a prime opportunity to get another away win.

Predicted score: Everton 2-1
Best Bet: Everton to win either half at $1.86 (85%)
Next Best: Over 2.5 goals at $1.93

Swansea ($2.25) versus Crystal Palace ($3.4), Draw ($3.2)

The losses are building for Palace and they’ve now lost their last 5 games in a row. The struggle in front of goal has eased slightly in that they’ve scored in their last 2 games but they still have a lot of work to do to get back up the table. For Swansea it’s looking a bit brighter at the moment as they’ve found some form to be undefeated in their last 3 games. Despite Palace’s poor run of form, they’ll still need to be wary of Palace. The addition of Adebayor is a smart short term option and he’ll score goals. He came on a s a substitute last week and will get better with every minute and he could have an impact here from either the start or the bench. Swansea are the form side here but Palace are better than what they’ve showed in recent weeks and I’m backing them to get something from this.

Predicted score: Draw 2-2
Best Bet: Both teams to score – Yes at $2 (75%)
Next Best: Draw at $3.2

Tottenham ($1.5) versus Watford ($7.5), Draw ($4)

Spurs are on a great run of 3 wins and look set for another here if they continue to play their best. A 3-0 win over Norwich during the week produced one of Tottenham’s best 1st halves of the season where they looked well in control from the start thanks to Alli’s early goal. They can take that confidence into this game with Watford which will no doubt be tougher going on some of their results this season. A problem for Watford though is that the goals have dried up having scored just 4 times in their last 6 games. I’m not sure that will really discount their chances in this one and I think they’ll focus their attentions on exposing Wimmer who’s stepped in for the injured Vertonghen. That creates an opportunity but they themselves still need to keep the likes of Kane, Eriksen, and Alli quiet at the other end and the way Tottenham are going at the moment I don’t think they’ll be losing this one even if the score will be tight.

Predicted score: Tottenham 2-1
Best Bet: Tottenham to lead at Half-Time at $2 (75%)
Next Best: Tottenham to win at $1.5

Southampton ($1.75) versus West Ham ($5), Draw ($3.6)

This looks to be a great game with Southampton and West Ham both in good form. After a draw with Man City, West Ham had a regulation win over Aston Villa during the week but this will be a much tougher test with Southampton undefeated in their last 4 games. The Saints will be eager to get a win here given it’ll push them to just 2 points behind West Ham have shown they are hard to beat away from home. They have the 4th best away record in the league losing just 3 times on the road and their performances overall this season should mean they can get something out of this one. Similarly for Southampton I can’t see them leaving empty handed from this game either on their recent run of form so a draw looks the likely outcome here.

Predicted score: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Double chance West Ham at $2.1 (80%)
Next Best: Both teams to score – Yes at $1.91

Bournemouth ($3.9) versus Arsenal ($2), Draw ($3.4)

Bournemouth are on a good run lately with 2 wins and a draw over their last 3 games but they face a difficult prospect here with Arsenal in desperate need of a win for their title bid. The Gunners haven’t won in 4 games and another loss will cast them further adrift of the top 3. I don’t think we can expect Arsenal to struggle for the 3 points again here though and I can see them bouncing back. Bournemouth will be competitive but Arsenal are due for a win and they should get it here.

Predicted score: Arsenal 2-0
Best Bet: Arsenal to win at $2 (80%)
Next Best: Arsenal to win either half at $1.53

Chelsea ($2.1) versus Manchester United ($3.75), Draw ($3.25)

This is largely an irrelevant contest which is intriguing to say but Chelsea re not in the title hunt and Manchester United have a lot of convincing to do if they are to be spoken about as genuine title contenders. This does look like one of those games too that neither side want to lose but also that neither side really look like they can win convincingly. I feel like United will come out and park the bus here and the way Chelsea are going that’ll probably make it even more difficult for them to create chances. United may have scored 3 against Stoke last week, but Stoke were undermanned at the back and I can’t see them repeating that effort this week. This one looks a draw for me and perhaps even no goals.

Predicted score: Draw 0-0
Best Bet: Half-time draw $1.91 (80%)
Next Best: Under 2.5 goals at $1.59

Author

mm

Goal

As an Australian growing up AFL was always my no.1 sport especially given I was lucky enough to grow up a few blocks from Carlton’s home ground, Princes Park, where I was lucky enough to attend many games. That’s where my passion for sport began but it was until the early 2000’s when I discovered a real passion for football with the Socceroos 2002 World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay accelerating my football journey. From there I began to follow the Premier League and haven’t looked back since. These days I’m a massive Tottenham fan where I’ve enjoyed many sleepless nights religiously watching them without missing a game despite many roller coaster feelings. There’s just something magical and glamorous when you watch the EPL and knowing the Profits owners Drew and Euan through studies, I’m now lucky enough to be able to share my thoughts on each game each week of the season.

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