2017 English Premier League – Match Day 31

English Premier League - Football

Plenty of mid-week English premier League action coming up this week ahead of this weekends regular round of fixtures. And there’s plenty to get excited about, particularly with the shock loss of Chelsea against Crystal Palace at home that has opened the door ever so slightly for the chasing pack and their own title hopes. That’s particularly true for 2nd placed Tottenham who are now just 7 points behind and though it’s a big gap, they arguably have the best chance of chasing down the league leaders with an easier looking run home. Chelsea have to face off against Manchester City this week before having to face Manchester United 2 games later where another dropped opportunity could make things very nervy if Tottenham keep up the win rate. With that said, it’s still a massive gap, 7 points, but it certainly makes for more intrigue.

**Odds from Sportsbet as at 3rd April

Burnley vs Stoke

A rare loss at home last time out for Burnley, but it was always going to be tough at home to Tottenham who much higher ambitions and were in great form. Their hopes look a lot better here against a Stoke side that has lost their last 2 matches and have won just 3 times on the road this season. It’s now as though Stoke are just riding out the remainder of the season and particularly away from home where they just have little to play for. Burnley look too hard to beat at home and despite their 2-0 loss to Spurs, they should bounce back here for a positive result.

Predicted score: Burnley 1-0

Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.64 (85%)

Next Best: Burnley to win at $2.5

Leicester vs Sunderland

With 3 straight wins at home and 4 wins straight both home & away, Leicester look to be climbing steadily back up that league table and are not without a chance of cracking the top 10. For Sunderland, it looks like it’s almost all over. They sit on the foot of the table with just the 20 points and a massive 8 points off safety where Swansea sit nervously on 28 points. They’ll no doubt go out fighting, but Sunderland’s relegation unfortunately has been a long time coming in recent seasons and Leicester will be difficult to beat with their new-found motivation.

Predicted score: Leicester 2-1

Best Bet: Leicester to win at $1.5 (90%)

Next Best: Over 2.5 goals at $1.79

Watford vs West Brom

A win at the expense of relegation bound Sunderland will give Watford some momentum ahead of West Brom’s visit, but it won’t be that easy. The Baggies have been the best side outside the top 7 this season in 8th and a clear 6 points ahead of 9th placed Stoke who seem to have little left to play for. A chance of a top 7 finish is still possible and there’s no doubt they’ll keep pushing towards that. A win against Arsenal and a draw with Manchester United gives them great momentum into this game but also presents a challenge in avoiding complacency. Often it’s difficult to continue good performances for a mid-table side when you’ve had great results against regular top sides. Watford though may make for a tough test here. They’ve lost just once in their last 5 at home conceding a respectable 6 goals with 4 of those against Southampton in a 4-3 loss. Expect an even contest here that should end pretty even.

Predicted score: Draw 1-1

Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.64 (80%)

Next Best: Double Chance West Brom at $1.5

Manchester United vs Everton

Sitting in 5th, Manchester United are just 5 points off 4th with a game in hand and will be desperate for a win here in their push for a top 4 finish. Their weekend draw at home to West Brom was very representative of their season in that they just haven’t been consistent enough to be in that top 4. The challenge recently has been through suspensions and injuries and not just their inability to gel completely as a team. Ibrahimovic is set to return from suspension here along with Herrera in what is a timely boost against Everton. For Everton it’ll be a tough game to head into after a 3-1 loss to rivals Liverpool and with the return of Ibrahimovic for United, it looks one where they may just fall short.

Predicted score: Manchester United 2-1

Best Bet: Manchester United to win at $1.57 (80%)

Next Best: Half-time to Draw at $2.2

Arsenal vs West Ham

Things are still not going all that great for Arsenal and despite what would otherwise be a decent result in a 2-2 draw with Manchester City, they are now well off the pace for a top 4 finish. They’ve also only won once in their last 6 matches which doesn’t paint a great picture of form ahead of West Hams visit. That is however where they will get an opportunity for a win, with a home match against West Ham. The Hammers have been terribly inconsistent losing their last 4 matches and they don’t look likely to get much from this, even with Arsenal struggling.

Predicted score: Arsenal 3-1

Best Bet: Arsenal to lead at Half-Time at $1.72 (85%)

Next Best: Arsenal to win both halves at $3.2

Hull vs Middlesbrough

This is a great opportunity for Hull to leap frog Swansea and sit above the relegation zone. Swansea take on Tottenham in what looks a tough ask to get a result whereas for Hull a positive result against Middlesbrough here looks a great opportunity to get a win. Middlesbrough are currently 5 points off safety but right now look ill-equipped to push higher up for survival. Their problem is they just do not score enough goals and over their last 6 matches they’ve scored just once and additional to that they’ve only scored a further 19 times all season. Hull on the other hand haven’t always had the best of results this season but at least in recent weeks they have competed and scored goals with 6 in their last 5 matches. With Hull pushing forward, it may mean some opportunities for Middlesbrough, but in the end Hull should be taking the 3 points here.

Predicted score: Hull 2-1

Best Bet: Hull to win at $2 (80%)

Next Best: Over 2.5 goals at $2.33

Swansea vs Tottenham

The form of Tottenham keeps rolling on after another hard fought win last time out against Burnley who have been a very difficult side to beat this season at home. An away trip here to Swansea presents its own difficulties given their push to avoid relegation but Spurs will be hard to beat here. The loss for Chelsea at home has cut their lead to 7 points and that will help drive Tottenham’s belief in getting a result here to keep the pressure on Chelsea.

Predicted score: Tottenham 2-0

Best Bet: Tottenham to win at $1.72 (90%)

Next Best: Tottenham -1 Handicap at $3

Southampton vs Crystal Palace

Palace will be on a high after a great win away at Chelsea whilst Southampton are a bit disappointed after a nil all draw at home to Bournemouth. Interestingly, Palace do have a strong recent away record with 3 wins from their last 4 road trips. That form has put them in a great position to make this 5 straight wins home & away but sometimes keeping that momentum after such a big win against the league leaders may leave them a little complacent. They’ll be hard to beat here where they don’t look like they’ll leave without a point and a lot of this has been built of the solidarity at the back provided by the on loan Sakho from Liverpool. Southampton’s home form hasn’t been that consistent either and that’s where Palace’s form should come into play in this one.

Predicted score: Draw 1-1

Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.74 (70%)

Next Best: Double Chance Crystal Palace at $1.91

Chelsea vs Manchester City

This a massive game not just because it is between top 4 rivals but it has been made even bigger due to Chelsea’s loss at home to Palace at the weekend. To lose 2 straight after their run of form this season seems almost unthinkable where even a draw, albeit more likely, seems rather unlikely in itself. This match though should present a pretty hot contest and one in which Manchester City will be keen to push hard on because they really have little to lose at this stage. For Chelsea, there will be a new found sense of nervousness in that another poor performance here could allow Tottenham to close the gap. It’s also important to consider that this is a fixture that tends to produce goals with the last 4 in all competitions all seeing results over 2.5 goals. As for a result, a draw seems a reasonable outcome given Chelsea’s loss where it will be interesting to see how they bounce back. If it was against any other side outside the top 4 then a win would be the go, but given it’s City, it could be that little tougher.

Predicted score: Draw 2-2

Best Bet: Both teams to score – Yes at $1.57 (90%)

Next Best: Over 2.5 goals at $1.74

Liverpool vs Bournemouth

A 3-1 win over Everton last time out continues a decent run for Liverpool and gives them a nice little 5 point buffer on 4th placed Manchester City. A home fixture against Bournemouth too presents a good opportunity to further cement their top 4 credentials after what has been an up and down season. Bournemouth though have been stubborn in recent away fixtures with draws at Manchester United and Southampton. For this one though, it does look like a stretch for anything other than a Liverpool home win. Liverpool have lost just once at home this season and it doesn’t look likely that they’ll lose many more if at all at home this season.

Predicted score: Liverpool 3-1

Best Bet: Liverpool Half-Time/Full-Time at $1.91 (85%)

Next Best: Both teams to score – Yes at $1.72

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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