With 6 games to go for the season (7 for those sides with a game in hand), there’s still a lot that can potentially happen. Barring a catastrophe, Leicester will win the title in what is undoubtedly one of the greatest moments in sport considering where they came from last season. A 7 point gap at the moment looks insurmountable but there is always the potential for a slip up. In 2013/14 Liverpool let a 3 point lead slip in the final 3 games taking just 4 of a possible 9 points which allowed Manchester City to win the title by 2 points. I think the key here is that if Leicester manage to maintain their 7 point lead heading into the last 3 or 4 games then it’s pretty much certain. It makes the next 2 games extremely crucial. Sunderland away this weekend and West Ham at home to follow won’t be easy and if they drop points and the chasing Tottenham and Arsenal manage wins then the race is well and truly on. It is of course just speculation but this season has truly shown that anything can happen in this league.
**Odds from Sportsbet as at 9th April
West Ham ($3.7) versus Arsenal ($2), Draw ($3.6)
Not the biggest of London derbies but a bit game for both sides nonetheless. West Ham are chasing a top 4 spot which just goes to show how good they have been this season whilst Arsenal look back in form on the back of 2 straight wins over Everton and Watford by a combined 6-0. The Gunners will be up for some payback after losing to West Ham on the opening day so there should be plenty offered in this contest. Arsenal are of course the form side of these two with the Hammers slightly stuttering with 2 draws in their most recent league games. They do however have a habit this season of not losing to the big boys. They haven’t lost to Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United, or Liverpool. Of course not all those sides have been in great form this season but they aren’t exactly pushovers either. With the likes of Payet and Ozil in great touch for their sides lately we should be seeing some goals in this one as well but for me no clear winner.
Predicted score: Draw 2-2
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.7 (85%)
Next Best: Both teams to score – Yes at $1.62
Aston Villa ($3.4) versus Bournemouth ($2.2), Draw ($3.3)
Their season is well and truly over and depending on final results over the weekend it could be confirmed for Aston Villa. They face a Bournemouth side who they managed to get 1 of their 3 wins against this season on the opening day but it looks like the tables have well and truly turned. Bournemouth have lost their last 2 games but are pretty much guaranteed safety for another season and given Villa’s predicament this is surely a Bournemouth win. The 4-0 loss to Chelsea last week was just another nail in the coffin for Villa and this Bournemouth side is one that can really play when they’re on. Normally I’d say I’d expect a bit of resilience from Villa here but they haven’t really shown it so the 3 points are really Bournemouth’s for the taking.
Predicted score: Bournemouth 2-0
Best Bet: Bournemouth to win at $2.2 (80%)
Next Best: Bournemouth to win either half at $1.65
Crystal Palace ($2.15) versus Norwich ($3.6), Draw ($3.3)
A step in the right direction for Palace last time out with a draw at West Ham and they now need to take that positive into a match against a Norwich side who themselves have built some momentum off the back of 2 straight wins. Both are still in danger of dropping into the relegation zone though Palace are in less danger given they have a 7 point gap on 18th placed Sunderland. A win for Palace would almost see them safe for another season so there’s plenty of motivation for them to get a result at home here. It’s important not to forget that Palace haven’t won in their last 14 league games but with that they should be closer to a win than not and this could be the week. Whilst it’s hard to discount Norwich’s last 2 results heading into this match, I just don’t think they have enough to make it 3 in a row.
Predicted score: Crystal Palace 2-1
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $2.13 (70%)
Next Best: Crystal Palace to win at $2.15
Southampton ($1.61) versus Newcastle ($6), Draw ($3.8)
They were the latest side to succumb to Leicester 1-0 last week but Southampton are well placed to get back on the winners list this weekend against a Newcastle side struggling to get out of the relegation zone. Newcastle have struggled for points with just 1 point taken from their last 6 games and that trend looks set to continue. Despite losing against Leicester, Southampton had their chances and were unlucky on a couple of occasions to get something out of the game. They should be able to bounce back here though and keep their chances alive of finishing inside the top 5.
Predicted score: Southampton 2-0
Best Bet: Southampton to win at $1.61 (85%)
Next Best: Half-Time Draw at $2.1
Swansea ($3.6) versus Chelsea ($2.1), Draw ($3.4)
Swansea are looking pretty safe from relegation ahead of their Chelsea match this weekend so in some ways I see this one as who has more to play for. Chelsea currently sit in 10th on 44 points, 9 points off 5th place and 3 points (with a game in hand) on 7th placed Southampton. That gives them a great chance of finishing in a respectable position considering where they have come from in the first half of the season sitting in the bottom half of the table. Add to this that they haven’t lost a league game in 15 matches and I think they are well placed to get some more points here. They still have some injury worries with the latest being Loic Remy who went off early last week against Villa and the suspension for Diego Costa gives Pato another opportunity to shine. Pato will want to score again this week and I think he will to lead Chelsea to another 3 points.
Predicted score: Chelsea 2-1
Best Bet: Chelsea to win either half at $1.56 (80%)
Next Best: Half-Time Draw at $2
Watford ($3.25) versus Everton ($2.3), Draw ($3.25)
Both sides are in search of a win with Watford losing their last 4 and Everton their last 3. Everton have had a pretty tough run losing to West Ham, Arsenal, and Manchester United and need to step up here because Watford, despite their form, are still a tricky side to beat. It probably comes down to motivation to win though. Watford look safe from relegation as does Everton, though I think Everton will be far keener to ensure a top 10 finish. Everton too were unlucky against Manchester United last time out as well as they were the better side but I think they can take some of that performance into this week. Watford’s chances of winning remain on keeping Lukaku quiet but the way he’s played this season I don’t see much chance of that happening.
Predicted score: Everton 3-1
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $2.04 (80%)
Next Best: Everton to win at $2.3
Manchester City ($1.33) versus West Brom ($10), Draw ($5)
Manchester City have a good feeling about them at the moment after a 4-0 win and an away 2-2 draw at PSG in the Champions League. There’s pretty much no chance they’ll win the title now but a top 2 finish is still possible despite an 8 point gap to Tottenham. They may however be content with finishing in 4th or even 5th if it means they get a shot at the Champions league final but right now they look to be in a strong position against West Brom this week. The Baggies have been in some pretty good form lately losing just once in their last 6 whilst conceding just the 5 goals. I think West Brom’s defensive form will flow into this game. City will still be the stronger of the two but they’re likely to be frustrated throughout in their attempts to score. The absence of David Silva to injury will hurt some of their creativity up front but with De Bruyne back in recent games they should manage enough more than enough chances to get that winner.
Predicted score: Manchester City 1-0
Sunderland ($3.4) versus Leicester ($2.2), Draw ($3.3)
Plenty of eyes will be on this match this weekend and that’s not something any of us would have thought at the start of the season. Sunderland clearly need the points to survive and Leicester need them to maintain their healthy gap over Tottenham. 1-0 wins have been enough lately but I feel like Leicester are riding their luck a bit (and fair enough) and may need to offer a bit more this week to ensure victory. Sunderland have lost just once in their last 6 games and their last 4 have ended in draws. They’re a side used to fighting for survival at this time of year and their fighting spirit will be a good match against Leicester. It’s difficult to go against a Leicester side that just keeps winning but Sunderland will have their chances here and they only need to take one.
Predicted score: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Both teams to score – No at $1.72 (75%)
Next Best: Under 2.5 goals at $2.07
Liverpool ($1.61) versus Stoke ($5.5), Draw ($4)
There’s plenty for Liverpool to look forward to next season if they continue to play the way they are under Klopp at the moment. An away 1-1 draw at Dortmund during the week was a massive result when many expected an easy Dortmund win. That will give them huge belief as they look to push as far into the Europa League as possible and beating Dortmund will give them a great chance of winning the whole thing. Back in the league though, they face a tricky test with the visit of Stoke who themselves have been no easy beats this season losing just 1 of their last 6 games. Stoke have been in some good away form too with 2 wins and a draw from their last 3. It will be interesting though to see how Liverpool recover from their trip to Germany as well as the injury to Jordan Henderson who is set to miss this one. Add to that the suspension of Emre Can and Liverpool have some reshuffling to do in the middle. For me that opens it up for Stoke to get something out of this if they’re good enough and switched on.
Predicted score: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.83 (80%)
Next Best: Double chance Stoke at $2.3
Tottenham ($1.91) versus Manchester United ($4.2), Draw ($3.5)
Every game for Tottenham is now like a cup final but they’ll also be hoping that Leicester falter and drop points sooner rather than later. But for now they just have to play thing their way starting with Manchester United this week. United have been getting good results lately but at the same time they haven’t been truly convincing wins and against Tottenham If they are to win they’ll need to be at their best. Tottenham will be disappointed with the draw at Liverpool last time out that allowed Leicester to capitalise and grow their lead to 7 points but they should bounce back this week. What may make it difficult though is that Manchester United will no doubt take a defensive approach into this one. They can’t afford to not take at least a point here as they look to finish in the top 4 but they’ll be wary of going for the win where it will open things up for Tottenham to counter. With that we might not see a lot of goals but Tottenham will have the majority of opportunities which should be enough to get a much needed 3 points and reverse the last meeting between these two on the opening day of the season.
Predicted score: Tottenham 1-0
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.68 (75%)
Next Best: Tottenham to win at $1.91
Week 33 Catch-up game
Crystal Palace ($2.75) versus Everton ($2.62), Draw ($3.3)
Neither side is in danger of dropping with Palace currently enjoying a 10 point gap on 18th placed Sunderland after finally getting a win at the weekend when they beat Norwich 1-0. Everton have been off the pace lately but with 2 games in hand they’re just 2 good wins outside the top 10 and they could do with a win here. Everton have won just once in their last 6 games and with Palace getting a win at the weekend they’ll be looking to take some momentum into this one. I think this one is in the balance to be fair, Everton haven’t been playing that well but are capable of more whilst Palace have the home advantage on the back of a win. It may just end up being balanced to the point that these two can’t be separated at the end.
Predicted score: Draw 2-2
Best Bet: Both teams to score – Yes at $1.72 (85%)
Next Best: Over 2.5 goals at $1.95