English Premier League – Match Day 37

English Premier League - Football

The title has been decided to cap off what has been a most incredible and surreal season of EPL action. With 2 games remaining for the 2015/16 season, there’s only 2 things left to be decided. The top 4 can still change with Manchester United and West Ham still in the hunt whilst the question of who will be relegated out of Newcastle, Sunderland, and Norwich is still to be answered and will come down to the final day. It should mean that despite the title being decided that there will still be some turns left in this roller coaster of a season.

**Odds from Sportsbet as at 7th May

Norwich ($4.5) versus Manchester United ($1.85), Draw ($3.5)

The equation is simple for Norwich, they have to win if they want to have the best chance of survival this season. The problem is that it’s a tough game here against a Manchester United side chasing a top 4 spot also in the hope that Manchester City drop points to Arsenal this weekend. That’s entirely possible given their rivals were knocked out of the Champions League Semi Finals this week so could be a little flat. Norwich haven’t had the greatest preparation for this either with 3 straight losses and although United can be a little up and down at times they should be claiming the 3 points here.

Predicted score: Manchester United 2-1
Best Bet: Manchester United to win at $2.1 (80%)
Next Best: Over 2.5 goals at $1.98

Sunderland ($2.8) versus Chelsea ($2.45), Draw ($3.5)

Chelsea’s last game against London rivals Tottenham was like a Cup final and the way they played and pushed for a result could leave them a little flat here. Their target of not allowing Tottenham to win so that Leicester could be crowned Champions is now complete and from here they have nothing to really play for. Sunderland on the other hand have a lot to play for and have been a tough side to beat of late. They’ve lost just once in their last 6 games and at home I can’t see them rolling over for this Chelsea side. Chelsea will still compete but not at the level against Tottenham which for me sees this as at least a draw for Sunderland.

Predicted score: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $2.01 (75%)
Next Best: Half-Time Draw at $2.1

West Ham ($1.44) versus Swansea ($8), Draw ($4.33)

The Hammers still have a chance of a top 4 spot depending on other results and a win here will get them closer to that in what would make for an incredible season. They’ve won their last 2 games and are undefeated in their last 10 in the league. That type of form alone should see them through in their 2nd last home game of the season before they move to their new stadium next year. It’s also important to note that Swansea will be missing some important players for Sigurdsson injured and Ashley Williams being rested. I think with that taken into account, West Ham could have a fun day here.

Predicted score: West Ham 3-0
Best Bet: West Ham to win to Nil at $2.5 (80%)
Next Best: Over 2.5 goals at $1.6

Aston Villa ($5.5) versus Newcastle ($1.67), Draw ($3.75)

Just the 2 games left for a miserable season for Aston Villa but being their last home game of the season you’d hope they’d actually get a result just to finish off the season on a good note for their fans. I doubt that will happen though as Newcastle are fighting hard for survival. They’re currently in 17th just a point above Sunderland who have a game in hand but a win here would be massive for them and puts the pressure well on Sunderland. It would be slightly against their away form given Newcastle have only won twice on the road this season but they should get through for a win here. Villa will be determined to win at home but Newcastle having more to play for should see them through.

Predicted score: Newcastle 2-1
Best Bet: Newcastle to win at $1.67 (85%)
Next Best: Over 2.5 goals at $1.81

Bournemouth ($1.91) versus West Brom ($4.2), Draw ($3.5)

Bournemouth will be in a good mode for their last home game of the season after what has been a great year for them in surviving the drop. They haven’t been in the greatest of form lately in terms of results losing 5 of their last 6. They will however be confident of making it 3 wins straight against West Brom after beating them in their Capital One Cup meeting in 2014 and earlier in the season. The baggies are a tough side to crack at times but wins have been hard to come by recently and I think Bournemouth will be more up for this then them to give their home fans something to cheer about.

Predicted score: Bournemouth 2-1
Best Bet: Both teams to score – Yes at $1.72 (75%)
Next Best: Bournemouth to win at $1.91

Crystal Palace ($2.1) versus Stoke ($3.6), Draw ($3.4)

Just 1 win in their last 6 for both sides here isn’t a lot to be cheerful about and I’m not sure if there will be a lot to cheer about in this game anyway. There’s nothing for these sides to really play for anymore with Stoke already looking like they’re on holidays and Palace still have won just once in the league in 2016. If anything for Palace though, this could be preparation for the FA Cup final against Manchester United in a few weeks’ time so playing to win here to build some momentum would go a long way to their chances in that final. Overall this will be a tight game but one which Palace might be able to edge out given Stoke probably won’t be too worried about it.

Predicted score: Crystal Palace 2-1
Best Bet: Crystal Palace to lead at Half-Tim at $2.6 (70%)
Next Best: Exactly 2 or 3 goals at $2

Leicester ($1.91) versus Everton ($4), Draw ($3.6)

The title is done and wrapped up and Leicester will no doubt be excused if they have a bit of a hangover for their last home game of what has been truly an amazing season for them and their fans. In saying that though, they are taking on an Everton side that hasn’t had the greatest of seasons and even at their best and Leicester taking the foot off the pedal a bit, you wouldn’t bank on Everton getting a win here. Leicester will no doubt be a little hungover but I’m not sure that will affect their performance to the extent where they will be happy with a draw. They will want to win for their final home game of the season to make the party even bigger. It’s made slightly more difficult with the absence of Huth and Drinkwater but the return of Vardy up front will be a massive boost and one that should see them get the win.

Predicted score: Leicester 3-1
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.6 (85%)
Next Best: Leicester to win at $1.91

Tottenham ($1.95) versus Southampton ($3.8), Draw ($3.6)

The disappointment of letting a 2-0 lead slip against Chelsea to draw 2-2 and the subsequent emotions that spilled over at the end of the game will have been emotionally taxing for Tottenham. I doubt Leicester would have dropped enough points anyway for Tottenham to overtake them but the fact they were still in the race hurts them. They’ll need to regroup quickly ahead of their final home game because Southampton have been in good form and are a chance of getting something from this game. Tottenham will need to manage without Mousa Dembele after receiving a 6 game ban and his dynamism and ball control in midfield will be missed. Southampton have become a dangerous side in attack recently with 12 goals in their last 4 games and with Spurs conceding in their last 2 games, there’s every chance Southampton will cause Tottenham’s defence some trouble. As for a result can see Tottenham winning given it’s their last home game of the season but there might also be a bit of a flatness about them after that Chelsea draw and the way Southampton have been playing this one could end in a draw.

Predicted score: Draw 2-2
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.74 (85%)
Next Best: Both teams to score – Yes at $1.62

Manchester City ($2.45) versus Arsenal ($2.8), Draw ($3.5)

The battle for making it into the top 3 to gain an automatic Champions League group stage spot will heat up in this one as 3rd takes on 4th. Manchester City will be a little down after being knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid but they’ll need to refocus quickly to ensure the likes of Manchester United and West Ham don’t overtake them for a top 4 finish. They’ll need to do so without Vincent Kompany though after he went off injured against Real Madrid after 10 minutes but maybe that’s not such a bad thing as his injury interrupted season has also meant an always changing backline meaning consistency is hard to come by. Looking at Arsenal though, they haven’t exactly been consistent in their recent matches with 3 draws and 3 wins. They have however got a good recent record over Manchester City winning their last 2 meetings. I’m not sold completely that this will mean another Arsenal win but Manchester City will certainly have it tough winning themselves and their best result here may just be settling for a draw. Often with a lot to play for in big games such as this it often ends up low scoring and a little dull and for me that’s how this one looks to be going.

Predicted score: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $2.15 (80%)
Next Best: Half-Time Draw at $2.2

Liverpool ($1.44) versus Watford ($7.5), Draw ($4.5)

Things are looking good at Liverpool at the moment and the flow on effect from making the Europa League final should make for a good performance against Watford here. There’s sure to be some rotation here with a mid-week game against Chelsea followed by a game at West Brom next weekend. With the Europa League final just 3 days after that it means that Liverpool have 4 games to manage in the next 10 days. For this weekend though I don’t think the rotations will affect their will to win and perform well at home. Watford have won 2 of their last 3 so should provide some competition here but I don’t think wins against Villa and West Brom are enough to go on to get another win here.

Predicted score: Liverpool 2-1
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.56 (90%)
Next Best: Half-Time Draw at $2.3

Week 37 Mid-Week Fixtures

West Ham ($3.1) versus Manchester United ($2.3), Draw ($3.3)

The Hammers had somewhat of a shock result when they lost 4-1 at home to Swansea last time out. They had plenty of chances (26 shots) but just weren’t able to make the most of them. That loss has realistically lost them the chance at a top 4 spot now but if they beat United here they’ll still have a chance of making the top 5. That chance will be harder with the absence of Adrian for the rest of the season after he missed against Swansea. With United chasing a top 4 spot still, they’ll be raring to go here. That momentum from beating Norwich last time out and the carrot of potential top 4 over their local rivals could be enough to see United through. One clean sheet in their last 10 games in all competitions along with Adrian out won’t keep United quiet.

Predicted score: Manchester United 2-1
Best Bet: Manchester United to win either half at $1.64 (75%)
Next Best: Over 2.5 goals at $1.91

Sunderland ($1.73) versus Everton ($4.75), Draw ($3.75)

The Blacks Cats look like they have escaped the drop again with a win over Chelsea at the weekend. It’s the sort of fight you’d like to see from them more consistently through the season but perhaps it’s something they can build on for next season. A win here too would seal their survival for this season as they have a game in hand on Newcastle and are 1 point ahead. That’s massive motivation for them to win in their last home game of the season especially if they can knock out their fiercest rivals. They’ll fancy it too against an Everton side that hasn’t won on the road in their last 5 as well. I’m sure Everton won’t just let Sunderland win but they’ll be a bit flat to finish off the season and with Sunderland up and about they might just find they have a lack of motivation. There is of course the chance that nerves and anxiousness may get to Sunderland, but they’ve been here before and I’ll back them in to get the 3 points.

Predicted score: Sunderland 2-1
Best Bet: Sunderland to win at $1.73 (80%)
Next Best: Half-Time Draw at $2.2

Norwich ($1.8) versus Watford ($4.33), Draw ($3.6)

Norwich kick off their bid for survival at the same time as Sunderland so they’ll just have to play to win and try not to think too much about what is happening in the other game. They’ve now lost 4 straight but their last 2 have been against quality opposition in Arsenal and United who they at least kept to 1 goal each. Watford this week is a different proposition but they’ll now get more time on the ball and with it the chances will come. Norwich will play to win here where as I don’t see Watford having too much motivation for a result here given they are safe for the season.  And winning is all Norwich can do as they just hope that Sunderland drop points to take their survival bid, along with Newcastle’s, to the final day.

Predicted score: Norwich 1-0
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.7 (70%)
Next Best: Norwich to win at $1.8

Liverpool ($2.05) versus Chelsea ($3.75), Draw ($3.25)

This is an interesting matchup here and I think one that should produce goals. Liverpool have an eye on their Europa League final next week but I wouldn’t expect to see the same second string side that Klopp put out against Watford on the weekend. Chelsea, despite their poor season, will be a good test in the build-up to their Europa League Final against Sevilla next week so we should see close to their best XI here. Chelsea let a 2-1 lead slip against Sunderland at the weekend but really they’re probably just playing for fun at the moment without any real motivation. I don’t think that will harm their endeavour to win here though as Liverpool really have nothing to play for in the league apart from maybe a Europa spot just in case things don’t work out in winning the Europa League this season. With that, I think there will be a sense of freedom to this game with both sides scoring. 7 of the last 8 league meetings between these two have seen both sides score and at the very least I can see that happening. Both sides have been decent up front this season but lack a solid defence and with that the game looks pretty balanced.

Predicted score: Draw 2-2
Best Bet: Both teams to score – Yes at $1.57 (85%)
Next Best: Over 2.5 goals at $1.71

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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