Before the start of the season began I’m sure we all pencilled in the fixtures between Manchester United and Manchester City given they were to be fighting it out for the title again this year. But as we know, United has been in irresistible form all season with City battling to keep up. But it’s a good thing we have plenty of other strong matchups to keep us entertained. Reading versus Southampton with Nigel Adkins to face his old side, Tottenham versus Everton with no Bale/Fellaini/Pienaar will still make for good viewing, Newcastle versus Fulham with Berbatov in good touch, Benteke against Stoke, and QPR versus Wigan will all make for some fantastic contests.
Best Value Bet: Liverpool versus West Ham over 2.5 goals at $1.6
Safe Multi: Liverpool to win at $1.38, Chelsea to win at $1.36, Reading/Southampton both to score at $1.62, Newcastle/Fulham over 2.5 at $1.9 = $5.77
Value Multi: QPR to win at $2.42, Liverpool/West Ham over 2.5 at $1.6, Reading/Southampton both to score at $1.62, Newcastle to win at $2.1 = $13.17
Reading ($3.35) Versus Southampton ($2.32), Draw ($3.6)
- Reading Last 5:LLLLL
- Can’t score! Their last 6 games which have all been lost, they have only scored 3 times, and only 4 with an own goal. The 6 games prior to this streak they won 4 games whilst scoring 11 times!
- Southampton Last 5:LLDWW
- Average 3.6 shots on target in away games
New Reading manager Nigel Adkins will be keen to get one over his old team here having been sacked by Southampton. Southampton are rightly favourites here but Reading has a hell of a lot more to play for in that if they lose this one it’s an even bigger uphill battle for survival being 7 points off safety with 7 games to go. It’s do or die here for the Royals and we’re of the feeling that since it’s at home with a fresh manager and Southampton’s poor away record all season that the Royals can sneak a win here and at the very least a point.
Predicted result: Reading 2-1
Best Bet: Both teams to score at $1.62 – 4 of the last 5 times these two have met, both have scored and given relegation flavour, goals are surely on the menu.
Norwich ($2.72) Versus Swansea ($2.92), Draw ($3.4)
- Norwich Last 5:WLDDL
- Undefeated against Swansea in their 3 PL meetings
- Swansea Last 5:LWLLL
- Only average 0.86 goals For in away games this season but their last 5 away has only seen 0.2 goals as an average.
Swansea travels to face a Norwich side that they lost to 4-3 earlier in the season. Swansea are on a 3 game losing streak but their performance against Spurs was by no means a poor performance as they were in it for most of the game besides some brilliance from Bale and Vertonghen. Norwich has a great record against Swansea and will feel confident facing them here at home but they should be wary of the likes of Michu who looked like he was hitting some good form against Tottenham. Look for this one to finish in a draw.
Predicted result: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.8 looks likely given Norwich have kept this score line in 4 of their last 5 at home and Swansea’s poor scoring record away of late.
Stoke ($2.16) Versus Aston Villa ($4), Draw ($3.45)
- Stoke Last 5:LLLDL
- Only scored once in their last 5 – a penalty from Walters.
- Aston Villa Last 5:LLWWL
- Benteke is firing right when Villa needs him, 2 wins in their last 3 with 3 Benteke goals.
This is a great chance for Villa to capitalise on Stoke’s shocking run of form which sees them with only 1 win in their last 12. Villa have been improving over the last few games and managed to string a few wins together thanks largely to the efforts of Benteke and will again be the focal point here. Stoke will be itching for a win to stop this run of form given that they are now only 4 points off the drop. Villa are a side that are at times quite solid defensively with Guzan showing he is highly capable so we can’t see Stoke shooting too many past Villa given their own poor recent scoring record as well as Villa fighting the drop. This should be a tight game with value on Villa to win but a likely draw.
Predicted result: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Double Chance Villa at $1.77 with Benteke the main threat to get them the win!
West Brom ($4.3) Versus Arsenal ($1.98), Draw ($3.7)
- West Brom Last 5:WLWDL
- March was WBAs least prolific month for scoring this season with 3 goals
- Arsenal Last 5:WWLWW
- Only 33.8% of their goals have come in away games
West Brom host an Arsenal side that you shouldn’t let fool you as although they have 5 wins in their last 6, they have been against the likes of strugglers Sunderland, Aston Villa, Stoke, Reading and Swansea. Now this doesn’t mean they won’t win, it just means they have had a fairly simple string of games (besides their loss to Spurs). The Baggie’s are coming off 2 away games to return home where they have won their last two in which Lukaku has scored 3 goals. This will be a close and entertaining game and despite Arsenal’s good record at the Hawthorns and recent string of good results, this one should end in a draw.
Predicted result: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Both teams to score at $1.65
Liverpool ($1.38) Versus West Ham ($9.6), Draw ($5.6)
- Liverpool Last 5:WWWLW
- Last 6 PL meetings with West Ham have all been over 2.5 goals
- West Ham Last 5:LLWLW
- Only 9 away goals this season
The Hammer’s will be without loan signing Andy Carroll this weekend when they play Liverpool away and it’s somewhat of a blow considering Carroll has been in pretty good form with 2 goals against West Brom last week. West Ham has had a habit of leaking goals in away games this season and are averaging 1.72 goals against in away games. With Liverpool in such good touch it’s hard to go past them with the added bonus that there will be no Andy Carroll (which is a shame as it would be great viewing to see him play against them).
Predicted result: Liverpool 3-1
Best Bet: over 2.5 goals at $1.6
Tottenham ($1.94) Versus Everton ($4.5), Draw ($3.75)
- Tottenham Villa Last 5:WWLLW
- Two man team? Vertonghen 3 goals in his last 3 games with Bale 7 in his last 8 PL games
- Everton Last 5:LLWWW
- Only 2 losses to Spurs in their last 10 PL meetings
If Bale was to play you’d have to pick Spurs here but with the ankle injury he picked up during Tottenham’s Europa league tie against Basel, it leaves things wide open. Add to this Everton’s strong record against Tottenham over their last 10 and it looks very good value to Everton. Before Bale’s injury, Tottenham were firm favourites at $1.94 but this has now been pushed out to $2.32 with Everton firming from $4.5 to $3.55! The bonus for Spurs is that Fellaini and Pienaar will still be unavailable for this game so we’re expecting a pretty tight contest. Look for both teams to score here with Spurs vulnerable at the back at times with Spurs failing to score in home games only 3 times this season.
Predicted result: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Both teams to score at $1.8
Newcastle ($2.1) Versus Fulham ($3.95), Draw ($3.55)
- Newcastle Last 5:WLWLL
- Won their last 3 at home
- Fulham Last 5:DWDWW
- Berbatov is on fire! 5 goals in his last 4 games
It’s another great matchup here with Newcastle hosting a Fulham side that is in great touch both home and away. Berbatov has been in sparkling form in front of goal with 5 in his last 4 and don’t be surprised if he snatches another goal here. Newcastle has been poor away but their away form has been their strength with 3 on the trot. There’d be no hesitation in picking Fulham for the win if it was being played at Fulham, but given Newcastle’s strong home form we have to go with the home team here. They also have a bit more to play for with a win surely securing their safety in the top flight for another season.
Predicted result: Newcastle 2-1
Best Bet: Over 2.5 at $1.9 – Newcastle’s last 5 at home have all been over 2.5
Chelsea ($1.36) Versus Sunderland ($11.5), Draw ($5.4)
- Chelsea Last 5:WLWWL
- 1 loss to Sunderland in their last 10 (9 wins)
- Sunderland Last 5:LDLDL
- Only 2 points since the start of Feb.
Di Canio will certainly have his work cut out for him when he takes his new side to Stamford Bridge to play Chelsea. A new manager with a fresh approach can always have a positive impact on a side but with 7 games to be played it’s hard to see how much impact he can have. Chelsea will be happy that Torres has found a bit of form in their Europa League tie against Rubin Kazan where he scored a brace so he may get a chance in place of or next to Ba here. Expect Chelsea to get the 3 points here.
Predicted result: Chelsea 2-0
Best Bet: Chelsea to win at $1.36
QPR ($2.42) Versus Wigan ($3.25), Draw ($3.5)
- QPR Last 5:LWWLL
- No longer rooted to the bottom of the table, albeit by goal difference
- Wigan Last 5:LWLWW
- Only 1 loss in their last 5 away but they did lose their last match at Loftus Road 3-0.
QPR had their chances against Fulham to at least get a point but let’s face it, their defending was absolutely shocking. This is their last chance to get it right and survive this season. Lose or draw here and it’s bye-bye QPR and thanks for coming. Wigan’s survival mission is well on track with 2 wins on the trot at home and will be confident of a result heading into this one. There’s still an unknown quantity about QPR that just makes you feel that they have enough talent to win games but they just can’t string a 90 minute performance together. Given Loftus Road is quite a difficult place to visit, we feel QPR can get a much needed 3 points here with some rigid defending to save them.
Predicted result: QPR 2-1
Best Bet: Taking the value on QPR to win at $2.42
Manchester United ($2.34) Versus Manchester City ($3.4), Draw ($3.55)
- Manchester United Last 5:WWWWW
- 3 of the last 4 meetings between these two in PL games have been over 2.5 goals
- Manchester City Last 5:LWWLW
- Remember the same fixture last season? 6-1 thumping to City – can they do it again?
Well what a cracker of a match that this could have been if City’s performances could have lived up to their performances last season. It’s been a poor showing from the defending champions this year. Coming off a big 4-0 thumping over Newcastle would be a good lead in if they were playing another team but with Manchester United in such unbelievable it’d be ludicrous to go against them here. Tevez as always will be a threat and it’s hard to not see Manchester United scoring so there should be a few goals here.
Predicted result: Manchester United 2-1
Best Bet: Both teams to score at $1.67
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