It’s the final week of the EPL for season 2012/13 and although we don’t have any games to decide a title this week, there are still a few games that can make the weekend pretty intriguing. The 3 games of most interest will be Chelsea versus Everton, Newcastle versus Arsenal, and Tottenham versus Sunderland. There are a few scenarios that could play out here with the first being that if Arsenal win 2-1 away at Newcastle and Chelsea draw 0-0 with Everton, they will have to play off for 3rd place to see who gets automatic qualification for next season’s Champion’s league. And then of course we all know that if Tottenham beat Sunderland and Arsenal draw or lose to Newcastle, then Tottenham finish 4th for a second consecutive season, though this time they’ll be able to play a Champion’s League qualifier. So let’s see what happens this weekend.
Best Value Bet: Manchester United to win at $1.81 or the half/full time double at $2.92
Chelsea ($1.7) Versus Everton ($5.6), Draw ($4)
- Chelsea Last 5: DWWDW
- Everton Last 5: DLWDW
With Chelsea beating Benfica in the Europa League mid-week it begs the question as to how it will affect them this weekend when they host Everton. If they want to lock in 3rd spot they’ll need to win and that should be motivation enough but they are sure to have some hangover effects from their Europa triumph. Everton will be looking to give manager David Moyes a win in his final game in charge before he heads off to Manchester United so they too have some pretty good motivation to get a win or at the very least a draw. With the Chelsea players expected to be a little lethargic and with Everton having the added advantage of a little more rest during the week, this one should end in a draw which is probably a fair result given the circumstances of both sides.
Predicted Result: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Both teams to score at $1.73
Liverpool ($1.25) Versus QPR ($14.5), Draw ($7.2)
- Liverpool Last 5: DDWDW
- QPR Last 5: LLDLL
Liverpool take on QPR in their final game of the season at home and it’s hard to see anything but a home win here with some of the off-field drama surrounding QPR striker Loic Remy sure to take some of the focus away from QPR. Sturridge will again be the main man here with his hat-trick last week against Fulham showing he is more than capable of taking over in the absence of Suarez. Given that Liverpool belted QPR 3-0 the last time they played and they haven’t lost to them in their last 5 visits to Anfield, it should be another similar result here.
Predicted Result: Liverpool 3-0
Best Bet: Under 3.5 goals at $1.81
Manchester City ($1.35) Versus Norwich ($11.5), Draw ($3.85)
- Manchester City Last 5: LWDWW
- Norwich Last 5: LWLLW
Manchester City has finished off the season pretty well with 3 wins and a draw in their last 4. Likewise Norwich has done well enough to get a couple of crucial wins to survive the drop. The last time these two played was at home to Norwich where we saw Norwich lose in a tight 3-4 thriller. This in stark contrast to the last time Norwich visited the Etihad where they got belted 5-1. Norwich has yet to beat City in their past 4 visits to the Etihad and that’s unlikely to change this weekend with City’s sights firmly set on a win to finish the season on a positive note.
Predicted Result: Manchester City 3-1
Best Bet: Manchester City half/full time double at $1.94
Newcastle ($6.4) Versus Arsenal ($1.58), Draw ($4.6)
- Newcastle Last 5: LDLDW
- Arsenal Last 5: DWDWW
One of the crucial fixtures of the weekend with Newcastle hosting Arsenal in what will ultimately decide if Arsenal or Tottenham make it through to the top 4. Let’s look at what Arsenal has against them here when they face Newcastle. Of their past 5 visits to Newcastle, Arsenal has only won once with the remaining 4 games resulting in draws. Newcastle’s home form has been far superior to their away form this season though interestingly they have only had the 1 draw at home which suggests this result could really be just a shock Newcastle win or an Arsenal win.
A lot of Newcastle’s motivation this weekend will be to finish with a win at home and potentially push for a top 10 finish if other results go their way. The problem though is that Arsenal has a hell of a lot more to play for and their form of late has been very impressive. Arsenal has yet to lose a game since their derby with Tottenham back on the 3rd of March and since then they have played 9 games for the 7 wins and 2 draws. This won’t be an easy win for the Gunner’s and they’ll be pushed to play their best but the likely result is still likely to be a tight win for Arsenal to secure them a top 4 finish given their strong run of form the past few months.
Predicted Result: Arsenal 2-1
Best Bet: Both teams to score at $1.65
Southampton ($1.81) Versus Stoke ($5.3), Draw ($3.8)
- Southampton Last 5: DDLLD
- Stoke Last 5: LWWDL
Southampton host Stoke in what looks to be a low scoring game given that Southampton has only scored twice in their last 5 and Stoke are typically not a high scoring side. Stoke head into this one without Charlie Adam after his red card against Spurs last week which ultimately cost them a draw when they lost 2-1. After a very poor start to 2013, Stoke improved late in their last 4 games to get some crucial wins to ensure their survival but they’ll find it difficult to get a win at Southampton. Despite Southampton not scoring much of late, they should only need 1 goal to get the 3 points and close the season on a high at home.
Predicted Result: Southampton 1-0
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.79
Swansea ($1.9) Versus Fulham ($4.5), Draw ($3.85)
- Swansea Last 5: DLDWL
- Fulham Last 5: LLLLL
Swansea hosts a Fulham side that is just waiting for the season to be over. Having now conceded 12 goals in their last 5 games it’s clear that they have some degree of disinterest in finishing out the season strongly. Swansea on the other hand has managed to get some decent results over their last 5 (home & away) having only conceded the 6 goals in comparison. Add to this that they have only conceded 4 goals in their last 5 at home means some stiff opposition for Fulham. Look for the likes of Michu to be up and about to perhaps increase his credentials for a potential move away during the summer transfer window if Swansea look to cash in.
Predicted Result: Swansea 2-1
Best Bet: Swansea to win at $1.9
Tottenham ($1.31) Versus Sunderland ($11.5), Draw ($6.2)
- Tottenham Last 5: WDWDW
- Sunderland Last 5: WWLDD
It’s another massive game here given the context of the fight for top 4 against Arsenal. Tottenham are heavy favourites here to get a comfortable win and rightly so given the fight they have shown over their last two games against Chelsea and Stoke. Sunderland will have been relieved to see Wigan lose to Arsenal earlier in the week to secure their survival in the top flight. There’s no doubt that Di Canio will be firing up his side to finish on a positive note and spoil the chances of Tottenham’s top 4 hopes. It should be relatively tight early given that Tottenham score the vast majority of their goals in the second half. With the likes of Mousa Dembele likely to return to the starting line-up after injury, it looks like nothing but a Tottenham win here. Will this be the last time we see Gareth Bale play for Spurs? Even if it will be, it’s a game primed for him to tear it apart.
Predicted Result: Tottenham 3-1
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.6
West Brom ($4.9) Versus Manchester United ($1.81), Draw ($3.95)
- West Brom Last 5: DWLLL
- Manchester United Last 5: DWDLW
In his last game in charge, Sir Alex Ferguson would want nothing less than a win and for his team to finish on a positive note to end the season. Since winning the title, United have certainly slowed down a little, but they’ll come out firing for their manager here. United have won their past 4 games at the Hawthorns which doesn’t bode well for West Brom here in what is sure to be an emotion filled match for the Red Devils. Expect a strong finish from United as they have shown all season and at this value of $1.81 it’s great value.
Predicted Result: Manchester United 2-0
Best Bet: Manchester United to win at $1.81
West Ham ($1.67) Versus Reading ($5.9), Draw ($4.2)
- West Ham Last 5: DWLDL
- Reading Last 5: DLDWL
It’s another tough fixture for Reading to close out the season when they play West Ham this weekend. Reading did well to beat Fulham 4-2 a few weeks ago, but had little chance against City last week. The Hammer’s will be looking for a strong home win to finish off the season and it’s looking likely that a home win is on the cards. A win will also secure the Hammer’s a top 10 finish which is a really good result considering they did have their fair share of struggles throughout the season. Andy Carroll will be looking to have a big game here to show the Hammer’s hierarchy that he’s worth the transfer fee that has been agreed if they deem his loan spell successful from Liverpool.
Predicted Result: West Ham 2-1
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.71
Wigan ($2.16) Versus Aston Villa ($3.7), Draw ($3.65)
- Wigan Last 5: LDWLL
- Aston Villa Last 5: DLWWL
It’s sad to see the fighting Wigan side that we’ve seen over the past years finally get relegated and they face a tough opposition this week to close out their season in Aston Villa, albeit Benteke-less. It’s an interesting turn of events for Wigan having won the FA cup, relegation then confirmed, and now the likelihood of their Manager and star players in McArthur moving on. It could also be a long time until we see them back in the top flight. Villa will be without star man Benteke this weekend and that severely hampers their chances of notching a win. Either way, both sides are good enough for a draw here and it is the fairest result.
Predicted Result: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Aston Villa Double chance at $1.74
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