2017 English Premier League – Match Day 38

English Premier League - Football

The final day of the 2016/17 comes to a close this weekend but it’s unfortunate that there’s really not much left that can change for the season. The relegated teams have already been determined whilst at the top of the table, Chelsea have been crowned Champions. Really the only thing that has any meaning left is whether Arsenal can make it into the top 4. They will be relying on Liverpool’s result against Middlesbrough where if Arsenal manage a home win over Everton and Liverpool stutter to a draw or defeat would mean Arsenal finishing in the top 4. That itself looks unlikely though it’s not out of the question given Liverpool can sometimes be a little sleepy at home, shown by league losses to Crystal Palace and Swansea this season whilst a recent nil all draw with Southampton may creep into the back of their minds. Thank goodness there’s at least something meaningful that can change on the final day of this season!

**Odds from Sportsbet as at 21st May

Arsenal vs Everton

The Gunners are on a strong run to finish the season having won their last 4 but will be relying on the result between Liverpool & Middlesbrough as to whether they get a spot in the top 4. For this one though, Arsenal look too strong for Everton with the away side not winning on the road in their last 7 attempts. Add to this a dip in scoring form on the road where they’ve managed just 5 goals in their last 7 and this may just be a step too far right at the moment. Arsenal had previously had issues leading into their run home to finish the season, but should have enough to finish off the season with a win here.

Predicted score: Arsenal 2-1

Best Bet: Both teams to score – Yes at $1.62 (80%)

Next Best: Half-time Draw at $2.6

Burnley vs West Ham

This one looks like a home win straight away. Burnley have only lost 5 times at home this season which is quite an incredible result for a newly promoted side. It’s also quite incredible that they are safe this season on the back of their home form which has produced 33 points compared to 7 points on the road. They’re also a very tough side to breakdown at home having only conceded 18 times from their 18 matches so far and this will be no different for West Ham as they’ll likely have a pretty tough time breaking them down as well. Burnley will do what they’ve always done at home and that’s defend well and take their opportunities when they present. They should have a win to end the season at home on what has been a really good season for them.

Predicted score: Burnley 1-0

Best Bet: Burnley to win at $2.2 (80%)

Next Best: Burnley Draw No Bet at $1.54

Chelsea vs Sunderland

There will be some hope at Sunderland that they can maybe finish the season off on a high away at Champions Chelsea, but that’s all looking a bit unlikely if we’re honest about it. Chelsea rotated their side heavily in their last home match to give some of the fringe players a run and despite some close calls, they came out on top to beat Watford 4-3. A lot of those rotations though would have been in an effort to give the main players a break given they have the FA cup final in a weeks time against Arsenal. To give them this game off as well though would be taking it a little too far so expect most of the first XI to get a return here with the exception perhaps of John Terry. Those returns of the big names should see a pretty comfortable win for Chelsea here as they look to take some momentum into the FA Cup final next weekend.

Predicted score: Chelsea 3-0

Best Bet: Chelsea to win to Nil at $1.83 (75%)

Next Best: Chelsea -2 handicap at $2.1

Hull vs Tottenham

There’s nothing for Hull to play for except for pride now but they’ll have a tough time of it against a Tottenham side that was rampant against Leicester during the week. Spurs managed 6 goals to beat Leicester 6-1 with Kane adding 4 to surge 2 goals ahead in the golden boot race. That’s quite an incredible effort for a player to be leading the golden boot race with 26 goals yet only played in 28 league games this season due to injury. Add to this a Tottenham side that will be focused on not repeating their final day effort against relegated Newcastle last season, where they lost 5-1, we should see a pretty strong showing from the 2nd placed side. Unfortunately for Hull, it might not be a great day to finish their season and although they’ll be playing with plenty of pride to finish the season at home, they just don’t have the quality to hold on here.

Predicted score: Tottenham 4-1

Best Bet: Tottenham to win both halves at $3.5 (90%)

Next Best: Tottenham to win at $1.45

Leicester vs Bournemouth

Leicester were thumped last time out 6-1 by Tottenham and have a tricky visit of Bournemouth to finish off the season. To get back to back losses at home for Leicester seems unlikely but Bournemouth have been in pretty good form to finish off the season with 3 wins and a draw in their last 4 matches. If there is anything to play for here though, it’s a top 10 finish. Bournemouth are currently in 10th place, 2 points ahead of Leicester in 11th and will have a little bit of motivation to not lose this one as a 10th placed finish would be a fantastic result for the Cherries. The Tottenham result may have put some frustration into the Leicester side as well and that will be great timing for Bournemouth here and although a win will be tough to produce, a draw does look a pretty fair result between these two.

Predicted score: Draw 2-2

Best Bet: Half-Time Draw at $2.3 (85%)

Next Best: Bournemouth Double Chance at $1.83

Liverpool vs Middlesbrough

There’s no pressure on Middlesbrough here at all and that will be dangerous for Liverpool. Liverpool sometimes have a tendency to let things slip but that surely won’t happen here. Expect Middlesbrough to come out with a nothing to lose attitude, but Liverpool will likely run out winners here. They’ve lost only once in their last 6 matches conceding just 3 times whilst for the visitors, winning on the road is a rarity with just one win on the road all season. Earlier in the season they had quite a good run of draws and have 7 draws on the road for the season but this one in the end looks to be bit too much for them. For a side that has only scored 10 goals away all season, it seems pretty fanciful that they will all of a sudden turn that form around, even if Liverpool are sometimes sketchy at the back.

Predicted score: Liverpool 3-1

Best Bet: Over 3.5 goals at $2.1 (80%)

Next Best: Liverpool to win both halves at $2

Manchester United vs Crystal Palace

Manchester United have bigger things to worry about than their final league game of the season. That has been shown by their recent results where they have been winless in their last 5 thanks in large part to their upcoming Europa League final as well as plenty of squad rotation as Mourinho manages the workload of his best players carefully. It’ll be interesting then to see how this match goes. Some momentum and game time for his best players will be handy, but the Europa Final is only a few days away so there will be some fear about injuries here given the pretty long list of injuries they already have. There’s already knocks to Smalling, Fellaini and Bailly to add to the already absent Shaw, Rojo, Ibrahimovic and Young. Expect to see another pretty different and mixed United side here and one that will open the door up for Palace to get a result.

Predicted score: Draw 2-2

Best Bet: Both teams to score – Yes at $1.72 (85%)

Next Best: Crystal Palace to win either half at $1.86

Southampton vs Stoke

For a team currently in 8th position, Southampton have a pretty poor home record with 6 wins, 6 draws and 6 losses. That of course won’t stop them getting a result here though as Stoke have nothing to play for and don’t look like they’ll have much motivation for this one either. Southampton at least will be looking to keep their 8th spot and finish off the season with a win at home. They’ve had a pretty tough season of injuries and key absences would have otherwise seen them finish at least on a higher points tally than their current 46 points.

Predicted score: Southampton 2-0

Best Bet: Southampton to win at $1.75

Next Best: Under 2.5 goals at $2.03

Swansea vs West Brom

Swansea are safe now and that should see them play with a lot of freedom in their final game of the season at home when they host West Brom. Unfortunately for the Baggies, they’ve really fallen away recently where they’ve won just once since the start of March. It’s been the opposite more recently for Swansea where they’ve managed safety on the back of 3 wins in their last 4 matches. The freedom that they’ll feel from managing to survive ahead of their final game of the season at home should see them finish on a high as well. The Baggies will be competitive but Swansea have the momentum to finish off well here.

Predicted score: Swansea 2-1

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

Next Best: Over 2.5 goals at $1.88

Watford vs Manchester City

Watford pushed hard in their last match when they lost 4-3 away at Chelsea but will have a tough time of it when they face Manchester City here. City won’t be rotating their squad compared to Chelsea as they need a result here to ensure they keep hold of 3rd place just in case Liverpool manage a big win over Middlesbrough that might see them take 3rd on goal difference. City have scored 10 in their last 3 and that scoring power doesn’t look likely to slow down, particularly with Watford conceding 4 against a heavily rotated Chelsea side. Watford may show some fight here in their final home game but City should win this with some comfort.

Predicted score: Manchester City 3-1

Best Bet: Manchester City -1 Handicap at $1.62 (80%)

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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