English Premier League Game Week 28 Preview

English Premier League - Football

Welcome to week 28 of the English Premier League. With things really starting to heat up in the battle for the title, top 4 spots, and for survival down the bottom of the table there’s plenty of action this weekend. A lot of the matchups this weekend look really tight with a striker-less Everton taking on a West Ham side in good form, Southampton hosting a Liverpool side that’s red hot at home but sketchy on the road, and Stoke hosting and Arsenal side that has won at the Britannia only once in their past 6 attempts in all competitions. Add to this a London derby between Fulham and Chelsea and a Capitol One Cup Final between Manchester City and Sunderland and we are sure to be in for an action packed weekend of football.

Best Bets

Southampton versus Liverpool – Both teams to score at $1.54
Fulham versus Chelsea – Over 2.5 goals at $1.83

Best Value

Aston Villa to beat Norwich at $2.16

Odds from Betfair as at 1/3/2014

Everton ($1.55) versus West Ham ($7.4), Draw ($4.3)

Everton take on a West Ham side hitting some good form over their past 5 games winning their last 4 and drawing the other. Everton meanwhile have lost their last two against tough opponents in Chelsea and Tottenham and need a win to get their top 4 ambitions back on track albeit a long shot at this stage. Everton also suffered a blow with Traore injured again although this is perhaps offset by the imminent return of Lukaku who should play a role in this one. West Ham too will welcome back Andy Carroll though it remains to be seen if he’ll start the game or come in off the bench. Either way it’s some more depth in the striking department that they’ve been crying out for all season. I think this game is really in the balance. West Ham are a team in some good form whilst Everton are in a bit of a rough patch after some tough fixtures. The return of Lukaku could be the deciding factor for me here. If he starts and has an impact here at home Everton should get the win in a tight contest. If he wasn’t going to play then I’d lean towards a draw.

Predicted result: Everton 2-1
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.89
Best Bet Confidence: 70%

Fulham ($7.6) versus Chelsea ($1.53), Draw ($4.6)

On paper this is a David versus Goliath type fixture given the sides contrasts in table positions at this stage of the season. Chelsea leads the league by a point at the top of the table whilst Fulham sit at the bottom 4 points off safety. This is a tricky game for Chelsea after a tough trip during the week in their Champions League fixture against Galatasaray where they only managed to come away with a draw. There is no doubt Fulham have been poor this season but if I can say one good thing is that their last few games they have certainly played a lot better and showed some fight. A draw away at Manchester United, a tight loss to Liverpool which could have well been a draw, and a draw with West Brom are some pretty handy results. The problem is though they need wins and quickly. Chelsea are a class side and whilst they should get the win this weekend I don’t think they’ll get it easily. Both sides have plenty to fight for in their last 11 games and Chelsea will be wary of a Fulham side on the hunt for points and will no doubt be going for broke in their last 11 games to survive. It’ll be interesting then to see how Mourinho approaches this game with a title not far from his grasp.

Predicted result: Chelsea 2-1
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.83
Best Bet Confidence: 80%

Hull ($2.38) versus Newcastle ($3.55), Draw ($3.3)

Hull take on Newcastle this weekend in what should be an entertaining fixture. Hull are the side to beat here after some great results at home this season but will need to get back onto that trend after some poor recent home results having not won at home since December though their last 3 opponents at home have all been tough taking on Chelsea, Tottenham, and Southampton. Newcastle will be a test as well but they haven’t been in the greatest form. Newcastle notched their first win in 5 games against Villa on the weekend with the returning Remy the goal scorer. Both sides seem pretty evenly matched across the pitch so I can see this being a pretty tight contest. The one player that can probably swing a result in their favour is Remy. His pace and drive forward and troublesome for any side in the league and I think he’ll be the key for Newcastle’s chances. On the flipside the partnership building between Jelavic and Long is becoming a strong one with 5 goals between them in their last 4 games. I feel both sides are a threat here and both should walk away with a point when the final whistle is blown.

Predicted result: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Both teams to score at $2.02
Best Bet Confidence: 70%

Stoke ($5.8) versus Arsenal ($1.75), Draw ($3.85)

Arsenal found some form again last week when they beat Sunderland 4-1 at home after a couple of poor results against Liverpool and Manchester United. It should boost their confidence heading into their next fixture although they haven’t had the best success away at Stoke in recent times. They’ve only managed the 3 points away at Stoke once in their past 6 attempts in all competitions so they’ll need their guns firing here. Stoke have also only lost once in their last 5 at home so will be confident of taking something from Arsenal here. I can see Stoke trying to stifle Arsenal here and make it tough for them to get their passing game going so this could be a game that might struggle to get over 2.5 goals. With that said though I do think Arsenal’s game was a timely return to winning ways and whilst they’ll find it tougher this weekend they should be able to sneak away with a tight win to better their record away at Stoke.

Predicted result: Arsenal 1-0
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.88
Best Bet Confidence: 75%

Southampton ($3.65) versus Liverpool ($2.16), Draw ($3.75)

One of the games of the weekend takes place here between Southampton and Liverpool. There should be goals in this one as well with both sides possessing plenty of attacking flair whilst also prone to conceding. Liverpool have conceded on average 2 goals a game in their last 5 away whilst Southampton average the same amount over their last 5 at home. Liverpool’s away form in comparison to their home form also opens the door up for an exciting contest here. Liverpool have won 2 and drawn 2 of their last 5 away but have won 4 and drawn 1 of their last 5 at home. It’s a strange one because at home they are pretty much unstoppable but they seem to go into their shell a bit when they play away knowing that they can’t afford to lose points away given their 4th position on the table. Southampton meanwhile will be boosted in defence by the likely return of Lovren which is much needed given the prospect of facing Suarez, Sturridge, Coutinho, and Sterling. For me this game is a tough one to call. If it was a Liverpool home game it’d almost be a no brainer but there’s a lot to like about Southampton at home with Lallana, Lambert, and Rodriguez able to cause plenty of damage against a suspect Liverpool defence.

Predicted result: Draw 2-2
Best Bet: Both teams to score at $1.54
Best Bet Confidence: 90%

Aston Villa ($2.16) versus Norwich ($4), Draw ($3.45)

Norwich head to Aston Villa this weekend with some renewed confidence after their 1-0 win at home over Tottenham last weekend. Villa meanwhile will be looking to get some points after their last minute loss to Newcastle away. Both sides need points here as well as they sit 4 points off relegation and need to maintain that buffer with only 11 games to go. Despite Norwich’s good win over Spurs it’s going to be tough for them to back that up here with their away record this year very poor with 8 points from a possible 39. They’ve also let through 6 goals and only scored 1 in their last 3 away and only once this season have they scored more than 2 goals in a game. With Villa failing to score in their last 3 games then, we may not see a multitude of goals here. I’m backing Villa for a home win here to get back into some form with Norwich’s poor record on the road going against them here yet again.

Predicted result: Aston Villa 1-0
Best Bet: Aston Villa to win at $2.16
Best Bet Confidence: 75%

Swansea ($1.86) versus Crystal Palace ($5.1), Draw ($3.65)

Swansea had a tight loss to Liverpool away last weekend which will give them some confidence though they are coming off an away loss at Napoli in the Europa League. That could open the door for a fresher Crystal Palace side here to get something from this game. Palace have looked a much stronger side under Pulis and now sit in 16th on the table above the relegation zone when they had looked all but gone before Pulis took charge.  Swansea have played well over their last 3 league games notching up 7 goals including 3 against Liverpool away but I have question marks over how they’ll play here after their away leg to Napoli. I have a feeling Swansea could be a little flat after their Europa league match which could hand Palace a point here. I’m backing Palace for their first away draw of the season in what should be a pretty tight game.

Predicted result: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Both teams to score at $1.94
Best Bet Confidence: 75%

Tottenham ($1.36) versus Cardiff ($11.5), Draw ($5.4)

Tottenham take on Cardiff this weekend and will look to repeat their earlier meeting in the season although will hope to not leave it so late in the game. Spurs are coming off a somewhat controversial win in the Europa League with a red card opening the flood gates for 3 goals to be scored in 13 minutes with Adebayor again the main man. It’s been well spoken that Tottenham haven’t played well after their Europa League fixtures so they’ll need to make sure they’re switched on for this Cardiff contest. Cardiff meanwhile haven’t scored in their last 3 games whilst letting 7 goals through in two of those games will not add to their confidence as they continue to slide back to the bottom of the table. They’ve also lost their last 6 games on the road scoring only 3 times and letting in 16 goals. They will however have in their favour Tottenham’s patchy form after Europa fixtures however I think they’ll need more than that to get something from this one. Despite the red card that opened the door for Spurs in their Europa fixture, the side will be boosted by the way they took control and snuck through to the next round.

Predicted result: Tottenham 3-0
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.79
Best Bet Confidence: 75%

Please Note:
All of the above are the opinions of the author and are not recommendations or advice. The author may not be taking every bet listed above. Bet at your own risk.
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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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