In our weekly feature, we will be pre-viewing all the Premier League games and picking out what we see to be good value odds. Including a brief narrative on why we’ve made these picks. These tips are for straight bets, so all odds are at least above evens.
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West Brom v Chelsea
It’s been a strange old season for Tony Pulis’ Baggies side. For much of the season he seemed to be proving his critics, which included a large portion of West Brom fans, wrong, as his side banged in the goals and looked on course for their best ever Premier League finish. Then they hit the 40 point mark and have only taken 5 points since, proving that while the man with the magic cap is brilliant at keeping teams in the division, that’s about as far as he’ll ever take a club.
This should be the game where Antonio Conte’s suburb Chelsea side are deservedly crowned Champions, yet all I can think about is what Rachel Riley will be wearing on FNF. Anyway back to the footy, Chelsea are in top form, Costa looks back to pre January levels and they’ve started to keep clean sheets again. Chelsea win all the way for me here.
Chelsea and over 2.5 goals 11/10
Manchester City v Leicester City
City’s trashing of Palace and local rivals Man United’s defeat to Arsenal last Sunday all but guaranteed City’s place in the Champions League. With a favourable run in, City also look likely to overtake Liverpool and finish 3rd. They look a different proposition since Kompany has come back into the side. Pep has undoubtedly had more than a few brain farts during his first year in England but it’s fair to say if Kompany and Jesus had been around all season, and if they had anything even close to resembling a decent goalkeeper, the Citizens would probably be a lot closer to Chelsea.
Reigning champs Leicester have been in remarkable form since Craig Shakespeare took over the reigns from the sacked Claudio Ranieri. The Foxes were in 17th when Shakespeare became boss and now sit in 9th having taken more points in his 9 Premier League games than Ranieri did in 25. It turns out football hasn’t died and the decision to sack the loveable Italian has actually turned out to be a master stroke.
City will have too much going forward for Leicester here, but I expect Leicester to hit the City onion bag along the way.
City and Both teams to score 7/5
Bournemouth v Burnley
Both teams are safe going into this and to be honest that’s just about all either side was aiming for at the start of the campaign. It’s a meeting of England’s two best young coaches, so it should be interesting as their playing styles are polar opposites.
Both teams are in decent form, but with this being Bournemouth’s last home game of the season, they will want to give their fans a good send off for the summer, which will just tilt it in their favour I reckon. The Cherries top scorer Joshua King has had the best season of his career and I expect him to open the scoring here.
Joshua King First Goal 4/1
Middlesborough v Southampton
Boro had their relegation confirmed after Wednesday night’s 3-0 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The truth is, unless your a Boro fan, not many people will be sad to see them go.
It’s not uncommon for people to feel a little sad when even a poor side is relegated, once they’ve had a go and done a few things of note through the season. That’s just not the case with this Boro side who have been dire from start to finish. Steve Agnew has looked out of his depth since taking over so they will need to appoint well in the summer if they are to come straight back up. On a positive note they’ve been so shit this season that except for Ben Gibson nobody will be coming in for their players.
As for the Saints there is loads to admire. Despite, as usual, losing some of their best players and manager in the summer they are well on course for yet another top half finish. In fact win against Boro and they may move above West Brom into 8th. An 8th placed finish and a EFL Cup Final appearance will represent another fantastic season for what is probably the Premier League’s best run club.
Even though they lost in midweek at home against Arsenal it’s hard to see anything but a Saints win here.
Gabbiadini Score First 4/1
Sunderland v Swansea
Sunderland finally managed to win a game last weekend, away to Hull. It’s all a little too late for David Moyes’ men however as they had already been consigned to relegation the weekend before. Moyes’ career has been in free fall ever since he left Everton, the man looks haunted these days and Sunderland’s chances of coming straight back up would probably be increased if they show him the door in the summer.
The Swans looked in big trouble a few weeks back but consecutive home wins against Stoke and Everton have given them a massive chance of staying up. A win here could see them safe considering Hull’s tough run in. If they do stay up it will have had a lot to do with the quality of forward duo Sigurdson and Llorente, who have both been superb this season when it’s mattered most.
Personally I don’t want them to get the win, so at least we have a relegation scrap to look forward to on the last day as the title and top four seems to have been decided already.
Stoke v Arsenal
It’s been an up and down season for Stoke. They currently sit in 13th which is 4 places away from their spiritual home of 9th. The fans have become restless with Mark Hughes as of late although a couple of wins for any team in and around mid table will see them jump a good few places before the season’s out. It’s true that some of the big name players that Hughes has brought in. like Bony and Imbula, have not performed. But, to be fair, finishing around 9th is about as good as Stoke can ever expect as they just cant compete with the top 7 financially.
Arsenal are back in the running for the top four but will need Liverpool to slip up to get there. Despite getting good results against Man United and Spurs recently, the Gunners still don’t really look like a team playing for each other or their manager.
The Gunners have traditionally struggled away at the Bet365 Stadium and I don’t see that changing this weekend. I see a Stoke win to give their fans a good send off for the season and Arsenal Fan TV to have peak ratings again come Saturday night.
Crystal Palace v Hull
Probably the biggest game of the weekend this. Palace have lost their last 3 including a 5-nil drubbing at the hands of Man City last time out. The motivation for Big Sam and his team is massive going into this however, as they know that a win or even a draw will cement their Premier League status once and for all. Just a thought but has anybody else ever noticed that Sam Allardyce isn’t actually that big he just has a massive head ?
Hull really pissed on my chips when they lost at home to Sunderland last week. They were the only losing leg in a 6 team acca meaning I’ve been surviving on pasta and Dolmio stir in sauces ever since!
It just wasn’t supposed to be like this, I really wanted Marco Silva to keep Hull up just to sicken Merson and Thompson, but I’m afraid that result against Sunderland has left them with too much to do as they play Spurs at home in their last game after this.
I expect Palace, with the crowd behind them, to have enough to get over the line here, but with so much on the line there is bound to be a bit of controversy. If Big Sam gets the win he might even give us a bit of a dance, but is he better than Pards?
Penalty in game 11/4
West Ham v Liverpool
The Hammers will hope that last Friday night’s win over bitter rivals Spurs will start to make the much cristised Olympic Stadium feel a little more like home.
Poor old Slaven Bilic has had his hands full this season with the stadium move and having to deal with West Ham’s dickhead board. Can’t wait until the summer when we’ll all have to put up with Karen Brady and David Sullivan’s moron of a son tweeting about how they are putting in bids for players like Lacazette, then in the end they’ll sign some numpty like Simone Zaza.
Despite another disappointing home result against Southampton last weekend, Man United’s loss to Arsenal has all but sealed the red men’s place in the Champions League. Klopp will really have to come up with a plan for how to play against teams that defend deep for next season. But, all in all they’ll be happy to have qualified for the UCL and that will hopefully enable them to attract some high quality players to strengthen their squad for next season.
Desmond for me please Geoff.
Result 2-2 16/1
Spurs v Man United
Spurs will obviously be downbeat after seeing their title challenge go up in flames with their recent defeat to West Ham. It’s the 2nd year in a row that’s happened away to a London rival, which has got to hurt. But when the dust settles this has still been a season of progression for Spurs. They have finished 5th, 3rd and now more than likely 2nd in Pochetinno’s 3 seasons in charge at White Hart Lane. So if they keep hold of all of their top players in the summer they will have a great chance of progressing again next year.
As I’m writing this United still haven’t played their Europa League 2nd leg semi against Celta Vigo. Regardless, Jose will probably go with his six at the back formation here again so I doubt it will be a high scoring affair. It’s hard to tell if the likes of Martial and Miki are having poor seasons or if it’s Joses fault for playing them as auxiliary full backs at times.
There’s no doubt that it’s been United’s home form that has killed them this season as realistically they should probably have about 10 points more than they have from games at the Theatre of Draws. Jose will already have the Europa League excuse card tucked neatly in his pocket if shutting down Spurs’ attacking threats doesn’t go to plan.
United look like they will finish in 6th and considering the amount of money that has been spent over the last 3 seasons that’s pretty shocking. Jose still has most of the fans onside due to the EFL cup victory and the potential Europa League win. However, if they spend big again in the summer as expected and the same dross is served up next season it won’t be long until the fans turn.
Spurs and under 2.5 goals 3/1
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