By Antony Jordan
The 37th round of the 2016/17 Premier League season begins this Friday evening and this first day of the weekend’s EPL football is likely to be the last action of the title race as Chelsea travel to West Brom knowing that victory will see them become the champions for this season.
We preview this title decider as well as the clash of Everton v Watford with online sportsbook Bet365.com to bring you this Friday night’s best EPL picks.
Following Tottenham’s loss at West Ham and their own win over Middlesbrough last weekend Chelsea come into their 36th match of the season (as they have a game in hand next week) seven points clear of their fellow Londoners in the title race knowing that victory will move them ten points clear with The Lilywhites having a maximum of nine points left to claim. A win at The Hawthorns this Friday will secure their second EPL title in three seasons and see Antonio Conte lift the Premier League crown in his first season in England, but with Chelsea having won just one of their last five visits to this area of the Midlands are they are able to end the title race this week?
Chelsea ended their four match losing run at The Hawthorns last season with a 3-2 win and have since won one and drawn one of the two matches played at Stamford Bridge against The Baggies, but even though things have generally been close between the sides they are at very different stages of their season now and we believe that this will make this game a little more one-sided. Chelsea will take the title with a victory and West Brom have already ended their season and are letting their minds wander towards the summer on the beaches as they have won just one of their last nine games and they have failed to net in five of their last six EPL matches. This is the reason that the match odds from Bet365 make the away side such heavy favourites despite their poor record on this ground and we are in complete agreement with them as Chelsea have lost just one match away from home since defeat at Tottenham on January 4th.
Chelsea have netted 14 goals in their last four matches and we can see them sealing the title with a flourish at The Hawthorns so we are backing goals and the away win this Friday night.
The second of the two matches playing this Friday evening promises to be a thrilling game as the teams have a history of producing goals when they clash as seven of the last eight meetings between the teams since 1988 have produced at least three goals. With only Chelsea beating Everton at Goodison Park in nine league matches during 2017 as they won all of the other eight and netted 29 goals we can certainly see this pattern continuing in this match too.
Watford are in a similar mindset to that of West Brom as they are safe and are already planning on where they will be spending the summer relaxing and recuperating from a long season as they have lost four of their last five games and have failed to score in any of these clashes. They did beat Swansea 1-0 on home soil in the midst of these losses, but they have lost all of their last five away games without a goal being scored. This alone maps out how this match will go and we are backing a straightforward win for the home side this Friday evening.