By Antony Jordan
There are just four matches remaining in match week 36 of the Premier League and while Saturday’s thrilling action focussed mainly on the foot of the table, the games this Sunday and Monday see title deciding clashes. Manchester United v Leicester could see The Foxes crowned champions on Sunday afternoon while, if the Midlanders falter, Tottenham could close the gap in the late stages of this title race as they travel to West London to face Chelsea on Monday night.
We preview these two matches, as well as the other two Sunday afternoon clashes, with online sportsbook Bet365.com to provide our top EPL picks.
Even though they need just three points from their final three games to ensure that they become the 2015/16 EPL champions Leicester City are still be doubted by all comers. Louis van Gaal and the fans of the 20 time top flight champions believe that Manchester United will win this match and with the league leaders the massive outsiders Bet365.com agree with these thoughts, but with both sides collecting four points from the three matches between these sides over this season and last things are likely to be much closer than the odds suggest, even with Leicester missing top scorer Jamie Vardy through suspension. While this day could the biggest in the history of Leicester City Football Club, with them just five points off the top four places and having a game in hand you can be sure that the home side will be just as up for this match as their guests.
United are in good form right now as they bring four successive victories into this game, including booking their place in the FA Cup final with a win over Everton at Wembley, and they not lost on home soil in any competition in nine matches since Southampton triumphed 1-0 through a late Charlie Austin goal in January. However, the face a Leicester side that is unbeaten in nine matches, winning seven of these, and has a seven point gap at the top of the league. They have won all of their last three away games without conceding a goal and have won nine and drawn one of 12 away games to make them the best side in the top flight on the road.
Leicester will surely struggle without Jamie Vardy in their side, although they did cruise past Swansea last weekend 4-0 without the England striker, but can they become Premier League champions at Old Trafford? We believe they can, but it is just as likely that United will win this match too and postpone the celebrations until next weekend. All of three meetings of these sides in recent seasons have seen both sides score and both teams are currently very attacking teams, so we feel that the value at Old Trafford is on goals.
Our top Man United v Leicester tip is back Both Teams to Score – Yes @ 1.95 at Bet365.
Tottenham travel across the city of London as they play a third successive EPL clash on Monday Night Football and after the impressive performance at Stoke was followed up with a 1-1 home draw against West Brom in a match that they could of, and should of, seen off their guests early in the game. However, they did not and were left to rue their missed chances as they dropped points as Leicester eased further away in the title race. By the time we get to this match the race may already be over, but with their local rivals Arsenal breathing down their neck you can be sure that Tottenham will be giving 100% in all of their final trio of league games this season.
However, they will miss key midfielder Dele Alli for the rest of the season after he was banned for punching Claudio Yacob last Monday night and with Chelsea rediscovering their winning form with a 4-1 thumping of Bournemouth after losses to Swansea and Man City in recent weeks will Leicester be crowned title winners even if they fail to beat Man United? There have been no away wins in the last seven Chelsea v Tottenham matches and the visitors to Stamford Bridge this Monday have not won away at the outgoing champions since 1990, so they will have to overcome a long history if they are to win.
Tottenham certainly have the drive and the ability to take all three points, especially against a Chelsea side that has won just one home match since Guus Hiddink took charge of the club. They have already broken a number of long winless records this season, including not having beaten Man United at home in 14 years, and we see them doing the same in this match too.
Our best bet on this Chelsea v Tottenham game is back the away win at odds of 2.65 in the Bet365 Sportsbook!
This match is a catch-22 situation for Manchester City as if their local rivals can defeat Leicester there will be just two points between the sides before kickoff at St. Mary’s Stadium for this game. They will feel that with the second leg of their Champions League semi final against Real Madrid playing on Wednesday that they must rest players to be at their best for that match, but should they lose then Man United can move into the top four by winning their game in hand. Should Real Madrid defeat them they could find themselves out of the Champions League next season with Pep Guardiola coming into manage the club. What do they do?
No matter what course of action City take they will find it difficult to defeat a Southampton side that has only lost to league leaders Leicester in their last seven matches and still hold hope for a place in Europe themselves as they are five points behind West Ham in fifth with this game to play. They have strikers Graziano Pelle and Charlie Austin back in contention for this match, and with six wins and one draw in eight EPL home matches since the end of 2015 they will be full of confidence for this clash.
City may have won four in a row against Southampton, including recording a 3-0 win on this ground last season, but they are missing David Silva and Yaya Toure for this clash while Manuel Pellegrini is sure to favour the Champions League over this clash and rest players too. Even with resting players they will still carry a goal threat as young striker Kelechi Iheanacho has five goals in 519 minutes of action this season and we favour goals as the value pick on the south coast in this match as both sides could easily win what promises to be a match filled with attacking football.
Our money is on Over 2.5 goals to be scored in this Southampton v Man City match at odds of 1.85.
With eight points between themselves and the relegation zone with just three matches and nine points left to play for it appears that Swansea have already packed up their beach clothes and are on holidays right now. Their last two matches have seen seven goals conceded and none scored as Newcastle and Leicester defeated them 3-0 and 4-0. Now they face a Liverpool side that can move to within a point of a European place by winning this match and one that will be looking to take out some frustrations following their concession of the losing goal in the Europa League semi final first leg in injury time at the end of the match.
Liverpool are unbeaten in five EPL games before this trip to Wales and with 13 goals scored in these three wins and two draws they will feel that they will be able to outscore a Swansea side that has averaged less than a goal a game all season. However, with Liverpool arriving back in the UK late following their Thursday night action in Spain manager Jurgen Klopp is sure to rest players for this match and this will help the home side who have won their last three games at the Liberty Stadium 1-0. These tight performances will help the home side and with Liverpool more focused on Europe we can see The Swans upsetting the odds to take something from this game.
We are backing Swansea to beat Liverpool on the Draw No Bet market @ 2.20 with Bet365.com.