By Antony Jordan
The number of matches remaining in the Premier League are rapidly declining as this weekend sees round 31 of 38 and it is business as usual at the top of the league as Leicester lead Tottenham by five points with Arsenal and Man City another six and seven points back with a game in hand. Two of the top four in Leicester and Arsenal are playing this weekend and for the latter of these two sides it is a tough match away at Everton. Should they lose this game then their hopes of the league title will surely be up in smoke.
We preview this Everton v Arsenal match, as well as the other five games playing this Saturday, with online sportsbook WilliamHill.com to provide you with our best EPL picks from game week 31.
It has not been a good week for Arsenal as they have exited both the FA Cup and the Champions League at the hands of Watford and Barcelona as their month long collapse continues unabated. In recent seasons they have bowed and broken under the pressure at the business end of the season and this campaign is no different as they have won just one of their last eight matches in all competitions, and this came against second tier side Hull in the FA Cup. Their league record has seen them without a win since Valentine’s Day where a Danny Simpson red card helped them to a last gasp 2-1 win against Leicester. Their away EPL form has seen them defeat only Bournemouth and bottom of the pile Aston Villa since October, a run of nine matches, but will they be able to end their slide this weekend?
With quality attacking players such as Lukaku, Ross Barclay and Aaron Lennon, all of whom have been bagging goals in large quantities lately, Everton should be doing much better than they are in the league. They are 12th in the table right now, but will fancy their chances at moving up the league with all three points this weekend. Lukaku is too big and strong for a poor Arsenal defence and he’ll add to his 18 goals this season but the only question that remains is over the porous defence that The Toffees have had this season so this game could go either way as the match odds suggest, but we feel the value is to be had on the Belgian forward to score at least once at Goodison Park.
Our best Everton v Arsenal bet is back Romelu Lukaku to score anytime at odds of 2.30 with WilliamHill.com.
Although they were amongst the European places at one stage this season, coming into this match at Selhurst Park this Saturday afternoon there are 14 places and 30 points between Palace and top of the table Leicester. The reason for this is The Eagles have completely imploded in the EPL as they are now 12 matches without a win and last took all three points a week before Christmas, making them the only side in the league not to win in 2016. They have lost eight of their last ten games in the league, so how will they cope with a rampant Leicester team this weekend?
Of late it has been Algerian maestro Riyad Mahrez that has been running the show for Leicester as he has been creating and scoring goals to help the club to the verge of the most unlikely title win in English history. Since that late loss at Arsenal five weeks ago they have vastly improved defensively with three clean sheets in four games and while they are not scoring as well as they were earlier in the season they will have more than enough to beat side that has lost all of their last five home games by an aggregate scoreline of 12-4.
Our top tip for this Palace v Leicester game is back the away win @ 2.40 at William Hill.
Stamford Bridge hosts a clash of West London versus East London this Saturday afternoon and, if Arsenal are beaten at Everton, the visiting team have a chance to leapfrog both The Gunners and Man City to move third in the Premier League table with all three points. It has been an amazing season for The Hammers so far as they have their name in the hat to play at Wembley in an FA Cup semi final, with only a replay against Manchester United standing in their way, while if they continue their outstanding form, that sees them come into this match with just one loss in 11 in all competitions, they stand an excellent chance at making the Champions League for next season ahead of the faltering Arsenal and Man City.
The Hammers, however, have not had much joy at Stamford Bridge in recent times as their last win here came in 2002 and their away form in the EPL has seen just two wins in ten road trips. However, with them still having plenty to play for and with Chelsea out of the Champions League and FA Cup over the last ten days and stuck mid-table there is very little motivation for the home side in this match. Chelsea have also won just one of their last six EPL matches at home, drawing the other five, and we see this game being a close and action-packed match that sees goals on the menu.
We are backing Both Teams to Score – Yes at Stamford Bridge at odds of 1.73 in the William Hill Sportsbook!
Watford were another side that were pushing towards the upper echelons of the Premier League earlier this season, but coming into this match they sit 14th in the table five places and six points behind Stoke in ninth. They are 12 points clear of the relegation battle and will be happy that they will remain in the EPL for another season, but they will be sure to want to top off their appearance at Wembley in the FA Cup by moving further up the league too.
However, The Hornets are out of form in the league at the moment with just two wins in 2016 and seven losses in the other ten of their last 12 games. They have failed to score in any of their last three EPL fixtures, but with Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney combining well against Arsenal last weekend to make the final four of the cup they will believe that the goals will return this weekend. With Stoke having conceded 13 in their last six away games and Watford having won 2-0 at The Britannia earlier this season we can certainly see goals in this match too.
Our money is on Over 2.5 goals in this Watford v Stoke match @ 1.73
This match will go the way of the home side, just as the match odds suggest, as Villa have lost seven of their last eight games and are without a win in 16 away clashes, losing 13 of these, since beating Bournemouth on the opening day of the season. Swansea have won two of their last three games and look the better of these two teams so we feel that they’ll win this game, and with attacking midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson having scored seven goals in his last 11 EPL matches we feel that the value in this game is on the Icelandic player to find the net.
Our best Swansea v Aston Villa bet is back Gylfi Sigurdsson to score anytime at odds of 2.80 with WilliamHill.com
There is a massive gulf in the difference in form of these two sides as West Brom have taken ten points from their last four EPL games. They also have won three and drawn one in this time, and with them facing a Norwich side that has failed to win in 11 matches, the away side is one of the four teams battling to stay in the Premier League right now The Baggies will fancy their chances at claiming another three point haul this weekend.
West Brom have not been defeated on home soil in three months with four wins and two draws in their last six home matches while Norwich have won just one away league game since the opening weekend of the season and have lost all of their last six matches away from Carrow Road, scoring just a single goal. West Brom have also won both of their last two EPL meetings with The Canaries and we can see them making it three in a row this weekend.
Our top West Brom v Norwich tip is back the home win @ 2.20 in the William Hill Sportsbook!