By Antony Jordan
We’re into the final ten matches of the 2016/17 Premier League season as this Saturday sees the first seven matches from round 29 of the 38 games of the campaign. There are big games at the top and bottom of the league to be played on the first day of the weekend too as with Chelsea and Arsenal in action at the top end, while bottom of the table Sunderland welcome a Burnley side winless on their travels aiming to steal some points to put them back into contention for remaining in the top flight.
We preview all season matches with online sportsbook Bet365.com to provide our best EPL picks!
The away side at the Bet365 Stadium this Saturday afternoon start the weekend ten points clear of the chasing pack of Tottenham and Man City and with both of these teams not playing until Sunday they know that they can extend their lead as the aim to claim their fifth ever EPL title and second in three seasons. If they are to do this they will need to bounce back from the 1-0 defeat suffered on this ground last season, but they did net four goals on home soil this season in one of their many home victories under Antonio Conte, but can they complete the double over The Potters?
Bet365.com believe that they can despite the fact that they are the sponsors of Stoke City and you can see why as Chelsea have lost just one six away matches in 2017, winning three and drawing two of their last five road trips. However, with Stoke winning four and drawing four of their last eight home games while suffering just one home loss in the league since September they will be no easy pushovers for the league leaders. However, despite this good form, Stoke have not beaten anyone above 12th in the league on home soil this season and as Chelsea have shown all season long they are the side to beat, so we are backing them to triumph in a similar fashion to how they did at Stamford Bridge earlier this season campaign.
Our money is on Chelsea to beat Stoke by at least two goals (Chelsea -1) at odds of 2.40 at the Bet365 Stadium.
Only three places and ten points separate these two sides in the Premier League table at this late stage of the season and even though Arsenal come into this game as the favourites to take all three points with Bet365 they will find it tough against a West Brom side that has performed excellently on home soil this season. Until last their last home match, The Baggies had lost only to Everton, Man City and Manchester United at The Hawthorns during this campaign, but now come into this clash having suffered a 2-0 home loss to Crystal Palace and then being beaten 3-0 at Everton last weekend to see them having conceded five goals without reply. They have reached 40 points for the season, so have Tony Pulis’ team given up now they know that they’re safe from relegation?
Arsenal certainly will not have given up as they are five points away from a place in the top four of the league with two games in hand and are into the final four stage of the FA Cup. However, they have only beaten none league sides in their last five matches in all competitions after losing 5-1 home and away to Bayern Munich in the Champions League and 3-1 at Liverpool in the league. In fact, 18th placed Hull are the highest ranked side that Arsenal have beaten in eight games in league and cups with losses to Chelsea and Watford having also occurred since the end of January.
Adding to this, The Gunners were beaten 2-1 on their last visit to this ground – although this is their only loss to West Brom since 2010 – and they will need to dig deep to win this match. We feel that West Brom are taking it easy at this stage of the season, as their results and performances have shown lately, and we can see Arsenal edging this match to take all three points this Saturday.
You generally know that things are not going your way when you travel to the side bottom of the league and the bookmakers have you down as the outsiders to win the match as Burnley are for this clash at the Stadium of Light. There are two reasons for this with The Clarets having failed to win away to The Black Cats since 1969 being the first and the fact that they have also lost 12 of 14 away matches this season, drawing with Man United and Hull in the other two clashes. However, after scoring just one away goal in their first seven road trips, Burnley have netted in each of their last seven including against four of the top five sides in the league. If they can continue that goal scoring run this weekend, will it allow them to take their first away win against the league’s second lowest scoring side?
Sunderland will need to rediscover the form that they showed in front of their own fans between the middle of November and end of 2016 if they are to extend Burnley’s winless run on the road as they won three of their four home matches during that period. However, more recently things have not gone well for them as they have lost three and drawn two of their last five at the Stadium of Light and they have scored just one goal during that time. They have conceded nine goals in their last four home games, despite keeping one clean sheet against Tottenham, and with Burnley finding the net on the road recently we can see there being goals in this match. With the away side having conceded in 13 of 14 away games this season we see goals offering the best value in this game, as we feel that either of these teams could take all three points this Saturday.
We are backing Both Teams to Score – Yes in this Sunderland v Burnley clash at odds of 1.80 in the Bet365 Sportsbook!
The Foxes arrive in London on a high after a superb performance against Sevilla during the week saw them make the last eight of the Champions League in their debut European campaign, and after Man City were beaten by Monaco they are the last EPL side in the competition! They now come into this clash against West Ham having won all of their last three matches since firing Claudio Ranieri, but all of those have come on home soil. How will they fare on their travels, where they have failed to win in the league all season and have no goals in four away matches?
The Hammers are without a win in four games as they followed up draws with West Brom and Watford with defeats to Chelsea and Bournemouth, with them lucky only to lose 3-2 to The Cherries as they missed two penalties last weekend. They have won just one of their last five home matches in the league at The London Stadium while having a total of just five wins in their new home for this season from 14 matches.
Neither of these sides are in the best of forms, but Leicester are unbeaten in five clashes with West Ham and their recent turnaround gives them the advantage in our eyes for this Saturday afternoon EPL clash so we are backing them to move further away from the relegation zone as they continue to show how they became champions last season.
Our top tip on this West Ham v Leicester match is back Leicester to win on the Draw No Bet market @ 2.25 at Bet365.
With Everton having lost just one home match all season long and coming into this game with five successive EPL victories at Goodison Park where they have scored 18 goals and kept four clean sheets while Hull have lost 11 of their 14 away league clashes during this campaign we can see why Bet365 have made the home team the heavy favourites to win this match.
We are in complete agreement with Bet365’s assessment of this match too and the only thing that we can see causing an upset is the fact that 19 goal striker Romelu Lukaku stated this week that he would not be signing a new contract at Everton. However, we cannot see this affecting this match and our money is on an easy win for the home side in this one.
These two teams start the weekend in 14th and 16th places, just six and three points above the relegation zone, so both teams will view this clash as a vital and must win match. The problem with this is that the home side are in poor form both home and away with just one win in ten matches and Swansea are without a point on their travels since the end of January. They both need the points, but who’ll take them to leave their opponents in real relegation trouble?
The Cherries will be happy with last weekend’s performance to an extent as they dominated West Ham in their 3-2 victory that saw them end a nine game winless streak, but missing two penalties will not have made Eddie Howe happy. They did need the goals too as they had failed to score in either of their previous two home matches and with 14 goals conceded in their last six home matches they know that they will have to outscore their opposition if they want to win back to back games.
The Swans may have lost to Man City, Chelsea and Hull in their last three away games, but they have managed to find the net in all of their away games under new manager Paul Clement and have scored in all of their last seven matches thanks to the new man in charge. They are still conceding goals too and we can see that this match will be evenly poised with both sides able to take all three points, so we are backing goals in this match as our top EPL pick at The Vitality Stadium on the south coast.
Our money is on Over 2.5 goals to be scored in this Bournemouth v Swansea clash @ 1.70 in the Bet365 Sportsbook!
The home side at Selhurst Park this weekend have hauled themselves out of the bottom three in the table with back to back wins over Middlesbrough and West Brom in their last two matches and, as a result of this, they are now the odds on favourites to see off their guests this Saturday and put more space between them and the bottom three. However, with losses to Man United, Chelsea, Swansea, Everton and a 4-0 loss to Sunderland before their win over ‘Boro in south London can Sam Allardyce manage to get his side playing well enough on home soil to take all three points in this match?
The Hornets are winless in three matches before arriving for this capital city derby match and despite beating Arsenal 2-1 at the end of January this is their only away win since beating Middlesbrough in the middle of October ten matches away from home ago. They lost seven of those other nine road games too and the last five defeats have seen them fail to score. With Palace having netted just three goals in their last six home matches and three of the last five meetings between these sides seeing two or fewer goals we feel that this game will be a tightly fought contest and, as a result, our money is on few goals to be scored in this Saturday’s clash.
We are backing 2/3 goals to be scored in this Crystal Palace v Watford game at odds of 1.95 with Bet365.com.
We have picked our top three picks from these seven games that we are certain will bring profit to you this weekend and these are as follows:
- Chelsea -1 at Stoke @ 2.40 – Stoke have not won at home to any side in the top half this season and Chelsea are in dominant form, scoring goals for fun, so we see the away side cruising to victory in this one.
- Leicester win at West Ham, Draw No Bet @ 2.25 – The Foxes are riding a wave of victory at the moment as everything has clicked for the caretaker manager and players following the exit of Claudio Ranieri. The away side are now in the Quarter Finals of the Champions League following an excellent win in midweek and we see them not losing to a West Ham side that has been inconsistent in their new home this season.
- Everton -1 v Hull @ 2.25 – Although Hull have looked much better since Mike Phelan was let go, they are in terrible away form and Everton have been firing goals in on home soil where they have lost just once this season. We see a comfortable home win for The Toffees this weekend.