By Antony Jordan
With Tottenham’s collapse against Chelsea last Monday night handing Leicester City their first ever Premier League the final two weekend’s of football from this season see a fierce battle to stay in the league. Norwich, Sunderland and Newcastle all battle over one place as they are separated by just two points, and all three sides are in action this Saturday against Manchester United, Chelsea and Aston Villa respectively.
We preview these three matches and the other four games playing this Saturday – including the title party at the King Power Stadium as Leicester face Everton – with online sportsbook WilliamHill.com to provide our best EPL picks.
Aston Villa are long relegated from the Premier League this season but despite this and that they have lost 11 successive games they will have a massive influence on the relegation scrap raging above them. If they fall to a 12th defeat in a row in this match then Newcastle will be within two points of securing their place in the top flight for another season, while if the hosts of this clash can end their losing streak then with Norwich and Sunderland both having a game in hand on Newcastle the race to stay in the EPL will be wide open going into the final day of the season.
Both sides have issues coming into this game with Villa’s poor form added to by the fact that they are missing both first choice left backs, but this is equalled by Newcastle releasing Gabriel Obertan and Sylvain Marveaux by mutual consent. The away side are also missing a number of key players in goal and defence, and with Aston Villa having finally found their shooting boots – with four goals scored in their last two matches – The Magpies are certain to face a challenge in this match.
However, under Rafa Benitez they have turned things around to be leading the race to survive after looking as if they were already relegated earlier in the season and they bring a four match unbeaten run into this game that has seen them collect eight points. They have a lot still to play for and will certainly find space at the back against the worst defence in the league so we see goals and the away win in this match.
Our best Aston Villa v Newcastle bet is back the away win and Over 2.5 goals @ 2.38 at William Hill.
The penultimate round of EPL football for this season kicks off at Carrow Road as The Canaries aim to record the double over Manchester United following their 2-1 win at Old Trafford before Christmas. That was a massive win, but if they can complete the set over the 20 time top flight champions this weekend it will be an even bigger triumph as they look to avoid a swift return to The Championship. Their end of season has not gone well so far however with losses to Crystal Palace, Sunderland and Arsenal without any goals being scored and with them facing the side with the second best defensive record in the league this match promises to be just as difficult as the previous trio of games.
United are in fine form coming into this match too with them having made the FA Cup final and having kept four clean sheets in their last six matches, losing only to Tottenham in that run. They dropped points at home to Leicester at the weekend, have lost three of their last four away EPL matches and have Marouane Fellani banned for this match so they will have to dig deep if they’re to defeat their relegation threatened hosts. They do have plenty still to play for with them just four points off the top four with a game in hand on their local rivals Man City and we see them going all out in this one against a poor Canaries defence.
We are backing Manchester United to beat Norwich at Carrow Road at odds of 1.85.
A fantastic second half at Stamford Bridge by Chelsea on Monday night saw them hand their Premier League title to Leicester as the point against Tottenham made The Foxes uncatchable at the top of the table. This draw saw Chelsea continue a resurgence following back to back losses to Swansea and Man City but now they have nothing left to play for this season as they are seven points behind eighth placed Liverpool. However, their hosts are still in the thick of a relegation scrap and they’ll be out to win this match in an attempt to ensure they’re playing in the top flight for the 2016/17 season.
The Black Cats have lost just one of their last eight matches – at home to champions Leicester – coming into this game, although they have drawn six of the other seven clashes, so will be confident about avoiding defeat while being motivated to win. With Jermaine Defoe having a fine season so far with 14 goals scored they will believe that they can find the net against a Chelsea side that has just one clean sheet in 15 games in all competitions. They will likely need two goals to win this match though as they have just two clean sheets in their last 22 matches and with both sides being a little hit and miss in recent times we feel that the value on this clash is on their patterns of conceding to continue.
Our top Sunderland v Chelsea tip is back Both Teams to Score – Yes and Over 2.5 goals to be scored @ 1.91 in the William Hill Sportsbook!
The 2015/16 Premier League champions will be crowned as the kings of England at the full time whistle of this match so we expect a fantastic performance from a side that will be boosted by the return of Jamie Vardy in what promises to be a carnival atmosphere from the home supporters in Leicester’s final game at The King Power Stadium this season. They may be missing Danny Drinkwater and Robert Huth for this match after their red card and ban from the Manchester United game, but they have won nine and drawn five of their last 14 home matches in the Premier League and have eight clean sheets so they will believe that they’ll ease to victory in this one.
We agree with that as, although Everton have been better on the road this season, their 2-1 win at home to Bournemouth last weekend was just their second win in the last three months – and the other was against the hopeless Aston Villa side. They are without a win on the road in four matches since beating Villa on the 1st of March and they’ve managed just one goal in the following four games. As such, we’re backing The Foxes to celebrate the EPL trophy presentation with all three points.
Our money is on the home win in this Leicester v Everton match at odds of 1.80 with WilliamHill.com.
West Ham will be looking to close out their final ever match at The Boleyn Ground before their move to the Olympic Stadium next season with all three points as they look to keep the pressure on the two Manchester clubs above them in the race for the final Champions League place. They have won all of the Premier League era home matches with Swansea conceding just a single goal in this time and them unbeaten in ten matches, winning five and drawing five, whilst scoring 22 goals in this run we are not surprised to see them the big favourites to win this match.
Swansea eased to victory at home to a rested Liverpool side last weekend, but with 12 goals conceded in four away matches and no win away from The Liberty Stadium since the start of March they are all but on holidays right now. They are missing key midfielder Glyfi Sigurðsson for this match through injury and we can see The Hammers signing off in style this weekend.
Our best bet from The Boleyn Ground is back West Ham to win at least two goals (West Ham -1) @ 2.10 at William Hill.
Although Crystal Palace have reached the FA Cup Final and will face Manchester United in an attempt to claim this trophy for the first time, the second half of their Premier League season has not gone well for them. The end of 2015 saw them fifth in the EPL table but they arrive at the penultimate weekend having dropped to 16th and having won just a single match since the calendar changed to 2016. They have lost 11 of their 17 matches in 2016 and have collected just eight points in this timeframe and, while they are not mathematically safe from relegation, we feel that with the FA Cup Final coming up in two weeks this match will have an end of season feeling as players look to keep from being injured for what will be the highlight of the season.
Stoke have nothing left to play for either as they cannot catch Liverpool in eighth place so will remain around mid-table. They ended a three match losing streak that saw them concede four goals against Liverpool, Tottenham and Man City at the weekend as they drew 1-1 at home to Sunderland, but they are still missing their two first choice goalkeepers through injury for this match and we can see that although neither side will be pushing too hard, despite the desire to finish the season on a high note, there will be goals in this game. Four of the last six meetings between Palace and Stoke have seen both sides find the net and we feel that there is plenty of value on this outcome.
Our top tip on this Crystal Palace v Stoke match is back Both Teams to Score – Yes at odds of 1.91 in the William Hill Sportsbook!
The final match from Saturday’s EPL card we’re looking at sees just the second ever league meeting between The Cherries and The Baggies following a fiery encounter between the teams earlier this season. There were three goals and two red cards, both for West Brom, as Bournemouth brought all three points back to the south coast with them to follow up their victory by the same scoreline in the League Cup from last season and now they’re the odds-on favourites to make it three wins in a row against Tony Pulis’ side.
Neither team is in particularly good form as the home side in this clash have lost five of their last six games while West Brom are without a win in seven games, losing five of these. Both sides are safe from relegation and we can see this game also having an end of season feel. However, both sides are still capable of scoring goals and the match earlier this season as well as the last two cup meetings seeing both sides scoring goals and we can see this pattern continuing this Saturday afternoon on the south coast.
Our money is on Both Teams to Score – Yes and Over 2.5 goals in this Bournemouth v West Brom match @ 2.20 with WilliamHill.com.
We have picked our three favourite selections from these seven EPL picks to highlight as our favourite bets.
– Newcastle to beat Aston Villa and Over 2.5 goals @ 2.38. Newcastle have plenty to play for and with them 17th in the league remaining in the league is in their own hands. With their relegation rivals facing Chelsea and Manchester United while they face a side without a point in 11 games they will know they can strengthen their position with all three points. They’ll do this and there will be goals too.
– Manchester United to beat Norwich @ 1.85. Norwich are poor at the moment and face a side with one of the tightest defences in the division who are looking to move into the top four. We cannot see anything but victory for the in-form United side.
– Leicester to beat Everton @ 1.80. It will be party time at The King Power Stadium and the champions will do their bit by defeating Everton.