By Antony Jordan
We’re moving towards the end of the 2016/17 Premier League season as after this weekend’s action there will be just 11 matches left for many of the sides in the English top flight – Liverpool and Arsenal are you listening?
Chelsea are coming into the weekend leading the chasing pack by ten points time is running out to catch Antonio Conte’s men. The West London team do not play until Monday night in this round of matches though, so will the others be able to apply the pressure?
There are seven games being played on Saturday, the opening day of fixtures from round 27 of this season’s campaign, and we preview all of these matches, including the massive Liverpool v Arsenal clash, with online sportsbook Bet365.com to provide our top EPL picks.
2017 has not been a good year so far for Liverpool as they have won just one match in the Premier League since we left 2016 behind and they come into this match having lost three of their last five in the league. They have been defeated away at Leicester and Hull as well as losing 3-2 at home to Swansea, but they are still a difficult to predict too. Their other three games from their last six have seen draws with high flying Manchester United and table topping Chelsea as well as beating second placed Tottenham at Anfield. The big question is which Liverpool will we see as they welcome another North London team to Merseyside?
This is a big match for The Gunners too as they had last weekend off to rest as their match against Southampton was cancelled as The Saints played in the EFL Cup final at Wembley and with the second leg against Bayern Munich in the Champions League that happens during the week seeing them 5-1 down they are likely to concentrate this clash as the more important one. Arsene Wenger’s men start the weekend just three points behind second place so victory at Anfield is vital, but with two draws and a loss on this ground since their last win here in 2012 will they be able to claim all three points?
The two sides are separated by just a single point in the league but with Liverpool misfiring and Arsenal the more rested team, as well as having drawn their last two matches on the red half of the city of Liverpool, we believe that the away side will take at least a point back to the capital with them in the highlight of the weekend’s EPL action.
The only top flight meeting between these two sides at Old Trafford saw the home team cruise to a 3-1 victory at the end of last season and with these two teams separated by eight places and 22 points in the Premier League table Bet365.com clearly believe that we’ll see a repeat of last season’s win for United too as they massively favour the home win this weekend. United come into this match having lifted the EFL Cup last weekend and they have now won seven and drawn one of their last eight games in all competitions since losing the second leg of the cup semi-final to Hull.
The home team are in impressive form and with Bournemouth being without a win in eight games, where they have lost six of those, we can see why Bet365 are favouring the home side in this one. United have six clean sheets in their last seven at Old Trafford and with Bournemouth losing four in a row on the road while conceding 14 goals in this run we are in agreement with the bookies for this one. We’re on a comfortable home win with plenty of goals on the red half of Manchester this Saturday lunchtime.
Our best Man United v Bournemouth bet is back the home win AND Over 2.5 goals to be scored @ 1.72 in the Bet365 Sportsbook!
The Foxes put some space between themselves and the bottom three places in the league as they defend their title with a 3-1 win over Liverpool last Monday night as they played their first match without fired manager Claudio Ranieri who guided them to EPL victory last season. They will be desperate to add another victory to their record for this season – which has seen them win just six times in total – as they face second bottom of the league Hull, but can the home side triumph against a Hull side with losses only to Chelsea and Arsenal in their last six games?
Hull secured a 2-1 victory on home soil this season against Leicester in August but, even though they are looking a better side under new manager Marco Silva, they are struggling away from home with ten losses and one draw in their last 11 away games in the league. They have failed to find the net seven of their last eight road trips, but with Leicester having failed to keep a clean sheet since January 2nd they will believe that they can at least find the net in this match. The away team are missing a number of players and the home side will be boosted by victory during the week, but we cannot back a home win in this match due to the inconsistency of Leicester this season. One thing is sure though, both of these teams concede plenty of goals and we are backing goals at The King Power Stadium this Saturday!
With two wins in their last four matches – where they had won just once in the league since September – are Crystal Palace finally turning things around as they aim to escape the relegation zone? This Saturday’s match at The Hawthorns will certainly show if they’re on the right track or if this this just another false dawn as their hosts have won seven of their last eight home EPL clashes and have lost only three times on home soil in 13 games this season!
West Brom have won both of the last two meetings with The Eagles and have taken all three points in three of the last four clashes between the sides, and with their home record against Palace’s one away win – against Bournemouth – in ten away league matches we cannot see anything but a home win in the Midlands.
Thanks to three wins in the six matches since Paul Clement has taken over from Bob Bradley at Swansea, The Swans have gone from deep in the relegation zone to start this weekend’s football in 16th place two points clear and on their way up the table even further. They have beaten both Leicester and Southampton at The Liberty Stadium since Clement, the former Derby boss, arrived in Wales and now they are aiming for a third straight win on home soil.
They are the favourites to take all three points with Bet365 – and with us! – as they face a Burnley side that has lost ten and drawn two of their 12 away matches this season, netting just six goals in the process. They have found one goal in each of their last five away matches, including ending a seven away game losing streak with a 1-1 draw at Hull last time around, but we cannot see them getting anything in Wales this Saturday.
These two sides start the weekend sitting 12th and 13th in the EPL table respectively with just a single point between them and with two draws in three meetings since Watford returned to the Premier League we are sure that we’ll see a close match at Vicarage Road this weekend. The big question is how will Southampton respond to losing the EFL Cup final so late at Wembley to Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Manchester United?
We feel that they may bounce back well in this match as Watford have not at the best of times defensively on home soil this season as they have kept just two clean sheets in front of their own fans – and these came against two of the bottom four in Hull and Middlesbrough – and January signing for The Saints Manolo Gabbiadini has hit the ground running in the EPL already. He has five goals in his last three matches for Southampton, including netting two at Wembley last weekend, and we feel that he will continue his hot streak against a Hornets side that is poor defensively.
Our top EPL pick on this Watford v Southampton match is back Manolo Gabbiadini to score anytime @ 3.00 with Bet365.com.
The final match from Saturday we’re taking a look at sees the Bet365 sponsored Stoke City heavily favoured to defeat Middlesbrough at the Bet365 Stadium thanks to the away side having failed to win in any of their last nine league games and not winning away from home since August. They have lost five of their last six away games and netted just a single goal in this run, so can the home side take advantage?
The Potters have won three and drawn four of their last seven home games in the league and have lost just once since September in front of their own fans. They have four clean sheets in their seven match unbeaten run at home and with Middlesbrough not troubling their hosts goals in recent games we cannot see this clash ending any other way but in a home win.
Our best bet on this Stoke v Middlesbrough match is back the home win at odds of 1.95 at The Bet365 Stadium.
In this section we take a look at our picks of the day and highlight our top three selections that we’re certain of returning us some big profit. Here are our picks for this Saturday’s action:
- West Brom to beat Crystal Palace @ 2.20
- Swansea to beat Burnley @ 2.00
- Stoke to beat Middlesbrough @ 1.95
Our reasoning for selecting this trio of home victories is that all three of these sides have excellent home form in the long term (West Brom and Stoke) or more recently (Swansea) while their guests are unable to find themselves victories away from home this season.
We’re sure of this trio of home wins and we’ll have our cash on them, as well as a small treble for all three sides to triumph which is available at odds of 8.58 with Bet365.com too.