By Antony Jordan
The final three matches from the 33rd round of the 2016/17 EPL season play around the UK this Sunday and Monday, and the biggest match of the weekend is amongst these yet to be played clashes. This game happens at Old Trafford as Manchester United welcome Chelsea for the first time this season and the home team aim to gain revenge for the league and cup losses at Stamford Bridge to the league leaders, but the big question will it be third time lucky for Jose against his former side?
We preview this clash, along with the other two games being played at the conclusion of the weekend with online sportsbook Bet365.com to bring you our best EPL picks.
The first two meetings of these sides this season saw Chelsea triumph 4-0 in the league and 1-0 in the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge against the side managed by their former manager and with Tottenham keeping up the constant pressure on them at the top of the league they’ll be desperate to secure all three points again against Jose Mourinho’s side. However, despite the fact that home side were in Belgium playing the first leg of their Europa League Quarter Final match against Anderlecht on Thursday evening, United have been in fine form lately as they have won three and drawn three of six since losing to Chelsea in the FA Cup and that loss is their only defeat in 17.
At Old Trafford United have not been defeated in 25 clashes in all competitions, 14 of which have come in the Premier League, but five of their last six league matches on home soil have ended level with sides such as Hull and Bournemouth leaving with a point. With all of the last three clashes between these two sides in the red half of Manchester having also ended level are we likely to see the spoils shared again?
Chelsea bounced back from their 2-1 home loss to Crystal Palace with relative ease as they defeated Man City 2-1 and Bournemouth 3-1, but things have slipped back defensively at the West London side to how they were at the start of the season. They managed just one clean sheet in their first six matches under their new Italian manager and now they have failed to keep a clean sheet in nine EPL clashes. However, they have managed to find the net in all of their last 11 games and whether this game ends in victory for either side or a draw, we feel that the best value at Old Trafford this Sunday evening is for goals from both these sides in keeping with their recent patterns of scoring and conceding goals.
Arsenal find themselves away from home on Monday Night Football for a second week in a row and this time around they will be desperate to put in a better performance than the one that saw them beaten 3-0 at Crystal Palace last week. Luckily for them they are facing a Middlesbrough side deep in relegation trouble and without a victory in 2017 who have not defeated them in almost a decade. Will The Gunners drop their hosts deeper into relegation strife this Monday night or will Arsene Wenger find himself under further scrutiny for another defeat?
The first meeting of these two sides this season saw them share the spoils with a 0-0 draw in North London, but with the home side in this Monday night action starting the weekend six points from safety they know that they must take all three points in this match if they are to remain in the top flight this season. Unfortunately, their only victories on home soil have come against sides outside the top flight in cup competitions since then defeated Swansea in the middle of December. However, despite this poor form they face an Arsenal side shocking away form with them having beaten only non-league Sutton on their travels in all competitions since the end of January. Their recent record sees five losses in six away games and they too are in crisis and are likely to miss out on a place in the top four for the first time in 21 seasons. We believe that this match could easily go either way and there could be plenty of goals or very few, but with Theo Walcott having netted four in the last six for Arsenal and performing as one of the top players for The Gunners we feel that there is value in backing the England man to find the net in this match.
The final match of this closing trio of EPL games from this weekend we’re looking at kicks off the action on Sunday and sees a West Brom side who appear to have already ended their season take on a Liverpool side still desperately pushing for a place in the Champions League next season. The odds from Bet365 favour the away win at The Hawthorns, but with three draws and one defeat in their last four visits to this ground Liverpool will need to dig deep if they are to secure all three points.
West Brom have been in excellent form on home soil this season and they have won eight of their last 11 home matches, but with losses to Crystal Palace and Southampton in two of their last three on home soil it appears that they are now taking things easy after reaching 40 points and safety in the top flight for another season. However, they did defeat Arsenal 3-1 in between these two losses so are they picking themselves up for the bigger games and can they do it again?
Liverpool come into this match unbeaten in six, having won four and drawn two during this run, but they have managed just a single victory on the road in 2017. That did come in their last away match as they scored twice in two minutes late on against Stoke, but their performances have also seen draws at Sunderland and the two Manchester clubs as well as losses to Hull and Leicester. They are a little all over the place on the road this year so we feel that this match could go either way, but with five of their six away games in 2017 see both sides find the net we feel that there is plenty of value in goals in the Midlands on Sunday.