The Manchester City runaway train continued in midweek with a comfortable 4-0 win over struggling Swansea. Manchester United kept pace with a laboured 1-0 win over Bournemouth whilst Chelsea got back to winning ways against Huddersfield. Liverpool and Arsenal were frustrated by West Brom and West Ham respectively whilst Burnley piled the pressure on Mark Hughes’s beleaguered Stoke City.
Here are our picks for the eighteenth round of fixtures in the Premier League:
23:30 Leicester City vs Crystal Palace
Leicester City ($2)
Crystal Palace ($4)
The Premier League festive period is hotting up and two in-form teams meet at the King Power stadium with a change of management seemingly providing a catalyst for both clubs in recent weeks. Leicester have only lost once since Claude Puel’s arrival at the King Power stadium whilst Roy Hodgson has orchestrated a 6-match unbeaten run to leave Palace very much in with a chance of safety. The Foxes have been in sublime form of late and have surged up the table – they currently sit in 8th position. They have won their last 4 matches and have only lost once in their last 12 games in all competitions. The Eagles looked doomed in October, without a win, point or goal in their first 7 league games but their 2-1 win over Chelsea has been the catalyst. Roy Hodgson’s men currently sit bottom of the pile but they are now only 2 points from safety and are unbeaten in their last 6 Premier League matches.
Palace will have a clear game plan under Roy Hodgson but Leicester under Claude Puel are a confident outfit.
Betting tip: Leicester City to win the game and both teams to score ($4.2) BET NOW
Leicester City to win 2-1
02:00 Arsenal vs Newcastle United
Newcastle United ($15)
Two old foes meet at the Emirates on Saturday afternoon as Rafa Benitez takes his Newcastle side to Arsenal in desperate search of a win. Arsene Wenger’s men have picked up 2 point from their last 3 games to fall off the pace in the Premier League title race and for the time being, their priority looks to be securing European football next season. Arsene Wenger’s men have endured a difficult week domestically. A chastening 3-1 home defeat to Manchester United was followed by a laboured 1-1 draw at Southampton that has seen the Gunners fall 19 points behind Manchester City. With Europa League commitments on the back burner until February, Arsenal can now concentrate on improving on their current 5th place standing. The Toon have slipped into the relegation picture in recent weeks and currently sit only 2 points from safety. They have only managed 1 point from their last 8 games and Rafa Benitez will be starting to feel the pressure at St James’s Park.
Newcastle will see this game as a relative free hit but Arsenal have a point to prove and should do it here.
Betting tip: Arsenal to win the game and both teams to score ($3) BET NOW
Arsenal to win 3-1
02:00 Brighton vs Burnley
Burnley travel down south to Brighton looking to continue their incredible form in the Premier League this season. The Clarets are flying high in 6th position in the table and looks to have developed an effective playing style under Sean Dyche. Brighton reside in 13th position but are without a win in their last 5 games which will be concerning for Chris Hughton. Overall, Chris Hughton will be delighted with his sides showing this term, 17 points registered from 17 games is a fantastic return for a promoted side. Without a win in 6 and with teams catching them up in below them, the Seagulls are in need of a boost before the festive period begins. Sean Dyche’s Burnley have amassed an incredible 31 points from their opening 17 games and Premier League safety almost looks assured for the Clarets already. They are only 2 points off the Champions League places and will be looking to stage an outside run towards European football.
Brighton are a tough nut to crack, particularly at home but Burnley are in excellent form.
Betting tip: Burnley to win the game and under 2.5 goals to be scored ($5.5) BET NOW
Burnley to win 1-0
02:00 Chelsea vs Southampton
Chelsea will be looking to bounce back from defeat to rivals West Ham as they welcome a resurgent Southampton side to Stamford Bridge. The Blues are 14 points behind Manchester City at the top of the league in what looks to be a mountain to climb to retain their Premier League. The Saints have only lost once in their last 4 matches but are still finding goals hard to come by. The Blues have now dropped 16 points this season from 17 games – an alarming statistic for Antonio Conte’s men. They currently sit in 3rd place – with 32 points from 16 games and their priority for the time being may well be securing Champions League football. The Saints were beginning to feel the pressure in November but a win over Everton, coupled with strong points away at Bournemouth and at home to Arsenal have strengthened Mauricio Pellegrino’s position. They currently reside in 11th place in the table – although their measly goal tally of 17 goals from 17 games clearly requires improvement.
Southampton will fancy their chances with Chelsea out of form but the Blues should have too much about them – especially at home.
Betting tip: Chelsea to win the game and both teams to score ($2.45) BET NOW
Chelsea to win 2-1
02:00 Stoke City vs West Ham United
Stoke City ($2.3)
West Ham United ($3.58)
The sharks are circling for Mark Hughes who is struggling to get things going at Stoke City currently and with Premier League safety of paramount importance for all clubs, Stoke need points fast. West Ham have gambled on David Moyes and got their first win under the Scot last time out – a famous 1-0 win over Chelsea at the London Olympic Stadium. The Potters are enduring a difficult period under Mark Hughes and currently sit in 15th place in the Premier League table. Their 5-1 thumping at Tottenham last time out has given them the worst defensive record in the division, with 36 goals conceded from their opening 17 games.The appointment of David Moyes was met with derision by the majority of West Ham fans but the former Everton man looks to have engineered a path to safety for the time being. The Hammers sit in 18th position – level on points with West Brom above them with 14 points to their name from 17 games.
Stoke will have plenty of home support backing them but West Ham are in good form of late and could be a tough nut to crack.
Betting tip: Match to end as a draw and both teams to score ($4.33) BET NOW
02:00 Watford vs Huddersfield Town
Huddersfield Town ($5.25)
Watford welcome Huddersfield to Vicarage Road as both sides look to continue their excellent respective starts to the season. Two of the most sought after managers in the league face off too as Marco Silva and David Wagner go head to head in what should be an intriguing tactical battle between two of the brightest young managers in European football. The Hornets have had an excellent start to the campaign – with 22 points to their name from their opening 17 games. Impressive performances against Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool have added to the credibility of manager Marco Silva who rejected advances from Everton to stay at Vicarage Road. David Wagner has masterminded Huddersfield into 12th place in the Premier League table – 5 points clear of the relegation picture. Heavy defeats to Arsenal and Tottenham have been punctuated by a strong showing against Manchester City and a famous win over Manchester United – suggesting its consistency the Terriers lack.
Huddersfield are difficult to break down but Watford should have enough about them to do exactly that and win the game.
Betting tip: Watford to win the match to nil ($2.91) BET NOW
Watford to win 2-0
04:30 Manchester City vs Tottenham
Manchester City ($1.53)
Manchester City will be desperate to continue their incredible run of form as they welcome Tottenham Hotspur to the Etihad Stadium. Pep Guardiola’s men have won 15 Premier League games on the spin to set a new Premier League record and have an 11-point lead over their closes rivals Manchester United. Tottenham endured a difficult November but bounced back with a 5-1 thumping of Stoke and will be focusing on finishing in the Champions League places for the time being. Manchester City’s season continues to go from strength to strength as they sit 11 points clear at the top of the Premier League. Their goal difference of +41 is more than any other team has scored in the league this season and their form looks imperious. Mauricio Pochetino’s men struggled throughout November and early December – picking up 2 points from 4 games to fall out of the title race for the time being. Spurs are now sat in 5th, 18 points off Manchester City and with the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United dropping points in recent weeks – Spurs will be keen to make ground.
Manchester City are in great form and should have too much for Spurs in an entertaining game.
Betting tip: Manchester City to win the match and both teams to score ($2.75) BET NOW
Manchester City to win 3-1
01:15 West Bromwich Albion vs Manchester United
West Bromwich Albion ($6.5)
Manchester United ($1.6)
Jose Mourinho will be taking his Manchester United side to the Hawthorns as they seek a response from their Derby Day disappointment against Manchester City. Whilst much of the post-match conjecture has been around City’s perceived over-zealous celebrations, the fact of the matter was that United were outplayed for large periods of the game. West Brom succumbed to defeat at Swansea last time out and are in the midst of a relegation battle. The Baggies have appointed Alan Pardew in an attempt to pull themselves away from the relegation picture but are yet to win under his stewardship. With 14 points from their 17 games, they are only out of the relegation on goal difference and haven’t won since August in the Premier League. Manchester United now sit 11 points behind Manchester City at the top of the league and look to have it all to do. The reds have 38 points from their opening 17 games and are 3 points clear of Chelsea in 3rd place – with the joint best defensive record in the league.
Manchester United have a point to prove after losing to City and West Brom should feel the wrath of the reds here.
Betting tip: Manchester United to win the match to nil ($2.56) BET NOW
Manchester United to win 2-0
03:30 Bournemouth vs Liverpool
In a repeat in one of the most memorable games of last season, Liverpool travel to Bournemouth looking to avenge their 4-3 defeat from last season. The reds dropped points at home to Everton last time out to further distance themselves in the title race and now sit 16 points behind Manchester City. The Cherries are in good form – having only lost once in their last 6 games and will be up for it against his home fans. The Cherries have been in great form in recent weeks – climbing clear of the relegation picture for now and residing in 14th position. With 16 points registered from their 17 games played, Eddie Howe’s men have started to show the sort of form that’s kept them in the Premier League for the last two seasons. Jurgen Klopp spoke of his bemusement at the decision to award Everton a penalty in the Merseyside Derby and the pressure is starting to show for the German. His side are 18 points off the pace in the Premier League and are struggling to cement their place in the Champions League slots – currently 4th, one point above Arsenal.
Liverpool need to keep winning to keep pace in the title race and in their pursuit of Champions League football.
Betting tip: Liverpool to win the match and over 2.5 goals in the game – as a double ($2.35) BET NOW
Liverpool to win 3-1
20.00 Everton vs Swansea City
Swansea City ($5.5)
Sam Allardyce will be hoping he can continue his unbeaten streak in charge of Everton as his Toffees side welcome struggling Swansea to Goodison Park. Everton’s struggles have been well documented this season but ‘Big Sam’ has restored order on Merseyside whilst Paul Clement’s Swansea are sat at the foot of the table – but a win last time out has left them only 3 points from safety. The Toffees were languishing in the relegation zone prior to Sam Allardyce’s arrival but now sit 10th having taken 10 points from 4 games. Their recent 1-1 draw with Liverpool was perhaps the biggest indicator that Allardyce’s ‘survival’ tactics were being implemented with the Blues soaking up the pressure and catching their rivals on the counter attack. Swansea have endured a difficult start to the season and currently sit bottom of the table with 12 points from their 16 games played.
Paul Clement’s men have struggled for goals – only managing 9 in the Premier League this season – the lowest tally in the league.
Everton look resolute now Big Sam is at the helm and they should have too much class for a struggling Swansea side.
Betting tip: Everton to win the match to nil ($2.85) BET NOW
Everton to win 2-0
EPL Week 18 Multi Bet
We’re backing five results this week as a five-fold with a betting stake of $50:
Manchester City vs Tottenham – Manchester City to win
Chelsea vs Southampton – Chelsea to win
Bournemouth vs Liverpool – Liverpool to win
West Brom vs Manchester United – Manchester United to win
Arsenal vs Newcastle United – Arsenal to win
Pays $6.76 if they all win
A $50 wager would pay out $338.00 if successful at the current odds.