As 2018 begins in the Premier League, the Pep Guardiola runaway train continues to take pace with Manchester City 15 points clear at the top of the table but they face a tricky looking tie to Anfield to take on a resurgent Liverpool side. Elsewhere, Manchester Unites host manager less Stoke, Chelsea host Leicester and Arsene Wenger’s beleaguered Arsenal travel to Bournemouth to take on Eddie Howe’s Cherries.
Here are our picks for the twenty-third round of fixtures in the Premier League:
02:00 Chelsea vs Leicester City – Stamford Bridge
Leicester City ($12)
It’s a battle of the two previous Champions at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea welcome Leicester to Stamford Bridge for their first Premier League home match of 2018. Chelsea look too far behind Manchester City in the title race to sustain a challenge whilst Leicester look to be in a transitional phase under Claude Puel this campaign. Chelsea have are in the midst of a remarkable 7 game unbeaten run in all competitions but still find themselves 16 points behind Manchester City following a pain-staking 2-2 draw with Arsenal last time out. The Blues are currently 3rd in the table, 1 point behind Manchester United in second and their priority currently will be guaranteeing Champions League football next term. Claude Puel has steadied the ship at the King Power and the Foxes currently sit in 8th place in the Premier League. They were in the midst of a 5-match streak without a win before their 3-0 thumping of Huddersfield on New Year’s Day and they will be hoping to keep the momentum going as they venture in to 2018.
Leicester will be prepared to play football against Chelsea – which could end up being detrimental against a strong Blues side.
Betting tip: Chelsea to win the match and both teams to score ($2.95) BET NOW
Chelsea to win 3-1
02:00 Crystal Palace vs Burnley – Selhurst Park
Crystal Palace ($2.08)
In-form Crystal Palace welcome Burnley to Selhurst Park in what promises to be an intriguing and attritional battle between two defensively responsible teams. Palace have surged up the league since the arrival of Roy Hodgson and are one of only two teams to take points off Manchester City this season whilst Burnley are still flying high in 7th place in the Premier League table. Palace have picked up 22 points in 18 games under the stewardship of Roy Hodgson and have climbed to 14th place in the Premier League table as a result. They have only lost 1 of their last 11 Premier League matches and came from behind last time out to secure a valuable 2-1 win at fellow strugglers, Southampton. The Clarets have enjoyed a remarkable start to the season and sit well clear of the relegation picture in 7th place with 34 points from their opening 22 games. Without a win in their last 5 matches, Sean Dyche’s men are enduring their worst run of the season and will be eager to get back to winning ways here. This could be a cagey encounter between two teams that don’t lose very often in the Premier League.
Betting tip: The match to finish as a draw and under 2.5 goals to be scored in the game ($3.75) BET NOW
02:00 Huddersfield vs West Ham United – John Smith’s Stadium
West Ham United ($3.05)
David Moyes’s resurgent West Ham will be relishing the opportunity to take on a fellow relegation rival as they travel up to Yorkshire to take on floundering Huddersfield. David Wagner has done a remarkable job with the Terriers and with over half of the season played they look well placed to steer clear of the relegation picture this season – barring a real collapse. Huddersfield are currently 11th in the Premier League with 24 points from their opening 22 games – although they are only 4 points clear of the relegation zone. Their home form this season has been impressive, only Tottenham, Manchester City and Chelsea have left the John Smith’s with all 3 points this term. David Moyes continues to defy the naysayers and has overseen a transformation at West Ham that has pushed them up to 15th place in the Premier League table. They are only 2 points above the relegation picture but have only lost once in their last 7 games in the Premier League. West Ham will arrive in West Yorkshire full of confidence but Huddersfield are resolute and will match them all over the park.
Betting tip: The match to finish as a draw and both teams to score ($4.8) BET NOW
02:00 Newcastle United vs Swansea City – St James’s Park
Newcastle United ($1.99)
Swansea City ($4.75)
St James’s Park plays host to a real relegation six-pointer as lowly Swansea travel up to Newcastle in search of crucial points in their quest for Premier League safety. Carlos Carvahal is the man the Swans have entrusted with navigating a path away from the relegation zone and whilst performances have improved, the sustained run of results has yet to arrive for the South Walians. The Toon have lacked consistency all season and as a result find themselves in 13th place in the Premier League table – 2 points above the dreaded drop zone. 22 points from 22 games isn’t the return Rafa Benitez would have hoped for but with limited funds to spend and boardroom unrest plaguing the club, the Toon are currently prioritising Premier League safety. Paul Clement paid the price last month after a string of bad results left the Swans languishing at the foot of the Premier League. Carlos Carvahal has been brought into replace him and had an instant impact with a 2-1 win over Watford but their subsequent defeat to Tottenham has left them 4 points adrift in the relegation zone. Newcastle have shored things up in recent weeks but Swansea look galvanised under Carvahal and could pinch a point here.
Betting tip: The match to finish as a draw and both teams to score ($5.1) BET NOW
02:00 Watford vs Southampton – Vicarage Road
Two sides in free fall meet at Vicarage Road in what has become a huge match for both sides. Watford started the season incredibly but with only one win in their last 9 Premier League matches, Marco Silva’s men are now looking ominously over their shoulders. Southampton meanwhile have had a disastrous first half of the season and with Virgil Van Djik having signed for Liverpool for £75 million, will need to reinvest that money wisely in the January transfer window. Marco Silva’s Hornets were lauded for their early season performances and were competing in the European places until December. Their run of one win in 9 has left them 10th in the league – with 25 points from 22 games and they are now only 5 points above the relegation zone. Mauricio Pellegrino has not had the start he would have hoped for at St Mary’s and the Saints are in real relegation trouble currently. They are winless in their last 9 Premier League games and sit in 17th position and with only 20 points registered, they are outside the relegation zone on goal difference solely. Southampton are struggling and Watford will want to press home the advantage of playing at Vicarage Road and pull away from the drop zone.
Betting tip: Watford to win the match and both teams to score ($5) BET NOW
Watford to win 2-1
02:00 West Bromwich Albion vs Brighton – The Hawthorns
West Bromwich Albion ($2.17)
West Brom are in free fall and the appointment of Alan Pardew has done nothing to stop the rot at the Hawthorns. The Baggies are winless since August and the pressure is mounting on the club to maintain their Premier League status. Brighton are better placed to avoid the drop but the Seagulls are only 3 points above the drop zone and need to keep winning to avoid being dragged into relegation trouble. The Baggies are without a win since August and are 4 points adrift in the relegation zone and in serious danger of losing their Premier League status. Although with 3 draws in their last 6 matches, the Baggies will be hopeful of piecing a run away from relegation trouble sooner rather than later. The Seagulls have had an unbelievable start to the campaign and their 12th place standing has been testament to the work done by Chris Hughton’s men. With 23 points from their opening 22 games, they look well placed to avoid relegation trouble and have only lost one of their last 5 games. This should be a low scoring affair between two teams lacking in attacking prowess.
Betting tip: The match to end as a draw and under 2.5 goals in the game ($3.25) BET NOW
04:30 Tottenham vs Everton – Wembley Stadium
Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs will be keen to rekindle their Champions League charge as they welcome Sam Allardyce’s resurgent Everton to Wembley. The race for the top 4 is hotting up with the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea finding form and with Manchester City seemingly too far away in the title race; Tottenham’s sole focus for the rest of the campaign is to be playing Champions League football next season. Tottenham sit in 5th place in the Premier League, 3 points outside of the Champions League places with 16 games to play. Mauricio Pochettino’s men have 41 points from their opening 22 games and are unbeaten in their last 5 games in all competitions. The Toffees have been in great nick under Sam Allardyce although 3 consecutive defeats in all competitions have checked their progress. With 27 points from their opening 22 games, they currently sit 9th in the Premier League table – 7 points away from the relegation picture. Tottenham look in good nick at home and should have too much for Everton, who should make it a competitive fixture.
Betting tip: Tottenham to win the match and both teams to score ($3.4) BET NOW
Tottenham to win 3-1
00:30 Bournemouth vs Arsenal – Vitality Stadium
Eddie Howe will be looking to keep piling the pressure on Arsene Wenger as Bournemouth welcome Arsenal to the Vitality Stadium. Bournemouth have struggled for form all season whilst the wheels appear to be coming off for Arsenal and their humbling FA Cup defeat at the hands of Nottingham Forest on Sunday added to intrigue and speculation over Arsene Wenger’s future. The Cherries sit 16th in the Premier League – one point above the dreaded drop zone, following a hectic festive period. Eddie Howe’s men are unbeaten in their last 4 matches in all competitions and look to be finding form at a crucial stage of the season. The Gunners have had a disastrous run of games, winning only 1 of their last 5 games in all competitions – including the FA Cup defeat to Nottingham Forest. Arsenal have accumulated 39 points from their opening 22 games and sit 6 points behind Liverpool in the race for Champions League football next term. Bournemouth will be enthused by Arsenal’s deficiencies in recent weeks and will have a go but Arsenal should have too much.
Betting tip: Arsenal to win the match and both teams to score ($3) BET NOW
Arsenal to win 3-1
03:00 Liverpool vs Manchester City – Anfield
Manchester City ($1.53)
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City travel to Anfield in what will be one of their biggest tests of the season to take on Jurgen Klopp’s high-flying Liverpool. City, unbeaten this season in domestic competition, have a remarkable 15 point lead at the top of the Premier League table but have looked a little shaky in recent weeks – something Liverpool will be looking to seize upon with home support behind them. The Reds have been in great form in recent weeks and are unbeaten in their last 17 games in all competitions. Jurgen Klopp has guided his men to 4th in the table, with 44 points from their opening 22 games and they have only lost twice all season. Pep Guardiola’s men have only dropped 4 points from their opening 22 games this term and they look imperious in the Premier League – with a 15 point lead at the top. Only Everton & Crystal Palace have stopped City so far, who have a remarkable +51 goal difference with less than half of the season left to play. Liverpool will be desperate to take the game to City but the Blues are a resolute outfit and should have enough to leave with a point.
Betting tip: The match to end as a draw and both teams to score ($4.55) BET NOW
07:00 Manchester United vs Stoke City – Old Trafford
Manchester United ($1.25)
Stoke City ($17)
Manager-less Stoke City won’t be relishing their next trip as they travel to Old Trafford to take on Jose Mourinho’s title-chasing Manchester United. Mourinho, who has embroiled himself in media spats with Antonio Conte in recent weeks, will be desperate to get back to winning ways at the Theatre of Dreams, with the reds not managing a home league win since mid-December. The Reds have struggle in recent weeks at Old Trafford and whilst they haven’t been beaten since their derby defeat to Manchester City back in early December, they’ve fallen 15 points off the pace in the title race. 47 points from 22 games is a solid return for United but they are now closer to 6th place Burnley than they are to Manchester City above them. Saturday’s embarrassing defeat to Coventry was one defeat too many for the powers that be at Stoke and Mark Hughes paid the price with his job. With the focus now returning to Premier League action, Stoke find themselves in 18th place in the table with only 20 points from their opening 22 games. Manchester United will be looking to pressurise Stoke as much as possible and the Potters look likely to crack in their current situation.
Betting tip: Manchester United to win the match to nil ($2) BET NOW
Manchester United to win 2-0
EPL Week 23 Multi Bet
We’re backing four results this week as a four-fold with a betting stake of $50:-
Manchester United vs Stoke City – Manchester United to win
Tottenham vs Everton – Tottenham to win
Bournemouth vs Arsenal – Arsenal to win
Watford vs Southampton – Watford to win
Pays $6.92 if they all win – BET NOW
A $50 wager would pay out $346.00 if successful at the current odds.