It’ matchday 26 in the football Premier League and BetVictor Brand Ambassador Michael Owen is here to provide his best bets ahead of the action.
The BetVictor Podcast
Listen to this week’s BetVictor Podcast for Sam Boswell and Dougie McRae’s top tips for the Premier League this weekend, their #HotTopic, Gabriel Sutton on the EFL and more.
Manchester City to win to nil
Manchester City v West Ham 2-0
Premier League high-flyers West Ham travel to the Etihad looking to continue their superb run of from. As well as they’ve been playing, this will be their acid test.
For weeks now, City have been brushing aside anyone they’ve come across, so I’m finding it hard to make a case for the visitors here.
The Hammers will be tough to beat, however, I don’t think there’s any side in the country that can match Manchester City on current form, so I think the points will be going their way again.
Under 2.5 goals
West Brom v Brighton 0-1
Brighton fans will still be scratching their heads after losing out at the death against Crystal Palace on Monday. They dominated the match only to leave empty handed – not for the first time this season.
The Seagulls should be home and dry by this point, so it is concerning that they are only four points above the drop-zone.
They take on a West Brom side who are doomed. For whatever reason, Big Sam has failed to have the desired impact at the Hawthorns.
With that in mind, if Brighton are at their best, I think they’ll win.
Aston Villa to win and both teams to score
Leeds United v Aston Villa 1-3
I’m really looking forward to this one. Both these sides have been excellent to watch this season, and I’m expecting quite the tactical battle here.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Villa will again set up to pounce on the counter-attack. If Leeds fall into that trap, I think they could be in trouble.
By giving away a bit of territory, Villa should be able to spring forward and exploit a pretty weak Leeds defence. If that materialises, I think Villa will leave with the points.
Newcastle United v Wolves 1-1
Newcastle are edging ever-closer to the relegation zone and will be desperate to get points on the board at home to Wolves.
I watched their match against Manchester United, and despite losing 3-1, they played well for periods in the match.
Up against a Wolves side that extremely shot-shy, I think the Magpies have enough to earn themselves a point.
Fulham draw no bet
Crystal Palace v Fulham 0-1
Palace nicked a vital win on the road against Brighton last Monday and now sit well clear of danger at the bottom.
Fulham are putting up a huge fight. The Cottagers are unbeaten in four Premier League matches, winning two of those.
I think this could come down to who wants it more. Fulham certainly have momentum, and I could see the visitors getting another huge three points on the board at Selhurst Park.
Leicester City to win
Leicester City v Arsenal 2-1
There were differing fortunes for both these sides in Thursday’s Europa League fixtures. I was surprised to see Leicester crash out but was equally impressed by Arsenal’s fight-back against Benfica.
I think if you asked Brendan Rodgers privately, he’d agree that UEFA Champions League qualification is the priority for the Foxes this season.
It will be interesting to see how this one plays out. Arsenal will most likely have the majority of the ball, and I think that could play into Leicester’s hands.
As I’ve previously mentioned, Messrs Barnes, Maddison and Vardy are all playing fantastically just now, and if they’re on song again, I think Leicester will win an entertaining contest.
Burnley double chance
Tottenham Hotspur v Burnley 1-1
Incredibly, Spurs come into this having been losing at both half time and full time in five of their last six Premier League matches.
However, Thursday’s Europa League win did show some positive signs that they may be about to turn the corner.
That said, I’m still approaching Jose Mourinho’s men with caution.
They face a Burnley side that will no doubt make things as uncomfortable as they can. The Clarets have previous form for going away from home and getting results as the underdog – just ask Liverpool.
I think they could take something again here against a Tottenham side that are struggling to find any rhythm domestically.
Correct score 0-0
Chelsea v Manchester United 0-0
Arguably the game of the weekend, Manchester United travel to Stamford Bridge with a fantastic away record.
If this were a few months ago, I’d have fancied United to take advantage of Chelsea’s attacking style on the counter.
However, since Thomas Tuchel has arrived, all that has changed. Chelsea have a solidness about them and are a real throwback to what we saw when Jose Mourinho arrived there all those years ago.
With that in mind, I expect Chelsea to give up some territory, which won’t suit United at all. I’m predicting a real tactical battle, and in the end, I think we may end up with a stalemate.
Liverpool half time full time
Sheffield United v Liverpool 1-3
It’s just not happened for Liverpool this season. The Reds have had far too many injuries and blown hot and cold for much of the campaign.
This has meant it has been so hard to find any momentum, and their recent poor form at home has really compounded it all.
However, it was only a few weeks ago when we were waxing lyrical about the performances of Mo Salah and Sadio Mane in a fantastic away win against West Ham.
Liverpool look more comfortable on the road just now, and if they can recapture anything like the form we saw at the London Stadium, I think they’ll secure the three points.
Calvert-Lewin to score anytime
Everton v Southampton 2-1
What a job Carlo Ancelotti is doing. For me, it’s no surprise as he is up there with the very best. A lot of eyebrows were raised at Everton’s starting XI last weekend, but boy did they get the job done.
Ralph Hasenhüttl is another manager that has impressed me so much this season. Southampton may have had a bit of a mid-season slump, but I think that’s down to tiredness more than anything else.
I’m looking forward to this one and expect a decent match. There’s not too much between the sides, but on current form, it has to be Everton for me. I think it’ll finish 2-1 to the Toffees.