It’s matchday 34 in the football Premier League and BetVictor Brand Ambassador Michael Owen is here to provide his best bets ahead of the action.
Leicester to win
Southampton v Leicester City (Friday 20.00) 1-2
These two reoppose only a couple of weeks after Leicester narrowly beat the Saints in their FA Cup semi-final encounter. That match turned out to be a rather cagey affair, however, now in the league, I can see this one being more open.
The Saints have been struggling for form in the league. With only three wins in their last 20 Premier League matches, there’s no doubt that the arrival of an in-form Foxes side poses a huge threat.
Monday night’s win against Crystal Palace, a match where they came from behind, was huge for Brendan Rodgers’ side in their quest for Champions League qualification.
A win here would put them within two points of second for the time being, so I’m sure the visitors will be well up for this.
St. Mary’s has been a happy hunting ground for Leicester recently, and with that in mind, I think they’ll take another big three points here.
Manchester City to win -1 goal
Crystal Palace v Manchester City (Saturday 12.30) 0-2
With the Premier League trophy in touching distance, Manchester City take aim once again as they travel to take on Crystal Palace.
Last week’s EFL Cup win was their first of a possible treble, so there is no way City will want to lose any momentum as they chase the remaining two trophies.
For Palace, it’s pretty much job done. The Eagles went down 4-1 to Chelsea last week in what was a meagre performance. However, it’s no surprise to see that at this time of year. With such a huge contrast in both these sides ambitions, I can only see one winner. It’s 2-0 City for me.
Brighton to win
Brighton v Leeds United (Saturday 15.00) 1-0
Leeds travel to Brighton after taking a point against Manchester United last Sunday. As I’ve mentioned previously, it’s either feast or famine with Leeds, but if you offered Marcelo Bielsa a point before kick-off, he’d probably have taken it.
It’s been difficult to get a handle on Brighton all season long. I think most would agree that they’re better than their league position would suggest, however, last week’s defeat against Sheffield United was typical of how it’s gone.
The visitors have had a string of extremely difficult matches. To be undefeated after playing City, Liverpool and Manchester United is a great effort. However, the dynamic slightly changes when you go into a match where fans will be expecting a result. That combined with fatigue, makes me think we could see a home win here. It’s 1-0 Brighton for me.
Chelsea to win to nil
Chelsea v Fulham (Saturday 17.30) 2-0
Chelsea continued their excellent form under Thomas Tuchel with a typical 1-0 win at the London Stadium last Saturday evening,
The Blues are looking good for Champions League qualification, and the visit of struggling Fulham should represent a likely three points.
Although Fulham have a tendency to surprise us when we least expect it, I don’t think Chelsea are the type of side to switch off too often.
West Brom may have caught them off guard a few weeks ago, but I don’t see that happening here. It’s 2-0 Chelsea for me.
Everton to win
Everton v Aston Villa (Saturday 20.00) 1-0
Everton gained a well-earned win against Arsenal last Friday night, a victory they desperately needed. Villa’s 2-2 draw against West Brom was another reminder of how the Villans can be a tad unpredictable, although I do believe they are more suited playing away from home.
That said, Everton looked more organised last week than I’ve seen them in quite a few matches. With a manager as high-class as Carlo Ancelotti, it’s only a matter of time before he gets to the bottom of any problems, especially defensive ones.
On another day with Jack Grealish fit, I think Villa could get something. However, his absence does take a lot out of what Villa do well, so all in all, I think Everton will take this by the slenderest of margins.
Newcastle United v Arsenal (Sunday 14.00) 1-1
Newcastle have turned the corner and now look like a side that are playing with the shackles off. Their last gasp goal to take a point from Anfield last Saturday will have ensured good vibes around the training ground all week.
For Arsenal, it’s virtually the exact opposite. Whenever they seem to get going, they hit a roadblock. It’s been a frustrating season for Gunners’ fans and coming up against such a buoyant Newcastle side here, I think they may have to settle for a point.
Manchester United v Liverpool (Sunday 16.30) 1-1
Both these sides played out a 0-0 draw at Anfield earlier in the season. That was followed by another close encounter in the FA Cup, a game United won 3-2, so I believe we could be in for another tight match here.
Away from home United have been sensational this season. Their home form had been a bit patchy up until recently, however, they come into this undefeated at Old Trafford in six league matches.
I think United will happily give Liverpool some territory here in the hope they can catch them on the counter. To some degree, I think this can work, although it will be hard to keep Liverpool out playing like this over the full 90 minutes.
With that in mind, I could see this one ending all square with both sides cancelling each other out.
Spurs to win -2 goals
Tottenham Hotspur v Sheffield United (Sunday 17.15) 3-0
It’s been a rollercoaster few weeks for Spurs fans. Losing Jose Mourinho and then to be just edged out of the EFL Cup by Manchester City, the visit of relegated Sheffield United provides an opportunity to get three points in the bag.
The Blades won at home to Brighton last week. With relegation confirmed, I expect them to play with a bit more freedom. Although up against a Tottenham side that is still full of quality, I expect the home side to take the points in comfortable fashion.
Under 2.5 goals
West Brom v Wolverhampton Wanderers (Monday 18.00) 0-1
West Brom have been resurgent in recent weeks and if it wasn’t for such a sloppy start when Sam Allardyce came in, we could be talking about them staying up.
Wolves’ campaign is slowly petering out. There hasn’t been a whole lot to shout about at Molineux this season, however, they have shown that they are more than capable of beating teams in and around them. I’m not expecting a classic here, but I do feel the away side will have just enough to take the points.
Burnley v West Ham United (Monday 20.15) 1-1
West Ham’s Champions League ambitions were dealt a blow last weekend when going down 1-0 to Chelsea. Travelling to Burnley, this will be another test of character to see if they can bounce back.
Burnley pulled off a huge 4-0 win away to Wolves last weekend. That should provide some confidence going into this. The Clarets can be tough to break down at times, and with the pressure on West Ham, I could see them being left frustrated again here. It’s 1-1 for me