It’s matchday 31 in the Premier League and BetVictor Brand Ambassador Michael Owen is here to provide his best bets ahead of the action.
Under 2.5 goals
Fulham v Wolves 1-1
Fulham were seemingly destined to take all three points against Aston Villa last weekend until a late collapse saw the Cottagers ship three goals, leaving them to come away with nothing.
That was their third defeat in a row, but despite this, they still have a chance of survival with the gap only three points between themselves and Newcastle.
They welcome a Wolves side that despite being 3-0 down to West Ham at one stage last week, looked as if they could’ve nicked a point, going down 3-2 in the end. Their second half display was a lot better, and they’ll be hoping if they can find that level of performance again, they will be able to take something in this one.
With both sides misfiring over recent weeks, I think it’s likely that if you offered both managers a point just now, they’d probably take it. So, with that in mind, I think this one will end all square.
Manchester City to win and btts
Manchester City v Leeds United 4-1
The first of a string of tough matches for Leeds starts at the Etihad as they take on champions elect Manchester City.
City earned themselves a Champions League win right at the death on Tuesday courtesy of a Phil Foden goal. Moments like that can really fill a squad with extra belief, and with City still going in all competitions, it is a real possibility that this group could achieve history between now and the end of the season.
I expect Leeds to have a go here. Wednesday’s match was hard work for City, so I think Bielsa will plan to run the legs off the home side in the hope they can catch them off guard.
However, City look unstoppable just now and even if Leeds do manage to nick one, I think the Citizens will have more than enough to seal a comfortable victory.
Liverpool to win to nil
Liverpool v Aston Villa 1-0
Back on home soil, Liverpool will be looking to build on their fantastic away victory at the Emirates last weekend. As poor as Arsenal were, you can’t take anything away from the Reds. It was more like the Liverpool side we’ve become accustomed to over the last few years, so fans will be hoping a return to that kind of form is on the horizon.
Villa got stuck in against Fulham and boy did they get their reward. Three goals inside the last 15 minutes earned them a 3-1 win, however, it wasn’t their best performance of the season by any stretch of the imagination.
I think Villa will sit in here and try to nick one on the counter. There is a danger that when these tactics are employed, the game can end in a stalemate. With that in mind, I don’t expect many goals, however, I think the home side have enough going forward to secure a narrow win.
Chelsea to win HT/FT
Crystal Palace v Chelsea 0-2
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel will be hoping last weekend’s 5-2 defeat at home to West Brom was just a blip. The red card turned the game upside down, and after watching them again midweek in Europe, I do believe that may just have been a freak result.
If Chelsea remain as disciplined as they have been overall under Tuchel, I think they’ll win this by a couple of goals.
Under 2.5 goals
Burnley v Newcastle United 1-1
With relegation rivals Fulham playing on Friday night, there’s a chance Newcastle could be level on points with the Cottagers come kick off in this one. That’s a scary prospect for Magpies fans, however, they must be in better spirits than they were prior to their sides credible draw against Spurs last weekend.
The Geordies showed real grit to take a point, which is exactly what you need when you’re fighting it out at the bottom.
Despite leading 2-0 against Southampton, Burnley suffered defeat at St. Mary’s. The Clarets aren’t completely out of it themselves, and can’t afford any more slip ups of that ilk on the run-in.
I think this one could be cagey. Burnley draw a lot of matches, and with not too much between these two, I could see another stalemate on the cards.
Both teams to score
West Ham United v Leicester City 2-1
There won’t have been many that predicted that come April, this would be a huge fixture in the battle for Champions League football. However, here we are with only four points between the two going into the match.
Undefeated in 10 away from home, Leicester will be looking to bounce back after their defeat to champions elect Manchester City last weekend. Interestingly, only Manchester United and Liverpool have left the London Stadium with all three points this season. That stat in itself tells you how remarkable a job David Moyes has done this season.
Leicester have been excellent away from home this season, however, the Hammers have looked equally as solid at home and I think the Hammers will have enough to edge this and take a step closer to Champions League football next season.
Arsenal to win
Sheffield United v Arsenal 1-2
With Sheffield United now playing for pride more than anything else, it’s safe to say that the Blades’ season is petering out.
They welcome an Arsenal side to Brammall Lane, who despite turning in a poor performance against Liverpool last weekend, come into this as worthy favourites.
The Gunners have improved since the turn of the year, and although they are far from the finished article, I do believe they have enough to take the three points back to the Emirates.
Draw HT, Manchester United FT
Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United 0-1
Undefeated in their last 22 away matches in the Premier League, Manchester United have really perfected the art of the smash and grab victory on their travels this season.
Their performance away at the Etihad a few weeks ago typified that, and with revenge on their mind after being humbled at home to Spurs earlier in the season, they’ll be pumped to get another three points on the board.
For Spurs, a season that promised so much has turned out to be one of frustration. Their 2-2 draw against Newcastle last weekend was another blow and certainly doesn’t make things any easier for Jose Mourinho and his team.
I mentioned Manchester United’s ‘smash and grab’ mentality on the road earlier. I think this is the type of match, even with Spurs so out of form, where you need to be patient. Manchester United have executed it so many times this season that it wouldn’t surprise me to see them do it again. It’s 1-0 United for me.
Ward-Prowse to score anytime
West Brom v Southampton 0-1
The return of Danny Ings proved to be inspirational as Southampton fought back to win 3-2 after going behind 2-0 to Burnley last weekend.
With the exceptional service from James Ward-Prowse, there’s a now clear route to goal with the return of the talismanic Ings.
West Brom yet again fully endorsed their tag as Chelsea’s bogey team as they pulled off an utterly remarkable 5-2 win at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
That could go down as the result of the season; however, I do believe that the Saints are back on track. Again, it could be a tight one, but I’m siding with the Saints to march home with the points.
Correct score 1-1
Brighton v Everton 1-1
Brighton gave Manchester United a bit of a scare at Old Trafford last week, but in the end they left with nothing.
Everton fans will be disappointed with their draw at home to Crystal Palace last weekend, however, it did stop what was a three game losing run in all competitions.
The Toffees don’t seem to be firing on all cylinders at the moment, and up against a tricky Brighton side, I think it could be points shared for them again. It’s 1-1 for me.