Leicester v Southampton

Friday April 20, 4:45am AEST

Southampton threw away a two-goal lead at home to Chelsea to leave them on the brink of relegation as they’re five points form safety and will probably have to win three of their remaining five games to stand any chance of staying up. Not only was it points dropped but the manner of the defeat will be deflating for the Saints squad and with an FA Cup semi-final just three days after their trip to the King Power, Mark Hughes has plenty on his plate.

The Saints have lost their last three away, conceding three in each but they visit a Leicester side that looks to have one eye on their summer plans. Usually so reliable at home, they’ve drawn three of four winless matches at the King Power despite Newcastle in 10th being the highest placed visitor in this run, while hosting bottom-half clubs they’re just W3-D4-L1 this term. They’ve only shut out their opponents once in their last nine at all venues with both teams scoring in eight of these and as Southampton have at least shown more attacking intent under Sparky – netting four in their last two versus Arsenal and Chelsea – we’ll back them to also get on the scoresheet.

Betting Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK -BTTS – Yes at 1.8

Burnley v Chelsea

Friday April 20, 4:45am AEST

Burnley took a significant step towards qualifying for the Europa League next season after defeating their closest rivals Leicester on the weekend and they’re now just two points off Arsenal in 6th. It was the Clarets’ fifth consecutive success and a fifth time they’d scored at least twice as their in-form striking duo of Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes should look forward to playing a Chelsea side whose sole clean sheet in their last nine was hosting West Brom.

The Blues were sluggish for 70 minutes at St Mary’s until they scored and then Southampton crumbled, but their opponents here are unlikely to fold in the same manner. Since beating Man Utd back in November, Chelsea have only triumphed over one team that currently sit in the top-half and that was Newcastle who are 10th and were 12th at the time of playing. Burnley have lost four of five winless matches hosting the Big Six this term but three of these defeats were narrow and only by a single goal while they held Man City 1-1. With an FA Cup semi-final date on Sunday, Antonio Conte may choose to rest the likes of Hazard and Willian so the Lancashire club look excellent value to bag at least a point form this one.

Betting Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK – Burnley +0.5 Asian Handicap at 1.99

Bournemouth v Man Utd

Thursday April 19, 4:45am AEST

Man United handed their city rivals the title with a disappointing 1-0 defeat at home to Championship-bound West Brom, so their main focus will now be on their FA Cup clash with Spurs this weekend. Before that, they must travel to Bournemouth and so it wouldn’t a surprise to see Mourinho rotate here. This should be an opportune time to take United on, but Bournemouth’s defence is so poor at the moment we’re unwilling to take that risk. Indeed, the Cherries have kept only one clean sheet in their last 21, conceding 19 in their last eight where they’ve only beaten the Baggies.

The south-coast club have defeated Arsenal at the Vitality this season but lost their remaining four games hosting the Big Six. Four of these encounters had at least three strikes and ‘overs’ looks the best way to go again in this one. The Red Devils have kept just two clean sheets in their last 12 on the road and excluding their trips to their top-six rivals, Over 2.5 Goals has landed in seven of their 11 away matches, a bet that’s also occurred in 11 of Bournemouth’s last 12 at home.

Betting Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK – Over 2.5 Goals at 1.74

Burnley v Leicester

Sunday April 15, 12:00am AEST

After they won on the weekend and Leicester lost, Burnley took control of 7th spot in the table and the likely chance of European football next season – a fantastic feat for the Lancashire minnows. Their recent four-match wining streak is their best ever in the Premier League but whereas they relied on nicking games 1-0 earlier in the season, the Clarets are showing more attacking endeavour as they netted nine times across these victories. Defensively, they’re not keeping as many clean sheets with just one in their last 11, though they conceded exactly once in nine.

Two victories followed by a home defeat to Newcastle highlight Leicester’s inconsistencies this term. On the road they’re W5-D5-L6 but they’ve kept just three clean sheets as both teams have scored in 12 and 10 had at least three goals. With little to play for, the Foxes are more likely to throw caution to the wind so ‘overs’ at a more generous price would be our preference in the goals market, but we’ll stick with both teams to score to cover the 1-1 draw.

Betting Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK – BTTS – Yes at 2.05

Southampton v Chelsea

Friday April 20, 4:45am AEST

Southampton were much improved from Mark Hughes’ first game in charge but still left Arsenal with nothing and time is running out for the south-coast outfit. Worryingly, they’ve conceded six times in Sparky’s two games in charge but going forward they showed better attacking instinct, creating more chances than their hosts as they were unlucky not to score more than twice at the Emirates. They now welcome Chelsea, whom they meet again in a fortnight in the FA Cup semi-final, and the latter of those encounters will mean a lot more to the Blues whereas the Saints have a lot more on the line in this meeting.

Chelsea’s season is petering out as their top-four hopes are all but over after dropping yet more points at home. Their 1-1 draw with West Ham means they’ve won just two of their last eight and on the road it’s only two successes in their last nine. The Saints have held Arsenal and Spurs at St Mary’s this season and only lost narrowly to Man Utd and there was enough in that performance at the Emirates to suggest they can get something from this game.

Betting Strategy

Laying on Betfair LAY – Chelsea at 1.95

Crystal Palace v Brighton

Sunday April 15, 12:00am AEST

Their draw at Bournemouth would have felt like two crucial points dropped by Palace as they were once again made to rue missed chances. They’re W6-D10-L8 across their last 24 matches but seven of these defeats were against the Big Six and at home they’re unbeaten in seven when excluding such opposition (W3-D4).

With their final five games all against top-seven opposition, it’s important for Brighton to get something form this clash and a point would put them six points ahead of Southampton in 18th. They don’t score many on the road but have avoided defeat in three of their last five and given the Eagles’ strong draw tendency, the best value lies in the stalemate rather than the hosts at odds-on.

Betting Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK – Draw at 3.38

Huddersfield v Watford

Sunday April 15, 12:00am AEST

Huddersfield’s future in this division is likely to be determined in their next two games – both at home against Watford and Everton – as they close with fixtures against Man City, Chelsea and Arsenal. At home, they’re a decent W4-D5-L2 excluding the Big Six, though the two defeats have come in the last four of these. They now host one of the leakiest defences in the league, but the Terriers need all the help they can get as the joint-lowest scorers in the division with just the solitary strike in their last five.

Watford have registered only one point in their last four matches and they’ve not scored in Javi Gracia’s four road games in charge. That record stretches to two goals in their last nine on the road, where they’ve lost eight of nine winless matches. With neither side looking particularly inspiring going forward, both teams not to score is the preferred bet at just shy of evens compared to the much shorter Under 2.5 Goals.

Betting Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK – BTTS – No at 1.95

Swansea v Everton

Sunday April 15, 12:00am AEST

Swansea’s revival under Carlos Carvalhal continues as they’ve lost just three of his 12 games in charge – two of which came against Man Utd and Spurs. After a run of fixtures on the road they’ll be glad to return to the Liberty where they’ve won their last four, although the last of those took place over a month ago and there have been signs in recent weeks that the charismatic Portuguese’s influence is starting to ware off with laboured stalemates at Huddersfield and West Brom.

Everton played out a drab goalless draw in the Merseyside derby but had previously won at Stoke, ending a run of five straight defeats on the road. They’re W1-D3-L3 travelling to bottom-half teams this term and the draw has been the most common result in their 17 trips to such opposition since the start of last season – W4-D7-L6. It’s also occurred in four of the lasts seven meeting between these two and is our pick again.

Betting Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK – Draw at 3.14

Liverpool v Bournemouth

Sunday April 15, 2:30am AEST

Bournemouth have lost only two of their last 14 fixtures, but they’ve had to rely on late goals in many of these and their leaky defence could be punished at Anfield. Indeed, Eddie Howe has major issues at the back as no side has conceded more in their last 20 matches with their sole clean sheet in this time coming in a bit of a freak result at Stamford Bridge. Prior to that victory at Chelsea the Cherries had lost 13 of 16 trips to the Big Six since joining the top-flight, yielding at least three goals in nine of these defeats.

Liverpool have been free-scoring this season, even putting four past Bournemouth in the reverse fixture. Klopp rung the changes in the goalless Merseyside derby with their Champions league second-leg with Man City in mind, but the Kop should see their stars return here. The Reds have won six of seven unbeaten matches at home with five of these having at least four goals and given nine of Bournemouth’s last 16 have seen as many strikes, we’ll back the hosts to prevail in an entertaining affair.

Betting Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK – Liverpool Win/Over 3.5 Goals at 2.38

Tottenham v Man City

Sunday April 15, 4:45am AEST

Man City failed to wrap up the title in extraordinary fashion in the Manchester derby and they’ll be up against it to crown themselves as champions in a tough trip to Wembley. That defeat was just City’s second of the season, but they should have been out of sight at half time, only to let United back in the second period, so we think there has been a slight over-reaction in the market. The only side that have really troubled City this season are Liverpool and for as good a team as Spurs are, they don’t play in the same turbo-charged high pressing manner.

Pochettino’s men are an impressive W7-D1-L1 hosting the Big Six since the start of last season but this City side are arguably the best to visit. If they perform to their potential then the Citizens look a massive price but with Spurs’ impressive home record we’ll avoid the match outcome market in what looks an even contest. Instead, we’ll side with Under 2.5 Goals as it’s landed in six of Spurs’ last nine home matches against the Big Six and in four of City’s last seven away.

Betting Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK – Under 2.5 Goals at 2.25

Newcastle v Arsenal

Sunday April 15, 10:30pm AEST

Arsene Wenger has weathered the storm slightly with a Europa League semi-final on the horizon and maximum points from his side’s last three league matches. All three took place at the Emirates though and the Gunners still have plenty to prove on the road as half of the teams in the Premier League have picked up more points on their travels. They’re W3-D4-L8 overall and having netted more than once in just two of these, face a tough trip to a high-flying Newcastle.

The Geordies have also won three in a row and are unbeaten in six at St James’ Park with the concession of just two goals. They’re W1-D1-L2 hosting the Big Six and true to his ways, Rafa Benitez has kept it tight as the four meetings had fewer than three strikes with no more than one in two. Arsenal have a relatively sharp turnaround form playing in Moscow on Thursday night and so we expect this to be another tight contest.

Betting Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK – Under 2.5 Goals at 2.06

Man United v West Brom

Sunday April 16, 1:00am AEST

Man Utd stunned their city neighbours with a thrilling second-half comeback and their fans will be hoping they bring some of that attacking ambition back to Old Trafford. Although they’ve won 13 of 16 here this term, they’ve score more than twice just once in their last 10, often labouring to victory after getting an early lead. Against a Championship-bound West Brom they’re unlikely to be tested too much so we’re leaning towards the win to nil rather than backing United on the handicap.

The Baggies were improved in their first game since sacking Alan Pardew and they’re playing for little else than pride here. Since triumphing in their opening away match they’ve lost 11 of 15 winless road games whilst netting just seven times. They’ve scored just three goals travelling to Big Six opposition since the start of last season and we don’t expect them to add to that tally against a United side that have won seven of eight unbeaten matches hosting bottom-half clubs with six of these victories to nil.

Betting Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK – Man Utd Win to Nil at 1.7

West Ham v Stoke

Sunday April 17, 5:00am AEST

West Ham took a step closer to survival with a valuable point at Stamford Bridge and they should fancy increasing their advantage over the relegation zone against one of its occupiers. Stoke’s time is running out as they’ve won just one of Paul Lambert’s 11 games in charge, losing three of five winless away matches where they’ve only scored twice.

Since moving to the London Stadium 10 of the Hammers’ 13 victories have been against bottom-half clubs with bottom-six teams making up for eight of those. They’ve won four of five unbeaten matches against the bottom-six this term and we would have them a touch shorter against one of the divisions worst travellers. The Potters have lost 57% of their away matches since the start of last season and that increases to 68% when we take out the current bottom-six and last season’s bottom-six finishers.

Betting Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK – West Ham Win at 2.01

Brighton v Tottenham

Wednesday April 18, 4:45am AEST

Brighton lost 3-2 at Palace and with an exceptionally tough run in, will be looking over their shoulders nervously. They’ve generally done well at home but all four of their defeats at Falmer Stadium have come against top-eight sides as Liverpool and Chelsea recorded sizable victories. They did beat Arsenal here not too long ago, but the Gunners are by far the worst travellers of the top sides whereas this Spurs team usually go well visiting lesser opposition.

Indeed, Pochettino’s men are W15-D3-L1 in away matches against bottom-half teams since the start of last season, while at promoted sides specifically they’ve won eight in a row, netting at least twice in each of these and covering the -1.5 handicap in six. Spurs should extend this impressive record especially as Davy Propper is still suspended for the hosts and that defeat at Selhurst Park was the first game the midfielder has missed this season and without him protecting the back-four Brighton looked vulnerable.

Betting Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK – Spurs -1.5 Asian Handicap at 2.44

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