EPL preview: Klopp and Wenger go for pride as Liverpool battle Arsenal
Some interesting things have happened on the English football scene in the past couple of weeks. Jose Mourinho won the EFL Cup with his Manchester United side by defeating Southampton 3-2 in a thrilling final in Wembley and the fairy tale story of last season turned into a nightmare for one of its main characters, Claudio Rainieri, who was sacked by Leicester City after losing 2-1 away to Sevilla in the first leg of the UCL’s first knockout round. There will be ten matches this match-week and the marquee fixture will take place at Anfield, when Liverpool will host Arsenal. As usual, I will be previewing all the games with betting tips for you to use in plaing your bets on www.nairabet.com
MAN UTD vs. BOURNEMOUTH
The Red Devils will welcome the Cherries to Old trafford in today’s first game with the knowledge that a victory will put them in the top four, at least for some hours. Manchester United will go into the game on a high after capturing their first title of the season last weekend. They are on a six game winning run in all competitions and it will be hard to see Bournemouth stop them from making it seven. Meanwhile, the Cherries are on a downward spiral in the league after going winless in their last eight matches and will enter today’s match on a four-game losing streak in the league. They are fourteenth on the table, four points above the relegation zone and need to start winning games if they do not want to find themselves swimming in relegation waters by April. For Manchester United, Phil Jones has revealed that he is fit and ready to return to first-team action but might have to wait until their Europa League tie on Thursday against Rostov to start, while Henrikh Mkhitaryan is still a doubt after missing the EFL Cup triumph over Southampton. For Bournemouth, Simon Francis is still expected to miss out again today after missing last week’s defeat to West Brom, while Jordon Ibe still remains a doubt for today’s fixture. Manchester United should be able to get all three points in this fixture if they play to their true potential and take their chances, if not, they could be frustrated by Bournemouth, just the way they have been by some other teams at home this season. My tip for this game will be a Manchester United win and over 1.5 goals.
LEICESTER CITY vs. HULL CITY
The Foxes will go into this game on the back of one of their best performances of the season so far, which saw them destroy Liverpool at the Kingpower Stadium in their first game since they unceremoniously dumped their title-winning manager, Claudio Rainieri. Today’s game presents an opprtunity for Leicester to further put some distance between themselves and the basement sides. They were briefly in the relegation zone before that impressive win over Liverpool and another win today against the Tigers will boost their chances of survival. Hull City have had a very tough set of fixtures over the last few weeks and credit must be given to Mauro Silva for being able to keep them alive in the relegation battle. The Portuguese manager has improved Hull’s defense significantly as the team conceded no more than three goals in last four matches including against the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal. This is a relegation six pointer and it’s going to be a very tough game, however, Hull City have a terrible away record and that might count against them. I will advise on a double chance bet on Leicester and over 1.5 goals.
STOKE CITY vs. MIDDLESBROUGH
The Potters were hammered 4-0 by Tottenham last weekend and they would want to immediately remedy that when they host Boro today at the Bet365 Stadium. They are on a bad run of form with just one win from their last five league games and would desperately want to pick up all three points on offer today. Middlesbrough are in danger of slipping into the relegation zone this week if they fail to win today. They are currently sixteenth on the table with 22 points and with the relegation battle getting tougher every passing week, they need to starting winning games to avoid the drop. At home, Stoke have only lost two of their last 12 matches in the Premier League, which should give the Potters some confidence. Middlesbrough, however, haven’t won on the road since August. They have lost five of their last six on the road in the league and have only scored one goal in that time. I will be leaning towards the Potters for this tie and my betting tip will be double chance on Stoke City and under 2.5 goals.
SWANSEA vs. BURNLEY
The Swans have improved markedly over the last couple of months and that form has been vital in their fight against the drop. They have won three of their last five fixtures with the two losses coming against Chelsea and Manchester City. They will go into this game on the back of consecutive home wins over Southampton and Leicester City and a third home win on the bounce when they host the Clarets today is not a far fetched possibility. Burnley have a dire away record with last week’s draw away to Hull being only the second point they have been able to get away from home all season. Luciano Narsingh could make his full debut for the Swans since joining over a month ago in place of Wayne Routledge after the Englishman’s poor showing against Chelsea last week. As for Burnley, Jeff Hendrick is available again after serving his three-match suspension, but Ashley Barnes will sit out this match after being sent off against Hull last weekend. I will advise on a Swansea win and over 1.5 goals on www.nairabet.com
WATFORD vs. SOUTHAMPTON
The Hornets are unbeaten in five of their last six matches and are making steady progress in the Premier League. They were held to a 1-1 draw at home by West Ham last weekend, but extended their unbeaten run at home to three matches. They have been recently been quite decent at home with four wins and three draws from their last ten home league games. Watford has scored in all but two of their home games this season and will be expecting to get a couple of goals today. Southampton will feel gutted after last week’s loss in the EFL Cup and will need to quicly pick themselves up and put up a performance against the Hornets today. They totally outplayed Manchester United and were unfortunate not to win that trophy. In the league however, they have been disappointing, losing six of their last eight games and will need to replicate that form they showed in the EFL Cup final in today’s game to get something out of it. Manolo Gabbadini has been scoring for fun recently and I expect him to be among the goals today. I would advise on a bet of both teams to score and over 1.5 goals.
WEST BROM vs. CRYSTAL PALACE
The Baggies are on a fantastic run of form at the moment with five wins and two draws from their last eight matches, their only defeat was away to Tottenham. At home, It gets even better with seven wins from their last eight, losing only to Manchester United. They are currently on a four match winning streak at home and would want to make it five with a win against Crystal Palace today. The Eagles are in the thick of the relegation battle and an impreessive 1-0 win over Middlesbrough last week helped them move level on point with their victims. That was only their second win in their last eleven EPL matches and the change in momentum we were expecting with the arrival of Sam Allardyce hasn’t happened yet or has it bealready begun with last week’s win? We will put an eye on them to see how things unfold from now on. If they get a victory at the Hawthorns today, then it is safe to say that the fight to stay in the EPL has officially started. My betting tip for this game will be a double chance bet on West Brom and under 2.5 goals.
LIVERPOOL vs, ARSENAL
The Reds were taken apart by the reigning champions, Leicester in their last league match and they will want to quickly bounce back from that defeat with a very good showing against one of their direct rivals, Arsenal. 2017 hasn’t been a good year for Liverpool so far as they have only been able to win just one of the seven league games they have played this year. However, It seems they like facing their direct rivals as their only league win this year has come against second placed Tottenham. Arsenal weren’t in action last weekend and should be well rested by the time they take on Liverpool at Anfield today. The Gunners have not been having the best of times this season and their fans have been calling out the manager Arsene Wenger, saying it’s time for the Frenchman to leave. One of these sides will drop to sixth place if Manchester United win their game against Bournemouth and that isn’t a scenario either of them will be looking forward to. The last two matches between the sides at Anfield have ended in a draw and another stalemate could be on the cards here, which would benefit United. Jordan Henderson is unlikely to recover from a foot injury in time for today’s game, but Dejan Lovren has been cleared of a knee injury and should play some part in today’s match. Granit Xhaka could make his first league appearance in over a month here after serving his four-match suspension. My betting tips for this match are over 2.5 goals and both teams to score.
TOTTENHAM vs. EVERTON
Spurs will welcome the Toffees to White Hart Lane tomorrow with the sole aim of handing out a defeat to their Merseyside visitors. Spurs are unbeaten in three games now, scoring eight goals and conceding only twice in the games. They tore Stoke apart last weekend scoring four goals in the first half on their way to a very handsome victory. Harry Kane has been in terrific form, scoring three hattricks in his last nine games. They are second on the table, ten points behind the leaders Chelsea. Everton are on a nine game unbeaten run in the league and would love to make it ten by avoiding defeat against Spurs in this game. They have the best record in the league this year with five wins and two draws from the seven games they’ve played this season and are just four points behind Manchester United on the log. Spurs haven’t lost to Everton in the league since 2013 and I don’t see them losing this game. I will advise on a bet of over 3.5 goals and both teams to score.
SUNDERLAND vs. MANCHESTER CITY
In the thick of the relegation battle, this wll not be a fixture the Black cats will be looking forward to as they welcome a rampant Manchester City side to the Stadium of Light tomorrow. Sunderland are still rooted to the bottom of the table, despite their surprise thrashing of Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park a month ago, as they returned to their wretched form with consecutive losses in their last two games. They have failed to score in five out of their last six games in all competitions, losing four and drawing once. Nothing is set in stone yet as regards to relegation, but with the way they are going, they might just fall way off and get drowned in the relegation waters. Manchester City have been having a mini revival of some sort since their 4-0 bashing at the hands of Everton as they have picked up ten points from a possible twelve since then. They have won their last six matches against Sunderland irrespective of venue and i don’t see a different outcome tomorrow. A bet of a Manchester City win and over 2.5 goals will be my advise for this match.
WEST HAM vs. CHELSEA
The final match of this match-week will be a London derby and it will take place at the London Stadium when the Hammers host the league leaders, Chelsea. West Ham have been on a decent run of form this in the league this year with three wins, two losses and three draws in the seven games they’ve played so far this year. Andy Carroll is still struggling with the groin injury that kept him out of their last league match and will be a huge doubt for this game. Slaven Bilic will need the services of the big English man as he will also have to do without the service of Michail Antonio, who is suspended after being sent off against Watford. Andre Ayew is on standby to lead the line if Carroll is not fit enough to start. Chelsea have been having an amazing season having won seventeen of theeir last twenty leagu games and currently leading the league with a ten point buffer, although that lead might have been cut to seven before they take to the pitch on Monday evening. Antonio Conte has a fully fit squad and he even tampered with his trusted starting XI last week when he rested Nemanja Matic for Cesc Fabregas, but he might revert to his favoured starting lineup by bringing back the Serb to help N’golo Kante in the midfield battle. The Hammers have already beaten Chelsea once this season in the EFL cup and they will be hoping for a repeat performance on Monday night. A double chance bet on Chelsea and over 1.5 goals are my betting tips for this match.