Premier League Match Preview (Week 29)

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Updated: March 4, 2014
Chelsea and tottenham

Chelsea vs. Tottenham

After securing a 1-3 victory against the brave Fulham, Chelsea now maintain a 4-point lead against the (former) league leader, Arsenal. The win also extended their lead over Manchester City, which currently trails them by six (6) points.

 

The match against Fulham was one of the biggest turnarounds that Chelsea witnessed. A sloppy first half prevented them from creating scoring opportunities and almost brought them on their knees. However, a resilient Andre Schurlle fired a hat trick, which allowed them to securte the coveted victory.

 

Despite Jose Mourino’s claims of having a “ fake lead,” Chelsea’s strength cannot be questioned. Since their disappointing loss to Stoke last December, they can proudly say that they have already won ten (10) of their last thirteen (13) matches, whilst the remaining three (3) ended in a draw. They also show great strength when playing in their own territory. To note, they have been unbeaten in twenty-three (23) of their home matches.

 

Meanwhile, Tottenham is also one of the biggest winners last weekend. Tim Sherwood’s side clinched a narrow victory over Cardiff (1-0), courtesy of Roberto Soldado. Sitting on the 5th spot of the Premier League table, the club presents a strong form that is highly capable of challenging Chelsea.

 

So far, Tottenham has managed to win thrice, lost twice and drew once in their last 6 matches.

 

Amidst the pressure and speculations that Sherwood will be replaced this assummer, the club’s head honcho encouraged his players to “believe’ that they shall qualify in next season’s Champions League.

 

Prediction:  Chelsea

Chelsea plays the strongest at Stamford Bridge and is therefore, the sports betting favorite to win at 1.56. Since their last 3 home matches witnessed them keep a clean sheet,  going for a 2.26 generates a decent value.

 

But since Tottenham is also one of the strongest forces in the Premier League, going for a draw at 3.90 is also a profitable bet.

 

Match Date: 08 March 2014 (local time)

Venue: Stamford Bridge

 

Image Source: Sky Sports

 

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West Bromwich Albion vs. Manchester United

 

Match Date: 08 March 2014 (local time)

Venue: The Hawthorns

 

Already out of the title race, Manchester United gets consolation and inspiration from their 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace. Although the creative playmaker, Juan Mata has already graced Old Trafford, the club failed to generate a consistent performance that was even made worse with their defeat to Olympiakos in the Champions League.

 

So far, Manchester United’s form show an equal number of wins, losses and draws in their last 6 encounters.

 West Brom and Manchester United

 

If the Red Devils are having problems with their form and so is West Bromwich Albion. West Brom came from a 1-1 stalemate against Fulham to grab a point and hang into their 2-point lead above the relegation zone. They were winless in their last 6 matches and going against Manchester United present an opportunity earn more points and avoid the tight relegation battle.

 

Prediction:  Manchester United

Football betting tips point to Manchester United as the clear favorite of the match. The away steam are pitted to win at an odds of 1.74.  A 3.54 odds for draw is also given as West Brom has been forcing stalemates in their last 4 matches.

 

Image Source:  Telegraph

 

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Crystal Palace vs. Southampton

Match Date: 08 March 2014 (local time)

Venue: Selhurst Park

 

Clearly, Tony Pulis was satisfied with his side’s performance over Swansea. With the draw, the Super Eagles have managed to stay away from the relegation zone and partially ensure their survival this season.

 

Pulis emphasized the importance of “picking points away from home” as this is one of the strong determinants of their success in the league.

 

So far, Crystal Palace has won thrice, lost twice and drew once during their last 6 matches. They are comfortably sitting at the 16th spot of the table and 3 points clear of the bottom part of the Premier League table.

 

Meanwhile, Southampton rues their massive defeat to Liverpool. The said loss prevented them from improving their rank and barely saved them from the tough relegation battle.

Southampton's Pablo Osvaldo, left, scored against Crystal Palace in the Premier League at St Mary's

Southampton sits on the 9th spot of the Premier League table. However, a continuation of their lackluster performance and a repeat of their inability to capitalize on scoring opportunities may push them out of the top 10 and go lower than what is expected.

 

Prediction: Southampton

Southampton are overt sports betting favorites to win at 2.03. Despite Crystal Palace’s home court advantage, they have a better form, which could enable them to succeed in the said match.

 

It is for the above-mentioned reason that going for a 2.18 odds in favor of the away team also delivers a decent value.

 

Image Source: The Guardian

 

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Norwich vs. Stoke

Match Date: 08 March 2014 (local time)

Venue: Carrow Road

 

Elated and inspired, Stoke travels to Carrow Road with the possibility of continuing their winning streak.

 

Just recently, the club clinched a major upset against Arsenal. The club snatched a narrow 1-0 victory, which pushed the Gunners to the 3rd spot of the table.

 

Although overflowing with confidence, the club’s former manager, Lou  Macari warned them of being too complacent as this might cause them to fall flat on their faces. Another reason for Stoke to not engage in an early celebration is the threat of Adam Charlie’s suspension. The player is endanger of missing important matches due to an alleged “violent behavior” against Arsenal’s Oliver Giroud.

Norwich vs Stoke

Stoke currently enjoys its safety at the 13th spot of the Premier League.

 

On the other hand, in as much as Stoke savors the joys of beating Arsenal, this was not the case of Norwich.

 

The Canaries experienced a major thrashing from Aston Villa. Norwich was limited to a single goal whilst their clinical opponent fired 4 shots. As a result, Norwich’s rank dropped to the 15th spot.

 

With several matches left, the Canaries need to step up their game or they might miss the top flight league next season. The club is also expected to capitalize on their strong home form in which they were able to keep a clean sheet in their last  4 home matches.

 

Prediction: Norwich

Norwich is pegged as the sports betting favorite to win at 2.22. They will most likely use their home court advantage over Stoke, which seems to struggle in matches outside of their territory. To note, Stoke was unsuccessful in their last 12 away encounters, in which it was also unable to snatch a single goal. Given this aspect at hand, betting on Norwich’s possibility of keeping a clean sheet may deliver positive results. The home team’s odds of not conceding goal is pegged at 2.58.

 

 

Image Source: Live Premier League Streaming

 

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Cardiff vs. Fulham

 

Match Date: 08 March 2014 (local time)

Venue: Cardiff City Stadium

 

Despite their loss to Tottenham, the Bluebirds are positive that they will survive the relegation battle. Generating support from the Cardiff owner, Vincent Tan, manager Ole Gunnar Solsksjaer firmly believed that they “caused problems” to Tottenham and such can be seen as a major improvement for their side.

 

Solsksjaer also mentioned that Wilfred Zaha’s participation during their next succeeding matches is crucial to their survival ambitions. Zaha has been on loan in the club after failing to get a regular playing time at Old Trafford.

 

Cardiff is currently a notch higher than the rock bottom Fulham. The club needs four (4) more points to make it to the safety zone. They have only won once in their last 6 matches, but perhaps the encounter with Tottenham can make a difference in their performance.

 

Cardiff and Fulham

 

Fulham’s situation is no different from Cardiff as they are also worried about their survival. Situated at the rock bottom part of the table, their confidence received further beating when Chelsea left them with a devastating 3-1 loss.

 

The above-mentioned scenario deeply troubles their top brass, Felix Magath. During their encounter against Chelsea, the club was unable to take advantage of their strong performance in the first half. A repetition of such incident, may indeed, hamper them from making it to the next season.

 

To date, Fulham remains winless.

 

Prediction:  Cardiff

Although scoreless in their last 4 matches, Premier League betting tips point to Cardiff as the top pick in the match.

 

Sharing an Asian handicap of 0.5, they (Cardiff) are favorites to win at 2.29.

 

Image Source: Yahoo

 

Early previews for postponed matches

 

Liverpool vs. Sunderland

* Postponed due to Sunderland’s FA Cup duties

 

With the 3-0 win over Southampton, Liverpool climbed to the 2nd spot of the table and is just 4 points behind Chelsea. Their impressive performance caught the attention of many as they are now one of the strongest title contenders for this season.

 

The Reds are close to being invincible in their previous matches. Sporting  4 wins and a draw, it is not surprising to see them catapult to the next highest rank in the league.

 

According to team captain, Steven Gerrard, their sudden rise has taken the attention of many. He even implied that their absence in the European competition enabled them to keep fresh legs in every match that they have.

 

On the other hand, Liverpool’s manager Brendan Rodgers still has some reservations about their title race. The club’s head honcho stressed that their main concern is to win more games and see where those victories will lead them.

 

While Liverpool celebrates their rise, Sunderland needs to divert their focus to their survival.

Liverpool vs. Sunderland
Sunderland’s  recent loss  was against Arsenal as its encounter against West Bromwich Albion was postponed. The Gunners performed an impressive demolition job as they ended the match with a 4-1 victory. Such pushed them back to the relegation zone. Yet, unlike before, their performance is much better and they have better chances of making it to the next season.

 

The improvements in Sunderland’s performance are evident. From a struggling minnow, they have emerged as one of the unexpected dark horses in the league, just like Crystal Palace. They were not necessarily title contenders, but they have managed to turn the odds into their favor and get out of the relegation zone.

 

Unfortunately, for the Black Cats, they are back on the bottom. But they are more confident of surviving a tough test. As Gus Poyet emphasized, they can survive provided that they will show the same spirit and determination as that of their Capital One Cup final against Manchester City.

 

Sunderland currently hangs on to the 18th spot of the Premier League table.

 

Prediction: Liverpool

It is evident that Liverpool is the sports betting favorite in this particular match. Sunderland may also feature, but their strength may not be enough to sustain Liverpool’s attacks.

 

Image Source: Zimbio

 

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Arsenal vs. Swansea

* Postponed due to Arsenal’s FA Cup duties

 

The Gunners had to surrender the driver seat to Chelsea after losing to Stoke on penalties last weekend.

 

It has been a tough week for Arsenal. It seemed that the club has not yet recovered from the thrashing their Liverpool thrashing. Manchester United held them in a scoreless stalemate and Bayern outlasted them in the Champions League. Going against Stoke could have been a great opportunity to take the lead, but it was the opposite that happened.

 

Now, Arsenal has to be content in the 3rd spot of the league.

 

Drowned with doubts and criticisms, Jack Wilshere is confident that they are not yet out of the title race. However, Arsene Wenger, admits that they might have a hard time overcoming Chelsea.

Arsenal vs. Swansea

Similar to Arsenal, Swansea’s rank also fell as they were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace.

 

Now on the 14th spot of the table, Swansea endures two (2) losses, 2 wins and 2 draws in their last 6 matches. With the said result, Gary Monk cannot help but express his disappointment over the penalty awarded to Crystal Palace.

 

Swansea’s head honcho stressed that the club does not deserve the penalty.

 

Prediction:  Arsenal

Arsenal remains as the Premier League betting tips’ favorite. With Theo Walcott’s expected return and of course, with the title race at stake, expect the Gunners to go back to their winning ways.

 

Image Source: EPL Index

 

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Manchester City vs. Aston Villa

* Postponed due to Manchester City’s FA Cup duties

 

Manchester City had an impressive way of redeeming themselves from a disappointing Champions League defeat against Barcelona. Just recently, the Citizens snatched their first silverware this season as they triumphed over Sunderland in the Capital One Cup.

 

But the trophy alone was not the sole proof of City’s strength. This also translates to their current team form, in which they brag a record of 4 wins, a loss and a draw in their last 6 matches. Although they drop to the 4th spot due to Liverpool’s sudden rise, it cannot be denied that they remain as one of the season’s title contenders.

 

Another club that also enjoys the sweet fruit of determination and hard work is Aston Villa. After a disappointing winless streak in 4 of their last 6 battles, the Villans went back to its feet and thrashed Norwich. The club slapped their opponent with a 4-1 victory that propelled their rank to the 11th spot.

Manchester City vs. Aston Villa

Prediction:  Manchester City

It has been a roller coaster ride for Manchester City. Now that they have already clinched their first silverware, expect Manuel Pellegrini’s hunger for success to become more intense and passionate as they strive to be the season’s ultimate sports betting favorite.

 

Image Source:  Zimbio

 

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Newcastle United vs. Everton

* Postponed due to Everton’s FA Cup duties

 

Amidst West Ham’s seemingly impenetrable defence wall, Everton has managed to score a point and went home with the extra 3 points under their belt.

 

Roberto Martinez’s satisfaction over his side’s victory was pretty understandable. The result enabled them to climb to the 6th spot of the table. Along with it is the possibility of making it to the European competition next season. Making the win even more memorable was West Ham’s seemingly impenetrable defence wall that almost kept them at bay if not for Romelu Lukako’s late rally.

 

Meanwhile, Newcastle United’s huge triumph over Hull City was eclipsed by Allan Pardew’s attempt to head butt Hull City’s David Meyler.

Everton v Newcastle United - Premier League

Despite his regrets over the said incident, Newcastle’s head honcho faces the risk of being sanctioned if proven guilty over his unprofessional behavior. Pardew acknowledged that he put his head on a “forward motion” to ward off Meyler during a heated discussion. He also apologized to his club and supporters for being unable to control his emotions.

 

Newcastle remains in the league’s top 10 due to the said victory. They occupy the 8th spot and the 4-1 win is a definite boost to their morale.

 

Prediction:  Draw

Both Everton and Newcastle United were spectacular in their previous match. Fueled by a renewed confidence, it is less likely to see one of them throw the white towel easily. One can expect a down the wire match from these online betting favorites and hope that Allan Pardew does not commit the same mistake again.

 

 

 

Image Source: The Guardian

 

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West Ham vs. Hull

* Postponed due to Hull’s FA Cup duties

 

West Ham’s winning streak was finally put to an end after a narrow defeat to Everton. The club surrendered to Everton’s Romelu Lukako when he nailed a late shot in the dying moments of the match.

 

West Ham, however, has no reason to be ashamed of the said loss. They put up a good fight and have readily caused some problems to Roberto Martinez and his men.

 

In terms of the team form, the club has one of the best. They were undefeated in 5 of their last 6 matches. To go against them means to expect a down the wire match that might see them gain the upper hand, if the appropriate approaches are disregarded.

Hull City v West Ham United - Premier League

Meanwhile, Hull was not as fortunate as West Ham as they have to experience a severe thrashing from Newcastle United. Hull lost after failing to respond well to Newcastle’s 4 goals. They did score though. But a lone goal is barely enough to compensate for all the damages done by their opponent.

 

Prediction: West Ham

Expect the sports betting site’s top pick,  West Ham to strengthen their grip of a spot in the Premier League’s top 10 as this will ensure not only a strong finish, but also a safer place away from the relegation zone.

 

 

 

Image Source: The Guardian