Premier League Preview - Game Week 35Thursday, April 19 2018
Sherrif Matt Nesbitt is riding into town again to sort the good from the bad and the ugly in this weekend's coupon...
A short, but still sharp offering this week. Eight matches between Thursday and Monday to pick the low hanging fruit from.
The Tap Ins are included regardless of price, so I’d reserve them for topping up Accas at best. Or even bypass them totally.
The Smart Money bets are the best way of dredging a bit of value out of the bookies. And any Long Shots are decent priced punts that have some statistical merit.
Feeling hot hot hot!
7.45pm Burnley v Chelsea
When Burnley opened the season by beating Chelsea not many would’ve predicted there would be just two places and 8pts between them at this stage of the season. And after tonight it could be one place and 5pts. Burnley are five from five in the PL and Chelsea just one from four on the road, making a mockery of the bookies pricing – 7/2 Home Win, 10/11 Away.
It should be said that four of Burnley’s winning streak have been by a single goal margin – as have 12 of their 14 wins this season – and the five matches v the Top Six so far have yielded just a single point. But I’m going with the value:
Scorecast: 1-1 at 11/2.
Tap In: Burnley (+2) Handicap at 2/7.
Smart Money: Burnley Double Chance at 20/23.
Long Shot: Burnley Win & BTTS at 15/2.
7.45pm Leicester City v Southampton
Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory to Chelsea at the weekend will have been a body blow to the Saints. They have the chance to put it right of course, at Wembley on Sunday. But that is another reason I can’t see anything for them here. Oh, and here’s a third – 2pts from a possible 24pts away to Top Half teams so far.
There are signs that Leicester’s season has slowed to a jog, but they have been efficient v the Bottom Half. Just the two defeats from 17 (W7 D8), although they have drawn at home against the other three Bottom Four teams.
Scorecast: 2-0 at 11/1.
Tap In: Leicester Win at 5/4.
Smart Money: Leicester Win & Under 3.5 Goals at 21/10.
12.30pm West Brom v Liverpool
Now then, what do we have here? West Brom will be buzzing off their win at Man United and Liverpool twitching at the prospect of their Champions League semi-final on Tuesday. Plus, Albion have won and drawn at Anfield already this season. So this has all the ingredients for an upset, right?
Probably not. Although the Baggies look a different animal under Darren Moore, Klopp has gone strong and gone home with the points in most pre-CL matches so far. There might be a tweak here and there, but they should be a goal better than Albion’s best efforts. Even with the brakes on.
Scorecast: 1-2 at 7/1.
Tap In: Liverpool to win at 8/15.
Smart Money: Liverpool Win to Nil at 7/4.
3pm Watford v Crystal Palace
Only 3pts separates the two teams, but Watford are north of that 35pt marker – the ‘magic’ 40pts for survival is so last year, dahling - so in less of a flap than they might otherwise be after taking just a single point from their last five.
Beating Brighton last week just about edged Palace out of the shadow cast by relegation, but need another win before they dare put their Premier League towels on their sun beds again. If it doesn’t come here, they will fancy there are points to be had v Leicester, Stoke and West Brom before the end of the season.
Scorecast: 1-1 at 11/2.
Tap In: Palace (+1) Handicap at 4/9.
Smart Money: Draw & BTTS at 13/4.
1.30pm Arsenal v West Ham
Arsenal will be hoping that West Ham will think their 5pt haul from their last three will be enough to preserve their PL status. Or at least be targeting the required points from their three remaining home matches.
It’s not that Arsenal haven’t be good at home this season, because they have. Very good, in fact. Better than Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea and just a goal shy of matching Man United’s numbers. But you get the feeling it’s all about the Europa League now – and Atletico are in town on Thursday.
Burnley’s run of five wins has taken them to within 2pts in the PL and Arsene will be keenly aware of Dyche Dyche Baby’s breath on his neck (which I imagine is hot and smalls like a lit match). So I’ll take Arsenal to do enough here.
Scorecast: 3-1 at 10/1.
Tap In: Arsenal Win at 8/15.
Smart Money: Arsenal Win & BTTS at 9/5.
1.30pm Stoke City v Burnley
Paul Lambert stresses that he can’t fault the effort of his players, but has stopped short of praising them. Because he must know that shabby points spilled at home to Watford, Brighton and away to Southampton and West Ham has cost him the chance to perform a rescue mission. And a reputation for that means a job for life in the Premier League.
Burnley have won their last three on the road, which has taken them to the brink of the Europa League (fans all over Europe must be rubbing their hands at the prospect of a tapping ‘Turf Moor’ into their SatNavs…). Can’t see Sean leaving empty handed here.
Scorecast: 1-1 at 5/1.
Tap In: Double Chance – Burnley or Draw at 6/10.
Smart Money: Draw & BTTS at 7/2.
Long Shot: Burnley Win 2-1 at 11/1.
4.30pm Man City v Swansea
Taking the field as Champions will no doubt give Man City a sense of pride, freedom and they want to put on a show. Which is bad news for Swansea. And here’s some more…
City have only dropped 4pts at home all season. And three of those were to Man United, who could’ve been four or five down at half-time. The other was to Everton in GW 2.
On a positive tip for the visitors, they will be able to swap shirts with the Champions. Oh and finish the season with home matches to two all but condemned teams, Stoke and Southampton. Both of whom are likely to be out of reach of Swansea’s 33pts total by then.
Scorecast: 4-0 at 7/1.
Tap In: Half-time/ Full-time – Man City/ Man City at 8/15.
Long Shot: Man City Win & Under 2.5 Goals at 27/10.
8pm Everton v Newcastle United
The season can’t be over quick enough for Everton fans. The false hope of a fortune spent on new talent, the returning Rooney and blossoming academy has long been replaced with Big Sam, boredom and bitter fans at the ballot box. And Liverpool could yet win the Champions League. You’ve got to feel for the Toffees.
Not being beaten by their city rivals is likely to be the highpoint, but they do have the chance to beat a Top Half team – for just the second time – on Monday night.
Newcastle arrive in fine fettle, winning their last four and anything here will see them leapfrog their hosts.
Scorecast: 1-1 at 5/1.
Tap In: First-half Results – Draw at Evens.
Smart Money: Draw & BTTS at 7/2.
I’ll be back around high noon Friday with some Coupon Busters based on the six weekend fixtures.
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Matt's short, unremarkable football career was ended by his own bad driving. His long, distinguished career as a football tipster was ended by his own good advice. Because bookmakers don’t like a winner. First, they closed his accounts. Then his members’ accounts. Then his tipping service. And now they employ him as a consultant. Funny old game.