Arsenal versus Manchester City, Sunday, April 2
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola described the 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Anfield two weeks ago – three days after going out of the Champions League – as “one of the most special days of my life” and the Spaniard will clearly be in buoyant mood for the visit to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, on the other hand, is contemplating his future at the club after the Gunners suffered their fourth defeat in five Premier League matches against West Brom at the Hawthorns. His side went into the international break five points behind fourth-placed Liverpool, albeit with a game in hand, and the pressure on the beleaguered Frenchman is increasing.
In fairness, the Gunners have lost just one of their last eight home matches and scored in all but one of the 13 matches they’ve played at the Emirates Stadium this season. Nevertheless, the Sky Blues have accumulated more points away from the Etihad Stadium than at home this season, so let’s try both teams to score and Manchester City to win at 3/1 with bet365, William Hill or Paddy Power.
Selection: Both teams to score and Manchester City to win (3/1 with bet365, William Hill and Paddy Power)
Stoke City versus Chelsea, Saturday, March 18
Stoke City take on Chelsea at the be365 Stadium on Saturday, as the Blues seek to consolidate their seemingly unassailable 10-point lead at the top of the Premier League table. Antonio Conte’s side has lost just twice in 14 games away from Stamford Bridge this season, failing to score just twice and keeping six clean sheets. The Potters will need to be at their very best to contain the likes of Diego Costa, Eden Hazard and Pedro, who have scored a total of 36 goals between them in the Premier League this season.
However, Mark Hughes’ side is unbeaten in its last eight home matches, winning four and drawing four. Overall, they’ve failed to score in just three home matches this season and kept six clean sheets, so this fixture might not be as one-sided as the odds suggest. The Potters gave the Blues one of the toughest tests of the season at Stamford Bridge on New Year’s Eve, albeit eventually succumbing 4-2, so let’s try an equally entertaining 2-2 draw at 20.0 with NetBet or 10Bet.
Selection: Correct Score 2-2 (20.0 with NetBet and 10Bet)
Liverpool versus Arsenal, Saturday, March 4
With Chelsea not playing until Monday, their nearest rivals in the Premier League, Tottenham, Manchester City and Arsenal, have an opportunity to make some headway against the Blues, albeit temporarily. Fifth-placed Liverpool versus fourth-placed Arsenal at Anfield looks the tie of the weekend and, having won five and drawn two of their last eight home matches in the Premier League, the Reds are clear favourites at 2.05. The return of Senegalese striker Sadio Mane, who scored twice in two minutes against Tottenham at Anfield, is a godsend for Reds’ boss Jurgen Klopp and, with the Gunners’ title aspirations effectively ended by the 3-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge two outings ago, Liverpool may just have the edge. Interestingly, Liverpool have scored in 92% of their home matches in the Premier League, while Arsenal have scored in 92% of their away matches, so let’s try both teams to score and Liverpool to win at 3.95 with 188Bet.
Selection: Both teams to score and Liverpool to win (3.95 with 188Bet)
Chelsea versus Swansea City, Saturday, February 25
Swansea City have won four of their six Premier League matches since Paul Clement replaced Bob Bradley on January 2 and currently lie 15th in the table, four points clear of the relegation zone. However, Clement, who spent two spells on the coaching staff at Stamford Bridge, acknowledges that his side faces a ‘big task’ on his return to his former club.
The Blues’ have been beaten just once at home in the Premier League this season, scoring 33 goals and conceding just seven. Diego Costa, Eden Hazard and Pedro have contributed 31 goals and 13 assists between them, home and away, it’s not hard to envisage a torrid afternoon for the visiting defence.
Swans’ chairman Huw Jenkins recently revealed that the club rejected “substantial offers” for the influential trio Gylfi Sigurdsson, Fernando Llorente and Federico Fernandez in the January transfer window but, while the Jacks should continue to improve under Clement, Chelsea at Stamford Bridge may be a step too far at this stage. Let’s try a routine 2-0 home win at 6/1 with bet365, William Hill or BetVictor.
Selection: Chelsea to win 2-0 (6/1 with bet365, William Hill and BetVictor)
Chelsea versus Arsenal, Saturday, February 4
Arsenal may have dismantled Chelsea in the reverse fixture at the Emirates Stadium in September, but the Gunners’ 3-0 victory proved a road to Damascus moment for Blues’ boss Antonio Conte. His subsequent switch to a 3-4-3 formation, with Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso operating as wing-backs, has seen his side beaten just once since and they are currently nine points clear at the top of the Premier League table.
Second-placed Arsenal are no mugs, of course, but having won just one of their last four away matches in the Premier League, not to mention a shock home defeat by Watford in midweek, this is a make or break fixture for Arsene Wenger’s. Defeat on Saturday would leave the Gunners 12 points behind Chelsea with 14 games – including trips to Stamford Bridge, White Hart Lane and Anfield – left to play and, with Wenger once again banished to the stands, the pressure is all on the away team.
Diego Costa wasn’t at his best against Liverpool at Anfield on Tuesday, including missing a late penalty, but expect the Blues’ top scorer to be back to his snarling best for this crucial tie. For a spot of value, let’s try Chelsea to win 3-2 at 28/1 with bet365.
Selection: Chelsea to win 3-2 (28/1 with bet365)
Manchester City versus Tottenham Hotspur, Saturday, January 21
Everton managed to score four goals from four shots on target against Manchester City at Goodison Park last Sunday, effectively ending the Sky Blues’ Premier League title challenge, if manager Pep Guardiola is to believed. Centre half John Stones continues to carry the can for City’s ragged back four, but Nicolas Otamendi, Gael Clichy and Yaya Toure all made individual mistakes that cost their side dearly against Everton.
Spurs, on the other hand, arrive at the Etihad Stadium on the crest of a wave, having won all six Premier League fixtures since a 1-0 reverse against Manchester United at Old Trafford in mid-December. Mauricio Pochettino’s side has scored 19 goals and conceded just three in that period and can, once again, expose the Sky Blues’ defensive frailties and lack of threat going forward.
Tottenham make no little appeal at 3.6 with Bet365, but Pep Guardiola has questions to answer, so let’s try Tottenham -1 in the handicap market at 8.0 with Ladbrokes.
Selection: Tottenham -1 (8.0 with Ladbrokes)
Manchester United versus Liverpool, Sunday, January 15
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp freely admitted that his side was lucky to come away from St. Mary’s with just a 1-0 deficit after a shocking performance against Southampton in the EFL Cup semi-final first leg on Wednesday. That said, the Reds have lost just twice in the Premier League all season and currently lie second, five points ahead of sixth-placed United. Indeed, both sides have been in cracking form in the Premier League in recent weeks; United have taken 24 points out of the last 30 available, including 18 out of the last 18, while Liverpool have taken just three fewer.
Red Devils’ boss Jose Mourinho should be able to welcome back top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic so, hopefully, a repeat of the uneventful goalless draw at Anfield in the reverse fixture back in October seems unlikely. Interestingly, United have conceded just six goals in the first half in their 20 Premier League fixtures so far this season so, for a little variety, let’s try Draw/Manchester United at 5.8 with 188Bet in the Half Time/Full Time market.
Selection: Draw/Manchester United (5.8 with 188Bet)
Premier League: Mid Season State of Play
How time flies! We’re now almost at the half way point in this year’s premier league season and so are starting to get a firm idea of who’s in the running for the title this year. Chelsea have to be please with their performance so far this year, with a very competitive goal scoring record and superb defense. Things are also looking good for Liverpool (with an impressive scoring record), Manchester City and to a degree Arsenal. The current Premier League winner odds are Chelsea 4/6, Liverpool 5/1, Manchester City 5/1, Arsenal 10/1 . Manchester United are just about in with a shot at 20-1 and Tottenham at 40/1.
Manchester City versus Chelsea (Saturday, 12.30)
Following consecutive defeats by Liverpool and Arsenal in September, the switch to a 3-4-3 formation was a stroke of genius by Chelsea boss Antonio Conte. The Blues have won their last seven matches in the Premier League, scoring 19 goals and conceding just one, and are in the best possible form ahead of their trip to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday lunchtime. Manchester City are unbeaten at home this season, having scored at least once in all six home matches, but have managed just one clean sheet. Sergio Aguero remains in fine goal-scoring form for the Sky Blues so, in a (hopefully) exciting encounter, let’s try Aguero to score the first goal and Chelsea to win 2-1 at 33/1 with BetVictor.
Selection: Sergio Aguero/Chelsea 2-1 (33/1 with Bet Victor)