Arsenal versus Norwich, Saturday, April 30
Arsenal remain fourth in the Premier League, five points ahead of Manchester United, but manager Arsene Wenger is rightly worried about the prospect of failing to qualify for the Champions League. The Gunners failed to create many chances during the 0-0 draw against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light last Sunday, but the Canaries also lacked a cutting edge when losing 3-0 to the Black Cats at Carrow Road on their last Premier League outing two weeks ago and are top-priced at 1/3 to be playing Championship football next season.
Manchester United, who have a game in hand, don’t play Leicester City until Sunday, so Arsenal have a chance to ease the pressure on their manager, whose position has again come under scrutiny in recent weeks.
For all the Gunners’ woes, Alexis Sanchez has scored four goals in as many Premier League games and Olivier Giroud had 11 touches in the Sunderland penalty area, albeit without mustering a single shot on target. Between them, Giroud and Sanchez have scored 36 goals in all competitions this season and, if they discover their finishing touch, it could be a torrid afternoon for the Canaries. Let’s try a routine 2-0 win for the Gunners at 7/1 with BetVictor.
If you’re looking for further football betting tips, then check out this Manchester United versus Leicester City write-up on Focus on Football. It’s a tad optimistic perhaps, but then what an amazing way it would be for Leicester to win the league than by beating Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Selection: Arsenal to win 2-0 (7/1 with BetVictor)
Arsenal versus West Bromwich Albion, Thursday, April 21
Premier League fixtures are scattered far and wide this week but, with Tottenham Hotspur in action on Monday and Leicester City not due to play until next Sunday, the Gunners versus the Baggies at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday looks the pick of the midweek ties. As has often been the case this season, Arsenal failed to convert possession into three points at home to Crystal Palace last week and, having collected just eight points from the last 18 available at the Emirates, even their place in next season’s Champions’ League is under threat.
West Brom haven’t exactly set the world on fire lately, drawing 0-0 against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light and going down 2-1 to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium before Saido Berahino missed two second-half penalties in the 1-0 defeat by Watford at the Hawthorns last week. They have less to play for than Arsene Wenger’s side, but it’s worth remembering that they won the reverse fixture 2-1, despite conceding the majority of possession to the Gunners and, like their manager, are typified by resilience and belief.
Granted Arsenal’s lacking of finishing power at home in recent weeks, home fans and anyone who lays odds of 2/7 look in for a jittery time. The Baggies look outstanding value at 14/1 for an away win, but in a search of a bumper payday, let’s try a repeat of the previous 2-1 scoreline at 40/1 with Bet365 (who’ll refund your stake as a free bet if the match finishes 0-0).
Selection: West Bromwich Albion to win 2-1 (40/1 with Bet365)
Leicester City versus West Ham United, Sunday, April 17
An Andy Carroll hat-trick at the Boleyn Ground last weekend may have sounded the death knell for Arsenal’s Premier League title hopes, but Hammers’ boss Slavin Bilic will be hoping not to do Leicester City any more favours at the King Power Stadium on Sunday. Defeat by Manchester United in the FA Cup quarter-final replay at the Boleyn Ground on Wednesday left the Irons with just a top-four finish in the Premier League to play for but, even so, they’ll have their work cut against the in-form Foxes.
Claudio Ranieri’s side has won its last four Premier League matches without conceding a goal and is one of the few to have beaten West Ham at home this season, so the even money available with Totesport and Betfred about a home win looks fair value. West Ham have failed to score in just five of their 32 Premier League fixtures so far this season, but the Foxes’ defence has played a huge part in their success and looks a good bet to hold fast once again. No prizes for originality, I’m afraid, but let’s try Leicester City to win 1-0 at 15/2 with Betvictor.
Selection: Leicester City to win 1-0 (15/2 with Betvictor)
West Ham United versus Arsenal, Saturday, April 9
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger may not have welcomed Mesut Ozil’s suggestion that the Gunners had ‘mucked up’ their Premier League title challenge, but even dyed in the wool Gooners must be feeling the season is all but over for the North London outfit. Arsenal have responded well to their exits from the UEFA Champions League and the FA with comfortable wins against Everton at Goodison Park and Watford at the Emirates Stadium, but face a tricky tie against West Ham United at Upton Park in the early kick-off on Saturday.
The Hammers’ Champions’ League aspirations were dealt a blow when they could only draw 2-2 with Crystal Palace at Upton Park last week, but Cheikhou Kouyate’s straight red card after 67 minutes seemed extremely harsh. The Irons were outstanding against Tottenham on their last outing at home in the Premier League and won the reverse fixture 2-0 way back in August, so must have a decent chance of completing the double. West Ham to win 1-0 looks extraordinarily good value at 14/1 with Bet365.
Selection: West Ham to win 1-0 (14/1 with Bet365)