English Premier League Preview

The 2015/16 Premier League season has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable ones in recent times, with a number of new teams emerging to upset the dominance of the top four. The rise of Leicester City has shocked a number of people, while the resurgence of teams like Tottenham and West Ham United has been refreshing to watch. Spurs' title ambitions were dealt a severe blow on Monday as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to West Brom. That means Claudio Ranieri’s side are just three points away from claiming their first-ever top-flight title. The Foxes travel to the Theatre of Dreams to take on Manchester United on Sunday without talismanic striker Jamie Vardy. With only two spots up for grabs, three big teams in Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City are battling it among themselves for a spot in the lucrative Champions League next season. In the relegation battle, it’s a three-way fight for survival between Newcastle, Sunderland and Norwich. This weekend should provide a few answers as to how things will look at the end of the season.

Saturday 30 April

9/10 Everton | Draw 26/10 | Bournemouth 29/10 (16:00)

Everton's season is over following their shattering 2-1 FA Cup semi-final defeat by Manchester United and many frustrated supporters want the same to be true of Roberto Martinez's three-year reign; banners protesting against him were unfurled at Wembley last weekend. The Toffees were thrashed 4-0 by arch-rivals Liverpool in their last league encounter. And they are now winless in seven matches in the Premier League. Bournemouth come off a 4-1 thrashing by outgoing champions Chelsea, their second straight defeat. The Cherries have been better away from home having lost just once – to Tottenham – on the road this year. Take Bournemouth on the Win/Draw at 17/20.

9/10 Newcastle | 5/2 | Crystal Palace 3/1 (16:00)

Rafa Benitez has had a massive impact at Newcastle since arriving in March and it’s clear the club have played better while under his tutelage. The Magpies boosted their hopes of survival by coming back from two goals down at Liverpool to draw 2-2 and secure a precious point. Newcastle remain in the bottom three, but their fight back against Liverpool can be a turning point in their survival race. Crystal Palace secured a 2-1 win over Watford to book their place in the FA Cup final last Sunday. The Eagles will turn their attentions to the Premier League where they are without a win in three matches. They suffered a 2-0 defeat away to Manchester United in their last league outing. Alan Pardew will hope to pile more misery on his former club, but Palace are winless in their last nine away games. Back Newcastle to claim a vital victory at 9/10.

31/20 Stoke | 22/10 | Sunderland 18/10 (16:00)

Stoke are still on course for a top 10 finish, but results have to improve if they are to achieve that target. Mark Hughes’ side have been hit by a series of injuries to key men which has seen them suffer three straight heavy defeats. Shay Given and Marko Arnautovic went on to hobble out of Stoke’s 4-0 defeat at Man City. They will have to squeeze into a treatment room alongside Jack Butland, Glen Johnson, Ibrahim Afellay, Marc Wilson, Xherdan Shaqiri and Jon Walters. Sunderland look more like a Sam Allardyce team: tough to break down and hard to beat. That could make all the difference in a close-run race for Premier League survival. The Black Cats come off a goalless draw at home to Arsenal and they thrashed Norwich City 3-0 in their last away match. Take Sunderland to win at 18/10.

13/20 Watford | 11/4 | Aston Villa 4/1 (16:00)

Watford were dumped out of the FA Cup last Sunday as they lost 2-1 to Crystal Palace at Wembley Stadium. The Hornets will look to bounce back strongly and this would be the perfect time as they host relegated Aston Villa. Quique Sanchez Flores is believed to be under pressure after just three wins, and 10 goals, in the last 15 Premier League games – despite leading the Hornets to safety with 41 points overall. Aston Villa, the only confirmed relegated team, have lost 10 consecutive matches. The Villa will struggle to cope with the threat of Watford front pair Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney. The home win is tipped confidently.

26/10 West Brom | 23/10 | West Ham 11/10 (16:00)

West Brom earned a commendable point on Monday as they held Tottenham to 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane. Having already hit the 40-point mark and lost four of their previous five Premier League games, West Brom were not expected to put up much resistance, but they worked extremely hard and were well organised. Tony Pulis would have been pleased with that performance and will be looking to build on that result. West Ham come into the match on a nine-game unbeaten run in the Premier League. Slaven Bilic’s side have drawn five of those games, but will be looking to take maximum points here in their quest to secure a place in the Europa League next season. These sides have drawn their last two league meetings and are tipped to share the spoils at 23/10.

1/4 Arsenal | 5/1 | Norwich 10/1 (18:30)

It is now official, Arsenal cannot catch Champions-elect Leicester as they sleepwalk towards the culmination of another season of under-achievement. They remain on course for a 20th consecutive top-four finish under Arsene Wenger but that will cut little ice with the growing number of disaffected Arsenal fans. Their draw at the Stadium of Light with the relegation-threatened Black Cats was a third stalemate in their last four league matches. The Gunners will be desperate to return to winning ways and they face another team fighting for survival. Norwich were not in action this past weekend but did drop into the bottom three after Sunderland's result. The Canaries have lost seven of their last eight travels, failing to find the net in six of those games. Arsenal are tipped to Win with a Clean Sheet at 8/10.

Sunday 1 May

23/10 Swansea | 24/10 | Liverpool 11/10 (13:00)

Swansea were thrashed 4-0 by leaders Leicester City, who were without talismanic striker Jamie Vardy. Francesco Guidolin’s side have conceded seven goals in their last two games following the 3-0 defeat at Newcastle United. The Swans are safe from relegation and don’t have much to play for which was evident in their performance against Leicester. Liverpool threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at home to Newcastle last weekend. First half goals from Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana had seemingly put Liverpool on course for a comfortable league win, but their defensive frailties were the cause for their draw. Jurgen Klopp’s side are unbeaten in five Premier League matches with three wins. The Reds are tipped to come away with maximum points.

21/20 Man United | 23/10 | Leicester 26/10 (15:05)

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22/10 Southampton | 23/10 | Man City 5/4 (17:30)

Southampton kept their faint hopes of European football alive by cruising to a 4-2 win over relegated Aston Villa, thanks to a brace from Dusan Tadic. Ronald Koeman’s side are unbeaten in three matches at St. Mary's Stadium with back-to-back wins against Liverpool and Newcastle United. They’ll face a stern test against high-flying Manchester City who will be looking to strengthen their grip on a Champions League spot. The Sky Blues recorded an emphatic 4-0 victory over Stoke last weekend, thanks to a double from Kelechi Iheanacho. City have won four of their last five matches in the Premier League, scoring 14 goals while conceding just twice. Manuel Pellegrini’s men are unbeaten against the Saints in their last five meetings having won four in a row. City are tipped edge the win at 5/4.

Monday 2 May

18/10 Chelsea | 23/10 | Tottenham 29/20 (21:00)

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EPL Picks
Bournemouth WIN/DRAW 17/20
Newcastle WIN 9/10
Sunderland WIN 18/10
Watford WIN 13/20
West Brom DRAW 23/10
Liverpool WIN 11/10
Man City WIN 5/4
Chelsea WIN 18/10

Written by Chadley Nagel