Find the back of the net with tips for the six midweek catch-up matches – including a pivotal North London Derby – as the EPL season gets to the pointy end.
History: Played 198: Liverpool 99 V Aston Villa 59 (40 Draws)
Last meeting: December 11, 2021 (EPL): Liverpool 1 d Aston Villa 0 at Anfield
Final Thoughts: Liverpool blinked first in their race with Man City for the EPL title, but they’re not out of it just yet – if they win all their remaining games. Playing their fifth match in 15 days, which included a pair of Champions League semi-final tie wins over Villareal, Liverpool drew 1-1 with Tottenham on the weekend.
Jurgen Klopp’s charges dominated possession and shots on goal, but needed a Luis Diaz goal in the 74th minute just to earn a point. They are now three points adrift of City, who boast a better goal differential.
Aston Villa are 11th and finishing the season in fine fettle. After a scoreless draw at Leicester, Villa have put away Norwich (2-0) at home and in-form Burnley (3-1) away in the past fortnight with Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings both scoring in both matches.
Liverpool held off Aston Villa 1-0 at home in December, but they will have last season’s visit to Villa Park – when they were subjected to a stunning 7-2 beatdown – in the back of their mind.
It’s been a gruelling schedule for Liverpool, but they’ll be determined to make City earn the title at the very least and should subdue Villa in this Week 33 catch-up.
Best Bet: Liverpool To Win To Nil @ $2.47
Same Game Multi: Result – Liverpool; Total – Under 4.5; Anytime Goalscorer – Sadio Mane; Anytime Goalscorer – Mo Salah @ $6.30
History: Played 105: Leeds 39 V Chelsea 36 (30 Draws)
Last meeting: December 11, 2021 (EPL): Chelsea 3 d Leeds 2 at Stamford Bridge
Final Thoughts: Huge Week 33 clash for both teams with Leeds striving to battle their way out of the relegation zone and Chelsea aiming to clinch third spot.
In the midst of a tough section of their late-season draw, Leeds have slipped to 18th with consecutive losses to Man City (4-0) and Arsenal (2-1) – after going unbeaten in their previous five. Leeds are tied on 34 points with 17th-placed Burnley but have an irretrievably poorer goal differential, while Everton are a point ahead with a game in hand.
Chelsea are stumbling towards the finish line and a Champions League spot. They have won just two of their last seven, bookending a shock loss at Everton with draws against Man United and Wolverhampton in their past three. The Blues have a one-point lead on Arsenal and are four clear of Tottenham.
Chelsea are unbeaten in seven clashes with Leeds since 2002, but the teams drew nil-all at Elland Road last season and the Blues needed a 90th-minute Jorginho penalty (his second of the match) to get up 3-2 at home in December.
Leeds have shown some late promise as their situation became more desperate, but their record against the ‘Big Six’ does not inspire confidence – they have lost all 11 games by a combined 41-6.
History: Played 59: Leicester 24 V Norwich 22 (13 Draws)
Last meeting: August 28, 2021 (EPL): Leicester 2 d Norwich 1 at Carrow Road
Final Thoughts: The clubs have been waiting for months to play this Week 21 encounter – and it is of next to no consequence.
Leicester are 14th, eight points clear of the bottom-three but only two points shy of the top half. The Foxes have slumped to a five-match winless streak, going down to Tottenham (3-1) and Everton (2-1) in May so far.
Norwich are headed back to the Championship after mustering just five wins and six draws to sit last. The Canaries have lost their last four, including three straight to Newcastle, Villa and West Ham without scoring.
Leicester came away with a 2-1 win at Carrow Road in the early rounds of the season. Norwich, $7 outsiders, are a chance here as they look to give their fans at least one more victory and climb off the bottom of the ladder.
Best Bet: Handicap – Norwich +2 @ $1.61
History: Played 32: Everton 22 V Watford 6 (4 Draws)
Last meeting: October 23, 2021 (EPL): Watford 5 d Everton 2 at Goodison Park
Final Thoughts: Everton have taken some huge strides towards avoiding the ignominy of relegation, but the job isn’t complete yet. The Toffees have inched to 16th, one point ahead of Burnley and Leeds, with a game in hand after consecutive wins over Chelsea (1-0) and Leicester (2-1) – their first back-to-back victories since September.
Second-last Watford’s relegation fate is already sealed. They have lost their last six games by a combined 15-3 – including a 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace last week.
Watford compounded Everton’s slide with an emphatic 5-2 win at Goodison Park in October, with Josh King bagging a hat-trick for the Hornets as the Toffees botched a 2-1 second-half lead.
The weekend win at King Power Stadium – Everton’s first on the road since August – should give them the impetus to leave Watford with another precious three-point haul.
Best Bet: Result – Everton @ $1.83
History: Played 125: Man City 51 V Wolverhampton 49 (25 Draws)
Last meeting: December 11, 2021 (EPL): Man City 1 v Wovlerhampton 0 at Etihad Stadium
Final Thoughts: Manchester City are now very much in the box-seat to defend their Premier League crown after Liverpool’s draw on the weekend, moving out to a three-point lead (with a four goal differential advantage) courtesy of a crushing 5-0 win over Newcastle with Raheem Sterling scoring twice.
It was a strong response to their Champions League semi-final exit only a few days earlier. City have now scored 17 goals to one in winning their last four EPL games.
Eighth-placed Wolverhampton have slid out of top-four contention via a four-match winless streak, but they frustrated Chelsea in a 2-all draw at Stamford Bridge in Week 36. Wolves trailed 2-0 until Francisco Trincao opened their account in the 79th minute, before Conor Coady found a 97th-minute equaliser.
A 66th-minute Raheem Sterling penalty was enough for City to bank a 1-0 home win over Wanderers in December.
Man City are short $1.25 favourites on the road. Although Wolves are no pushovers, City have their eye on the EPL prize – and no knockout distractions – and should get this done in typically clinical style.
Best Bet: Man City To Win To Nil @ $1.85
Same Game Multi: Handicap – Man City +1; Anytime Goalscorer – Raheem Sterling; Anytime Goalscorer – Gabriel Jesus @ $6.12
History: Played 204: Arsenal 84 V Tottenham 66 (54 Draws)
Last meeting: September 26, 2021 (EPL): Arsenal 3 d Tottenham 1 at Emirates Stadium
Final Thoughts: This North London derby has more riding on it than usual, with fourth-placed Arsenal sitting four points ahead of fifth-placed Tottenham with three games to go.
The Gunners have put themselves in the box-seat with four straight wins, including a 2-1 home win over desperate Leeds on the weekend after Eddie Nketiah scored twice in the opening 10 minutes.
Tottenham boast five wins and two draws from their last eight games and held dominant Liverpool to a 1-all draw at Anfield in Week 36. Son Heung-min scored his ninth goal in Spurs’ last seven games, taking his tally for the season to 20.
The home team is unbeaten in the last 15 North London derbies (Premier League matches only). Arsenal powered to a 3-1 victory at the Emirates earlier this season on the back of three first-half goals.
But the Gunners haven’t won at Tottenham in eight years. Breaking that streak would parcel up a top-four finish, but they head in as $3.40 underdogs. Five of the last 13 derbies have finished in a draw and I can see these bitter rivals playing out a tense stalemate with so much at stake.