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EPL Tips & Preview – Week 34

Find the back of the net with tips for all 10 matches of the Week 34 schedule as the EPL season gets down to the business end. 

EPL Tips – Arsenal V Manchester United

21:30 (AEST), Sat 23rd Apr @ Emirates Stadium, London

History: Played 235: Man United 100 V Arsenal 85 (50 Draws)

Last meeting: December 2, 2021 (EPL): Man United 3 d Arsenal 2 at Old Trafford

Final Thoughts: The top-four race reaches fever pitch in this Week 34 opener. Arsenal are in fifth – level with fourth-placed Tottenham – and are three points ahead of Manchester United with a game in hand.

The rivals are coming off vastly different midweek catch-up match results.

Arsenal upset Chelsea 4-2 at Stamford Bridge to end a three-game losing streak. The scores were locked 2-all at halftime but Eddie Nketiah’s second goal put the Gunners back in front and Bukayo Saka sealed it in stoppage time.

United are reeling from a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Liverpool, in which they took the field without Cristiano Ronaldo following the tragic death of his newborn son. Ronaldo had rescued the Red Devils from embarrassment in their previous match against Norwich with a hat-trick.

Man United ended a five-match winless streak against Arsenal with a 3-2 home victory in December. Ronaldo scored two second-half goals, including the winning penalty. The Gunners have won two and drawn one of their last three against United at the Emirates.

United are sadly out of form and it would take a mighty turnaround to even take home a point from this road trip. Arsenal’s circuit-breaking win this week should provide the impetus to get the job done here.

Best Bet: Result – Arsenal @ $2.10

Same Game Multi: Result – Arsenal; Total – Over 2.5; Both Teams To Score; Anytime Goalscorer – Alexandre Lacazette @ $10.03

EPL Tips – Leicester City V Aston Villa

00:00 (AEST), Sun 24th Apr @ King Power Stadium, Leicester

History: Played 105: Leicester 44 V Aston Villa 36 (25 Draws)

Last meeting: December 5, 2021 (EPL): Aston Villa 2 d Leicester 1 at Villa Park

Final Thoughts: Little on the line in this one except jostling for finishing positions. Leicester sit ninth, eight points shy of the team ahead of them, and head a big midtable logjam that includes 15th-placed Aston Villa.

Leicester belatedly found some form in March and early-April, but they lost to Newcastle 2-1 last weekend and drew 1-all with struggling Everton midweek, conceding in stoppage time after Harvey Barnes had scored a fifth-minute opener.

Villa, meanwhile, are on a four-match losing streak. They haven’t played for a fortnight, when they were pumped 4-0 at home by Tottenham.

Ezri Konsa’s two goals saw Aston Villa come from behind to beat Leicester 2-1 at home in Week 15. Villa also grabbed an upset at King Power Stadium last season.

The Foxes have won their last three at home but fatigue could be a factor in their third match in eight days against a freshened opponent. Villa are the narrowest of favourites but I’ll be backing the draw here.

Best Bet: Result – Draw @ $3.40

Same Game Multi: Anytime Goalscorer – Jamie Vardy; Anytime Goalscorer – Danny Ings @ $6.65

EPL Tips – Manchester City V Watford

00:00 (AEST), Sun 24th Apr @ Etihad Stadium, Manchester

History: Played 32: Man City 21 V Watford 6 (5 Draws)

Last meeting: December 4, 2021 (EPL): Man City 3 d Watford 1 at Vicarage Road

Final Thoughts: Manchester City continue to cling to a one-point lead at the top of the EPL ladder, powering away to a 3-0 win over Brighton midweek after a scoreless first half. Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva scored the goals for the defending champs.

Second-last Watford are running out of time to avoid the drop, sitting eight points from safety. They have lost three straight, including a 2-1 defeat at home to Brentford last weekend after conceding in the 95th minute.

Man City have won their last 14 straight against Watford, scoring a whopping 53 goals in the process. Bernardo Silva scored a goal in each half as City got up 3-1 at Vicarage Road in Week 15.

City may have one eye on their Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid just three days later, but they should still have far too much focus and firepower for the Hornets.

Best Bet: Handicap – Man City -2 @ $1.83

Same Game Multi: Man City To Win To Nil; Total – Over 2.5; Anytime Goalscorer – Kevin de Bruyne; Anytime Goalscorer – Raheem Sterling @ $6.87

EPL Tips – Norwich City V Newcastle United

00:00 (AEST), Sun 24th Apr @ Carrow Road, Norwich

History: Played 59: Newcastle 24 V Norwich 17 (18 Draws)

Last meeting: November 30, 2021 (EPL): 1-1 draw at St James’ Park

Final Thoughts: Norwich require a miracle to stay in the Premier League next season, sitting in last place nine points from safety. They followed up a 2-0 win over Burnley – just their fifth this season – with a gallant 3-2 loss away to Man United, fighting back to level after conceding the first two goals.

Bottom-three for most of the season, Newcastle have surged to a season-high 11th after a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace midweek. It was the Magpies’ third straight victory and ninth from their last 13 games.

Norwich are unbeaten in their last four against Newcastle, with the teams drawing 1-all at St James’ Park earlier this season. Teemu Pukki equalised for the Canaries after Callum Wilson’s penalty opened the scoring.

Newcastle have lost their last three away games but should get over a Norwich side that averages 0.7 goals per game.

Best Bet: Newcastle To Win To Nil @ $3.42

Same Game Multi: Result – Newcastle; Half-time Result – Newcastle; Anytime Goalscorer – Chris Wood @ $6.84

EPL Tips – Brentford V Tottenham Hotspur

02:30 (AEST), Sun 24th Apr @ Brentford Community Stadium, Brentford

History: Played 43: Tottenham 24 V Brentford 6 (13 Draws)

Last meeting: December 2, 2021 (EPL): Tottenham 2 d Brentford 0 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Final Thoughts: Tottenham are in a furious top-four battle, currently clinging to fourth spot on for-and-against from Arsenal. They are aiming to bounce back from last weekend’s crucial 1-0 home upset at the hands of Brighton – which was preceded by four straight wins featuring a total of 14 goals.

Brentford are 12th but have won five of their last six – including their last three against Chelsea (4-1), West Ham (2-0) and Watford (2-1). Pontus Jansson scored a 95th-minute winner to sink the Hornets last weekend.

Spurs secured a 2-0 win over the Bees at home in Week 15, with Son Heung-min scoring the sealer after a first-half own goal.

Tottenham are $1.91 favourites, but this shapes as a tricky road trip for the heavyweights. If they get the much-needed three points, it will be hard-fought.

Best Bet: Result and Total – Draw or Tottenham and Over 2.5 @ $2.38

Same Game Multi: Result – Tottenham; Both Teams To Score; Anytime Goalscorer – Son Heung-min; Anytime Goalscorer – Ivan Toney @ $10.68

EPL Tips – Burnley V Wolverhampton Wanderers

23:00 (AEST), Sun 24th Apr @ Turf Moor, Burnley

History: Played 136: Wolverhampton 66 V Burnley 40 (30 Draws)

Last meeting: December 1, 2021 (EPL): 0-0 draw at Molineux Stadium

Final Thoughts: Burnley back up less than three days after a vital 2-0 victory over Southampton, which came on the back of a 1-all draw with West Ham and has seen the 18th-placed Clarets claw to within a point of Leeds. The controversial decision to axe manager Sean Dyche last week after their woeful loss to Norwich has so far paid dividends.

Wolverhampton’s fading top-four hopes were essentially dashed by their Week 32 loss at Newcastle. Eighth-placed Wolves are eight points adrift of Tottenham and Arsenal with six matches to play.

Wolves are winless in their last six games against Burnley and have won just once in the clubs’ last 11 encounters. The rivals played out a scoreless draw at Wolverhampton in Week 15.

Remarkably, Wolverhampton have drawn just three other times this season – despite scoring more goals than just four other teams and boasting the fourth-best defence in the league. This has the makings of another stalemate as Burnley scrap for every point over the latter part of the campaign.

Best Bet: Result – Draw @ $3.00

Same Game Multi: Result – Draw; Half-time Total – Under 0.5 @ $4.98

EPL Tips – Chelsea V West Ham United

23:00 (AEST), Sun 24th Apr @ Stamford Bridge, London

History: Played 117: Chelsea 52 V West Ham 43 (22 Draws)

Last meeting: December 4, 2021 (EPL): West Ham 3 d Chelsea 2 at London Stadium

Final Thoughts: Chelsea’s top-four billing is looking slightly more tenuous than it was a couple of weeks ago and they face a huge clash against a West Ham side desperate to stay in the top-four mix.

Third-placed Chelsea have lost two of their last three – including a 4-2 home loss to Arsenal midweek – to now sit only five points clear of both Arsenal and Tottenham. It’s been a rollercoaster month for the Blues, who were also thrashed at home by Brentford (4-1) and routed Southampton on the road (6-0), lost their Champions League quarter-final tie to Real Madrid and won through to the FA Cup final.

Seventh-placed West Ham are five points adrift of fourth place and have one less game in hand. They are also struggling for form, losing to Brentford (2-0) and drawing with Burnley (1-1) in the past fortnight.

West Ham boast six wins and three draws in their last 14 games against Chelsea, including a 3-2 home victory in Week 15. Arthur Masuaku scored the 87th-minute winner for the Irons.

Chelsea haven’t lost back-to-back this season, and with European duties completed they can focus their attention on cementing third spot on the ladder.

Best Bet: Result and Both Teams To Score – Chelsea and Yes @ $3.20

Same Game Multi: Result – Chelsea; Total – Over 2.5; Anytime Goalscorer – Mason Mount @ $4.87

EPL Tips – Brighton and Hove Albion V Southampton

23:00 (AEST), Sun 24th Apr @ Amex Stadium, Brighton

History: Played 76: Southampton 36 V Brighton 21 (19 Draws)

Last meeting: December 4, 2021 (EPL): 1-1 draw at St Mary’s Stadium

Final Thoughts: A bit of a nothing fixture, though 13th-placed Southampton can leapfrog a host of teams – including 10th-placed Brighton – with a win on the road here.

Brighton are coming off a 3-0 midweek loss to Man City, after upsetting Arsenal (2-1) and Tottenham (1-0) away in consecutive weekends. Southampton are aiming for back-to-back wins for just the third time this season after rolling Arsenal (1-0) in Week 33, which snapped a dismal five-match winless streak that culminated in a 6-0 home loss to Chelsea.

Brighton have won just one of their last 10 against Southampton. The teams drew 1-all at St Mary’s Stadium in Week 15 after Neal Maupay’s 90th-minute equaliser for the Seagulls cancelled out Armando Broja’s first-half opener.

I’m leaning slightly towards the hosts here, but expect both teams to get on the board.

Best Bet: Both Teams To Score @ $1.78

Same Game Multi: Result – Brighton; Total – Over 2.5; Anytime Goalscorer – Neal Maupay @ $6.30

EPL Tips – Liverpool V Everton

01:30 (AEST), Mon 25th Apr @ Anfield, Liverpool

History: Played 290: Liverpool 122 V Everton 83 (85 Draws)

Last meeting: December 1, 2021 (EPL): Liverpool 4 d Everton 1 at Goodison Park

Final Thoughts: The Merseyside Derby rivals are at opposite ends of the ladder but this is a vital showdown for both Liverpudlian outfits.

Liverpool are one point off the competition lead and are waiting for Man City to blink. After their 2-all draw at Etihad Stadium ended a 10-match winning streak, the Reds crushed Man United 4-0 at home midweek with Mo Salah notching a brace and Sadio Mane scoring for the second straight game.

Everton have picked up four invaluable points from their past two games via a 1-0 upset of Man United and a 1-all draw with Leicester, the latter on Thursday (AEDT). But the 17th-placed Toffees are not out of the woods by any stretch – they are only one point clear of Burnley, though they have a game in hand.

Everton’s only win in their last 25 games against their crosstown archrivals was last year at Anfield. Liverpool carved out a 4-1 victory at Goodison Park in Week 15 this season with Mo Salah scoring a goal in each half.

Liverpool have a UCL semi-final clash with Villareal just three days after this clash, but there is no comparison between these teams and Jurgen Klopp has more than enough depth at his disposal to ensure a comfortable win.

Best Bet: Handicap – Liverpool -2 @ $2.30

Same Game Multi: Result – Liverpool; Half-time Result – Liverpool; Total – Over 3.5; Anytime Goalscorer – Sadio Mane; Anytime Goalscorer – Mo Salah @ $6.47

EPL Tips – Crystal Palace V Leeds United

05:00 (AEST), Tue 26th Apr @ Selhurst Park, London

History: Played 65: Leeds 31 V Crystal Palace 18 (16 Draws)

Last meeting: November 30, 2021 (EPL): Leeds 1 d Crystal Palace 0 at Elland Road

Final Thoughts: Week 34 wraps up with an uninspiring clash between 14th-placed Crystal Palace and 16th-placed Leeds United.

After an impressive five-match unbeaten run that included a draw with Man City and a 3-0 drubbing of Arsenal, Palace have lost their last two, to Leicester in Week 32 (2-1) and Newcastle midweek (1-0).

Leeds are four points back and still not safe relegation-wise, sitting only five points clear of the bottom-three. They are in their most impressive patch of form this season, too, following up a six-match losing streak with three wins and a draw from their last four games. The Whites beat Watford 3-0 in their last outing on April 9, with Rodrigo scoring his third goal in four games.

Leeds boast four wins and two draws in their last seven clashes with Crystal Palace. Raphinha’s 90th-minute penalty snatched a 1-0 result at home for Leeds in Week 15.

I’ll take the value in Leeds as a chunky underdog in light of their recent form.

Best Bet: Result – Leeds @ $3.60

Same Game Multi: Handicap – Leeds +1; Total – Over 2.5; Anytime Goalscorer – Rodrigo; Anytime Goalscorer – Wilfried Zaha @ $17.77


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