The Premier League Preview has EPL Tips for every match of Week 34, including a high-stakes showdown between Liverpool and Chelsea.
History: Played 123: Newcastle 52 V Leicester 44 (27 Draws)
Last meeting: September 29, 2018 (EPL): Leicester 2 d Newcastle 0 at St James’ Park
Final Thoughts: Leicester City are finishing the season with a wet sail, charging to seventh spot with four straight wins over Fulham, Burnley, Bournemouth and Huddersfield – the latter by a 4-1 scoreline on the road. Jamie Vardy has scored seven goals in his last six games.
Newcastle sit 15th – seven points above the bottom-three. After a hot run of form that garnered five wins and two draws in nine games, they have lost their last two to Arsenal and Crystal Palace to nil.
Leicester have won six of their last seven against Newcastle, including a solid 2-0 away victory earlier this season. But the Magpies got up 2-1 at King Power Stadium last season – ending a 19-year-old winless run in Leicester.
The Foxes should win but they are very short here. The over shapes as a better value play.
History: Played 43: Huddersfield 16 V Tottenham 14 (13 Draws)
Last meeting: September 29, 2018 (EPL): Tottenham 2 d Huddersfield 0 at John Smith’s Stadium
Final Thoughts: Tottenham broke a horrible five-match winless streak in the EPL with a 2-0 defeat of Crystal Palace to open their shiny new stadium last weekend, then backed it up with a 1-0 Champions League victory over Man City. But the latter cost them captain and chief strike weapon Harry Kane, who could be out for the rest of the season.
Huddersfield are last with just three wins and are playing purely for pride at this stage. They are currently on a five-match losing streak and have picked up just four points from their past 20 games.
Huddersfield’s last win over Tottenham was in 1956. Spurs have won the three games between the clubs in recent years by a combined 8-0, including a 2-0 away success in Week 7.
Despite Kane’s absence, Spurs should get the W comfortably here to stay inside the top four for at least another week.
History: Played 109: Bournemouth 42 V Brighton 38 (29 Draws)
Last meeting: January 5, 2019 (FA Cup): Brighton 3 d Bournemouth 1 at Vitality Stadium
Final Thoughts: Brighton sit 16th just five points above the relegation zone, though they have a game or two in hand on the other teams in danger. They are coming off back-to-back losses to Southampton (1-0) and Chelsea (3-0), as well as last weekend’s 1-0 FA Cup semi defeat to Man City.
Thirteenth-placed Bournemouth are also coming off two straight losses – away to Leicester and at home to Burnley – and have won only one of their last nine games. It’s a far cry from the side that chalked up six wins in the opening 10 weeks of the season.
Brighton ended a 10-match winless streak against Bournemouth – including a 2-0 result in Week 7 this season – with a 3-1 FA Cup victory in January. Three of the last four clashes between the sides in Brighton finished in a draw.
Given their standing, Brighton have been a tough beat at home. Bournemouth’s away record reads four wins and 12 losses. That paints a pretty straightforward betting picture in a match between two out-of-form sides.
History: Played 84: Burnley 29 V Cardiff 29 (26 Draws)
Last meeting: September 30, 2018 (EPL): Burnley 2 d Cardiff 1 at Cardiff City Stadium
Final Thoughts: Burnley have all but extricated themselves from the relegation picture with clutch wins over Wolves (2-0) and Bournemouth (3-1) in the past fortnight. The Clarets lost their previous four and were under pressure, but they now appear safe eight points clear of 18th-placed Cardiff City.
Cardiff simply have to win here to keep their chances of avoiding the drop alive. They have lost five of their last six, though since downing West Ham in Week 30 they were hardly disgraced in defeats to heavyweights Chelsea (2-1) and Man City (2-0).
After going winless in their last 13 games against Cardiff (nine of which finished in a draw), Burnley chalked up a 2-1 away win earlier this season. The clubs’ last six clashes at Turf Moor finished in a draw.
With Cardiff’s desperation the X-factor, they look a good price to at least pick up a point at Turf Moor.
History: Played 62: Everton 30 V Fulham 19 (13 Draws)
Last meeting: September 29, 2018 (EPL): Everton 3 d Fulham 0 at Goodison Park
Final Thoughts: Fulham’s relegation fate is sealed and they are on a nine-match losing streak – most recently going down 4-1 at Watford. Everton have hit a rich vein of form at the end of a largely disappointing campaign, rising to ninth with three straight wins over Chelsea, West Ham and Arsenal without conceding a goal.
Fulham boast just one win and two draws from their last 13 games against Everton. The Toffees have won the last three clashes by a combined 10-2, including a 3-0 drubbing at Goodison Park earlier this season.
Everton’s strong wins over heavyweight opposition in recent weeks would suggest an easy win over battling Fulham is a formality.
History: Played 64: Southampton 26 V Wolverhampton 22 (16 Draws)
Last meeting: September 29, 2018 (EPL): Wolverhampton 2 d Southampton 0 at Molineux Stadium
Final Thoughts: Southampton are 17th but look to have saved their Premier League status with three wins in their last five games (including an upset of Tottenham) to sit five points above the bottom-three. They went down 3-1 at home to Liverpool last weekend.
It’s been an up-and-down fortnight for Wolverhampton, who stunned Manchester United 2-1 in EPL action but lost their FA Cup semi 3-2 to Watford. They are in an intriguing four-way battle for a coveted seventh-placed finish.
Wolverhampton are on a six-match unbeaten streak against Southampton (after going winless in the previous 17 clashes between the clubs), winning the last three by a combined 7-0. Wolves prevailed 2-0 at home in Week 7.
The teams are almost even in the head-to-head stakes, with feels about right give both teams’ sound recent form and Southampton’s home-ground advantage. The draw looks a great chance.
History: Played 140: Man United 65 V West Ham 44 (31 Draws)
Last meeting: September 29, 2018 (EPL): West Ham 3 d Man United 1 at London Stadium
Final Thoughts: Manchester United’s seemingly unstoppable charge to the top four has hit a couple of recent snags, beaten by Arsenal and Wolverhampton either side of a win over Watford in their past three games. Those results have seen United drop back to sixth.
West Ham have slid to 11th with four losses in their last six games, including back-to-back 2-0 defeats to Everton and Chelsea in their past two games.
West Ham pulled off a stunning 3-1 upset of Man United in Week 7. It was just Hammers’ third win in their last 26 encounters with the Red Devils.
United are unbeaten in league action at Old Trafford since Week 3 and shape as a pretty obvious choice here.
History: Played 60: Man City 31 V Crystal 16 (13 Draws)
Last meeting: December 22, 2018 (EPL): Crystal Palace 3 d Man City 2 at Etihad Stadium
Final Thoughts: Who will blink first in the race for the EPL title? Defending champs Man City are two points behind Liverpool but have a game in hand. They are also on an eight-match league winning streak, while they reached the FA Cup final by beating Brighton last weekend but went down 1-0 to Tottenham in the UCL quarters.
Crystal Palace have inched their way to 12th with five wins and two draws from their last 10 games. They downed Newcastle 1-0 on the road last week.
Crystal Palace carved out one of their biggest victories in years just before Christmas, rolling the defending champs 3-2 at Etihad Stadium. Palace had scored just two goals and conceded 25 in their previous eight against City.
City are sure to be weary after their hectic multiple-competition schedule of the past couple of weeks, but with so much at stake it’s hard seeing improving Palace getting too close in this one.
EPL History: Played 181: Liverpool 77 V Chelsea 63 (41 Draws)
Last meeting: September 29, 2018 (EPL): 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge
Final Thoughts: The marquee clash of Week 34 sees ladder-leading Liverpool host a Chelsea side clinging to third spot.
Liverpool have lost just once in the EPL all season and have won four straight, most recently a 3-1 win at Southampton. They also put Porto away 2-0 in the first leg of their Champions League tie midweek. Chelsea have won three straight league games and put one hand on a Europa League semi-final berth with a 1-0 away win over Slavia Prague midweek.
Liverpool have only won two of their last 16 games against Chelsea. The heavyweights drew 1-1 at Stamford Bridge earlier this season – the fifth time in the last eight EPL clashes between the clubs decided by that scoreline.
Expect a defensive-minded approach from both sides with so much on the line, with the under screaming out as the best-value option.
EPL History: Played 29: Arsenal 16 V Watford 12 (1 Draw)
Last meeting: September 29, 2018 (EPL): Arsenal 2 d Watford 0 at Emirates Stadium
Final Thoughts: Watford are 10th but still a big chance of finishing seventh – despite three losses in their past five games. Liverpool, Man United and Man City have proved too hot to handle for the Hornets in recent weeks, though all three games were on the road. They whipped Fulham 4-1 at home in their last EPL start, and bagged an FA Cup final berth by beating Wolves in an amazing comeback last weekend.
Arsenal dropped out of the top four with a 1-0 loss at Everton last weekend, bringing a six-game unbeaten run to an end. They are coming off a handy 2-0 Europa League over Napoli midweek.
Watford have managed three wins in their last seven clashes with Arsenal, including a 2-1 victory at Vicarage Road last season. Arsenal chalked up a 2-0 victory at home in Week 7 this season. None of the teams’ 20 encounters since 1984 have finished in a draw.
Watford have won their last three at home but the generous odds for an Arsenal victory are impossible to ignore.
EPL History: Played 68: Brighton 23 V Cardiff 23 (22 Draws)
Last meeting: November 10, 2018 (EPL): Cardiff 2 d Brighton 1 at Cardiff City Stadium
Final Thoughts: A huge showdown in the context of the relegation battle – particularly if Brighton go down to Bournemouth and Cardiff can jag a win at Burnley over the weekend.
Brighton have the advantage of playing both matches at home, while Cardiff are on the road for both vital assignments.
Cardiff downed Brighton 2-1 at home earlier this season. Six of the teams’ previous nine encounters finished in a draw.
Cardiff’s last win at Brighton was in 2005 but they are a real chance here with the hosts in pretty ordinary form of late.