The Premier League Preview has EPL Tips for each match of the season-closing Week 38, with Manchester City and Liverpool both in the title mix.
History: Played 176: Tottenham 67 V Everton 55 (54 Draws)
Last meeting: December 23, 2018 (EPL): Tottenham 6 d Everton 2 at Goodison Park
Final Thoughts: The euphoria of Tottenham’s staggering Champions League semi-final triumph will only just be subsiding by the time they line up for their final-round clash with Everton. Spurs’ top-four sport is assured barring disaster – they are three points ahead of fifth-placed Arsenal with a superior goal difference to the tune of eight goals.
But their league form has been poor, losing seven of their last 11 – including 1-0 defeats to West Ham and Bournemouth in their past two.
Everton are looking to hold onto eighth and have finished the season with a flourish, winning five and drawing one of their last seven. They accounted for Burnley 2-0 last weekend.
Tottenham are unbeaten in their last 12 games against Everton, winning the last four encounters by a combined 16-4. Everton sunk to a humiliating 6-2 loss to Spurs at home just before Christmas, with Son Heung-Min and Harry Kane both grabbing doubles.
But Everton are a great upset chance here, with Spurs coming off such an emotional UCL victory and not having a great deal of motivation to get up for this one.
History: Played 30: Man United 15 V Cardiff 7 (8 Draws)
Last meeting: December 22, 2018 (EPL): Man United 5 d Cardiff 1 at Cardiff City Stadium
Final Thoughts: A shocking back-end of the campaign means the best Man United can do is leapfrog Arsenal into a fifth-place finish. They have won just two of their last eight and are winless in their last four, inexplicably drawing 1-1 with bottom-placed Huddersfield last week.
Cardiff City’s relegation fate was sealed via a 3-2 loss at home to Crystal Palace last week, their ninth defeat in their past 11 outings.
Cardiff’s last win over United was in 1960. The Red Devils torched the Welsh outfit 5-1 in Cardiff earlier this season, with Jesse Lingard netting a late brace.
United’s only loss at Old Trafford since Week 3 was to Man City three weeks ago, and they should end a rollercoaster campaign on a positive note.
History: Played 76: West Ham 42 V Watford 21 (13 Draws)
Last meeting: December 22, 2018 (EPL): Watford 2 d West Ham 0 at London Stadium
Final Thoughts: Watford and West Ham are squaring off for a top-half finish – the Hornets are 10th and Hammers are one point back in 11th.
Watford have won just two of their last eight, losing their last two to Wolves (2-1) and Chelsea (3-0). West Ham are in much better touch, winning their last two against Tottenham (1-0) and Southampton (3-0).
Watford boast three wins and a draw from their last five games against West Ham – including a 2-0 away victory in Week 18.
But current form points to a win for the visitors, who look sound value as outsiders.
History: Played 27: Southampton 12 V Huddersfield 11 (4 Draws)
Last meeting: December 22, 2018 (EPL): Southampton 3 d Huddersfield 1 at John Smith’s Stadium
Final Thoughts: Huddersfield’s last game in the Premier League before dropping back to the Championship is a road trip against 16th-placed Southampton – a team that was mired in the relegation picture not all that long ago.
But last-placed Town signalled their intentions to go out with a bang in Week 37, snapping a run of eight straight losses with a draw at home to Manchester United. Southampton are winless in their last four and went down 3-0 at West Ham last weekend.
Southampton are unbeaten in their last four against Huddersfield. Both games finished in a draw last season, but the Saints carved out a 3-1 away victory earlier this season.
Southampton boast three wins and a draw in their last five at home, while Huddersfield have mustered a solitary point from their past 12 games on the road. But the value in Town with a start – given the emotion surrounding their impending demotion – is impossible to resist.
History: Played 113: Chelsea 56 V Leicester 26 (31 Draws)
Last meeting: December 22, 2018 (EPL): Leicester City 1 d Chelsea 0 at Stamford Bridge
Final Thoughts: Leicester sit ninth and are guaranteed to finish in the top half, but they will be keen to continue their strong finish to the year. They have won six and drawn one of their last 10, while they almost thwarted Man City last week, ultimately going down 1-0 at the Etihad.
Third-placed Chelsea have lost only one of the last six – to Liverpool – and are coming off a 3-0 thrashing of Watford. But they are chasing just their third win from their last nine away games.
Leicester have won only two of their last 17 against Chelsea – one of which came in Week 18 this season, a 1-0 upset at Stamford Bridge. The Blues are on a four-match winning streak at King Power Stadium.
Chelsea are narrow favourites, but a hard-fought draw is standing out as the best head-to-head option. The under also looks good value.
History: Played 72: Fulham 31 V Newcastle 27 (14 Draws)
Last meeting: December 22, 2018 (EPL): 0-0 draw at St James’ Park
Final Thoughts: Second-last Fulham are heading back to the Championship, but they go into their last game as slight favourites after a late-season surge of form. The beat Everton, Bournemouth and Cardiff to nil, but going down 1-0 at Wolverhampton in Week 37.
Newcastle are 14th but could move one place either way with a win or a loss here. The Magpies have also enjoyed a late flourish, going unbeaten for three games before giving Liverpool a scare in a 3-2 loss.
Fulham are unbeaten in their last four against Newcastle and managed a scoreless draw at St James’ Park in Week 18.
The lower-half rivals can barely be split in the head-to-head odds, which is a strong indicator the draw is a decent chance of coming in.
History: Played 103: Liverpool 50 V Wolverhampton 36 (17 Draws)
Last meeting: January 7, 2019 (FA Cup): Wolverhampton 2 d Liverpool 1 at Molineux Stadium
Final Thoughts: Liverpool can win the Premier League title with a win over Wolves – but they need Man City to lose or draw with Brighton. Nevertheless, Liverpool will be hell-bent on taking care of their half of the equation, and they should still be buoyant after their miraculous Champions League semi defeat of Barcelona.
Win, lose or draw, Wolverhampton will finish seventh – and extraordinary result for the promoted club. They are coming home with a wet sail, winning their last three against Arsenal, Watford and Fulham, and adding the scalp of Liverpool would be a dream end to a marvellous season.
Liverpool have won their last four Premier League encounters with Wolverhampton – including a 2-0 away win earlier this season. But Wolves have eliminated the Reds from two of the past three FA Cups, scoring a 2-1 home upset in January.
Liverpool have lost just once all season, are unbeaten in their last 16 and have won eight straight. It’s been a stellar EPL campaign regardless of the outcome of the title race and they should finish it off in fitting style.
History: Played 71: Bournemouth 29 V Crystal Palace 23 (19 Draws)
Last meeting: October 1, 2018 (EPL): Bournemouth 2 d Crystal Palace 1 at Vitality Stadium
Final Thoughts: Crystal Palace are 12th and could move up or down one spot, depending on other results. But Palace will be pleased with the way they have extricated themselves from the relegation picture, racking up seven wins and three draws from their last 14 games. They are currently on a three-match unbeaten streak, bookending a scoreless draw against Everton with away wins over Arsenal and Cardiff by 3-2 scorlines.
AFC Bournemouth are 13th and will overtake Palace with a win here. The Cherries have also found a bit of late-season form, stunning Tottenham 1-0 at home last weekend.
Three of the team’s last five clashes finished in a draw. Bournemouth ended a four-match winless streak against Palace with a 2-1 home win earlier this season.
Lean towards Palace at home – though Bournemouth will be no pushovers.
EPL History: Played 21: Man City 12 V Brighton 5 (4 Draws)
Last meeting: April 6, 2019 (FA Cup): Man City 1 d Brighton 0 at Etihad Stadium
Final Thoughts: The equation is simple: Manchester City just need a win over 17th-placed Brighton to clinch back-to-back Premier League titles.
City have won 13 straight in the EPL and have kept clean sheets in their last four, but 1-0 wins over Burnley and Leicester in the past fortnight were more than enough to have their fans on the edge of their seats. They didn’t score until midway through the second half of both wins – including a screamer of a winner from captain Vincent Kompany against the Foxes.
Brighton are safe from relegation. Though they are winless in their last eight games, the Seagulls have managed three draws from their last four outings – including a 1-1 result at the Emriates to stymie Arsenal’s top-four bid.
Man City is on a four-match winning streak against Brighton, including a 2-0 league victory and a 1-0 FA Cup success this season – both at home. It may not be pretty, but the Citizens will get the job done to retain the silverware.
EPL History: Played 106: Arsenal 52 V Burnley 33 (21 Draws)
Last meeting: December 22, 2018 (EPL): Arsenal 3 d Burnley 1 at Emirates Stadium
Final Thoughts: Arsenal have absolutely butchered their top-four hopes over the past month, winning only one of their last six games. After losing three straight to Palace, Wolves and Leicester, they drew 1-1 at home to lowly Brighton. They would need to win and Tottenham to lose – with an eight-goal differential swing – to sneak into fourth.
Burnley sit in 15th and will no doubt still be relieved at having avoided relegation with their four-game unbeaten run in April. They have lost their last two to Man City (1-0) and Everton (2-0).
Arsenal are on a nine-match winning streak against Burnley. The Gunners prevailed 3-1 at home in Week 18, but they have not scored more than one goal in each of their last four visits to Turf Moor.
It seems incongruous that Arsenal would be only $2.10 favourites against a team running near the bottom of the ladder, but it is a reflection of their shocking spiral. Nevertheless, it does render the Gunners decent value – if their latent ability springs into action, they should grab the win at Burnley.