Soccer Betting Preview: English Premier League Games April 1st – 2nd
Published on March 30, 2017
The Premier League is BACK! It’s only been a couple of weeks since the last round of games, but it’s felt a lot longer than that. The latest international break seemed to go on forever.
I really don’t like international breaks at this stage of the season. The games are nowhere near as exciting for me, especially when a lot of them are friendlies where there’s nothing at stake. And even the competitive games are mostly predictable. We all knew that , and that Germany was going to beat Azerbaijan.
International games don’t tend to offer a lot of good betting opportunities either, unless it’s an actual tournament. So there wasn’t much money to be made during this latest break. That’s not the case this week though, as we’ve got a full round of Premier League games to bet on. These games are far less predictable, so there’s a much better chance of finding some value.
That’s what I’ve tried to do in this post. I’ve previewed all ten of the games, and recommended the best bets to make.
What better way to start the weekend’s fixtures than with a Merseyside derby? Liverpool against Everton is almost always an entertaining game, so I’m really looking forward to watching this one. And I don’t think the outcome is as obvious as the odds suggest.
I understand why Liverpool are the clear favorites here. They have home advantage, and they have an excellent record against Everton in recent years. They’re also in a good little run of form, having won two and drawn one of their last three. At first glance, Liverpool to win at 1.70 seems like a reasonable price.
If we’re going on form alone, then Everton actually have the edge. They’ve been in great form for several weeks now, and have only lost one game since Christmas. Their last two results have been a 4-0 victory (against Hull City) and a 3-0 victory (against West Brom), so they’ll be full of confidence coming into this game.
Everton will also be motivated by the fact that they’re only six points behind Liverpool in the table. A win here would give them a great chance of catching them before the end of the season, and maybe even securing a place in the top four.
They’re not helped by the fact that Seamus Coleman is missing though. The defender has played an important role for Everton this year, but was . Playing for Ireland against Wales, he had his leg broken in a strong tackle from Neil Taylor. He’s going to be out of action for several months as a result, and this could well have a negative impact on Everton’s form.
Liverpool are also missing a key player due to an injury sustained on international duty. Midfielder Adam Lallana has been one of Liverpool’s top performers this season, but he’ll be missing this game after damaging his thigh while playing for England.
I think that Liverpool will suffer more from the loss of Lallana than Everton will from the loss of Coleman. That’s one reason why I’m expecting this to be a close match. Liverpool are the better side overall, but I just can’t see this being an easy victory for them. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if they won, I’m going to go with a draw for my prediction.
Derby games are notoriously hard to predict of course, so betting on the result is probably not the right move here. I like over 2.5 goals at odds of 1.72, and I like both teams to score at 1.75 even better. I’ll probably bet on both to be honest, but both teams to score is my recommended wager.
Liverpool 2 – Everton 2
Both teams to score at @ 1.75
Tottenham Hotspur are flying high in second place at the moment, and have won their last three games. Burnley are down in 16th place, and without a win in six. An easy Tottenham victory then?
I’m not so sure. Regular readers of my previews will probably be bored with me saying this now, but Burnley are a good side when they’re playing at home. Five of their last six games have been on the road, so their poor recent form doesn’t paint a wholly accurate picture.
The last home game Burnley did have was against Chelsea, and they held the league leaders to a draw. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they managed the same result against Tottenham. They’re very solid defensively at Turf Moor, and Tottenham are without their star striker Harry Kane.
Tottenham aren’t COMPLETELY reliant on Harry Kane for goals of course, but they definitely score less when he’s not on the field. Even when he’s not scoring the goals himself, he’s opening up space for the players around to take him advantage. Spurs don’t have another player who can do that so effectively.
It’s very difficult to go against Tottenham with the way they’ve been playing recently, but I do think a draw is very possible here. I think 0-0 or 1-1 are the most likely outcomes, and I’m going with 1-1 as my prediction. In terms of the betting, I think the best wager is on under 2.5 goals. That covers the two outcomes I’ve already mentioned, plus a single goal victory for either team.
Burnley 1 – Tottenham Hotspur 1
Under 2.5 goals @ 1.80
If you read my recent post on the Premier League run-in, you’ll know that I consider the title race to be over. This is hardly a controversial view when Chelsea lead the league by ten points. Although bigger leads than this have been overcome in the past, I just don’t see it happening this year. No other team is consistent enough to challenge for the title in my opinion, even if Chelsea end up dropping a few points.
I’m pretty sure about that. Crystal Palace have improved their form of late, and are on a run of three straight wins, but even the most optimistic of their fans won’t be expecting anything at Stamford Bridge. Most of them will be fully prepared for a defeat here.
There’s not really a lot more to say about this game to be honest. This should be a routine victory for Chelsea, and the only thing to consider is whether they’re worth backing. I personally think they are. The odds of 1.30 are obviously pretty low, but I think they just about represent value.
Chelsea 2 – Crystal Palace 0
Chelsea to win @ 1.30
Hull City really need a result in this game. They’ve got nine games left to save themselves from relegation, and this is one of the better opportunities they have for a win. West Ham are in bad form at the moment, with no win in five and defeats in the last three. There’s been , who is now under real pressure to turn things around.
This extra pressure isn’t going to help West Ham at all. Teams sometimes find an extra level when the pressure’s really on, but sometimes they crumble. I think the latter is more likely for West Ham, despite the quality they have in the team. At times like these you want players that are going to step up to save their manager’s job, and I’m not sure there are enough strong characters in this side.
The Hull City team doesn’t have as much quality as West Ham, but the players seem to have more fighting spirit. I’ve seen a real upturn in the effort and commitment from them since the new manager came in. Although this might not be enough to save the club from relegation, they’re definitely going to give it their best shot.
Will they get the win they need here? I think so, yes. West Ham might surprise me and turn their form around, but I can’t see it. I like Hull for the win at 2.50, and that’s where my money will be going.
Hull City 2 – West Ham 1
Hull City to win @ 2.50
I think Leicester City are overpriced to win here. In their last few games they’ve been putting in the same kind of performances that won them the league last year, and I see no reason why they won’t continue their form against Stoke. They’re still not quite safe from relegation, so they need the points. Stoke, on the other hand, are safely in mid-table and have nothing left to play for really.
I’m not suggesting that Stoke are just going to lie down and let Leicester beat them of course. They’ll put up a fight for sure. I don’t think it will be enough though. Leicester will fight even harder, and Stoke aren’t that great on the road anyway. The odds of 2.00 for a Leicester win seem like excellent value to me, so this is probably the best bet of the weekend.
Leicester City 2 – Stoke City 0
Leicester City to win @ 2.00
I hate games like this from a betting perspective. A Manchester United win seems like the obvious outcome here, and at first glance the odds of 1.35 seem reasonable. But when you dig into the detail a little further, things are not quite so straightforward.
United have drawn quite a few games at home against weaker opposition, primarily because they haven’t been able to convert their chances into goals. West Brom are one of the best teams around at sitting back and soaking up the pressure, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see them frustrate United all game and come away with a point.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see a United win either though. There’s no doubt they’re a better side than West Brom, and they SHOULD be winning really. I just don’t feel confident backing them. Especially as they’ve lost some key players to injury during the international break. That’s caused some frustration for manager Jose Mourinho, who has .
What I’m basically saying is that I don’t really know what to do here! It’s hard to bet against a United win when they’re at home, but it’s equally hard to back them considering the problems they’ve had in putting teams away. On balance, I think it’s best to just leave this one alone. I’m going to go for a United win in my prediction, but I’m not going to put any money down.
Manchester United 1 – West Brom 0
No recommended bet
This is a HUGE game for Sunderland. They’re rooted to the bottom of the Premier League and in desperate need of points. Relegation is a near certainty for them unless they can start winning games, and they won’t get many better opportunities than this. Watford’s form has really dropped in the last few games, so Sunderland have a genuine chance of getting the points here.
The only problem is that Sunderland are in bad form themselves. They managed to get a draw against Burnley last time out, but it was three defeats in a row before that. I’ve not seen much to suggest they’re capable of turning things around.
There is one glimmer of hope for them though, and that’s Jermain Defoe. He scored for England on his return to international level last week, and he’s going to be full of confidence. When Defoe is on the top of his game you can almost guarantee he’ll get a goal or two, so I think he’ll be the difference between these two teams.
I wouldn’t say this is a confident prediction, but I’m going to go with a Sunderland win here. I’m also going to back Sunderland, as I think the odds of 4.33 are high enough to justify the risk.
Watford 1 – Sunderland 2
Sunderland to win @ 4.33
I love the final few weeks of the Premier League season. Most of the games are crucial in one way or another, as at least one of the teams is likely to really need a result. You’ve got teams fighting to avoid relegation, hoping to push for the title, or trying to finish in the top four.
There’s a downside to this stage of the season too though. You’ve also got teams like Southampton and Bournemouth, who have nothing left to play for. They’re both safe from relegation, and neither are in the race for the top four or the title. That makes it hard to get excited about a game like this. There’s basically nothing at stake here.
I don’t like to bet on these kinds of games. They’re just too unpredictable. When there’s nothing to really play for, it’s impossible to know what level of performance we’re going to see. Some teams start to play really well because there’s no pressure, while others play badly because they’re not motivated enough.
Southampton will probably win here. They’re the better team, and they also have home advantage. I’m not going to risk any money though, for the reasons I’ve just outlined.
Southampton 2 – Bournemouth 0
No recommended bet
This is the opposite of the previous game. These teams are both in real danger of relegation, so there’s EVERYTHING to play for here. A draw is no good for either team, so I expect they’ll both be pushing hard for the win. This should make for an entertaining game.
Middlesbrough look doomed to me. They’ve sacked their manager recently, but I don’t think this was the right move. They should have either done it earlier, or stuck with him. There isn’t enough time for the new man in charge to get to know the players and then turn things around. They’re five points away from safety now, and a loss here will mean there’s too much ground to make up.
I think this level of pressure will get to the players. They’ll be forced to open up and attack Swansea, and the team isn’t really built to play that way. Swansea will have the advantage as they’re a good counter-attacking team. I can see Swansea getting a goal on the break, and the Middlesbrough players then giving up.
Relegation battles like this are always unpredictable of course. The game COULD play out in an entirely different way. Nonetheless, I like Swansea for the win. The odds of 2.00 are plenty high enough for me, and I like this bet a lot.
Swansea City 3 – Middlesbrough 0
Swansea City to win @ 2.00
This is another big game. The result here will have a major impact on the race for the top four. Arsenal are currently in sixth, and really need a win to stay in contention. If they lose, a Champions League place will start to look out of reach. Manchester City are currently in third and can probably afford to lose or draw, but a win would give them a bit of breathing space.
The question here is how the Arsenal players will respond to the pressure they’re under. They’ve been poor in recent weeks, especially . They lost 3-1, and it was one of the worst performances I’ve ever seen from Arsenal in the league to be honest. A vast improvement is needed if they’re to get anything against Manchester City.
I actually think the Arsenal players ARE going to step up here. They owe it to their manager really. The future of Arsene Wenger has been the subject of much speculation in the last few months, and some fans have been calling for him to go. That’s a disgraceful way to treat the man who has done so much for Arsenal in my opinion. Is it solely his fault that the players have been performing so badly? He’s partly to blame of course, but the players have to take some responsibility too. They should be hugely motivated to get a result here and earn their manager some respite.
Getting that result won’t be easy of course. Manchester City are the better team overall, and they’re in better form too. Their attacking players can be lethal, so they’ll look to take the game to Arsenal. They do have some defensive weaknesses though, which I think Arsenal can exploit.
Calling the result here is tough. I’m not at all sure what’s going to happen. I am confident of one thing though, and that’s there will be goals. So the bet to make here is on over 2.5 goals.
Arsenal 2 – Manchester City 1
Over 2.5 goals @ 1.57