EPL Gameweek 17 Preview and Tips
There is only one way to describe the Premier League in the month of December… non-stop! Luckily for the English FA we weather did not prevent the completion of the weekend fixtures but we may not be as lucky with the midweek games as snow spreads across the UK grounding flights and closing schools.
EPL Match Previews
Huddersfield v Chelsea – (Wed 7:00am)
Chelsea’s upset loss to the Hammers was 3 points lost and rather than being tied with Man Utd on 25 points they find themselves in a lock jam with just 4 points separating them and 7th placed Burnley. Antonio Conte must shoulder some of the blame for taking a very defensive approach against a team that had allowed 32 goals on the season (2nd most in EPL). Starting with two holding midfielders (Kante and Bakayoko) made no sense, neither did playing Azpilicueta in a central defensive role. Now they travel to Huddersfield where the hosts have won 3 of their last 4 at home. Man City and Spurs and the only two sides to collect all 3 points from their visit to West Yorkshire and unless Chelsea go there with the intent to score The Wolf says they will not be joining that list. Cheslea have scored multiple goals in just 1 of their last 5 away EPL fixtures and that has Wolfy concerned. They have missed David Luiz and his ability to push into midfield along side Kante. With just 1 clean sheet in their last 5 across all competitions The Wolf has them conceding again and that will make it very difficult to collect all 3 points. If Chelsea win it will be on the back of 3-4 goals in attack.
Best: Both Teams To Score – YES ($2.10)
Value: Over 3.5 goals ($3.00)
Swansea v Man City – (Thur 6:45am)
City came out on top in the Manchester Derby and ended United’s unbeaten run at Old Trafford. The pressure took it’s toll in a match that was highlighted by several defensive errors. Delph was the guilty party for City and The Wolf says we are unlikely to see him when Pep’s men travel to Wales. We will however see the return of Sergio Aguero who did not play with the manager opting to play Jesus up front instead. Swansea ended their 8 game drought with a win over West Brom and have held their own against City in the past few seasons. City may be unbeaten in the last 11 meetings, including wins in 7 of the last 8, but only one of those wins has come by a multiple goal margin. Four of those wins have come via a 2-1 scoreline which is ironic as it has also been the winning score in their last 4 Premier League matches. They host Spurs at the weekend so don’t be surprised if we see Pep rotate his squad, giving game time to the likes of Gundogan, Yaya Toure and Bernardo Silva. Several line up changes makes Swansea to score value and don’t be surprised if they score multiple goals.
Best: Both Teams To Score – YES ($2.00)
Value: Swansea Over 1.5 goals ($6.00)
Liverpool v West Brom – (Thur 7:00am)
The Reds butchered it in the Merseyside Derby in more ways than one. With over 70% possession they created more than enough chances to win the match by half time but selfishness and their inability to defend long balls was again their downfall. A Rooney penalty gave Everton a point but it was two points lost for Liverpool and left fans asking why Coutinho and Firmino were not named in the starting XI. They are almost certain to start at home to West Brom with Liverpool looking to extend their unbeaten run against the Baggies to 9 games. One thing we know about the Baggies is that they will set up a camp site outside their 18 yard box and defend for 90 minutes. It may sound boring but they have been effective in doing so. They have allowed just 5 in their last 5 away EPL games and not opponent has scored more than once against them in that stretch. In a true contrast of styles The Wolf says the back four of Evans, Gibbs, Nyom and Hegazi will be very difficult to break down. The Wolf has almost exclusively backed the Overs in Liverpool matches but he will be going against the trend.
Best: Under 2.5 goals ($2.50)
Value: Liverpool 1-0 ($8.00)
Man Utd v Bournemouth – (Thur 7:00am)
United’s loss to their cross town rivals all but ended the title race and we are weeks away from Christmas. The 11 point gap is monumental and the odds are it will get even bigger. The absence of Pogba didn’t help while Lukaku again failed to shine against top line opponents. Despite scoring 8 goals this season he is yet to score against any of the top 6 sides (5 games – 0 goals). He missed an absolute sitter which would have given his side a share of the points and is yet to prove that he can done when it counts. Squad rotation will be in full effect over the next few weeks for Mourinho and that always makes it difficult to maintain clean sheets. United have managed just the 1 clean sheet in their last 6 EPL encounters with Bournemouth finding the back of the net in each of the last 4 meetings between the two sides. Mata, Jones, Lindelof and co should see time on the pitch and we may even see Luke Shaw get a run. The Wolf likes to see rotation players on the pitch as it opens things right up!
Best: 1st Half Over 1.5 goals ($2.35)
Value: Bournemouth Score Both Halves ($9.00)
Tottenham v Brighton – (Thur 7:00am)
Wolfy predicted a coming out party for Spurs against Stoke and they all got in on the act in a 5-1 triumph. Kane, Eriksen and Son all made their way on the score sheet in a well overdue performance from a side that are irresistible when they are at the top of their game. Brighton will be hoping that it will not be the case but Wolfy has bad news for them – when Tottenham get on a role, they really get on a roll. The only thing that will save them is the fact that Spurs have to back up against City at the weekend which means Eriksen and Kane are likely to come off early if the game is won. The Wolf believes Spurs will look to seal the result by the hour mark in order to give their stars an early mark. Brighton lost 2-0 away to Arsenal and 1-0 at Old Trafford in matches where they failed to get any sort of a foot hold in the middle of the park. A similar pattern is on the cards here and The Wolf is predicting a 2-0 win in the hosts favour.
Best: Teams To Score – Tottenham Only ($2.00)
Value: Tottenham 2-0 ($6.50)
West Ham v Arsenal – (Thur 7:00am)
Disappointing, one dimensional and lethargic are all words that can be used to describe Arsenal’s performance away to Southampton. They were caught napping early and were a step slower to every loose ball from that point on until the introduction of Giroud. Now let’s get one thing straight. The Wolf has never been a fan of the Frenchman but says we must give credit when it is due. Arsenal are guilty of trying to walk the ball into the back of the net and it is a formula which has not served them well when they play away from home against effective defensive sides. Having Giroud at the point allows them to spread the ball wide before aiming for an aerial target in the middle. The Wolf expects to see more of him during the busy December schedule – especially in road games. If the Hammers performance against Chelsea is anything to go by this is the perfect match for the Frenchman to start. The Gunners have put 11 past West Ham in the last 3 meetings including 5 in the corresponding fixture last season but The Wolf cannot trust them after their lackluster performance at the weekend. Moyes will emply the same tactics as he did against Chelsea which will make for a dull encounter.
Best: Under 2.5 goals ($2.20)
Value: 1st Half Correct Score 0-0 ($3.25)
Gameweek 17 Best Bets
Gameweek 16: 6-4
Gameweek 16 ROI: 111.40%
Overall ROI: 98.90%
Gameweek 16: 3-7
Gameweek 16 ROI: 109.5%
Overall ROI: 78.59%
Overall ROI: 88.75%