EPL Gameweek 26 Preview and Tips
The upsets came thick and fast in the midweek fixtures with Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United all losing! It means just 5 points separate 2nd placed Man Utd and 5th place Spurs with Arsenal falling further behind. The transfer deadline has also closed to expect to see some new faces in the coming weeks. Arsenal have made the most significant move with Giroud departing for Chelsea with the arrival of Aubameyang from Dortmund.
EPL Feature Previews
Burnley v Man City – (Sat 11:30pm)
As if City didn’t already have enough depth, Pep has splashed the cash for another defender. The £57m spent to acquire Aymeric Laporte from Bilbao was a club record and reinforces the long term vision of Guardiola. Burnley did some business themselves picking up Aaron Lennon from Everton – a player that could provide some much needed spark to one of the worst attacks in the Premier League. Burnely sit 7th despite having scored just 20 goals this season – only 4 sides have scored less. The key to their success has been their defence. Only Chelsea and the two Manchester clubs have conceded less than 22 goals and it is a testament to manager Sean Dyche and his sides record at Turf Moor. Burnely allowed just 3 goals in their first 9 EPL fixtures at home this season but they will want to bounce back after 3 straight losses at the ground. They came at the hands of Spurs, Liverpool and Man Utd but fans will not be discouraged as they more than held their own. The Under is 11-2 in their 13 league games at home this season and with City scoring more than twice in just 2 of their last 7 away, The Wolf is happy to take the price on offer for the Unders. With Silva likely to join Sane on the injury list the City attack will not be the same.
Best: Under 2.5 goals ($2.25)
Value: Correct Score Man City 2-0 ($6.50)
Man Utd v Huddersfield – (Sun 2:00am)
Huddersfield shocked the world with a 2-1 win when the two sides met earlier in the year but The Wolf has serious questions over their current mindset. They took the Premier League by storm with 2 wins and 3 draws in their first 6 matches but are now a side playing in fear. They have crashed to 4 straight losses and have not looked competitive in any of those matches – allowing their opponents to have in excess of 70% possession in almost all of those games. On goal scored and 12 conceded in a 5 game stretch is concerning and they look like the ideal opponent for the Red Devils to bounce back following a loss. United were terrible against Spurs. They lacked intensity, played without any hunger and made an array of careless challenges. The loss ended a run of 4 straight clean sheets in the league and The Wolf says that will be priority one for Mourinho in this one. Huddersfield will camp and we will not see them push any numbers forward. They will be shopping for a point and may just get one if they can frustrate United for long enough.
Best: Teams To Score – Man Utd Only ($1.53)
Value: Under 2.5 goals ($2.40)
Arsenal v Everton – (Sun 4:30am)
The Gunners were involved in the most significant moves in the January transfer window. Mikhitaryan and Aubameyang made their way to London with Giroud and Sanchez making way. It will be interesting to see how the former Dortmund teammates reunite but The Wolf is surprised that their shopping list did not involve any defenders. Arsenal have conceded 34 goals this season, more than any other side in the top 7. They have also conceded in 9 of their last 10 matches across all competitions and it is the main reason why they are 8 points adrift of a top 4 spot. This will also be Walcott’s first match against his former club and after bagging a brace in Everton’s win over Leicester, he will be out to prove a point. The Wolf says neither side will be shy in attack. Over 2.5 goals is 7-2 in the last 9 meetings with a total of 33 goals between them in that stretch. Both teams to find the back of the net in a real thriller!
Best: Both Teams To Score – YES ($2.10)
Value: Over 3.5 goals ($2.50)
Liverpool v Tottenham – (Mon 3:30am)
Alongside Man City, Liverpool and Tottenham were the only other sides in the top 8 to register midweek victories. Tottenham put on a magnificent display to beat Man Utd while Liverpool took their chances when presented with them at Huddersfield. Just 2 points separate them on the ladder and this is a match with massive top 4 implications. Road wins have been a rarity in this series with the visiting side claiming victory in just 3 of the last 17 meetings across all competitions. Liverpool were undefeated in their last 10 meetings with Spurs until earlier this season when the men in white posted a crushing 4-1 win. Spurs have failed to score in just 2 of their away games this season (Man Utd & Arsenal) but The Wolf says Liverpool will not be joining that list. The Reds have struggled against the long ball and Kane is a prime target in the air. Look for him to give Liverpool all sorts of headaches.
Best: Both Teams To Score – YES ($1.53)
Value: Tottenham Over 1.5 goals ($2.75)
Watford v Chelsea – (Tue 7:00am)
Antonio Conte’s tenure at Stamford Bridge could be coming to an end sooner than expected. They have won just 1 of their last 4 league games and were bounced out of the League Cup by Arsenal. The loss to Bournemouth was unacceptable to say the least and there can be no excuses with Cahill, Azpilicueta, Christensen and Kante all taking the field. They attacked with virtually three players – Hazard, Pedro and Barkley. Therein is where the problem lies according to Wolfy and it highlights Conte’s repetitive negative tactics. The addition of Giroud is likely to give them some presence up front but we are unlikely to see the Frenchman and Morata on the field at the same time. Watford frustrated Stoke in a 0-0 draw and we should see them employ similar tactics against a Chelsea side still looking for an identity in attack. Holebas and Mariappa have the pace and experience to deal with Alonzo and Zpacosta while the addition of Deulofeu will give them plenty of spark on the flanks. The Wolf can smell an upset!
Best: Double Chance Watford or Draw ($2.30)
Value: Watford WIN ($6.50)