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Premier League betting tips: Leicester’s Champions League dream to end in tears, Villa to just about survive

July 23, 2020

JUST like every neutral wanted, the battle for European football and the scrap to remain in the Premier League will go to the final day. Hard luck supporters of the clubs involved, but this weekend is for everybody else.

Had Wolves not conceded a last-minute penalty against Burnley, we could be enjoying two last-day Champions League play-offs, however, one seems like plenty as Leicester and Man Utd put everything on the line. Aston Villa have the edge in the relegation battle for now, but Wednesday's Championship action reminded us that counts for nothing. 


Everton vs Bournemouth | Sunday July 26, 16:00 GMT

Bournemouth must win to have any chance of avoiding relegation, but they have lost all four previous top-flight trips to Goodison Park, conceding at least two each time. For all their clear flaws which will require addressing in the transfer window, Everton have a fine record at Goodison Park just now. In fact, Carlo Ancelotti can become the first Blues boss to start with 10 unbeaten home games in the league.

In the nine Premier League meetings between the sides, there have been 35 goals scored (3.9 goals per game) which is second only to Blackburn vs Nottingham Forest (4.0 goals per game) among top-flight fixtures to have been played at least eight times. With the sides conceding a combined 117 league goals this season, there should be goals in this one. No current Premier League player has scored more last day goals than Theo Walcott (6). The Everton win with both teams scoring looks tempting.

Match Odds: Everton (27/20) Draw (27/10) Bournemouth (37/20)
Tip: Everton to win and both teams to score (14/5)
Correct score: Everton 2-1 Bournemouth (8/1)


Chelsea vs Wolves | Sunday July 26, 16:00 GMT

Chelsea competed well against Liverpool on Wednesday but nevertheless slipped to their second Premier League defeat in three games, as many as they suffered in their previous 11. Frank Lampard's side have conceded a whopping 13 goals in their last six league games, taking their total to 54 for the season, or the division's eighth worst record to put it another way – uninspiring stuff as the Blues seek the point they need to guarantee a top four spot.

Wolves could themselves have been competing for a Champions League spot had they not conceded a contentious penalty equaliser recently against Burnley. Nuno Espirito Santo's side do however remain on course for their best league finish since 1980 and in Raul Jimenez, they have the perfect striker to exploit Chelsea's defensive vulnerabilities. Jimenez's 17 Premier League goals this season have been worth 19 points, more than any other player in the division. 

Chelsea will be buoyed by scoring three at Anfield, and they will be buoyed by Christian Pulisic who has been the best player in the league since the restart. It's tough to envisage Chelsea keeping a clean sheet, then again, they seem very likely to get on the scoresheet themselves. Back the draw.

Match Odds: Chelsea (10/11) Draw (11/4) Wolves (3/1)
Tip: Raul Jimenez to score any time (43/20)
Correct score: Chelsea 2-2 Wolves (13/1

West Ham vs Aston Villa | Sunday July 26, 16:00 GMT

Since David Moyes returned to West Ham in January, only Man City (7) have scored 3+ goals in more Premier League games than the Hammers (6). The 11 post-restart points picked up by West Ham equal their total for their 15 pre-restart matches. It's been a tremendous turnaround for Moyes who has kept West Ham up with a degree of comfort in the end. 

Seven points from three matches against Crystal Palace, Everton and Arsenal has transformed Villa's hopes and expectations. Relegation seemed a certainty but the +9 goal difference swing they've gained over Watford since that Palace game leaves them in the driving seat. Although they can still be relegated with a win, that possibility depends on Watford hammering Arsenal at the Emirates. Stranger things have happened – probably quite a few of them at the Emirates – but this seems too big an ask for a struggling side.

Villa have conceded just once in their last three, and even then Tyrone Mings' heroic efforts were scuppered by goal line technology. It's been a significant improvement for the Premier League's second leakiest defence. Dean Smith's side might have stumbled on the right formula at the perfect time. Back them to emerge from London with a point and their top flight status intact.

Match Odds: West Ham (9/4) Draw (5/2) Aston Villa (5/4)
Tip: Draw and both teams to score (16/5)
Correct score: West Ham 1-1 Aston Villa (23/4)


 Arsenal vs Watford | Sunday July 26, 16:00 GMT 

Arsenal have become a bit of a last-day banker in recent years having gone unbeaten in their last 14 final-day league games, winning 12. The Gunners have won 10 in a row at home since falling to a 3-1 defeat to Spurs on the last day of the 1992/93 season. Under Mikel Arteta, their home form has been solid – no defeats in the last eight (W6 D2) with 18 goals scored and just five conceded.

Watford, however, are currently on a run of nine matches without a clean sheet – the longest such run in the Premier League. The Hornets have also lost their five away matches in succession. Given Watford need a hefty win here to guard against the possibility of a Villa win at West Ham, the outlook is bleak. Sure, Arteta may rest a couple of key players ahead of next week's FA Cup Final, but those selected will be giving their all to make the starting lineup.

Arsenal have won five of their six Premier League home games against Watford (L1), and have kept a clean sheet each time they've won. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also has four goals in his last four matches against the Hornets. All signs point to a comfortable home win… but it's Arsenal, so we'll say an unnecessarily nervy 2-1.

Match Odds: Arsenal (19/20) Draw (29/10) Watford (27/10)
Tip: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to score any time and Arsenal to win (9/5)
Correct score: Arsenal 2-1 Watford (7/1)


 Leicester City vs Man Utd | Sunday July 26, 16:00 GMT  

A last day Champions League play-off! You can't beat a bit of that. Leicester memorably overcame Man Utd 5-3 in 2014 in a game that saw Jamie Vardy bag his first Premier League goal, but that match remains the Foxes' only win in their last 13 league against Utd (D4 L8). In fact, only against Aston Villa (15 matches) do Utd enjoy a longer unbeaten run than their 10 games vs Leicester.

After averaging 1.8 points per game pre-lockdown (53 points from 29 games), Brendan Rodgers' side have slumped to 1.1 (nine points from eight matches) since then while they have also conceded 17.9% of their total league goals this season (seven of 39) in their last three games. A bit like his infamous title run at Anfield, Brendan Rodgers has built a team capable of blowing away opponents in the autumn only to run out of steam at the end of the campaign.

Utd also look exhausted as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has failed to sufficiently rotate his side, opting to stick with his first choice front four which has, in fairness, increased Utd's goals per game from 1.52 to 2.50 either side of lockdown. That incredible firepower will be too much for a Leicester side still missing Caglar Soyuncu. Back Utd for the dream-crushing win here.

Match Odds: Leicester City (9/4) Draw (5/2) Man Utd (5/4)
Tip: Anthony Martial to score and give an assist (22/1)
Correct score: Leicester Cirty 1-3 Man Utd (15/1)