Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion
Friday April 22, 2.45am, Emirates Stadium
Arsenal’s hopes of finishing in the top three and an automatic Champions League spot were dealt a blow when Crystal Palace midfielder Yannick Bolasie equalised with eight minutes left as the match finished 1-1. The Gunners took a first-half lead through Alexis Sanchez and wasted a glut of chances to extend their advantage, Mesut Ozil and Danny Welbeck were particularly wasteful for Arsene Wenger’s side, before Palace snatched a point.
West Bromwich Albion striker Saido Berahino had two penalties saved as his side lost 1-0 against Watford at home. Watford went in front on 27 minutes when Ben Watson volleyed in Adlene Guedioura’s low corner at the near post. Berahino missed his first opportunity from the spot in the 67th minute when his penalty was well saved by Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes. With three minutes left of normal time Berahino had another opportunity from the penalty spot, but the forward was once again denied by Gomes.
The first of two matches in a little over two days, this is a vital clash for the now fourth placed Gunners. They are just one point ahead of Manchester United in fifth and have had their struggles in defence. Despite their issues, the Gunners will sweep aside an out-of-form West Brom.
Match Result – Arsenal
Over 2.5 Goals
Anytime Goalscorer – Danny Welbeck
Manchester City v Stoke City
Saturday April 23, 7.45pm, Etihad Stadium
Just days after his expertly taken hat-trick helped Manchester City topple Chelsea 3-0, Sergio Aguero grabbed the only goal in his side’s 1-1 draw at Newcastle United. Despite claims of being in an offside position, Aguero nodded in Aleksandar Kolarov’s first-half free-kick. Against a disciplined Newcastle side battling against relegation, it was still a well-earned point for City but it has not enough to ensure them a top four spot at the moment.
Stoke City’s winless run stretched to three matches after they were crushed 4-0 by a rampant Tottenham Hotspur. The Potters were blown away by a dynamic and aggressive display from Spurs as they dominated in attack and created numerous fine chances against a very one-paced Stoke. Harry Kane and Dele Alli both scored twice, yet Spurs should have put more goals past Mark Hughes’ side as they hit the post and crossbar.
It will not be a similar outcome as the last Manchester City took on Stoke. The Potters were magnificent in dispatching City 2-0 when they faced each other in December but right now both clubs are on a different trajectory. Stoke are safely ensconced in mid-table and are playing out the season whereas City have struck form and have a Champions League semi-final to look forward to.
Match Result – Manchester City
Over 2.5 Goals
Anytime Goalscorer – Sergio Aguero
AFC Bournemouth v Chelsea
Saturday April 23, 10pm, Vitality Stadium
Bournemouth went down 2-1 against an experimental Liverpool side. Brazilian international Roberto Firmino opened the scoring before Daniel Sturridge doubled Liverpool’s lead on the stroke of half-time. Josh King netted a late consolation for the Cherries, but it was too little, too late for them to salvage a point.
A Sergio Aguero hat-trick meant Chelsea went down for a second straight match after they were handed a 3-0 defeat at home to Manchester City. The Blues began brightly but they lacked a clinical edge that Aguero had. As soon as Aguero gave City a first-half lead, Chelsea began to fade. Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was sent off in the 77th minute after he brought down Fernandinho in the penalty area which allowed Aguero to round-off his hat-trick and a forgettable afternoon for the Blues.
Bournemouth’s major issue is the amount of goals they have conceded this season while Chelsea’s recent poor form in front of goal is troublesome. The Blues have the depth but seem dour and laboured. Despite their problems, Chelsea are keenly priced at $2.40 for a win.
Match Result – Chelsea
Over 2.5 Goals
Anytime Goalscorer – Diego Costa
Liverpool v Newcastle United
Saturday April 23, 10pm, Anfield
Liverpool were in rampant form smashing a 10-man Everton 4-0 in the Merseyside derby. The Reds struck twice just before half-time through Divock Origi, and then Mamadou Sakho. After Everton defender Ramiro Funes Mori was sent off for a tackle on Origi in the 50th minute, the Reds stepped up the onslaught with Daniel Sturridge getting the third goals before Philippe Coutinho rounded off the victory with a fourth with a wicked strike from 18 yards.
Rafa Benitez’s relegation-threatened Newcastle United claimed an incredibly vital 3-0 triumph over Swansea City on the weekend and then backed that up with a steely 1-1 draw at home to Manchester City. Against City, the Magpies showed a lot of resilience to come back from a goal down to get a point when Vurnon Anita cancelled out Sergio Aguero’s controversial opener. The results have helped the 19th-placed Magpies move within two points of 17th-placed Norwich.
The last two games have shown there is fight in Benitez’s Newcastle. Despite a huge upturn in their discipline and work-rate, the Magpies have not kept many clean sheets and will have a difficult time getting a positive result against Liverpool’s high tempo game plan.
Match Result – Liverpool
Under 2.5 Goals
Anytime Goalscorer – Daniel Sturridge
Aston Villa v Southampton
Saturday April 23, 10pm, Villa Park
Aston Villa’s relegation from the Premier League was confirmed after losing 1-0 at Manchester United. United striker Marcus Rashford’s first-half goal was enough to hand Villa their ninth straight defeat. Villa’s 28-year run in the top flight has ended and they will be playing in the Championship from next season.
Southampton fought back from a goal down to share the points with Everton at Goodison Park. Ramiro Funes Mori gave Everton the lead on 68 minutes when he lashed home from the edge of the area after Southampton failed to clear their lines. Ronald Koeman’s side hit back through Sadio Mane as he made the most of a determined run from Dusan Tadic to level the match 1-1.
Villa are down and their life in the Championship has already begun. Southampton will take the points and keep up their chase for a Europa League spot.
Match Result – Southampton
Over 2.5 Goals
Anytime Goalscorer – Graziano Pelle
Leicester City v Swansea City
Sunday April 24, 11.15pm, King Power Stadium
Table topping Leicester City salvaged a point in a dramatic 2-2 draw with West Ham United in a game that saw Jamie Vardy sent off for diving. Vardy broke the deadlock with a clinical goal in the first half but the striker received a second yellow card in the second half after he was adjudged to have simulated to win a penalty. West Ham turned the game their way when Andy Carroll scored from the penalty spot and Aaron Cresswell smashed a fantastic effort from range. However, with seconds left on the clock Leonardo Ulloa kept his cool with a penalty as the Foxes lead was reduced to five points.
Swansea City put in a very tepid performance to go down 3-0 at Newcastle. A goal down at the break, Swansea struggled to impose themselves on the match and spurned good chances to equalise through Ashley Williams and Jefferson Montero. Newcastle added two more goals late on to snap the Swans three match unbeaten run.
Having amassed 40 points for the season, Swansea have less to play for. For the Foxes, the loss of Vardy in their title run-in is a blow and much responsibility will fall on to the likes of Riyad Mahrez and Shinji Okazaki to drive their attack.
Match Result – Leicester City
Under 2.5 Goals
Anytime Goalscorer – Riyad MahrezBet Now