Arsenal had a cracking week, beating Liverpool and Manchester City, but it was soured on Wednesday as they were beaten by Aston Villa – a result that meant they could no longer finish in the top six.
It was yet another game in which the Gunners struggled to create chances, with Mikel Arteta’s side averaging just 1.1 xGF per game since the restart – shocking numbers.
With an FA Cup Final to prepare for, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Arteta rest and rotate here. Watford made the strange decision to sack Nigel Pearson last weekend, leaving Hayden Mullins in charge and it’s fair to say he’s been dropped in at the deep end.
They were horrendous against Manchester City, but the kitchen sink needs throwing here, and we believe they can cause Arsenal issues. Back Watford to avoid defeat by backing ‘Away or Draw’ in the double chance market.
Burnley won comfortably at Norwich at the weekend, with that win extending their incredible run of form that has now seen them lose just one of 15 league games, winning eight.
Sean Dyche’s side have won four of their last seven, and have an impressive home process (1.7 xGF, 1.4 xGA pg). Brighton secured safety with a drab 0-0 draw against Newcastle, and Graham Potter has done a great job this season, with the Seagulls sitting 10th in our xG table.
Away from home they have been vulnerable though (1.7 xGA pg) and could coast through this game. We fancy Burnley to get the three points here, and they are a decent price to do so.
Chelsea suffered yet another road defeat at Liverpool, their third in five since the restart – going down 5-3 and conceding a host of chances again (2.0 xGA pg). A point would be enough here for the Blues to secure a top four finish, and they do have an excellent process at home this season (2.5 xGF, 0.8 xGA pg).
Wolves also need a result here, needing to equal Tottenham’s result at Crystal Palace to ensure sixth.
They were impressive against Palace on Monday, and have been all season long, sitting fourth in our xG table. They are one of the best defensive sides in the league (1.1 xGA pg) and do create chances on the road (1.5 xGF pg).
Nuno’s side pose a real threat to the Blues, and given a point is enough for Chelsea, they may take a cautious approach. Bet on Wolves or Draw in the double chance market.
Crystal Palace saw their losing streak extended to seven by Wolves on Monday, and during that time their best performances have come at Selhurst against Burnley, Chelsea and Manchester United, so expect a better display here than at Molineux. Tottenham are in with a chance of finishing sixth after a 3-0 win over Leicester, as clinical finishing looks to be dragging them over the line.
They have lost one and won five of their eight games since the break, but only one of those wins have come away from home.
Spurs have been shocking on their travels all season, winning just four road games and allowing an average of 1.8 xGA per game and don’t be surprised to see them win narrowly here. Under 2.5 goals makes plenty of appeal at Selhurst.
Everton finally played with some desire and passion on Monday, as they got a win out of nowhere against Sheffield United.
The Toffees are unbeaten at home under Carlo Ancelotti (1.7 xGF, 1.4 xGA pg), and will be looking to maintain that record here against a desperate Bournemouth team.
The Cherries need a miracle. Eddie Howe’s side need to win and hope both Aston Villa and Watford lose, but the Cherries have won just three away games all season. Bournemouth have allowed 1.9 xGA per game away from home, and given they have to win here, expect them to leave themselves exposed defensively.
Everton can exploit that and look a good price to get another home win here, condemning Bournemouth to relegation. Go with Everton to win here.
Even though the 3-0 scoreline flattered them, Leicester were poor at Tottenham last weekend, as for all of their possession (66%) and shots (23) they created just one big chance.
That was their third defeat since the restart (8 games), though all those losses have come away from home, and while they are unbeaten at the KP since the break, they have ‘only’ played Brighton, Crystal Palace and Sheffield United.
Manchester United looked knackered against West Ham, but that point means they have the advantage heading into this game, and a point is enough for United. The reluctance of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to play the lower-quality back-up players looks to have sapped all of the energy out of United’s star players, but they will be able to play to their counter-attacking strengths here.
Leicester will throw caution to the wind given they need a result, so we see this being a high-scoring contest, so back the over 2.5 goals.
Manchester City hammered Watford in midweek, bouncing back from a disappointing loss in the FA Cup against Arsenal. They once again racked up a host of chances (3.8 xGF), and since the restart have averaged a staggering 2.8 xGF per game.
They could put Norwich to the sword here, just like they have Arsenal (3-0), Burnley (5-0), Liverpool (4-0), Newcastle (5-0) and Brighton (5-0). Norwich have had a shocking campaign, winning just five times in 37 games and scoring a lowly 26 times throughout 19/20.
They have been poor in attack all season (1.0 xGF pg) so its unlikely they will threaten City, but they will continue to concede good chances (1.9 xGA pg). Even though it is a short price, over 3.5 goals looks like the way to go at the Etihad.
After a good mini-run, Newcastle are now winless in five after a goalless draw with Brighton, as they look to be coasting to the finish line with an eye on a potential takeover.
They sit second bottom of our xG table this season, and rank as the second worst home team based on xG, with a poor process (1.2 xGF, 1.8 xGA pg).
Liverpool put on a show in more ways than one on Wednesday, beating Chelsea 5-3. Since the restart they have taken their foot off the gas, mainly defensively, allowing an average of 1.5 xGA pg since restart.
Liverpool should win at St James’ Park, but given they have been leaky at the back of late, backing Both Teams To Score appears the right selection.
Southampton have been one of the better teams since the restart and picked up another win against rivals Bournemouth.
They have been excellent, losing just once and winning four times since the break, with an impressive process in that time (1.7 xGF, 1.4 xGA pg), and Ralph Hasenhüttl has his side fighting in every game.
Sheffield United’s European dream was ended by Everton on Monday in a tight defeat. After a mini resurgence, Chris Wilder’s side have struggled offensively in their last two (1.5 xGF total) and will likely be second best at St Mary’s against a Southampton team who are purring. Make the Saints to win your selection.
West Ham secured safety with a point at Manchester United on Wednesday, in what was another good performance from David Moyes’s side, who really have kicked on in their last six matches. They’ve impressed since the restart, with a very strong process (1.8 xGF, 1.3 xGA pg), and we don’t see them easing up here.
Aston Villa have also come on strong since the restart, and they beat Arsenal in mid-week meaning they come into this game outside of the relegation zone on goal difference, but will still be wary of results elsewhere depending on how this game is going.
Though Villa need the win, the price about them doing so doesn’t line up with what Infogol thinks will happen. As a result, the value lies in backing the hosts to finish the season with another win here that could see Villa relegated. Back West Ham to win at a big price.
* Prices on our snazzy new bet widget are bang up to date.
Arsenal v Watford: Double Chance – Watford or Draw
Burnley v Brighton: Burnley to win
Chelsea v Wolves: Double Chance – Wolves or Draw
Crystal Palace v Tottenham: Under 2.5 goals
Everton v Bournemouth: Everton to win
Leicester v Manchester United: Over 2.5 goals
Manchester City v Norwich: Over 3.5 goals
Newcastle v Liverpool: Both Teams To Score
Southampton v Sheffield United: Southampton to win
West Ham v Aston Villa: West Ham to win
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