Premier League Match Previews and Betting Tips, Matchday 25
Premier League Match Previews and Betting Tips: Matchday 25
The games keep on coming, and this weekend has some great games to look forward to. Our featured game is the interesting clash between Arsenal and Manchester City. Other games we review include the Merseyside derby and action at the bottom of the table as Fulham take on Sheffield United.
Match of the Day
Sunday’s big game is the clash between Arsenal and Manchester City. Arsenal only have one win in five and face a tough challenge against City who are on an incredible winning streak. Can Arsenal stop them?
- Venue: Emirates Stadium
- Sunday 21st February 16:30
- Referee: Johnathan Moss
- Quick Glance Odds H: 11/2 D:333/100 A: 1/2
About the Game:
This weekend, the big game is a master against student affair featuring Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola, who travels to face his former assistant Mikel Arteta at the Emirates. The Gunners will be hoping to replicate their best run of seven unbeaten games that commenced with a 3 – 1 win against Chelsea on Boxing Day. A win against the League leaders could be an inspirational turning point in their season in their quest to fulfil their Champions League aspirations. A return to Europe’s premier competition after a three-year hiatus is still a long way from reality; they are currently sitting tenth, eight points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.
The difficulty of the task ahead cannot be understated, facing a well-established team on seventeen consecutive wins. The memories of their triumph against the visitors in the FA Cup semi-final are still fresh and will be hoping they prove their worth against one of the best team in the world. Arteta seems to have found a solution to the creativity dilemma that revolved around Mesut Ozil, playing all his cards simultaneously in Martin Odegaard, Emile Smith Rowe, and Bakayo Saka. The three worked tirelessly behind their captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang rewarding him with his first-ever Premier League hat trick in the recent 4-2 win against Leeds. Huge improvement to the side that scored four goals for the second time this season with their defence also improving with eight clean sheets so far.
Manchester City is looking close to perfection right now under Pep Guardiola. They quietly rose above every potential challenger when all the hype was around Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea, and most recently Manchester United to win the title. The Citizens are now ten points clear of second-placed Manchester United on an unbelievable run of seventeen consecutive wins in all competitions. On such blazing form, it feels they could be on the verge of a third Premier League title in four years as no side has shown the potential to match their current excellent form.
Their squad’s incredible depth has seen all this progress without their best player Kevin De Byrne and their club’s record goalscorer Sergio Aguero. Ilkay Gundogan has stepped up with six goals and two assists, including two braces against top-six opposition Tottenham and Liverpool since the turn of the year. Midweek, Manchester City beat Everton 3-1 without Gundogan, who was injured. Bernardo Silva produced a man-of-the-match performance, scoring the third goal—making the game safe, after earlier goals from Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez. Manchester City has won each of the last four games netting three goals or more and has won by exactly three goals in three, of the last five league games, in this fixture. In such form, they are unplayable, with this a big opportunity to extend their winning streak to eighteen and a third consecutive top-six thumping, especially with both Aguero and De Bruyne likely to make a comeback.
Prediction: Manchester City win, over 2.5.
Rest of the Premier League Games
Coming up are our previews and Premier League betting tips for all the rest of the weekend’s action.
- Venue: Molineux Stadium
- Friday19th February 20:00
- Referee: David Coote
- Quick Glance Odds H:137/100 D: 23/10 A: 2/1
About the Game:
Wolves have recovered from an eight-game winless slump that began mid-December to the end of January. They have bounced back from this terrible form with two wins and a draw in the last three games. They got a big morale boost completing a double against Arsenal and drew against Leicester before the recent win at St. Mary’s Stadium against Southampton. Nuno Espirito Santo will attempt to win consecutive games for the first time since October. Twenty-year-old Pedro Neto has been directly involved in nine goals (five goals and four assists), stepping up in Raúl Jiménez absence. A never-dying spirit in the Wolves team has seen them win ten Premier League games after conceding first; only Liverpool and Man United have a better record. They need to start getting on the front foot in games, though, having not opened the scoring in the past fourteen Premier League games they have played.
Leeds is on a fourteen-game run without a stalemate, making this an enticing tie between two very good attacking sides. Marcelo Bielsa’s side one of the most entertaining sides in the league this season, and games involving Leeds are notoriously hard to predict. One stat that shows how games can swing when Leeds are involved is that the team that scored first went on to lose the game on four occasions in the last thirteen games. Although great to watch, their impressive attacking instincts have been costly, leaving them vulnerable at the back. Leeds conceded four goals in the first fifty minutes at the Emirates against Arsenal last Sunday in the 4-2 defeat; two second-half goals from Pascal Struijk and Helder Costa typified Leed’s never say die attitude. The defeat means their away record now stands at six wins, six defeats and two draws. Patrick Bamford is the man to watch; he likes playing on Friday nights, scoring six goals. His overall league tally is excellent, with twelve goals and five assists.
Prediction: A Wolves win, BTTS.
- Venue: St Mary’s Stadium
- Saturday 20th February 12:30
- Referee: Anthony Taylor
- Quick Glance Odds H: 4/1 D: 14/5 A: 7/10
About the Game:
Southampton won’t be relishing facing Chelsea, having suffered twenty-four League defeats against their weekend opponents. They have also lost the last five matches against their visitors at home. The Saints are in their worst form of the season, losing the last six consecutive games in the league, including the 9 – 0 thumping by Man United. Ralph Hasenhuttl was furious after last weekend’s 2 – 1 defeat against Wolves, claiming video refereeing is “destroying the game”. The manager was angry with a penalty awarded for a handball by Ryan Bertrand, which enabled Wolves to equalise a goal scored by Danny Ings on 25 minutes. Encouraged by the goal, Wolves went on to win with a Neto goal. Ings’s goal means he has the best minutes-per-goals ratio of any Saints player in the club’s history, averaging a strike every 161 minutes. The Englishman will be the man with the best tally of goals (eight) for either side. James Ward-Prowse is also another promising prospect who can influence the game from set-pieces on five goals and five assists.
The Blues are enjoying a managerial bounce under new manager, Thomas Tuchel, looking for a fifth consecutive win. They were languishing in ninth place with just two wins in eight games when Frank Lampard was sacked; under the German, they have improved significantly to fourth. Tuchel has changed the system, playing a 3-4-2-1 formation which is working for them effectively. The only goal they have conceded under the new man in charge was an own goal by Antonio Rudiger. Five clean sheets in the last six games in all competitions show an impressive improvement in the side. The 2 – 0 win against Newcastle on Monday saw Chelsea move into the top four. The most pleasing aspect of that win will be the goal scored by Timo Werner. The big-money signing had been on a fourteen-game drought; he also assisted in the game. He still has a long way to match his goalscoring exploits for his previous club; the 24-year-old scored 28 goals in 33 starts for RB Leipzig. He currently has five goals and five assists for Chelsea.
Prediction: Chelsea win.
- Venue: Turf Moor
- Saturday 20th February 15:00
- Referee: Mike Deam
- Quick Glance Odds H: 1/1 D: 23/10 A: 3/1
About the Game:
Burnley couldn’t build on their impressive 3 – 0 win against Crystal Palace, drawing 1 – 1 with relegation-threatened Fulham in mid-week. Despite coming from behind, they missed a host of clear-cut big chances to take all the spoils and move further up the table and currently sit in 15th. There are huge injury concerns for Sean Dyche, in an already depleted side, with Johan Berg Gudmundsson and Robbie Brady having to be subbed off. Turf Moor has seen the least number of goals (twenty-four goals) in the league this season, the hosts scoring ten and conceding fourteen. The Clarets have conceded the first goal in eight of the twelve games at home now have to instil authority and dominate against another relegation battling side. Jay Rodriguez has assisted in back-to-back games for the first time in his career.
West Brom is twelve points away from safety as the relegation battle intensifies. They have a good record against Burnley with just one defeat, winning three, and drawing three of the seven games against them. The reverse fixture was a goalless draw at the Hawthorns. Although recent form isn’t great, with no wins in six, they grabbed a valuable 1 – 1 draw with Manchester United last weekend. That was a big result and a boost of confidence that should give them the confidence to get a result at Turf Moor. Mbaye Diagne is a big force with energy and speed and out-muscled the United defence, scoring his first goal since his loan move from Galatasary. Sam Allardyce has collected six points from eleven games conceding fifty-five goals and scoring just fourteen. His proud record of never suffered relegation is in danger this season. Matheus Felipe Costa, with five goals and three assists, has the best numbers for either side.
Prediction: Burnley win.
- Venue: Anfield
- Saturday 20th February 17:30
- Referee: Chris Kavanagh
- Quick Glance Odds H: 11/25 D: 7/2 A: 6/1
About the Game:
The defending Champions have lost five of their eight games in 2021, as many as they lost in seventy-two contests in 2019 and 2020 combined. In the 3-1 defeat to Leicester, Alisson Becker had the second episode of his horror shows, recklessly dashing out and crashing into Ozan Kabak for Jamie Vardy to score into an empty net. A third recognisable blunder in two games after giving away two goals against Manchester City. The blame for Liverpool’s recent drop in form lies with the defence; Jürgen Klopp’s side has conceded seven goals in the past two league games, as many as they did in the previous ten. This season they have conceded thirty-two goals in twenty-four games, just one fewer than they did in the entirety of last season. Although they did keep a clean sheet midweek, winning 2-0 in Budapest against RB Leipzig in the last 16 of the Champions League. Liverpool looks out of the title race, 16 points behind the leaders with 14 games left to play. They would love to get one over their neighbours, though! Mohammed Salah is the league’s top goalscorer with seventeen goals and is likely to be the danger man.
Everton has a chance to make it eight games unbeaten on the road in the Merseyside derby, but this is not a fixture that has been kind to them in recent years, being winless in the last twenty-three meetings (eleven defeats, twelve draws). This run is Everton’s longest without a victory against any opponent. This fixture is the most drawn fixture, with twenty-four stalemates between the two. It is also the most ill-disciplined game, seeing twenty-two red cards between them. Recent form is not good for the Toffees; just one win in the last five for Carlo Ancelotti’s side has dimmed European football prospects for the Goodison faithful. This game will be their third encounter against top-six opposition in three games, losing 3 – 1 against Man City and drawing 3 – 3 against Manchester United. Dominic Calvert-Lewin has impressed this season with eighteen goals (thirteen league goals) in all competitions. He is a threat on the counter alongside Richarlison, a handful for a defence lacking in confidence.
Prediction: A score draw.
- Venue: Craven Cottage
- Saturday 20th February 20:00
- Referee: Martin Atkinson
- Quick Glance Odds H: 23/20 D: 11/5 A: 13/5
About the Game:
Relegation-threatened Fulham lost momentum after their impressive 2 – 0 win against Everton, drawing with Burnley 1-1 in mid-week. They look like the side in the relegation zone capable of crawling their way to safety, currently just six points adrift seventh-placed Newcastle. They have been making slow progress, grinding out draws. Their tally of ten draws only bettered by Brighton (eleven). The clash with United is a classic six-pointer, win, and they extend their lead over them to eleven, lose, and the gap is just five. History suggests it will be an even affair, with one win, one draw and one defeat by their opponents. They are in better form than their opponents, with two draws and one win in the last three games.
Sheffield United are on a run of two consecutive league defeats, undoing their great work that saw the Blades win three in their last six, including a great 2-1 win at Old Trafford against Manchester United. Despite these recent wins, United are fourteen points from safety with just fourteen games left to play. They have conceded the first goal in eighteen games, more than any other side this season, and failed to score in twelve games. Intense rotation in the attack hasn’t worked for the side, with David McGoldrick on five goals, their best goalscorer. Billy Sharp has three goals, but the manager might decide to go with Oli McBurnie or Rhian Brewster after the sound 3-0 defeat by West Ham on Monday.
Prediction: Fulham win.
- Venue: London Stadium
- Sunday 21st February 12:00
- Referee: Craig Pawson
- Quick Glance Odds H: 8/5 D: 23/10 A: 7/4
About the Game:
West Ham is the form team between the two sides, with just one defeat in ten league games, which was the 3-1 against Liverpool last month. Before that defeat by the reigning champions, the Hammers had won four-in-a-row. Manchester City (27) only betters the nineteen points collected this year by West Ham, and they currently sit in fifth place, level with Chelsea on points who occupy the last Champions League spot. If West Ham does have European aspirations, a win against a close rival would be a huge statement. Their signings have greatly impacted the side’s progress, especially Tomas Soucek, who is their top goalscorer this season with eight goals. They need to get their attackers Sabastian Haller (three goals) and Michail Antonio (five goals) fit and scoring if they are to continue their great form.
While West Ham may be in good form, Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham is certainly not. A comfortable 4-1 win against Wolfsberger AC in the Europa League a welcome distraction from their poor league run in mid-week. They have lost four in the last five games in the league, as many as they lost in the previous twenty-eight games. In fairness to Tottenham, they have had a tough run of fixtures, facing Liverpool (lost 3-1), Chelsea (lost 1-0), Leicester (lost 2-0) and most recently, Manchester City, who won comfortably 3-0. The only win in five was a 2-0 win against strugglers West Bromwich. From one time leaders, Tottenham is in ninth, twenty points off Manchester City and six points away from Chelsea in fourth. To make matters worse, they went out of the FA Cup this month, scoring four goals against Everton but still losing 5-4. They are in the final of the EFL Cup but face their recent conquerors, Manchester City. Harry Kane has twenty-four goals involvements while Heung-Min Son has nineteen are the best numbers by a duo in the league.
Prediction: A score draw.
- Venue: Villa Park
- Sunday 21st February 14:05
- Referee: Michael Oliver
- Quick Glance Odds H: 187/100 D: 5/2 A: 7/5
About the Game:
It seems incredible that Aston Villa escaped relegation by a single point last year as they look so comfortable this campaign. Sitting eighth with two games in hand, they are just four points behind Liverpool, who are in sixth and six points shy of Chelsea in fourth. Recent form suggests fatigue could be an issue, with the 1-0 win against Arsenal the only win in three. In Villa’s last game, Ollie Watkins couldn’t continue his impressive goalscoring form to increase his goal tally of ten goals, forced to settle for a goalless stalemate against Brighton. Jack Grealish has been the fuel for the Villa machine this season with ten assists. Emiliano Martinez has been solid with the gloves making classy saves proving his worth with his seventh clean sheet this season.
Leicester City came back late to beat Liverpool 3 – 1, thanks in part to Allison’s howler. They have a reputation for their late goals away from home, and this was just another episode of brilliance for the Foxes counter-attack. They were feeding off scraps, and even when they don’t play well, they have the players to punish you in an instant. No-one demonstrates this more than Jamie Vardy, who has twelve goals and has returned to the side after an injury. Before his goal in the win against Liverpool, the 34-year-old has been suffering a lean spell; his last goal was in the 2-0 win against Tottenham before Christmas. Leicester was in action in the Europa League on Thursday; a drab 0-0 draw against Slavia Prague in the last-32 first leg means they have work to do in the return leg next Thursday. James Maddison is one to watch for in this game; the 24-year-old has seven goals, and five assists in seventeen starts in the league.
Prediction: Leicester to win, Over 2.5.
- Venue: Old Trafford
- Sunday 21st February 19:00
- Referee: Paul Tierney
- Quick Glance Odds H: 7/25 D: 9/2 A: 9/1
About the Game:
After flying at the top of the table, the Red Devils have dropped to second place, ten points behind Manchester City. One win in the last five games and two disappointing draws leaves a lot to be desired from a side that showed a lot of promise. It’s hard to tell which draw hurts United fans the most, the 1 – 1 stalemate against relegation-threatened West Brom or the 3 – 3 draw where Everton equalised in the last minute of added time. Mason Greenwood scored in last season’s home win against their visitors, and having signed an improved contract at Old Trafford, will be a threat from the right side. Bruno Fernandes continues to polish his CV, scoring another vital goal for his side in the 1-1 draw to take his tally to fourteen with nine assists in the league. Fernandes also scored two in United’s midweek 0-4 win against Real Sociedad. That scoreline allows Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to play his strongest side this weekend without worrying about the second leg next Thursday at Old Trafford.
Newcastle has failed to score in five of the last six away games, a rare 2-0 win against Everton at the end of January, the only win on the road since November. Newcastle shows signs of improvement; two wins in four is a much better return than the nine-game winless streak they endured between November and January. A huge blow is an injury to their best player Callum Wilson whose ten goals and five assists have been the shining light for the Magpies. A tear to his hamstring will see him sidelined until April at the earliest. You do wonder where the goals will come from. Behind Wilson in the scoring charts is Miguel Almirón, who has four in sixteen starts, including two in the 3-2 win against Southampton. Allan Saint-Maximin was excellent in that game, making three assists and will be a player to watch.
Prediction: Manchester United win, BTTS.
- Venue: AMEX Stadium
- Monday 22nd February 20:00
- Referee: Kevin Friend
- Quick Glance Odds H: 7/10 D:5/2 A: 9/2
About the Game:
Brighton has been one of the best sides in the Premier League to watch, playing great football, but this hasn’t been rewarded with goals. Last weekend, they were frustrated with a goalless home draw against Aston Villa, throwing away a host of clear-cut chances after managing twenty-six shots in the game. Despite the disappointment in the last game, Brighton are in good form, unbeaten in six in the league. This run of form has come at a good time, but they cannot afford to relax, sitting in 16th, seven points clear of Fulham in 18th. Brighton has a good run of fixtures with West Bromwich up next, a chance to increase their advantage. Neal Maupay has seven goals, with the return of Pascal Gross a big factor in their resurgence. Brighton’s defence will be relieved, knowing Wilfred Zaha is not in the starting line-up for their opponents.
No, Zaha, the Eagles don’t fly. Crystal Palace was too blunt on the attack and left big gaps in their defence in their humiliating but not overly surprising 3-0 defeat by Burnley. There is no call for concern, with a fourteen-point cushion from safety, but their overreliance on the Ivorian maestro worries Palace fans. Palace have conceded seven goals from corners; only Leeds have conceded more (eight). They have now suffered two defeats on the bounce without scoring. A turn in fortunes after back-to-back wins against Wolves (1-0) and Newcastle United (1-2). If Palace gets anything from this game, they will be looking for inspiration from Christian Benteke (three goals) and Eberechi Eze (three assists) to make up for the loss of Wilfred Zaha (nine goals). Although they look save from the drop, a few more defeats and the Eagles could find life is not as comfortable as it was.
Prediction: Brighton win.
Combi bet of the day: Our Pick*
|Wolves Vs Leeds United||Wolves to win||11/8||2.37|
|Burnley v West Bromwich||Burnley to win||1/1||4.75|
|Liverpool v Everton||Draw||7/2||21.37|
|West Ham v Tottenham||Draw||12/5||72.67|
|Aston Villa v Leicester||Leicester to win||7/5||174.42|
Bookie of the week: Our Pick
Bet365 are our bookie of the week. To find out everything you could want about bet365, you can read our bet365 review.
* All our selections are provided for entertainment only and should only be used for informational purposes. Whilst we use our experience and knowledge to help inform you to make a considered bet, we are not responsible for any losses that may arise from actual results being different than predicted.