Match Previews & Predictions for Premier League matches weekend March 16th to 17th:
Everton vs Manchester City – Saturday 12.45pm:- The Sky TV crew have picked a potential cracker here with top 4 chasing Everton taking on title chasing Manchester City and I believe this could be the game that signals the near end of Manchester City’s title hopes.
I say that because Everton have a tremendous record against Manchester City in the Premier League over recent seasons & having recorded several victories over them in that time then I’m convinced David Moyes will have his Everton players completely up for this match with the Everton players believing they can follow up last seasons famous home win against Manchester City.
I believe that this match will be just about the one that confirms Manchester City’s title bid is going to fall short as I believe Everton have every chance of getting a positive result here & while I know it’s going to be very, very tough for Everton to beat Manchester City, it’s also going to be very tough for Manchester City to get the better of Everton and ultimately the two teams may well end up cancelling each other out.
This will be seriously competitive, I’m also expecting a physical edge to the match & if there is to be a winner I expect it to be a tight margin say 1-0/2-1 but overall I just feel that Everton & Manchester City will fight each other right to the final whistle & a competitive, scoring draw looks a sensible, value call to me.
Outright Match Result & Correct Score options:- DRAW 1-1/2-2
Aston Villa vs QPR – Saturday 3.00pm:- This is a truly huge, high pressure match as both Aston Villa & QPR desperately fight relegation with games & the opportunity to achieve valuable points running out.
Everybody connected to both Aston Villa & QPR will be feeling the same intense levels of tension & pressure ahead of this match and quite simply I believe this game & the outcome of it will come down to which set of players handles that pressure the best on the day, makes the least mistakes & makes the most of any chances that come their way.
The pressure factor means that in reality previous form probably won’t count for a lot & that makes it very much a coin flip type situation with regards to who might win this & indeed a draw was seriously tempting given that defeat has to be avoided but on balance I believe that home advantage might be the deciding factor & I’m backing Paul Lambert’s Aston Villa side to produce at home again & to edge what is probably the biggest game either side has face in a very long time.
Outright Match Result & Correct Score options:- ASTON VILLA to win 2-1/3-1
Southampton vs Liverpool – Saturday 3.00pm:- A massive game for both sides here as Southampton are desperately looking for points to avoid relegation & Liverpool looking to finish the season strong so this should be a good, open game between two good footballing sides & one which hopefully produce a few goals along the way.
I’m hoping Southampton bounce back to the kind of form that they showed in beating Man City here 3-1 a few weeks ago & the kind of form that has seen them give great performances against most of the big sides because that good form convinced me to back Southampton on the last two occasions & they’ve disappointingly let me down with the 2-1 home defeat against QPR hard to take.
Admittedly they did enough in that QPR game to win it & more clinical finishing would have won them that game so their confidence levels shouldn’t have been hit too hard & I’m expecting them to be really up for this visit of Liverpool as they’ve performed well against all of the top sides this year.
As for Liverpool then Brendon Rodgers has stated he wants Liverpool to finish the season as strongly as they can & keep winning right up to the last match so I’m expecting a totally committed, positive performance from Liverpool in this one & given the goals they’ve been scoring in the last few moths they’ll believe they certainly do that here & win.
I think it’s a given that this will be a cracking game to watch with both Southampton & Liverpool committed to positive, attacking football, I genuinely believe any of the three results are entirely possible here and it’s hard to rule any of them out but ultimately I believe both will test each other for the full 90 minutes & on balance an entertaining, scoring draw looks the value call to me. Outright Match Result & Correct Score options:- DRAW 1-1/2-2
Stoke City vs West Brom – Saturday 3.00pm:- How will Tony Pulis get the Stoke City players to respond to all the criticism that has come there way in recent weeks?
Now that might seem like a strange way to start a match preview but I really do believe that the outcome of this match evolves around whether or not Tony Pulis can get the Stoke City players to recapture their form & get the Stoke City fans back on side again after turning against him & the team in recent weeks.
I can’t quite believe I’m talking about the Stoke City fans turning on Tony Pulis & the Stoke players after 3 years of being amongst the most vocal fans around but a terrible run of results & poor performances really has made the Stoke City fans angry & that will only get worse until Stoke start showing more & winning matches again.
So I’m expecting Tony Pulis to really, really have drilled into the Stoke City players the importance of getting a good performance & result from this match and while it clearly won’t be easy to contend with a West Brom side who are well organised, have had an excellent season to date & recorded some excellent victories along the way, I do believe that Pulis can get the Stoke players firing again then they can definitely edge this.
I don’t expect it to be a great game of football, not too many games involving Stoke City are, but there will be plenty of endeavour, physical commitment & so based on that I believe it is worth backing Stoke City to get back to doing what they do best & take 3 vital points that everybody at Stoke City needs right now.
Outright Match Result & Correct Score options:- STOKE CITY to win 2-0/2-1
Swansea City vs Arsenal – Saturday 3.00pm:- Thanks to the quirk of the cup draw pitching Swansea & Arsenal against each other this year then these two sides have already shared 3 good quality games of football and I’m certainly expecting more of the same here.
With regards to Swansea then they’ve had a season beyond their wildest dreams with a Capital One Cup Final victory already in the bag along with a series of great results in the Premier League and so no matter what happens to Swansea for the rest of the season, they’ve had a great season & the pressure is off enabling them to play their football & not worry about the results.
While Swansea can celebrate their season & enjoy what they’ve achieved with no pressure left on them, Arsenal come into this game in exactly the opposite situation being out of every cup competition, having suffered the humiliation of losing to League 2 & Championship opponents along the way, and more importantly facing a truly desperate fight to achieve their holy grail of 4th place & a Champions League place for next season.
So the pressure is firmly on Arsenal & they simply have to now show their best form, find the consistency they need & look to win every game possible so the big question is can Arsenal handle that & can Arsenal actually produce what’s required.
Usually I’d answer that with a firm no as I wouldn’t want to put my faith in Arsenal too often given their obvious failings & weaknesses but I am prepared to put my faith in Arsenal when they get opponents & a game style that is likely to suit them and with Swansea’s open, passing style then that really should enable Arsenal to show that they’ve got the better quality & make it pay.
Opposing Swansea on their own turf given what they’ve achieved & the way they play is admittedly a risky strategy & again putting faith in Arsenal to show their best is also risky but in this case I believe the risk is worth taking & I believe it’s worth backing Arsenal to show the class they have & back the likes of Wilshire, Arteta, Podolski, Giroud, Cazorla & Walcott to be too good for Swansea here.
Outright Match Result & Correct Score options:- ARSENAL to win 2-1/3-1
Manchester United vs Reading – Saturday 5.30pm:- Manchester United will win this & win it comfortably with the only task deciding exactly how comfortable it will be in terms of the scoreline.
I know that is instantly dismissive of a Reading who scored 3 against Manchester United in their earlier season league encounter & also gave United a test when losing 2-1 at Old Trafford in the Cup but this is all about Manchester United in the Premier League & this is all about Manchester United making their extra quality pay off to get the 3 points they need to push them ever closer to winning the league title.
Given how poor Reading have been in recent weeks & how defensively fragile they’ve been then it will be a major shock if Manchester United don’t win this with a degree of comfort, there is nothing to be gained in backing United just to win the match but there is value to be add in the correct score markets, backing United to win by a few clear goals looks the way to.
Outright Match Result & Correct Score options:- MANCHESTER UNITED to win 3-0/4-0
Sunderland vs Norwich City – Sunday 1.30pm:- Martin O’Neil, the Sunderland players & indeed everybody connected to Sunderland badly need a home win just to give everybody that boost they need & I think they’ll get it here against a Norwich City side struggling for any real consistent form & confidence.
Admittedly Sunderland have largely been disappointing this season & are not the most solid of teams to be putting huge faith in when punting but on this occasion I just simply believe that Sunderland won’t get a better chance than they will against a Norwich City side who had some incredible results but who largely look a Championship side at best in my opinion & in terms of relative player quality then I really don’t think it’s a fair contest as Sunderland simply have better players than Sunderland & especially in the midfield/attacking areas.
Fletcher, Graham, Larsson, Johnson, Gardener & the rejuvenated Sessegnon all give Sunderland plenty of quality & creativity where it matters and that group of players should get plenty of chances to show that here against a Norwich City side that will be committed & be organised but who lack quality and so a Sunderland home win has to be the call here.
Outright Match Result & Correct Score options:- SUNDERLAND to win 2-0/2-1
Tottenham vs Fulham – Sunday 3.00pm:- Another home London derby here for Tottenham coming straight after the thrilling North London derby with Arsenal & that magnificent win should see Tottenham flying with confidence now & I’m expecting Andre Villas-Boas’s men to force that home against Fulham in this.
There are added twists of interest to the plot with former Tottenham manager Martin Jol returning along with former Tottenham hero Dimitar Berbatov with them both certain to want to turn Tottenham over, indeed Berbatov at his brilliant, creative best is capable of that but the thing is I really don’t believe the rest of the Fulham team can properly compete with what Tottenham to offer & given how poor Fulham usually are away from home.
Tottenham have not always found it easy to win matches when strongly fancied to do so & clearly they are strongly fancied to beat Fulham here given what they did against Arsenal but that win was completely deserved & right now Tottenham look a very strong, well organised, confident side who look hard to beat & certainly look capable of beating whoever they come up against.
Berbatov on his very best form is capable of causing problems for Tottenham but even if he is on form then it will take the rest of the Fulham side to be on top form as well to stop Tottenham winning this & so a punt on Tottenham getting another huge win looks a solid option here with Bale, Defoe, Lennon, Parker, Dembele etc all likely to be too good for Fulham on the day.
Outright Match Result & Correct Score options:- TOTTENHAM to win 2-0/2-1
Chelsea vs West Ham United – Sunday 4.00pm:- Another London derby match & another one that I think will end up being a largely one sided affair as I expect Chelsea to win this & win it with a few goals to spare.
Now I know that sounds to simplistic given that West Ham beat Chelsea 3-1 earlier in the season & Chelsea’s mixed form in the last few months but West Ham’s generally very poor away form & lack of away goals is what convinces me that Chelsea should control of this match & be able to let their extra quality show.
Mata, Lampard, Hazard, Torres, Oscar, Moses, Ba, Marin, Ramires for Chelsea against the likes of Reid, O’Brien, Taylor, Noble, Vaz Te & Carroll simply doesn’t look a fair match to me & I’m certainly expecting Chelsea to make home advantage pay in the derby match & win it with some style to avenge the defeat they suffered at the hands of West Ham earlier in the season.
Outright Match Result & Correct Score options:- CHELSEA to win 3-0/3-1
Wigan vs Newcastle United – Sunday 4.00pm:- Alan Pardew takes his Newcastle United side to Wigan for this vital relegation clash with both sides under huge pressure not to lose but also get the wins they need to survive so this should be an honest, open game & I’m expecting a fair few goals to go with it.
I’ve said many times before that I don’t really enjoy predicting Wigan matches as they are notoriously difficult to get right most of the time but thankfully I got Wigan spot on last week as I expected them to be badly exposed by Liverpool’s extra quality & they duly were as they went down 4-0 in a really open game, Wigan could have got the odd goal but Liverpool should have scored a few more as well.
So it was a great game to watch but a very bad game for anybody connected to Wigan as it showed their obvious weaknesses of defensive fragility & a general lack of quality that I am fully expecting Newcastle United to take advantage of in what really should be one of Newcastle United’s best remaining chances to get the vital win they need.
Alan Pardew’s team have far more quality than Wigan, they really should have control of all the key areas in this match & I believe it’s well worth backing the likes of Cisse, Cabaye, Sissoko, Goufran & the rest of Newcastle’s quality to expose Wigan and take 3 huge points here.
Outright Match Result & Correct Score options:- NEWCASTLE UNITED to win 3-0/3-1
As always hope you find the above interesting, useful & ultimately successful if you bet but remember that whatever you decide to bet on, please take the time & effort to shop around ensuring you get the best value, check all the latest information before you bet & of course good luck with your bets.