Thursday, May 11, 2017

EPL 2016/17 - Week 38

Everton v/s Watford - Home win
WBA v/s Chelsea - Away win
Man City v/s Leicester - Home win
Bournemouth v/s Burnley - Home win
Middlesbrough v/s Southampton - Away win
Sunderland v/s Swansea - Draw
Stoke v/s Arsenal - Home win
Crystal Palace v/s Hull - Home win
West Ham v/s Liverpool - Draw
Tottenham v/s Man Utd - Home win

Spurs will certainly not be winning the league this year but they over-achieved again for a second year running. They go as clear favourites against visiting Man Utd on Sunday. With the Europa league final being their game of the season, Mourinho will ring the changes big-time in Man Utd's remaining 3 matches. The final is their best hope of securing UCL football next season and might very well be the Portuguese's only chance to keep his job. If Liverpool or Man City were to stumble prior to the Spurs match, Mourinho might include in a stronger team to attempt bagging the 3 points but he definitely will not be fielding his best XI. Tottenham always make it hard against Man Utd and their home form is very strong. I cannot see Pochettino's men lose this and while a draw-no-bet might be the safer option, going all-out with the home team looks a rewarding proposition.

Arsenal have garnered a glimmer of hope of securing UCL football by winning their last couple of matches and getting closer to fourth spot. They will hope for Man City or Liverpool to lose points while they win their remaining matches. Tougher said than done as they travel to Stoke's bet365 Stadium (ex-Brittania) which has so often been a graveyard for the biggest teams. Hughes' team always poses problems for the Gunners and I see this being another struggle for Wenger's team. The problem with the Gunners is managerial and mental. That double whammy means that they rarely win matches where they are not able to express their football; i.e. against teams that focus on just shutting them down. Think Mourinho's teams, Allardyce teams, and Hughes' teams. They have all relished stifling the flair and creativity of Wenger's teams for which the Frenchman has lacked proper response. Arsenal are not the force they once were and their reliance on Sanchez means that they are very exposed once the Chilean is shackled. I see value in siding with Stoke outright or as a safer draw-no-bet.

Win: Stoke, Tottenham

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