IT’S February, and the feel-good football story of the season is far from done as Leicester City lead all comers in the race for the 2015-16 English Premier League title.
Arsenal’s defeat to Chelsea last weekend gave the Foxes a golden chance to reclaim first place outright, and they took it gleefully with a convincing 3-0 win over Stoke City.
They were further helped by Manchester City, who could only manage a 2-2 draw at West Ham United in a performance riddled with defensive lapses.
But the highlight of the round was undoubtedly the nine-goal epic at Carrow Road, where Adam Lallana kept Liverpool’s European hopes alive with a 95th-minute winner.
With 14 of England’s top-flight clubs set to play in the FA Cup over the weekend, round 24 of Premier League 2015-16 will be a question of how well those sides bounce back after only a couple of days’ rest.
Here are the best odds and value bets from our top-ranked EPL betting sites.
Arsenal vs. Southampton
7:45pm local time on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at Emirates Stadium
Arsenal – $1.80 (WilliamHill.com)
Southampton – $4.75 (CrownBet.com)
Draw – $3.70 (Sportsbet.com)
Last time these two met, it was Southampton who saluted with a stunning 4-0 victory at St. Mary’s. That result was the anomaly in a run of six defeats from eight for Ronald Koeman’s Saints, but they have now won three on the bounce after Charlie Austin’s winner sunk Manchester United last weekend.
The Gunners gave up top spot with their 1-0 loss to Chelsea, so a three-pointer at the Emirates is a must. With the sole exception of their 2-0 defeat to West Ham on the opening day, Arsene Wenger’s men have limited their opponents to one goal or less in every Premier League home game this season.
– Arsenal to win ($1.80 at William Hill)
– Arsenal clean sheet ($2.26 at CrownBet)
Leicester City vs. Liverpool
7:45pm local time on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at King Power Stadium
Leicester – $2.50 (Sportsbet.com)
Liverpool – $2.95 (Luxbet.com)
Draw – $3.30 (Bet365.com)
Tuesday’s fixture at King Power is vital for Leicester, as a win would give them great momentum going into testing back-to-back away games at Arsenal and Man City. They remain tough to beat on their own patch, with only one loss in 11 home games, and looked back to their best against Stoke last week after an indifferent holiday period.
Who knows what to expect from Liverpool, who were lucky to leave Norfolk with three points after conceding four goals to a potential relegation bunny. They weren’t especially sharp in their League Cup date with the Potters in midweek, but they do have an ace up their sleeves: they are one of only two teams, along with Arsenal, to have beaten the Foxes this season.
– Draw ($3.30 at Bet365)
– Over 2.5 goals ($2.10 at William Hill)
Norwich City vs. Tottenham Hotspur
7:45pm local time on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at Carrow Road
Norwich – $4.25 (WilliamHill.com)
Tottenham – $1.91 (Sportsbet.com)
Draw – $3.50 (CrownBet.com)
While the Canaries might feel aggrieved to have scored four and lost last weekend, they only have themselves to blame (read Russell Martin’s disastrous back-pass to James Milner). On the back of heavy defeats to Bournemouth and Stoke, the 5-4 loss to Liverpool leaves them only one point out of the drop zone.
It’s an entirely different story for Spurs, who are five points off top after big victories over Sunderland and Crystal Palace. They racked up a comfortable 3-0 win in the reverse fixture at White Hart Lane, and Lilywhites manager Mauricio Pochettino will surely expect more of the same in East Anglia.
– Spurs to win ($1.91 at Sportsbet)
– Correct score 2-0 ($9 at Bet365)
Sunderland vs. Manchester City
7:45pm local time on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at Stadium of Light
Sunderland – $7 (Sportsbet.com)
Man City – $1.50 (WilliamHill.com)
Draw – $4.50 (Sportsbet.com)
Compared to the rest of their season, Sunderland’s recent form is excellent. Their last four games have produced two wins and a draw, making up seven of the 19 points they have collected so far in EPL 2015-16. The only blemish in that stretch is a 4-1 hammering away to Spurs – arguably the form team in the competition.
While Man City are second in the table and undefeated in six games, their patchy record on the road is cause for concern. They defended poorly at West Ham last time out, while prior trips to Aston Villa, Stoke, Arsenal, Leicester and Watford produced a combined total of three City goals.
– Draw ($4.50 at William Hill)
– Both teams to score ($1.90 at William Hill)
Manchester United vs. Stoke City
8:00pm local time on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at Old Trafford
Man United – $1.75 (WilliamHill.com)
Stoke – $5 (Luxbet.com)
Draw – $3.55 (CrownBet.com)
The United faithful voiced their disapproval in no uncertain terms throughout the 1-0 home defeat to Southampton last weekend, culminating in a chorus of boos at the final whistle. Things could be worse for the Red Devils, who are fifth and still in with a shout of Champions League qualification, but intense speculation over Louis van Gaal’s future has created a miasma of uncertainty around Old Trafford and the playing group.
Stoke are looking to do a rare double, having beaten United 2-0 at Britannia Stadium on Boxing Day. But consistency isn’t their strong point, as good displays against the likes of Man City, Arsenal and Everton have been undermined by losses to Sunderland, Crystal Palace, West Brom and Leicester. Form says the Potters are due for a result, however, as they have lost back-to-back games only once this season.
– Stoke to win ($5 at Luxbet)
– Half-time score 0-0 ($2.60 at CrownBet)
More 2015-16 Premier League match odds
All dates listed according to British Standard Time (BST)
Tuesday, February 2
West Ham $1.85 – Draw $3.40 – Aston Villa $4.40
Crystal Palace $2.25 – Draw $3.25 – Bournemouth $3.25
West Brom $2.60 – Draw $2.90 – Swansea $3
Wednesday, February 3
Everton $1.66 – Draw $4 – Newcastle $4.80
Watford $4.20 – Draw $3.25 – Chelsea $1.95
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