LEICESTER City took a big step towards the 2015-16 Premier League title with last week’s crucial 1-0 victory over Southampton.
They received a helping hand from Liverpool, who kept second-placed Tottenham Hotspur to a 1-1 draw in an entertaining clash at Anfield.
The situation is now this: Claudio Ranieri’s Foxes need 12 points from their remaining six games to complete the most miraculous title coup in EPL history.
Spurs and Arsenal aren’t quite out of it yet, while Manchester City and Manchester United are mathematically still in the mix, but the trophy is very much Leicester’s to lose.
West Ham’s derby draw with Crystal Palace saw them give up a little ground to City and United in the race for a top-four finish, while Liverpool, Southampton and Stoke City could yet sneak a Europa League spot.
Chelsea remain unbeaten since December, but they will need to make up at least nine points on the Red Devils in their remaining seven games to have a shot at European football.
Norwich City now have a four-point buffer over Sunderland in the relegation dogfight after last week’s vital win over Newcastle United, who find themselves seven points from safety with time running out fast.
If you fancy a flutter on this weekend’s English Premier League action, online bookmaker Sportsbet.com.au is offering up to AUD $100 cash back if your soccer multi bet misses by only one leg.
West Ham United vs. Arsenal
12:45pm local time on Saturday, April 9, 2016 at the Boleyn Ground
West Ham – $3.75 (Sportsbet)
Arsenal – $2 (William Hill)
Draw – $3.60 (William Hill)
The Hammers are playing their third London derby in as many matches, having drawn 2-2 against both Chelsea and Crystal Palace in their last two outings. They are unbeaten in six, but they will need to start turning those one-pointers into wins if they wish to qualify for the UEFA Champions League.
Arsenal have rediscovered something like their best form, following up their impressive display at Everton before the break with a 4-0 thumping of Watford. Young gun Alex Iwobi has shone in his first two Premier League starts, scoring against both the Toffees and the Hornets.
It was West Ham who emerged victorious when these two met in the opening round of EPL 2015-16. That ended a run of 13 defeats in 15 clashes with the Gunners, who hadn’t lost to their London rivals since 2007.
– Both teams to score in second half ($3 at WilliamHill.com)
– Alex Iwobi to score first goal ($8.60 at WilliamHill.com)
Sunderland vs. Leicester City
1:30pm local time on Sunday, April 10, 2016 at the Stadium of Light
Sunderland – $3.50 (William Hill)
Leicester – $2.22 (CrownBet)
Draw – $3.40 (Bet365)
The Black Cats are winless in five, but four consecutive draws means they are still very much alive in the fight for Premier League survival. They come into week 33 on the back of a goalless draw against West Brom – their first clean sheet since November last year.
The finish line is well and truly in sight for Leicester, who now hold a seven-point lead in the title race. Wes Morgan was the unlikely hero against Southampton, while Jamie Vardy, Danny Drinkwater and N’Golo Kante showed no real signs of weariness after performing so well during the international fixtures.
The Foxes ran out 4-2 winners in the reverse clash at King Power Stadium and haven’t lost to Sunderland since they were both in the Championship together back in 2006-07.
– Leicester to win 2-1 ($10 at Bet365.com)
– Shinji Okazaki to score first goal ($8 at Bet365.com)
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Manchester United
4:00pm local time on Sunday, April 10, 2016
Tottenham – $2 (Sportsbet)
Man United – $4 (Bet365)
Draw – $3.50 (William Hill)
Tottenham’s title hopes took a hit last Saturday when they drew at Liverpool, although it would have been much worse but for Harry Kane’s superb second-half equaliser. They can’t afford any more slip-ups in the run home if they are to pip Leicester at the post and claim their first league trophy since 1961.
United have downed Arsenal, Watford, Man City and Everton to win four of their last five EPL fixtures. The title is beyond them and a Champions League spot is far from assured, yet recent murmurings on the rumour mill suggest Louis van Gaal has done enough to keep his job and possibly even earn a contract extension.
This fixture has never been kind to Spurs, who have beaten the Red Devils only twice in 32 clashes across all competitions since 2001. Along with Leicester, Newcastle and West Ham, Man United are one of only four sides to have defeated Mauricio Pochettino’s men in the league this season.
– Half-time draw/full-time draw ($5 at WilliamHill.com)
– Harry Kane to score first goal ($4.75 at Bet365.com)
Liverpool vs. Stoke City
4:00pm local time on Sunday, April 10, 2016 at Anfield
Liverpool – $1.62 (CrownBet)
Stoke – $6 (Sportsbet)
Draw – $4 (Bet365)
The Reds are in better touch than their last two results might suggest. They were all over Southampton before that baffling second-half collapse at St. Mary’s, while they may well feel they deserved more than a point from their clash with Spurs. Fit-again Philippe Coutinho has found his feet after a frustrating spell, taking out the EPL Player of the Month award for March.
Stoke have lost only one in their last seven to stay two points ahead of Liverpool in the Premier League standings. However, they haven’t fared especially well this season against the Merseysiders, who beat them at home on the opening weekend and dumped them out of the League Cup at the semifinal stage.
While these two have given us a few big shootouts in recent times, their last four league games at Anfield have produced two goals in total. They’ve drawn only twice since 2010, with each of their last six EPL clashes ending in definitive results (four wins to Liverpool, two to Stoke).
– Liverpool to win 1-0 ($7 at Bet365.com)
– Daniel Sturridge to score first goal ($5 at Sportsbet.com)
More 2015-16 Premier betting for week 33
Aston Villa $3.50 – Draw $3.25 – Bournemouth $2.15
Crystal Palace $2 – Draw $3.40 – Norwich City $3.80
Southampton $1.57 – Draw $3.75 – Newcastle United $6.50
Swansea City $3.80 – Draw $3.30 – Chelsea $2
Watford $3.50 – Draw $3.25 – Everton $2.15
Manchester City $1.33 – Draw $4.80 – West Bromwich Albion $10
Odds provided by www.WilliamHill.com
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