Tips & Predictions

The title race and battle to survive

After a dramatic week of Champions League football saw draws for Arsenal and Man City, their focus returns to the Premier League title race.

There was plenty of drama last weekend. Kevin De Bruyne inspired Man City to victory over Crystal Palace. Arsenal were comfortable winners at Brighton. But Liverpool were held to a 2-2 draw by Man Utd – Mohamed Salah’s late penalty rescuing a point. It all means the Gunners are top on goal difference.

This weekend starts with Spurs’ trip to Newcastle, as Ange Postecoglou’s side edge closer to Champions League football. Man City host Luton at 15:00 on Saturday, while Liverpool and Arsenal are in action on Sunday. The Reds host Crystal Palace, while top-four chasing Aston Villa are the visitors to the Emirates.

As always, we’ll have Epic Value on all the action, including Nicole Holliday’s picks, Enhanced Odds and much more. And, if you’ve not used it already, don’t forget your Epic Boost is available before you get a new one on Sunday.

To get you ready, let’s look at three of this weekend’s Premier League matches…

Spurs claimed a huge three points in their battle for the top four last Sunday after Brentford held Aston Villa. The Lilywhites beat Nottingham Forest 3-1 with second-half goals from two unlikely sources, Micky van de Ven and Pedro Porro.

Now they head to St. James’ looking to avoid a repeat of last season’s nightmare visit. Under interim boss Cristian Stellini, they were on the receiving end of a 6-1 hammering and found themselves 5-0 down inside 21 minutes. It means Newcastle are looking to win consecutive home games against Spurs for the first time since December 2008.

And the Magpies are flying of late. They’ve put themselves into the top-six picture after a run of five wins in their last 10 (D3 L2). They continued their upturn in form with a hard-fought 1-0 win at Fulham last Saturday. Can Eddie Howe lead his side to another European campaign?

Here are some angles into Newcastle v Spurs:

Alexander Isak to score anytime – EVS

  • The Sweden striker has scored in each of his last five league home games, scoring six in total.
  • He scored twice in Newcastle’s 6-1 win over Spurs on home turf last season.
  • Isak leads the way for shots on target in the Premier League within the Newcastle ranks (31).

Pedro Porro & Micky van de Ven both to make over 2 tackles – 18/5 with Build #YourOdds

  • Pedro Porro is Spurs’ top tackler this season with 80 tackles – that’s the sixth-most in the top flight.
  • The right-back has made 3+ tackles in 16 of his league appearances, including in December’s reverse fixture. He’s completed three or more in four of his last six.
  • In the last three games in which Van de Ven has played 90 minutes, he’s made 3, 3 & 5 tackles.

Over 3.5 goals – 17/20

  • The last eight meetings between Newcastle and Spurs have seen 36 goals – an average of 4.5 per game.
  • Spurs have scored at least once in each of their last 17 league away games against Newcastle.
  • Newcastle games have seen more goals than any other side (117 – 65 scored & 52 conceded). Spurs matches rank joint-fourth having produced 110 goals.

Rock-bottom Sheffield Utd travel to the capital after pinching a point off Chelsea last Sunday. The Blades are still nine points off safety, but Chris Wilder has masterminded three wins over Brentford boss Thomas Frank (from three games). So, could they cut the gap?

Brentford are one of the clubs in a perilous position just above the drop. They’re on a run of nine games without a win (D4 L5). But they did show plenty of fighting spirit to come from 2-0 down to draw 3-3 with Aston Villa.

Here are some angles into Brentford v Sheffield Utd:

Sheffield Utd to win & BTTS – 9/1

  • Sheffield Utd are unbeaten in six league games against Brentford (W4 D2) and have won the last three meetings.
  • The Blades haven’t kept a clean sheet away from home in the Premier League since May 2021 – conceding in each of their last 16 away in the top flight.
  • Chris Wilder has won all three games against Thomas Frank.

Jack Robinson to be carded – 12/5

  • The defender picked up his eighth yellow card in last weekend’s draw with Chelsea for a crude challenge on Cole Palmer.
  • Robinson saw yellow when the Blades beat Brentford at Bramall Lane in December.
  • Opponents facing Brentford average two yellows per game this season.

Yoane Wissa to score anytime and to be carded – 12/1 with Build #YourOdds

  • The forward is Brentford’s joint-top scorer with eight goals this season.
  • He’s found the net in four of his last seven league appearances, including at Villa Park last Saturday.
  • Wissa has picked up six yellows across the campaign. In the last two games he scored, he’s also been booked (away to Arsenal and Aston Villa).

The big game from this Premier League fixture list sees leaders Arsenal welcome top-four chasing Aston Villa to the Emirates.

Ex-Gunners boss Unai Emery had the last laugh when the sides met in December as his Villans side ran out 1-0 winners. The Midlands club are now looking to complete their third Premier League double over Arsenal. And they’ve got a good record in the capital – they’re unbeaten in their last nine away league games against London sides (W6 D3).

But they’ll find Arsenal a tough nut to crack. The table-toppers have won 10 of their last 11 in the top flight (D1), scoring at least twice in each victory. They’ve also won five of their last six home games against Villa.

Here are some angles into Arsenal v Aston Villa:

4-6 match cards – 21/20

  • Referee David Coote averages 5.4 yellow cards per game.
  • Coote’s league games in 2024 have seen 5, 5, 8, 6 & 8 cards.
  • Four of the last five meetings have seen at least five cards. And there were six in December’s clash at Villa Park.

Ollie Watkins to score – 16/5

  • Only Erling Haaland (19) has scored more Premier League goals than Watkins this season (18).
  • Watkins has been involved in 11 goals in his last 10 league games, scoring nine and assisting two.
  • The England striker has scored four goals in eight league appearances against the Gunners.

Kai Havertz to assist a goal – 11/2

  • The German international has been involved in nine goals in his last seven league appearances (5 goals, 4 assists).
  • His four assists have all come within his last six starts.
  • Teed up Leandro Trossard for Arsenal’s third goal at Brighton last weekend.
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