EPL Tips & Preview – Week 25

Find the back of the net with tips for Week 25 of the EPL season, including a key clash between Leicester City and West Ham United. 

23:30 (AEDT), Sat 12th Feb @ Old Trafford, Manchester

History: Played 130: Man United 67 V Southampton 28 (35 Draws)

Last meeting: August 22, 2021 (EPL): 1-1 draw at St Mary’s Stadium

Final Thoughts: It’s been a bad week for Manchester United. After being bundled out of the FA Cup on penalties by Middlesbrough last weekend, they were held to a 1-all draw by cellar dwellers Burnley in midweek EPL action. Paul Pogba opened the scoring for sixth-placed United, who then conceded to the Clarets early in the second half.

Southampton, meanwhile, are enjoying a purple patch. Though they needed extra-time to get over Coventry in the FA Cup fourth round, the Saints’ last two league games have produced a 1-all draw at home to Man City and – on Thursday (AEDT) – a 3-2 away upset of Tottenham. Southampton came from behind with two goals in three minutes from the 80-minute mark.

Southampton are winless in their last 12 matches against Man United but they held the heavyweights to a 1-all early-season draw at home. However, the Saints will still be having nightmares about their 9-0 loss at Old Trafford last February.

It’s a crunch game for United, the $1.57 favourites here, but the value lies with the in-form underdogs.

Best Bet: Handicap – Southampton +1 @ $2.40

02:00 (AEDT), Sun 13th Feb @ Vicarage Road, Watford

History: Played 117: Brighton 46 V Watford 36 (35 Draws)

Last meeting: August 21, 2021 (EPL): Brighton 2 d Watford 0 at Amex Stadium

Final Thoughts: Brighton head to Watford with the benefit of not having had to play a midweek match. The Seagulls were bounced out of the FA Cup 3-1 by Tottenham last weekend, but they remain ninth in the EPL after going unbeaten in their last six games – including a pair of 1-all draws with Chelsea, and the same scoreline at Leicester in Week 23.

Second-last Watford played out a scoreless draw with Burnley in a catch-up match last weekend and went down 1-0 at West Ham on Wednesday (AEDT). The Hornets have picked up just two points in their last 10 games and are scoreless in their last three, including a woeful 3-0 defeat to then-last-placed Norwich in Week 23.

Brighton are unbeaten in their last four against Watford, chalking up a 2-0 home win in Week 2, and are the clear pick to carry off all three points at Vicarage Road.

Best Bet: Result – Brighton @ $2.40

02:00 (AEDT), Sun 13th Feb @ Brentford Community Stadium, Brentford

History: Played 39: Crystal Palace 17 V Brentford 14 (8 Draws)

Last meeting: August 21, 2021 (EPL): 0-0 draw at Selhurst Park

Final Thoughts: Brentford are the unwilling owners of the EPL’s longest active losing streak. The 14th-placed Bees have dropped their last five league games – including a 2-0 defeat at Man City midweek – and were belted 4-1 by battling Everton in their FA Cup tie last weekend.

Crystal Palace are one ladder position and two points (with an extra game in hand) ahead of Brentford. They progressed to the FA Cup fifth round with a 2-0 defeat of Hartlepool last weekend but will be disappointed to have only drawn 1-all with Norwich in Week 25 on Thursday (AEDT). Palace conceded in the first minute before Wilfried Zaha equalised at the hour mark.

The teams played out a scoreless draw in London in Week 2 – their first encounter in 44 years.

Neither side inspire a great deal of confidence at present, but I’m leaning Palace’s way in what looms as a low-scorer.

Best Bet: Double Chance and Total – Draw or Crystal Palace and Under @ $2.20

02:00 (AEDT), Sun 13th Feb @ Goodison Park, Liverpool

History: Played 119: Leeds 52 V Everton 34 (33 Draws)

Last meeting: August 21, 2021 (EPL): 2-2 draw at Elland Road

Final Thoughts: Everton are in bad shape in the Premier League, languishing in 16th just two points above the bottom-three and on a four-match losing streak. Their rollicking 4-1 FA Cup over Brentford was swiftly soured by a 3-1 league loss away to battlers Newcastle on Wednesday (AEDT).

Leeds are 15th, four points ahead of the beleaguered Toffees. After back-to-back wins over Burnley and West Ham, they were rolled at home by Newcastle in Week 23. But they recovered from a two-goal deficit to draw 3-all at Villa Park on Thursday (AEDT), with Daniel James finishing with a brace and Diego Liorente bagging the 63rd-minute equaliser.

The teams drew 2-all at Leeds in Week 2, with the home side twice coming from a goal down.

Everton are impossible to get behind, but Leeds have been wildly inconsistent. Give me the over in this one.

Best Bet: Total – Over 3.5 @ $2.60

04:30 (AEDT), Sun 13th Feb @ Carrow Road, Norwich

History: Played 71: Man City 38 V Norwich 10 (23 Draws)

Last meeting: August 21, 2021 (EPL): Man City 5 d Norwich 0 at Etihad Stadium

Final Thoughts: Norwich City have inched their way to 18th and revived hopes of remaining in the Premier League by picking up seven points in their last three games. After back-to-back wins over Everton (2-1) and Watford (3-0), the Canaries drew 1-all with Crystal Palace on Thursday (AEDT). Teema Pukki – the only Norwich player with more than two goals this season – scored his sixth of the campaign in the opening minute against Palace.

Manchester City are nine points clear at the top of the table, going unbeaten in their last 14 games. The only glitch was a 1-all draw at Southampton in Week 23, but they downed Brentford 2-0 on Thursday (AEDT) – the defending champs’ 14th clean sheet of the season. They also cruised to a 4-1 FA Cup win over Fulham last weekend. Kevin de Bruyne scored again versus the Bees, taking his EPL season tally to seven – equal as the team’s best with Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez.

Man City won both of their last two games against Norwich by 5-0 scorelines, though both were at Etihad Stadium – the Canaries stunned the Citizens 3-2 at Carrow Road during the 2019-20 season.

Value is hard to come by here with Man City as $1.14 road favourites, particularly with Norwich turning a corner. A win to nil shapes as a solid option.

Best Bet: Man City To Win To Nil @ $1.76

01:00 (AEDT), Mon 14th Feb @ Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London

History: Played 101: Tottenham 51 V Wolverhampton 29 (21 Draws)

Last meeting: September 22, 2021 (EFL Cup): 2-2 draw at Molineux Stadium

Final Thoughts: Tottenham went unbeaten in the Premier League for almost three months to climb up to fifth with a few games in hand following some postponements. But they have tumbled back to seventh after consecutive defeats to Chelsea (2-0) and Southampton (3-2), either side of last weekend’s 3-1 FA Cup win over Brighton.

Eighth-placed Wolverhampton have closed to within two points of Spurs courtesy of a recent five-game tear that garnered four wins (including an Old Trafford upset) and a draw with Chelsea. But they went down 1-0 at home to Arsenal on Friday (AEDT).

Tottenham grabbed a 1-0 away win in Week 2 and eliminated Wolves from the League Cup a month later in a penalty shootout. Wanderers have won two of their last three away games against Spurs, however.

Wolves have proven themselves as a gritty combination and have conceded more than one goal on just three occasions this season – the last time way back in Week 11. With Spurs getting the wobbles over the past few weeks, the visitors are a decent shout here.

Best Bet: Handicap – Wolverhampton +1 @ $2.25

01:00 (AEDT), Mon 14th Feb @ St James’ Park, Newcastle

History: Played 168: Newcastle 71 V Aston Villa 58 (39 Draws)

Last meeting: August 21, 2021 (EPL): Aston Villa 2 d Newcastle 0 at Villa Park

Final Thoughts: Newcastle United have made their way out of the bottom-three, while Aston Villa are knocking on the door of the top half.

Newcastle have pieced together a four-game unbeaten streak to climb to 17th, following up 1-all draws with Man United and Watford by beating Leeds (1-0) and Everton (3-1) – after winning just one of their first 20 games. Wednesday’s (AEDT) victory over the Toffees saw the Magpies score three goals for just the second time this season.

Aston Villa are just one point off 10th after bookending their 1-0 win at Everton in Week 23 with draws against Man United (2-2) and Leeds (3-3). But Villa coughed up a two-goal lead against Leeds, while Ezri Konsa was marched after receiving two yellow cards.

Villa are unbeaten in their last five against Newcastle, winning three – including a 2-0 shutout at home in Week 2. The Magpies are the slightest of underdogs leading into this one but I’m leaning towards them keeping their momentum going.

Best Bet: Double Chance and Both Teams To Score – Newcastle or Draw and Yes @ $2.30

01:00 (AEDT), Mon 14th Feb @ Turf Moor, Burnley

History: Played 125: Liverpool 58 V Burnley 38 (29 Draws)

Last meeting: August 21, 2021 (EPL): Liverpool 2 d Burnley 0 at Anfield

Final Thoughts: Second-placed Liverpool are nine points off leaders Man City and four points clear of Chelsea, boasting a game in hand on both rivals. After a rough Xmas/New Years patch, the Reds have bounced back to form with three straight wins over Brentford (3-0), Crystal Palace (3-1) and Leicester (2-0). Diogo Jota scored both goals in the win over the Foxes on Friday (AEDT). Liverpool also put away Cardiff City in FA Cup action last weekend, while they are likely to get Sadio Mane back from international duty.

Burnley are last, four points from safety and riding a 10-game winless streak. But they have managed draws in their last three against Arsenal (0-0), Watford (0-0) and Man United (1-1), and have played a league-low 20 games. Jay Rodriguez found the equaliser early in the second half against United.

Liverpool beat Burnley 2-0 at Anfield in Week 2, with Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane getting the goals.

The Clarets have shown real fight in recent weeks, but the $10 underdogs don’t have the firepower to forge an upset and will likely be overrun by a stacked Liverpool line-up.

Best Bet: Anytime Goalscorer – Sadio Mane @ $2.60

03:30 (AEDT), Mon 14th Feb @ King Power Stadium, Leicester

History: Played 137: West Ham 55 V Leicester 49 (33 Draws)

Last meeting: August 23, 2021 (EPL): West Ham 4 d Leicester 1 at London Stadium

Final Thoughts: Last season Leicester and West Ham were vying for Champions League recognition, falling just short. But while the Irons are clinging to a top-four spot as the 2021-22 campaign marches on into its second half, the Foxes are battling in 12th placed.

Leicester have a few games in hand due to a string of postponements, but their form since returning to the pitch has been underwhelming: a 3-2 loss to Spurs and a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool either side of a 1-all draw at home to Brighton. Jamie Vardy is yet to play in 2022 and is set to miss another match, alongside a handful of other key absentees.

Meanwhile, Leicester were thrashed 4-1 by Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup last weekend.

West Ham have won four of their last six, halting a two-game slide (losses to Leeds and Man United) with a 1-0 win over Watford. They made hard work of an FA Cup win over Kidderminster Harriers last weekend, requiring extra-time to get the 2-1 result.

West Ham have won their last three against Leicester, scoring 10 goals to three in the process. Michail Antonio bagged a late brace as the Irons ran away with a 4-1 win at home in Week 2.

Neither team is playing anywhere near their capacity of late, but West Ham have proved a much more reliable proposition this season and look strong value as only a slight favourite.

Best Bet: Result – West Ham @ $2.40

07:15 (AEDT), Wed 16th Feb @ Old Trafford, Manchester

History: Played 26: Man United 18 V Brighton 3 (5 Draws)

Last meeting: April 4, 2021 (EPL): Man United 2 d Brighton 1 at Old Trafford

Final Thoughts: Man United and Brighton are on a short turnaround for this Week 18 catch-up fixture, getting only three days to recover.

For United, it will be their fourth game in 12 days – ahead of another five days later. Brighton’s Week 24 game was played last month, meaning they should come into this clash considerably fresher.

Man United have won their last six straight against Brighton, though both encounters last season were decided by one-goal margins with the Seagulls getting on the board in both.

Potentially coming into the game on a six-match unbeaten streak (result against Watford pending), Brighton loom as a quality value option as $4.50 underdogs.

Best Bet: Handicap – Brighton +1 @ $2.10