Find the back of the net with tips for the six matches of a truncated Week 33 schedule with the FA Cup impacting the EPL season fixtures.
21:30 (AEST), Sat 16th Apr @ Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London
History: Played 34: Tottenham 18 V Brighton 8 (8 Draws)
Last meeting: March 16, 2022 (EPL): Tottenham 2 d Brighton 0 at Amex Stadium
Final Thoughts: Fourth-placed Tottenham have opened up a three-point gap on the chasing pack courtesy of four straight convincing wins. Spurs bagged a 2-0 win at Brighton in last month’s Week 16 catch-up to start their current streak, before thrashing West Ham (3-1), Newcastle (5-1) and, in Week 32, Aston Villa (4-0).
The mercurial Son Heung-min scored a hat-trick at Villa Park and boasts six goals in Spurs’ last three games.
Eleventh-placed Brighton enjoyed a drought-breaking win last weekend, upsetting Arsenal 2-1 at the Emirates after picking up just a point (and scoring just one goal) in their previous eight games. The reversal was achieved via goals to Leandro Trossard and Enock Mwepu, with the Gunners only getting on the board in the dying minutes.
The Seagulls toppled Spurs once in each of the past two seasons and their defeat of Arsenal was superb. But Tottenham are in devastating attacking form and it’s hard to see Brighton pulling off a second straight London-based boilover.
00:00 (AEST), Sun 17th Apr @ Old Trafford, Manchester
History: Played 73: Man United 41 V Norwich 17 (15 Draws)
Last meeting: December 11, 2021 (EPL): Man United 1 d Norwich 0 at Carrow Road
Final Thoughts: Manchester United’s season hit a low point last weekend, crashing 1-0 to struggling Everton at Goodison Park in a huge blow to their top-four ambitions. United are six points off the top-four pace in seventh. Their eight losses is the fourth-lowest tally in the league but a slew of underachieving draws have left the Red Devils in a tight spot.
Meanwhile, last-placed Norwich City kept the flame flickering with a 2-0 win over Burnley in Week 32 on the back of a scoreless draw at Brighton. Everton’s win means the Canaries are no closer to safety, but they have whittled the gap to 18th-placed Burnley to three points.
Man United scratched their way to a 1-0 win at Norwich in Week 16 courtesy of a 75th-minute Cristiano Ronaldo penalty.
The hosts will be hell-bent on a big win after last week’s humiliating result, but Norwich have got some pluck about them and I think there’s some value in the underdogs with a start.
Best Bet: Handicap – Norwich +2 @ $2.10
00:00 (AEST), Sun 17th Apr @ Vicarage Road, Watford
History: Played 74: Watford 26 V Brentford 22 (26 Draws)
Last meeting: December 10, 2021 (EPL): Brentford 2 d Watford 1 at Brentford Community Stadium
Final Thoughts: Watford’s chances of survival are running out and they’ll view this home match as must-win. The second-last Hornets are six points from safety, two behind Burnley and one ahead of Norwich. They’ve been beaten comfortably by Liverpool (2-0) and Leeds (3-0) in the past fortnight.
But Brentford are in the midst of a late-season charge that has them a point away from climbing back into the top half. The Bees have won four of their last five (after picking up just one point from their previous eight games), following up a stunning 4-1 rout of Chelsea with a 2-0 defeat of West Ham.
Brentford have won the teams’ past two encounters, including a 2-1 home win in Week 16 after late goals to Pontus Jansson and Bryan Mbeumo overturned Watford’s halftime lead.
Desperate as Watford may be, they’re bringing little momentum into this clash and are set to struggle against an in-form (and top-value) opponent.
Best Bet: Result – Brentford @ $2.50
00:00 (AEST), Sun 17th Apr @ St Mary’s Stadium, Southampton
History: Played 103: Arsenal 53 V Southampton 22 (28 Draws)
Last meeting: December 11, 2021 (EPL): Arsenal 3 d Southampton 0 at Emirates Stadium
Final Thoughts: Arsenal are coming off costly back-to-back losses, slipping back to outright fifth and three points behind Spurs – albeit with a game in hand. After a woeful 3-0 loss at Crystal Palace, the Gunners were equally listless in a 2-1 home defeat to previously struggling Brighton, only getting on the scoresheet through Martin Odegaard in the 89th minute.
But they get an opportunity to regroup against an opponent low on confidence this week. Southampton have managed just one point from their last five games and were obliterated 6-0 at home by Chelsea last weekend. It could have been worse for the Saints, who had leaked six goals by the 10-minute mark in the second half.
Arsenal have lost just one of their last 12 EPL games against Southampton and came away with a 3-0 victory at home in December.
The Gunners have reverted to their inscrutable ways, but with plenty on the line they should take care of a badly out of sorts home side and are decent value to do so.
Best Bet: Result – Arsenal @ $1.91
23:15 (AEST), Mon 18th Apr @ St Mary’s Stadium, Newcastle
History: Played 130: Newcastle 54 V Leicester 49 (27 Draws)
Last meeting: December 12, 2021 (EPL): Leicester 4 d Newcastle 0 at King Power Stadium
Final Thoughts: Newcastle snapped a three-match losing streak last weekend – shutting out Wolverhampton 1-0 at home – to all but confirm they will avoid the drop. It was a solid bounce-back for the Magpies after a 5-1 defeat at Tottenham, which was the only time in their last 13 matches they had conceded more than one goal.
Leicester look determined to finish a very disappointing season on a high, surging to ninth with four wins and a draw at Old Trafford in their last six games. They accounted for Crystal Palace 2-1 last weekend through first-half goals to Ademola Lookman and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall.
Leicester have won four of their last five against Newcastle – scoring 17 goals in those five fixtures – and romped to a 4-0 victory at home in Week 16 with Youri Tielmans scoring a goal in each half.
But the clubs are on a more even footing than they have been for some time. I’m finding it hard to split them.
Best Bet: Result – Draw @ $3.25
23:15 (AEST), Mon 18th Apr @ London Stadium, London
History: Played 93: West Ham 39 V Burnley 35 (19 Draws)
Last meeting: December 12, 2021 (EPL): 0-0 draw at Turf Moor
Final Thoughts: West Ham blew a gilt-edged chance in their bid for a top-four finish by going down 2-0 at Brentford last week, leaving them six points adrift of Tottenham in sixth place.
Burnley were unable to grasp an even more important opportunity last week, agonisingly going down 2-0 to last-placed Norwich City. Everton’s shock win over Man United left 18th-placed Burnley four points adrift of safety.
Burnley have had a fair bit of success against West Ham recently, winning four of the teams’ last eight clashes and holding the top-four hopefuls to a scoreless draw in Week 16 this season.
Everything to play for here for both teams at opposite ends of the ladder. West Ham have won their last four at home, though, which is more than enough reason to get behind the more talented side with confidence.