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bet365 English Premier League Preview - Round 27

3 minute read

The three title contenders go around deep in the red in their respective games this weekend. The Manchester derby sees the blue half at close to fours-on, a stark reminder of how the two clubs have crossed fortunes and drifted apart in the decade since Ferguson’s departure from Old Trafford.

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BRENTFORD v CHELSEA: Sunday 3 March 2.00am

POSITIONS: Brentford 25pts, 16th. Chelsea 35pts, 11th.

BRENTFORD FORM: A poor defensive display at West Ham last weekend led to the Bees' 12th loss in the past 15 games and puts them perilously close to the drop zone – just five ahead of 18th-placed Luton who has a game in hand. At home they have found the net in all but one game although a run of four defeats from their last five at the Gtech is a worry for Thomas Frank.

CHELSEA FORM: Took Liverpool to the wire in the Carabao Cup final last weekend to add to a brave draw against Man City on the road a fortnight ago in the League and a midweek FA Cup win over Leeds. Good efforts such us these tease supporters, who don't have to think too far back to recall a mauling at the hands of Wolves in early February.

HISTORY: The west London derby threw up an all-too-familiar outcome for the Blues in October when Brentford won 2-0 at Stamford Bridge. That result made it three wins and a draw in the last four meetings at an aggregate score of 8-1.

Prediction: Draw ($3.75 with bet365*)

EVERTON v WEST HAM: Sunday 3 March 2.00am

POSITIONS: Everton 25pts, 15th. West Ham 39pts, 8th.

EVERTON FORM: The Toffees were handed back five of the ten points taken away for financial breaches on appeal during the week – a huge fillip considering it is the same amount they have earned in the last nine matches. The 2024 form has been better: just six goals conceded in six games and notable points collected against Villa, Spurs and Brighton. Only three wins all season on Merseyside is not good enough though.

WEST HAM FORM: Rejoiced in the return of Paqueta with a convincing win at home last weekend against a feeble Brentford. The Brazilian wasn't brilliant, but his presence obviously has a massive influence on the squad. Bowen's hat trick snapped a run of ordinary form. Save for a shock win over Arsenal at Xmas, the Hammers' away results have been plain of late, including losses without scoring at Fulham, Man U and Forest.

HISTORY: No real pattern here, with the spoils evenly shared in recent seasons. Calvert-Lewin scored the only goal in the reverse fixture in London.

Prediction: Everton win ($2.05 with bet365*)

FULHAM v BRIGHTON: Sunday 3 March 2.00am

POSITIONS: Fulham 32pts, 12th. Brighton 39pts, 7th.

FULHAM FORM: Going well but the Cottagers have only strung two wins together once this season. Their win at Old Trafford last weekend broke a hoodoo and was thoroughly deserved against a side that was building in confidence. A poor run of results pre-Xmas has been put behind them, with 11 points, kicked started by their shock win over Arsenal on New Year's Eve, a decent return in 2024.

BRIGHTON FORM: As usual they had problems with Everton last weekend and only grabbed an equaliser from a set piece in the dying stages. Mitoma's comeback is over – he has been ruled out for the season with a back injury which is a massive blow. The Seagulls have just two wins from their last 11 away from home, and those were against strugglers Forest and Sheffield Utd. A return to European football next week might be in the back of the mind also.

HISTORY: Incredibly Fulham has not lost to Brighton in seven EPL clashes with the ledger reading three wins and four draws. The points were shared at the Amex earlier this season.

Prediction: Fulham win ($2.75 with bet365*)

NEWCASTLE v WOLVES: Sunday 3 March 2.00am

POSITIONS: Newcastle 37pts, 10th. Wolves 38pts, 9th.

NEWCASTLE FORM: Turned in their worst performance of the calendar year when a mile off Arsenal at the Emirates last weekend. Played like a side that expected to lose, were second in most 50/50s, and struggled to make any incisions save a for a couple of flurries in the second half. Subsequently relied on penalties to overcome Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup Fifth Round. The Magpies haven't won at home since 16 December and the natives will be getting restless.

WOLVES FORM: Found their way into the top half of the table when they chalked-up and third win in four against Sheffield Utd at Molineux last Sunday. Not their most polished display but at the start of the campaign if you offered any fan 9th spot in early March they would have bitten your hand off. Gary O'Neil's side don't mind a road trip, with three wins and draw in their last four, scoring ten along the way.

HISTORY: Seven of the last ten EPL encounters have ended in draws. Newcastle has won the past two St James' Park clashes by a single goal.

Prediction: Newcastle win ($1.90 with bet365*)

NOTTINGHAM FOREST v LIVERPOOL: Sunday 3 March 2.00am

POSITIONS: Forest 24pts, 17th. Liverpool 60pts, 1st.

FOREST FORM: Were blown off the park in the first 40 minutes at Villa last time around before a spirited comeback put them in contention. The mercurial Leon Bailey put the game out of reach on the hour, but it wasn't the train wreck it looked like being. At the City Ground, wins over Man U and West Ham have punctuated six losses since early November. It is a far cry from the fortress it proved to be in 22/23.

LIVERPOOL FORM: Only the 3-1 loss to Arsenal blots the copybook since Xmas. In that time the Reds have won seven of eight and scored 26 goals, interestingly 20 of those goals have been in the second half. Their last three matches have been reasonably soft encounters and this is no exception. Anything less than three points would be catastrophic in the title race.

HISTORY: Forest won the only EPL meeting at the City Ground since their long-awaited return to the top-flight, a 1-0 victory in late 2022. Liverpool easily got the money at Anfield in October.

Prediction: Liverpool win ($1.53 with bet365*)

TOTTENHAM v CRYSTAL PALACE: Sunday 3 March 2.00am

POSITIONS: Tottenham 47pts, 5th. Palace 28pts, 13th.

TOTTENHAM FORM: Ended a run of five straight home wins with a shock defeat at the hands of Wolves a fortnight ago. No game last weekend owing to the Carabao Cup final which might have been a blessing. With just three wins since Xmas there is the risk that Ange's side might lose touch with the Champions League spot unless some consistency returns.

PALACE FORM: Clicked in the second half and easily took care of Burnley at Selhurst Park last weekend, their first game under new management. Palace hasn't won away from home since early November and this is a tough assignment – Spurs relentless pressure will test a sometimes brittle defence.

HISTORY: Not a happy London derby for the Eagles, particularly away from home. Their last win in the League at White Hart Lane/Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was in 1997. Spurs have won the last four meetings across both grounds.

Prediction: Tottenham win ($1.50 with bet365*)

LUTON v ASTON VILLA: Sunday 3 March 4.30am

POSITIONS: Luton 20pts, 18th. Villa 52pts, 4th.

LUTON FORM: Perhaps the constant need to perform at the highest level to simply survive is getting to the Hatters. Three losses in a row in the league, and a 6-2 thumping by Man City in the FA Cup midweek, has contributed to them shipping 19 goals in the last five games. They sit five points from safety with a game in hand.

VILLA FORM: Emery's side has bounced back from a late disappointment against Man U with two wins, most recently by 4-2 at home against Forest. Few sides this season have looked as sharp and dominant as the Villains in the first 40 minutes of that game. They may have lapsed in concentration to allow Forest back in, but it was pretty impressive overall. That win ended a two-match losing run at Villa Park.

HISTORY: The first meeting in top-flight football since 1992 saw Villa cruise home 3-1 at home earlier this season.

Prediction: Aston Villa win ($1.75 with bet365*)

BURNLEY v BOURNEMOUTH: Monday 4 March 12.00am

POSITIONS: Burnley 13pts, 19th. Bournemouth 28pts, 14th.

BURNLEY FORM: After a comparatively bright December, it has been a bleak 2024 for Vincent Kompany, his side picking up just two points from a possible 24. The Clarets stayed with Palace at Selhurst Park last weekend until three goals in 11 minutes midway through the second half consigned Burnley to almost certain relegation.

BOURNEMOUTH FORM: A season of three compartments. The first nine games saw them collect just three points, the next nine yielded an outstanding 22 points, then the last eight has seen the Cherries back to picking up only three again. However, the second half effort against Man City last weekend at the Vitality was sublime. The home side barely stayed in touch up to halftime but played further up the pitch and with aggression after the break and nearly pinched a result. 

HISTORY: Bournemouth came from a goal behind to win the reverse fixture earlier in the season. Prior to that, Burnley had won five of six in all competitions. 

Prediction: Bournemouth win ($1.95 with bet365*)

MANCHESTER CITY v MANCHESTER UTD: Monday 4 March 2.30am

POSITIONS: Man City 59pts, 2nd. Man Utd 44pts, 6th.

MAN CITY FORM: Winning matches but not putting sides to the sword, at least in the league. Bournemouth gave Pep's side a heck of a fright in the second half on the south coast last weekend, their front-foot approach clearly rattling the champions. But they held on, and then Haaland went on a rampage at Kenilworth Road against Luton on Tuesday evening, belting in five in an FA Cup Fifth Round romp. One gets the feeling they have been just doing enough, but that adrenalin injection midweek came at the worst time for Man U. 

MAN UTD FORM: Like their crosstown counterparts, they were winning games but not impressively. It came unstuck at Old Trafford last weekend when they were thoroughly outplayed by Fulham, a fifth home loss of the campaign. The Red Devils have picked up a win and two draws in their last three against top-five opposition.

HISTORY: Sprinkled amongst what has been largely a blue-sided outcome in the past decade has come a few surprise results – United has won three of the last eight encounters. When the sides met at Old Trafford in October, Haaland scored twice and Foden once in an easy win for City.

Prediction: Manchester City win ($1.28 with bet365*)

SHEFFIELD UTD v ARSENAL: Tuesday 5 March 7.00am

POSITIONS: Sheffield Utd 13pts, 20th. Arsenal 58pts, 3rd.

SHEFFIELD UTD FORM: A decent effort to be beaten by a single goal at Molineux last time around but brave defeats won't do the Blades much good. At Bramell Lane, they come here off back-to-back 5-0 defeats. Like Burnley, they are not long for this league.

ARSENAL FORM: Relentless probably describes it best. In 2024, the form guide reads 6-6-0-0, goals for 25, goals against 3. Newcastle don't often look so far off the pace in games, but they weren't within a bull's roar of the Gunners last weekend. The Magpies didn't manage a shot in anger in the first half, such was the dominance. Saka has been prolific of late, with seven in the past five games (including two from the spot). 

HISTORY: The Blades grabbed a win and a draw in the 19/20 season but has been bleak since, including a 5-0 defeat at the Emirates in October.

Prediction: Arsenal win ($1.18 with bet365*)

SUGGESTED WAGERS:

Fulham to win at $2.75* with bet365.

Manchester City to lead at halftime and fulltime at $1.80* with bet365.

*Odds correct at 3.55pm 29 February 2024.


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