Week 29 of the Premier League boasts several crucial games for clubs fighting for survival and is headlined by Sunday’s meeting between Manchester City and Chelsea at the Etihad.
The action in Week 29 of the EPL is underway from Saturday night Australian time when Burnley hosts Everton.
Burnley and Everton will square off in what looms as one of the more even fixtures in Week 29 of the Premier League.
The Clarets did enough to take a point from Southampton at Turf Moor last weekend, but they really should be winning games like that in front of their home fans, given some of the scalps they have taken this season. They remain seventh in overall standings, but the sixth-placed Arsenal now hold an eight-point buffer and it will take a lot for Burnley to work back into European contention.
Everton’s shaky form continued with a 1-0 loss to Watford in Week 28. They have probably done enough to stay out of the relegation zone, but they do remain perilously close and cannot afford to switch off.
Both clubs have claims on winning this tie, it looks like one of those matches that could realistically fall either way and for that reason, I am happy to stay out from a betting perspective.
Week 29 looms as an ideal opportunity for Watford to take another three competition points and all but confirm their status in the Premier League for another season.
The Hornets are tenth in overall standings and every point from here on in will go a long way towards their survival. They were disappointing against West Ham a fortnight ago, but responded with a smart win over Everton and will take plenty of confidence into this fixture.
Its been a season to forget for West Brom, who look the most likely of all twenty clubs to be relegated. They have managed only three wins in the league so far and are six points below the nineteenth-placed Stoke City. A Week 28 loss to Huddersfield at home might have sealed their fate and they face a tougher prospect in Watford away this week.
Watford should just win and they represent terrific value as warm favourites.
Swansea and West Ham will trade blows in one of the Premier League’s more intriguing fixtures of Week 29.
The Swans’ winning run of form came to an end in dramatic fashion last weekend when they were demolished by Brighton, to the tune of 4-1. What was perhaps most worrying for the Welsh club was their inability to create and convert any chance; their one goal coming by way of a Brighton own-goal.
West Ham were unable to continue their giant-killing ways and were also 4-1 losers in Week 28. They can probably be forgiven for the performance as their opponent, Liverpool, have been red-hot recently and the Hammers’ form prior to that was actually pretty good.
Swansea have subsequently dropped back into bottom three and need to produce several more winning performances to ensure another season in the top league. West Ham also need all three points to ensure their position and they can make it harder for the Swans by winning here.
Leicester City will host Bournemouth at the King Power Stadium early on Sunday morning Australian time.
The Foxes found a good patch of form through December and January, but they’ve gone off the boil a little of late and are winless in the league since Week 24. They remain eighth in overall standings, but have probably been flattered by the inconsistency of several clubs in similar positions, including Everton and Watford.
Bournemouth have produced several terrific performances against clubs that they realistically shouldn’t be able to compete with this season, but they have also still been capable of a shocker and are anything but safe from relegation. They do find themselves in a stronger position than a number of other clubs leading into Week 29, but they need to continue finding competition points to assure themselves another Premier League campaign.
This is an intriguing betting match as both teams do have claims but in front of their home crowd, Leicester should be able to break back into the winner’s stall.
Betting suggests that Sunday’s meeting between Spurs and Huddersfield will be the most one-sided fixture in Week 29 of the Premier League.
Its been another great season for the North London club and they are in a strong position to finish in the top four and have another look at European football. They were only fair against crosstown rivals Palace last weekend, but they remain undefeated through their ten most-recent Premier League fixtures.
Huddersfield produced another vital win over West Brom win Week 28 and have risen to fourteenth in overall standings, though still within 3 points of the drop zone.
It would not surprise to see Spurs put on a big score and hold Huddersfield goalless this weekend.
Sunday’s meeting between Southampton and Stoke at St Marys looms as a potentially vital one for both clubs.
Southampton have not been a shadow of the club that has consistently finished firmly in the top ten since their return to England’s top flight and they are in serious danger of bowing out of the league come season’s end. Things have been a little better for the South England club in recent weeks and they have only lost one of their last six league games, but they have also failed to win on any of those occasions.
Stoke’s run in the Premier League looks as though it is drawing to a close and they are caught in nineteenth position in overall standings. The Potters have a terrific team on paper, but they simply have not been able to string together a positive run of results and face a tough draw on the run home.
Southampton won’t have a better opportunity to win this season and they can break back into the winner’s circle against Stoke.
Liverpool return to Anfield to play Newcastle early on Sunday morning Australian time.
Newcastle’s yo-yoing between the top two leagues looks as though it could continue this time around and they enter Week 29 in fifteenth overall – less than a win above the drop zone. They have a reasonably tough run home and they face a Liverpool side this week who has found terrific touch of late, and who have really piled the pressure on United in the race to second.
Mo Salah has led the way for the Reds all season, but he seems to have improved even more since the departure of Coutinho and trails Spurs’ Harry Kane by only one goal (23 in total) in the race to this season’s Golden Boot.
This is the sort of game that Liverpool will just need to win if they are to take bragging rights from the Red Devils and Salah can add to his tally by scoring at any time.
Brighton are flying high, but face a tough task in overcoming the unpredictable Arsenal at home on Sunday night.
The Seagulls appeared to be on a fast track back to the Championship leading into Christmas and while they still have plenty of work ahead, they have climbed in twelfth position and have a great chance of securing another season in the league. They are undefeated in their four most-recent EPL matches and enter this off the back of a 4-1 demolition of the in-form Swansea.
Arsenal have been virtually impossible to trust from a betting perspective all season again and they are every chance of finishing outside the top four. The Gunners currently sit sixth and while they do have a healthy buffer over Burnley, they are eight points adrift of Chelsea.
This is a game that Arsenal should win, but I simply cannot trust them in current form and am happy to watch.
The penultimate match of the round is also the best and will see the champions-in-waiting host the reigning champions.
Manchester City have been simply incredible their season. They have shown no signs of slowing at any point and are currently thirteen points clear of their closest rivals United in overall standings. They will be without the injured Fernandinho for this clash, but their depth of talent is second to none and a player like Yaya Toure will fill the hole comfortably.
Chelsea’s inconsistent season has resulted in them currently sitting fifth in overall standings and with some work ahead, if they are to take a Champions League spot.
There’s no reason why Manchester City won’t continue their winning form here.
Crystal Palace are firmly entrenched in the fight for survival and face a huge task in overcoming Manchester United in Week 29.
The Eagles were by no means disgraced in last week’s 1-0 loss to Tottenham, but they’ve failed to win a game since January and are in desperate need of points if they are to survive.
United have been caught by Liverpool in the race to second in overall standings, but the Red Devils remain in the box seat and have a better run to the finishing post than the Reds.
Manchester United should win this game comfortably.