EPL Preview: Matchday 30

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BetMGM Jun 16, 2021, 7:23 PM

We’re barrelling towards the end of the English Premier League 2020/21 season, with the last matches to be played on Sunday, May 23. This means we only have eight games of EPL action left until the summer break. In this preview, we look at games affecting the top four spots, as well as the EPL betting odds for the rest of the matches across the league.

Manchester City has pretty much claimed this season’s title, but the top four spots are anything but assured. In the fight for the coveted last Champions League place, Chelsea, West Ham, and Tottenham are all within touching distance of each other.

Here’s what you have to look forward to in another action-packed weekend of Premier League soccer:

Saturday, April 3

Chelsea vs. West Brom

Betting Odds: Chelsea: -500 Tie: +575 West Brom: +1400

(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

What a remarkable turnaround of results we’ve seen from Chelsea under the guidance of Thomas Tuchel. The German took over from Frank Lampard when the Blues were struggling to stay up in the top ten in the Premier League. The team seemed to be lacking guidance, ambition, and experience; their new expensive players were floundering, and things were looking dire for the proud London club.

Tuchel has completely transformed this team and they are now fighting to hold onto the fourth spot; West Ham and Tottenham are just two and three points behind them, respectively. Although they haven’t lost a game since the change in management, there has been a fair number of draws—three in their last five League games. Tuchel looks to have provided solid defense, but his forwards need to work on breaching the opposition goal and to become more lethal when they are on the front foot.

The story couldn’t be more different for West Brom, who are languishing in second-to-last place and face inevitable relegation at the end of the season. Sam Allardyce’s team has had a poor season and their defense seems to be the biggest issue. With 57 goals allowed this season, they have the worst record of all the teams in the League this year, and they are going to have to delve deep to keep Chelsea’s Kai Havertz and Mason Mount at bay this weekend.

There isn’t much left for West Brom to play for this season other than pride. They are unlikely to catch Newcastle, who are ten points above them, in the safety zone and they will simply play to ensure that they aren’t caught by lowly Sheffield, who are four points behind them at the bottom of the League.

This is the perfect opportunity for Tuchel’s men to get some goals and a better grip on the fourth spot. At this stage of the season, there’s no room for mistakes and Chelsea knows that. It’s unlikely that this confident team is going to drop any points to West Brom at Stamford Bridge.

Leicester City vs. Manchester City

Betting odds: Leicester: +525 Tie: +325 Manchester City: -190

(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Leicester should be brimming with confidence after beating Manchester United 3-1 in the FA Cup before the international break. However, the one team they probably would have preferred to give a miss at this stage of the season is Manchester City.

Confidence can’t do much against a team that seems to have an unending amount of talent coupled with discipline. Brendan Rogers will have to throw everything at City if he wants to take any points this weekend. Although they have gotten back to winning ways, he won’t forget the 3-1 thrashing they got from Arsenal just a couple of weeks ago. Manchester City has the best defense in the League and has only conceded 21 goals throughout the competition, so Rogers will have to find a way to get his strikers firing on all cylinders.

Just a couple of months ago, there was genuine concern about Manchester City. They seemed to have lost the edge and spark that have made them such fierce contenders over the last couple of seasons. Now, we know that it was merely a blip in the well-oiled Manchester City machine, which is back up to full force—steamrolling all that comes before them. A couple of weeks ago, their loss to Manchester United is the only stain on what has been an unbelievable run of results.

It’s unlikely that Guardiola will be concerned about his team getting maximum points at the King Power Stadium. With John Stones and Ruben Dias at the back, the formidable İlkay Gündoğan in midfield, and a plethora of strikers, this is a fully formed unit, capable of winning any game.

Leicester City will have to decide between a high press like the one that they used against Manchester United or sit back and hope to catch City on the counter. However, whatever tactic Rogers goes with, it’s still unlikely that they are going to take any points off of Pep Guardiola’s team.

Sunday, April 4

Manchester United vs. Brighton

Betting odds: Man United: -165 Tie: +320 Brighton: +425

(Photo by Alex Livesey – Danehouse/Getty Images)

Manchester United is a team of two sides this season. First, we see a team that is lethal at pressing and scoring goals—as we saw against Real Sociedad and Manchester City, but on the other hand, they have the tendency to look half asleep in some of their matches, as we saw in their most recent game against West Ham.

It’s hoped that the team will come back from the international fixtures a little refreshed with the change of scenery. Bruno Fernandes simply looks exhausted, but the midfield will be boosted by the return of Paul Pogba, who scored the winning goal against AC Milan in the Europa League on his introduction after injury. The main concern for Solskjær is at the top of the pitch, with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial both in a race for fitness to make the team against the Seagulls this weekend.

Brighton had a worrying period of results at the turn of the year, with a run of draws and losses coming in January and February. The Seagulls were slipping ever closer to the relegation zone and had struggled since the injury to dynamic right back Lamptey. However, March was an excellent month for Brighton, with an impressive win against Leicester City, before wins against Newcastle and Southampton. They are now six points above the relegation zone, with Fulham having played a game in hand. Still, safety is not assured, and Graham Potter will take his team to Old Trafford, looking to put United under pressure and cause an upset.

On paper, United should win this game, seeing as they are second in the EPL, but they will have to play an energetic, high-pressing match if they want to take all three points at home.

What’s happening in the rest of the League?

(Photo by PHIL NOBLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Of course, these are just the games affecting the top four teams, and there’s a lot more happening in the League this weekend. Online sports betting fans can also look at the following soccer betting odds for Matchday 30:

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.