A host of midweek English Premier League matches were played to make room for the FA Cup quarterfinals taking place at the end of March. Man City increased their lead at the top of the table with their 4-1 win over Wolves, while Man Utd and Leicester City were held to draws. Liverpool lost for the fifth consecutive time at Anfield and Chelsea look like a team that’s up for a top four fight.
There’s only 11 rounds of fixtures left in the 2020/2021 season, and we’re going to take a look at the EPL betting odds and previews for the games affecting the top four clubs.
Saturday, March 6
Brighton vs. Leicester City
Betting odds: Brighton: +160 Tie: +220 Leicester: +180
After a ‘bright’ start to the season, the Seagulls now sit just three points above the relegation zone places and manager Graham Potter will hope that his side can kick on and secure some results. Ordinarily, a team in 16th would not relish facing a team up in 3rd place, but this is a strange season of soccer and Leicester seem to be misfiring of late. Brighton will have to look back to February the 3rd to get sight of their last win in the Premier League, albeit that it was against Liverpool and this should give Potter’s team courage. The Seagulls are going to be ready to throw everything at a Leicester team that has failed to capitalize on goal scoring chances in their last couple of games.
Leicester find themselves in 3rd place in the League only due to their own misfiring forwards. Manchester United has given Brendan Rogers’ team ample opportunity to pip them into second place. However, the Foxes seem to be following United’s lead and have failed to capitalize every time the Red Devils drop points. The biggest concern for the manager at this stage must be the form of Jamie Vardy. Vardy won the EPL golden boot last season, and although he has been injured of late, that doesn’t cover up the fact that he has only scored once in nine appearances since Christmas. This Leicester team seems to be over-reliant on the goalscoring exploits of their talismanic forward and struggle when he isn’t up to the task. Rogers will have to work out how to get him back to his best if they wish to stay within the top four this season, never mind climb up into second place.
Sunday, March 7
Manchester City vs. Manchester United
Betting odds: Man City: -190 Tie: +300 Man United: +575
It’s derby day in Manchester as the Blue and Red sides of the city come up against each other at the Etihad stadium. There might have been a little more excitement about this match if it had taken place at the beginning of the year, but as is, Man City have all but sealed the title and Man United look unable to score goals. Still, Pep Guardiola will be wary of the fact that he can’t underestimate this United side—mainly due to their inconsistency—you truly never know what you are going to get. The Citizens have now got an envious record of 20 wins on the trot and it’s unlikely that they are going to drop points anytime soon. Defensively, City are simply astounding and they have only let in 17 goals the entire season, compared to United’s 32. This will be a game that Guardiola will be cautiously optimistic about and hope that they can change the drab 0-0 scoreline that was the result the last time they played the Red Devils.
When United were sitting in prime position and top of the table at the start of 2021, their manager insisted that it was too soon to start calling them title hopefuls, and he was right on the money here. United have been absolutely woeful over their last couple of matches. They have drawn four of their last five League games and haven’t scored a goal in three. Yes, they are on an unbeaten run of 21 games away from home, but they are coming up against a side that has the best defensive record in the league. The likes of Rashford, Greenwood, Martial, and Cavani were unable to break a weak Crystal Palace defense on Wednesday and it’s highly unlikely they will have more luck here.
The best we can hope for in this match is that Man City will play with confidence, which will give the Red Devils a little more space to play into and perhaps create a bit more excitement for fans to enjoy. All in all, expect Manchester City to march on towards the trophy and sweep a lackluster Manchester United side out of the way.
Monday, March 8
Chelsea vs. Everton
Betting odds: Chelsea: -175 Tie: +300 Everton: +500
Chelsea won for the first time at Anfield since 2004 and this means that the team is unbeaten in 10 matches since the appointment of Thomas Tuchel as manager. This expensively assembled Blues team looked to be drifting for most of the season under Frank Lampard, but they have finally found their identity. They have only conceded two goals in ten games and they look hungry for more. Timo Werner seems to have come right, Hakim Ziyech is starting to control games, and Mason Mounts looks like a player with absolutely boundless energy. Tuchel will be happy with his team’s performance against Liverpool and will look to keep a hold on their fourth spot when Everton come knocking.
Richarlson scored his fourth goal in as many games against West Brom and the Merseysiders only dropped back to fifth thanks to Chelsea’s win over Liverpool. Carlos Ancelotti is not getting ahead of himself and insists that Everton will be happy with a European spot of any sort, but Champions League soccer has got to be their ultimate goal. The last time Everton went this long unbeaten away from home was 36 years ago in 1984/85, and this has given the team and the fans hope that this season is going to be a special one.
Everton are in 5th place, one point behind Chelsea, but they do have a game in hand. This means that Chelsea are going to have to do everything that they can to keep the Toffees at bay and hold onto their slender lead. Expect an exciting, high-tempo soccer match in which Chelsea should take all three points at Stamford Bridge.
What’s happening in the rest of the League?
- Burnley vs. Arsenal: Burnley: +425 Tie: +290 Arsenal: -155
- Sheffield United vs. Southampton: Sheffield: +260 Tie: +250 Southampton: +105
- Aston Villa vs. Wolves: Aston Villa: +135 Tie: +225 Wolves: +220
- West Brom vs. Newcastle: West Brom: +145 Tie: +220 Newcastle: +200
- Liverpool vs. Fulham: Liverpool: -300 Tie: +425 Fulham: +775
- Tottenham vs. Crystal Palace: Tottenham: -225 Tie: +360 Palace: +600
- West Ham: vs. Leeds: West Ham: +110 Tie: +250 Leeds: +250
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