EPL Preview: Matchday 28

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BetMGM @BETMGM Apr 18, 2022, 11:55 AM
Premier League logo and season dates on a matchday ball - Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images
( Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

There are only 10 games left in the English Premier League 2020/21 season. Matchday 27 saw Manchester City’s 21-game winning streak end at the hands of Manchester United, Chelsea solidified their place in the top four, and Liverpool had another disaster loss at Anfield. Let’s take a look at the biggest games this weekend and the EPL betting odds for Matchday 28.

Saturday, March 13

Alt: Everton keeper Jordan Pickford brings down Chelsea forward Kai Havertz - Photo by MIKE HEWITT/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
(Photo by MIKE HEWITT/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Leeds vs. Chelsea

Betting odds: Leeds: +350 Tie: +290 Chelsea: -135 

Marcelo Bielsa’s team had an excellent start to the season. Many thought that the newly promoted team would struggle to adapt to the level of the Premier League, but Bielsa’s gung ho, attacking style of soccer quickly impressed any critics. Although they have lost four of their last five League games, they are still in 11th position, just three points behind Arsenal. 

The only problem with throwing all your players forward is that it leaves the defense exposed and this is exactly what Leeds have been struggling with this season. They have an impressive tally of 43 goals, but they have had 46 goals scored against them—the second-worst defensive record in the entire league. Patrick Bamford has been unbelievable for the side this season, but Bielsa will have to work out how to nullify the potent Chelsea attack if he wants to take anything from this game.

Chelsea are a team that has been reinvigorated under Thomas Tuchel and they are starting to look like the expensively-assembled outfit that they are. The weekend’s game against Everton was expected to be a tight contest, but in truth, only Everton’s goalkeeper, Jordan Pickford, saved the Toffees from an embarrassing scoreline. Most importantly, Tuchel seems to have the new recruits firing on all cylinders, with Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, and Hakim Ziyech all improving under the new manager. It was Havertz that ran the show against Everton; playing in the false number nine position, the German was involved in both goals on Monday night.

Tuchel has changed the Blues mentality with and without the ball and they are now firmly in line for a top four finish. Although it’s not impossible, it’s unlikely that this confident team will drop points at Elland Road.

Fulham vs. Manchester City

Betting odds: Fulham: +900 Tie: +400 Man City: -300

Alt: An exasperated Pep Guardiola holds his hands in front of his face on the sideline - Photo by ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP via Getty Images
(Photo by ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP via Getty Images)

Just a couple of weeks ago, it would have been unfathomable to think that the relegation-threatened Cottagers would condemn Liverpool to their sixth successive defeat at Anfield. Scott Parker’s team has been sitting in the relegation zone for pretty much the entire campaign, and it was all but expected that they would not be playing Premier League football next season. 

However, in just their second-ever win at Anfield, Fulham have now given themselves and their fans hope that they could just make it. The win has moved them level on points with Brighton, but the Seagulls do have a game in hand. The Cottagers have got to go into this with an all-or-nothing attitude if they want to trouble an excellent City side at Craven Cottage.

The Blues’ magnificent 21-game winning streak is over; the fact that it was at the hands of Manchester United will make the result harder to swallow. This is a City team that has been impenetrable all season, having conceded only 17 goals before the meeting with the Red Devils. Pep Guardiola’s men were nullified by a hard-working United team and their usual astute defense and midfield were bullied into losing possession time and again. Their winning streak might be over, but they are still 11 points ahead of United in top spot and will undoubtedly lift the trophy this season. This is a game that City will be out to prove themselves and start their winning streak all over again.

Fulham might have taken points from the current champions over the weekend, but it’s highly unlikely that they will get anything from this season’s most likely winners.

Sunday, March 14

Leicester City vs. Sheffield United

Betting odds: Leicester: -200 Tie: +340 Sheffield: +550

Alt: Leicester City forward Iheanacho heads the ball into goal - Photo by MIKE EGERTON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
(Photo by MIKE EGERTON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Leicester City continued their good run of form on the weekend by overcoming Brighton 2-1. The Foxes were behind most of the game courtesy of an early Adam Lallana goal. Brendan Rogers will be pleased with how his players dug deep to win the game with goals in the 62nd and 87th minute to grab three much-needed points. The goals came from Iheanacho and Amartey respectively, and the only thing that will concern Rogers about this, is that it was another game without a Jamie Vardy goal contribution. The Foxes rely heavily on Vardy for his goal scoring prowess, but he has not got back to his best since his injury. Although Iheanacho is proving that he can also lead the line at times, Rogers needs Vardy back on form if they are going to maintain their hold on third spot.

Despite an impressive win against Aston Villa in Matchday 26, it’s all but certain that Sheffield United will be relegated this season. They sit bottom of the table, 12 points from safety and with an unenviable 16 goals scored this season. Chris Wilder has most likely accepted his team’s fate and will look to rebuild next season in the hope of getting back into the Premier League. This Sheffield team was outstanding last season, but for some reason their goals have dried up and their defense is in a shambles. 

They produced glimpses of this form when they won against Manchester United a couple of weeks ago, but with four losses in the last five League games, it’s unlikely that the Blades will inflict any damage on this Leicester City side at King Power Stadium.

Manchester United vs. West Ham

Betting odds: Man Utd: -125 Tie: +260 West Ham: +360

Alt: Bruno Fernandes covers his ears while celebrating scoring United’s first goal against Manchester City - Photo by LAURENCE GRIFFITHS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
(Photo by LAURENCE GRIFFITHS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Manchester United once again threw a spanner in the works over the weekend, but this time it was to their advantage. The Red Devils have been incredibly inconsistent this season, and against Crystal Palace, they certainly looked jaded and in serious need of some fresh legs. The Manchester Derby is always one for the books, but many expected Man City (who were 14 points ahead of United in first place before the game) to run away with this tie. 

However, Ole Gunnar Solskjær produced a tactical masterclass and his team put in a dogged performance that halted City’s winning streak. Luke Shaw looks to be developing into one of the best full-backs in the League and he deserved United’s second goal of the game. This United team worked hard and limited a potent City attack while managing to breach an almost impenetrable defense. It’s unlikely that the Red Devils will catch their neighbors in the title race, but United need to put in this kind of performance week in and week out to prove that they are building a title-winning team.

West Ham are having their best Premier League season in history. The Hammers sit in fifth spot, two points behind Chelsea and they have a game in hand. David Moyes’ team has been hugely impressive this season and the on-loan addition of Jesse Lingard has only bolstered the Hammer’s confidence. They will, of course, have to play without Lingard for this match, as he cannot play against his parent club, United. However, players like Michail Antonio, Declan Rice, and Tomáš Souček could give this United team problems on the day.

The match result is going to be largely dependent on how United recover from their Europa League exploits on Thursday and whether Marcus Rashford will be able to play this match. The Red Devils are expected to win this one, but West Ham are an excellent team, in good form and you never know which United team will turn up for the game.

What’s happening in the rest of the League?

Alt: Fulham’s Mario Lemina gets passed Liverpool’s Mo Salah to score a goal - Photo by PHIL NOBLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
(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 28:

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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.