Could These Be Four of the Best?

Four midweek football games, four sets of betting tips; and every single match has some added sports betting interest.

The race for Europe and the bid to beat the drop is reaching a thrilling climax.

Brighton & Hove Albion vs Tottenham Hotspur (April 18, 02:45 GMT+8)

In the race for a coveted top-four spot, the declining fortunes of Chelsea have given wriggle room to those directly above them.

Spurs are one of the beneficiaries, although the North London club will rightly argue they would finish ahead of the reigning champions anyway.

With an FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United just days away, chances are Mauricio Pochettino would rest a few key men in this one as some players may have one eye on the cup tie anyway.

In contrast, Brighton, managed by former Spurs favourite Chris Hughton, desperately need the points.

I think it will be closely contested and my 🌟🌟 bet is Total Goal 2-3 @ 1.98.

Bournemouth vs Manchester United (April 19, 02:45 GMT+8)

Likewise, this match may not be a priority for United as they prepare for the last four tie.

They will have 24 hours fewer to prepare than Spurs, something which can be crucial at this stage of the season.

The Cherries would love another scalp after already stunning Arsenal and Chelsea this season.

Again, I think it will be a tight encounter, so my 🌟🌟 prediction is Total Goal 2-3 @ 1.96.

Burnley vs Chelsea (April 20, 02:45 GMT+8)

Burnley are tantalisingly close to Europe.

Victory against the outgoing champions would cap off an impressive season for the Clarets.

For Sean Dyche, arguably the boss who should claim the manager of the year gong, qualifying for European football would be a ‘badge of honour’.

It would also mark their first foray into European competition since they reached the quarter-finals of the former Fairs Cup (before it became the UEFA Cup).

Chelsea will be in Europe next season, but it may not be the Champions League that the free-spending Antonio Conte and owners crave.

The difference in recent months between Dyche and Conte’s body language speaks volumes.

I do think this will be a draw, so my 🌟🌟 plump is for a 1X2 draw @ 3.35. However, I’m hedging my bets and also going for a 🌟 tip on Burnley Asian Handicap +0.25 @ 2.40.

Leicester vs Southampton (April 20, 02:45 GMT+8)

Does Mark Hughes rest players for the FA Cup semi-final less than 72 hours after this or does he go all out in the bid to survive?

It has to be the latter from a financial point of view, although the romantic will say a day out at Wembley should take priority.

Only problem is, the FA have devalued the opportunity by staging the semi-finals as well as the final at the national stadium.

In all honesty, the Saints would have been disconsolate after losing to Chelsea at the weekend after being 2-0 up.

Leicester are still vying for a European place, however aspirational, so they will be fired up too.

They should edge it, though the Saints may pull a surprise out of the hat.

My 🌟 tip is Leicester First Half 1X2 @ 2.93 with a 🌟🌟 bet on 1X2 draw @ 3.25.

A short explanation on how our (🌟) bets are worth:

🌟🌟🌟 = £20
🌟🌟 = £10
🌟 = £5

Head over to the betting tips section and see how our writers perform in their predicted bets.

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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

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Here’s What Else to Watch For in the Big Premier League!

Manchester City may have won the Premier League title, but there’s more to play for and bet online on as the other teams try to hit their targets for the season.

Chelsea are currently out of the top four and will look to boost their slim chances of moving up in their remaining football games. There’s also Arsenal who are hoping to shift the betting odds in their favour as they battle for a Europa League spot.

On the other end, Southampton fight for survival with their hopes drifting away every gameweek.

Burnley FC vs Chelsea (April 20, 02:45 GMT+8)

After his title run with Chelsea last season, Antonio Conte seems to have lost the dressing room and the support of ownership. That was evident when he asked his players to play for the badge and not for him.

Indeed, defeat to Tottenham, draw with West Ham and near loss to Southampton didn’t help the Italian manager; and what was once a happy marriage appears to be at its breaking point.

Burnley should be able to take advantage of the chaos at Chelsea, especially now that they are on a five-game winning streak. For a 🌟🌟🌟 bet, choose Burnley 1X2 @ 3.85.

Leicester City vs Southampton (April 20, 02:45 GMT+8)

With three straight defeats and nine goals conceded in the same stretch, 18th-placed Southampton are undoubtedly in deep trouble. However, as every Premier League fan knows, there’s no more dangerous opponent than a wounded beast.

Fortunately for the Saints, they will be playing a Leicester team that has been struggling recently as well.  The Foxes did beat Southampton 4-1 the last time they met, but it should be remembered they haven’t won a league game at home since January—even sharing the spoils with the likes of Swansea City and Stoke, both bottom clubs.

I predict a low-scoring affair here, so a 🌟🌟 bet for me is goals Under 2.50 @ 1.94.

Arsenal vs West Ham United (April 22, 20:30 GMT+8)

Arsenal will be happy to be back home following their poor performances on the road against CSKA Moscow (in the Europa League) and Newcastle (in the Premier League).

The Gunners have only lost twice at home this season, both against Manchester clubs, so they will fancy their chances against the 15th-ranked Hammers.

West Ham, however, head into this game brimming with confidence after coming back from a goal down to draw with Chelsea. Not to mention that they managed to pull off a goalless stalemate against Arsenal in their December fixture.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has produced four goals in Arsenal’s last three home games, will likely be the deciding factor here. I think West Ham can put up a fight, but it won’t last long. With that said, choose Arsenal Asian Handicap -1.25 @ 2.20 for another 🌟🌟 bet.

A short explanation on how our (🌟) bets are worth:

🌟🌟🌟 = £20
🌟🌟 = £10
🌟 = £5

Head over to the betting tips section and see how our writers perform in their predicted bets.

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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

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Prospect of Europe excites Dyche

Burnley manager Sean Dyche would be ecstatic if his side had the opportunity to play in the Europa League next season.

The Clarets are seventh after beating Leicester City 2-1 on Saturday – their fifth victory in a row – and such a position will be enough to seal a Europa League spot, unless Southampton win the FA Cup.

In the past teams have complained about the prospect of playing in Europe as it gives them too many games to play, but Dyche does not agree with those sentiments.

"It can't be a negative, how can that be a negative? Five-and-a-half years ago (we were) 16th in the Championship, impossible to be a negative, impossible," said Dyche.

"For us, Burnley Football Club, even being spoken about (for European football) it is a long, long way from where we were at the end of last season.

"You get 40 points (in the Premier League) with two (games) to go and it is a big sigh of relief. This season, (we) achieved 40 and then had the mentality to carry on after that, fantastic, we will see where it goes."

Burnley are nine points ahead of eighth-placed Leicester with five games to play. Dyche's side are 13/5 to beat Chelsea on Thursday and 6/1 to draw 1-1 with the Blues.

Injury ends Iborra’s season

Leicester City boss Claude Puel has revealed that Vicente Iborra will not be able to play again this season because of a hamstring injury.

The Spaniard will not be involved in Saturday's Premier League match at Burnley, which the Foxes are 2/1 to win, while Matty James (Achilles) and Wilfred Ndidi (suspension) also miss out.

Iborra picked up the injury in the first half of last weekend's 2-1 loss to Newcastle United at the King Power Stadium.

"Iborra has an injury to his hamstring," Puel confirmed. "He will not be available for the rest of the season. We are unlucky with our midfield players at the moment, with Matty James and Wilfred too.

"I have confidence with [Adrien] Silva, of course, and the young player, [Hamza] Choudhury. It's a good opportunity for him to start the game and to play with the first team. He is a good player and he has the confidence of all his team-mates."

Puel has also revealed that Ghana international Daniel Amartey is close to a return to action as he battles back from a hamstring problem of his own, which he picked up last month against Bournemouth.

"Amartey is coming back slowly," Puel added. "He is always in the gym and hopefully he can come back on the pitch next week."

Leicester are 15/2 to beat Burnley 1-0 and 2/1 to keep a clean sheet at Turf Moor.

Handicap Betting on the Ups and Downs!

When Saturday comes we’re off again. The EPL season climax is coming into view, and fans and football betting players world-wide just love this time of year.

Some more than others of course; it’s a nerve-wracking time for those at the bottom end, while the teams that have fared well are battling it out for glory. For this week’s Asian Handicap Betting picks I’m watching a couple of relegation scraps, but first I’m going to start with a Europa League shootout.

Burnley vs Leicester City (April 14, 22:00 GMT+8)

Seventh place will probably qualify for Europe and Burnley have occupied that spot, or higher, for most of the season. Leicester are six points behind in eighth so this game could be a humdinger. Former Fox Chris Wood is on scoring form for the Clarets while the visitors’ Jamie Vardy is bound to be sniffing for goals.

Burnley has won the last four and are at odds of 1.82 to make it five, Draw no Bet, for a 🌟🌟🌟 punt.

West Ham United vs Stoke City (April 17, 03:00 GMT+8)

The result of this game week’s last fixture could decide the seasons of both clubs as West Ham, six points above the drop zone, host the Potters, who are in 19th and four from safety after four defeats. Both teams have played out considerably more Overs than Unders in their struggles, mainly as they’ve conceded a whopping 121 goals between them!

So for a 🌟🌟 bet I’m backing Over 2.50 goals at odds of 2.12.

Huddersfield Town vs Watford FC (April 14, 22:00 GMT+8)

Watford travel to Huddersfield almost safe but the hosts still have plenty to do. The Hornets have been whacked on their last two away trips, 5-0 and 3-0, but that was to Liverpool and Arsenal. Now, they face the Terriers who have scored a solitary goal in the last five matches, thanks to a gift from Newcastle last week.

Watford carry a bigger threat and so my third bet is a 🌟🌟 punt on the Hornets, Draw no Bet at 2.05

A short explanation on how our (🌟) bets are worth :

🌟🌟🌟 = £20
🌟🌟 = £10
🌟 = £5

Head over to the betting tips section and see how our writers perform in their predicted bets.

Click for more football betting options.

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

Bet NOW!

Dyche confirms Mee injury woe

Burnley centre-back Ben Mee is being troubled a shin problem, but Clarets manager Sean Dyche is confident that Kevin Long will prove to be an able replacement.

Mee, 26, sat out the 2-1 win at Watford last weekend and Dyche has confirmed that his player will not be ready for the visit of Leicester City this weekend and could be absent for a little while longer.

However, having seen Long show up well alongside James Tarkowski against the Hornets, Dyche is happy with the back-up option at his disposal.

He told his club's official website: "Ben could be a couple of weeks. It's a stress response to the workload and gets quite sore around where the ankle attaches to the shin.

"He had something similar last year which cost him a few games. We will just have to monitor that and see how it settles down."

Dyche, though, is not overly concerned at Mee being forced on to the sidelines, as Long has impressed when he has been called upon, adding: "Kevin was very good last week at Watford.

"It's a double-edged sword. You don't want to lose players who have been playing well and who have moulded into the team and the Premier League year-on-year.

"But equally, it's good for the players who are so diligent with their profession and Kevin is certainly one of those, so he gets another chance to play games, which he is doing at the moment."

The Clarets play host to the Foxes having won their last four Premier League games, including three successive victories away from home.

Burnley can be backed at 29/20 to defeat Leicester and are 13/2 to claim a 1-0 victory, with the hosts 13/8 to keep a clean sheet at Turf Moor.

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Football Games Now Offer Little Second Chance

After the excitement of Champions League in midweek is the return the other competition which creates the most drama and enjoyment (depending on which team you support and how your betting tips have fared!).

More crucial football games await, and one slip up can prove very costly at this stage of the season.

WEEK 34 SATURDAY:

Southampton vs Chelsea

The dress rehearsal for an FA Cup semi-final clash between the sides eight days later.

If you offered Mark Hughes a Premier League victory and Antonio Conte FA Cup success now, both men would probably take it.

Both sides were unfortunate last week: the Saints went down 3-2 at Arsenal and Chelsea were held at home by West Ham.

Antonio Conte looks like a dead man walking, and he will surely separate with outgoing champions Chelsea this summer.

Burnley vs Leicester City

The Europa League is very much in sight for Burnley.

The club’s fourth successive top-flight victory last weekend was something the club has not achieved for nearly 50 years.

Victory for the seventh-placed Clarets against the eighth-placed Foxes will all but seal the dream. Can the 2016 champions revive their challenge following a potentially damaging home defeat to Newcastle?

Crystal Palace vs Brighton & Hove Albion

A fixture of such importance needs no introduction.

Brighton are inching closer to safety, but a tough May means they really need to get more points on the board quickly.

Palace should be confident in their ability to survive but must stop dropping points late on.

Huddersfield Town vs Watford FC

Likewise, Huddersfield need to get some more precious points on board.

Another tension-filled afternoon is likely at the John Smith’s Stadium.

If David Wagner’s side wins, the Hornets may get drawn into a scrap in the closing weeks of the campaign.

Swansea City vs Everton

If Swansea do survive, Carlos Carvalhal should be lauded in Southwest Wales.

For his record of 19 points from 12 matches means the club should only need another half dozen to secure safety.

Everton could finish the season with five straight wins. Through little fault of his own, the discontent for Sam Allardyce amongst Evertonians would not dissipate.

WEEK 34 SUNDAY:

Liverpool vs Bournemouth

Liverpool’s epic Champions League success against Manchester City has the club buzzing and dreaming of Euro glory.

The Merseysiders will know who they face in the last four by the time Bournemouth arrive in town.

With the Cherries all but safe and with little to play for, this could be the perfect game for the hosts.

Newcastle United vs Arsenal

After their victory over Leicester last weekend, Toon boss Rafa Benitez said his side was close to the safety mark.

Indeed, an upturn in form – sparked by a February success against Man Utd – has come at the right time.

Arsenal travel to St James’ Park after a weary run of domestic and European games, so this could be a timely fixture for the Geordies.

Manchester United vs West Bromwich Albion

After their stunning comeback in the Manchester derby to deny City a title party, United are strong favourites against the Premier League’s bottom club.

The Baggies may have ended a run of eight consecutive defeats last time out, but they still have a 10-point gap to overhaul with only five games remaining.

Could this be the weekend they lose their top-flight status?

WEEK 34 TUESDAY:

West Ham United vs Stoke City

Do the maths! Another defeat for Stoke will surely consign them to the drop.

They haven’t improved since Mark Hughes was sacked and replaced by Paul Lambert in January – the Scot has only overseen one win in 10 matches in charge.

West Ham remain inconsistent but, under David Moyes, have had stand-out moments and are inching closer to safety.

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Dyche facing goalkeeper dilemma

Burnley boss Sean Dyche knows he is facing something of a selection dilemma as goalkeeper Tom Heaton returns to full fitness.

Heaton is set to be considered for the trip Watford on Saturday after recovering from a long-term shoulder injury, though Nick Pope has been a more than able deputy in the absence of the England shot-stopper.

Dyche also has Anders Lindegaard, who committed his future to the Clarets by signing a new contract on Thursday, and Adam Legzdins as options and he wants to see all four goalkeepers working hard.

"I don't think it is difficult to balance," said Dyche. "Tom knows the job, as does Anders and [Adam] Legzdins behind them. Goalies know the script.

"Whether you're first choice, second choice or fighting to get involved, that is just the lie of the land with goalkeepers.

"Pope is doing nicely, he's playing well and having a good season. Tom has been a fantastic servant over time and Anders and Legz are still looking to earn their spurs here."

Burnley are 23/10 to win at Watford on Saturday. The Hornets are 13/10 while the draw is 11/5.

Asked if Pope would remain the first-choice this season, Dyche was not willing to commit.

"No, it just means that there are four very good goalkeepers – two obvious ones. Nick has currently got the shirt, it is my decision if that continues over the season," he added.

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Moore pleads for unity

Darren Moore, the new caretaker boss at West Brom has said that he wants to see the club unite between now and the end of the season.

He has taken charge of the Baggies until the end of the current campaign following Alan Pardew's departure after the weekend defeat to Burnley.

That loss left Albion rooted to the foot of the Premier League table 10 points from safety with just six games remaining.

So relegation from the top flight appears inevitable with the side having won just three matches all season, two under Tony Pulis and just one during Pardew's time in charge at the Hawthorns.

Moore, a former Baggies defender who was part of Pardew's backroom staff, says that, whatever happens with results in those last few games, he wants to see unity return to the club.

He told the BBC: "We've always bounced back before and that's what we will do again.

"West Bromwich Albion has always been a family for me. And that's the word I shall focus on – family.

"We need to get the unity back among everyone – the players, the staff, the fans, everyone connected with Albion, because that is the only way forward."

West Brom still have to play Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham before the end of the season but they start life after Pardew with a home game against Swansea on Saturday.

The Baggies are 29/20 to get their fourth league win of the season while Swansea, three points above the bottom three are 2/1 to continue their revival under new boss Carlos Carvalhal. The draw is priced at 21/10.

Albion are 3/1 to win the game by a one goal margin.

Relegation for Albion can't be confirmed this weekend but, depending on results, could come as soon as their trip to Old Trafford on 15th April.

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Dyche plays down Europa hopes

Manager Sean Dyche continues to play down the prospects of his Burnley side finishing the Premier League season in style by qualifying for the Europa League.

The Clarets currently occupy seventh place in the table, which could yet earn them a European spot for next season.

However, Dyche was playing down any such talk after seeing his side win 2-1 at rock-bottom West Bromwich Albion to make it three victories in a row and just one loss in their last seven league outings.

He told reporters: "You've got to be careful what you wish for. I'm very proud of what the players are achieving. We're a constant work in progress and we're definitely not the real deal.

"Most people who know me know I never get too high or too low, as I know the realities of the industry, so I choose not to get carried away.

"We're really pleased. It's another big win and we want to be as strong as we can going into the final games of the season.

"It's hard to make massive strides at once, but it's about continuation, particularly away from home and I feel we've done that."

Next up for Burnley is a trip to Vicarage Road next Saturday to take on Watford, with the Clartes having edged a 1-0 victory earlier this season when the two sides met at Turf Moor.

Burnley are 23/10 to secure all three points next Saturday, with the draw priced at 11/5, while a 1-1 final scoreline is available at 11/2.

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