Chelsea require just three points from three games to claim the Premier League trophy, but it would come as no surprise if they do it at the first time of asking on Friday night. Monday night’s 3-0 saunter past Middlesbrough, coupled with Tottenham’s defeat at West Ham, means that the Blues could win the title for the second time in three years on Friday at West Brom.
One more win would wrap things up and Monday night’s up coming game against Watford at Stamford Bridge will be set up for a celebration. Tony Pulis’ West Brom have hit the wall since surpassing the 40 point mark, losing four and drawing two of the last six games. The first five of those passed by without a Baggies goal, but at least they found the net twice in last week’s 2-2 draw with Bournemouth. The 8th placed finish that looked assured a few weeks ago is now suddenly under threat, and West Brom are still chasing their highest ever Premier League points total. There’s plenty of motivation to spoil the party then, but Chelsea are in determined mood after three straight wins.
In more TV action on Saturday, Manchester City and Leicester go head-to-head in the early kick off, while Arsenal must travel to Stoke at tea-time. The Foxes have worked their way back up to 9th after flirting with relegation, and at least a top half finish will be something of a consolation after a dismal league campaign. City meanwhile are well-poised in the race for the top four, but can ill afford to drop points. That’s partly because Arsenal are making a late pitch for the Champions League after back-to-back wins over Manchester United and Southampton. The Gunners are still reliant on either Liverpool or City slipping up, but just four points separate the trio at present.
West Brom v Chelsea
Chelsea to win a match in which both teams score is an attractive price at +250 with 188Bet.
The Blues may have kept clean sheets in the last two games against Middlesbrough and Everton, but that’s not been the story during the back-end of this campaign. Seven of the last ten wins for Chelsea have seen them fail to keep a clean sheet, and one suspects Antonio Conte will care little about that stat if his side claim the title at the Hawthorns.
Tony Pulis has rightly been lauded as a manager to keep a team in the top flight, but his sides do appear to have a habit of switching off once survival has been achieved. The experienced manager will surely be doing his utmost to motivate his players to earn their biggest Premier League points total. They may not start by beating Chelsea, but will surely put up a fight in an attempt to delay, if not spoil, the Blues’ party. The scoring monkey came off the back with two goals at Burnley last week, and they were unlucky bot to hold on to the win. The Baggies have enough about them to score on home soil, even if they do succumb to Chelsea’s superior quality.
Manchester City v Leicester City
Both teams have scored in 7 of City’s last 10 games, and that’s the best way to approach the lunchtime kick off against Leicester at -125 with Betfair.
The Citizens’ 5-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace last week was their first win in four games, and they are short enough odds at around -300 to win here. Prior to that win it was a pair of draws with Middlesbrough and Manchester United, and while Pep Guardiola’s men are likely to win, there’s little value in backing them. They have, however, scored in all but two of the last fifteen games and it would be a shock if they failed to find the net at the Etihad.
Leicester’s ‘funny old season’ continues, and after the Champions League adventure came to an end against Atletico Madrid, they were briefly in the relegation dog fight. Back-to-back wins against Watford and West Brom have helped them jump into the top half, and crucially, Vardy and Mahrez are back among the goals. The Man City defence has left plenty to be desired this season, and the Foxes are wily enough to hit the Citizens on the break.
Stoke City v Arsenal
It may not be a wet and windy Tuesday night, but Arsene Wenger must be concerned ahead of the trip to Stoke. His side haven’t won at the Potters in six attempts dating back to 2010, but the Gunners are desperate for points in the hunt for the top four. Backing Arsenal at odds-against away from home has never been a profitable venture, so a more speculative punt is recommended on the draw HT/Arsenal FT double result at +440 with Marathonbet.
Stoke have meandered through the season without ever really being in danger, but only confirmed their Premier League status with last week’s draw at Bournemouth. Just 3 wins in the last 15 games tells the story, and they can’t even claim the rock-solid home form that used to be associated with Stoke sides of the past. However, they are always competitive against the top sides on their own patch and will make the Gunners work hard for three points.
Arsenal have won four of the last five to get back into Champions League contention, but are running out of games. Realistically, they have to win all three to have a chance of overtaking Liverpool or Manchester City, so we can expect them to go out and attack the game. Two second half goals from Sanchez and Giroud in midweek gave Wenger’s side a 2-0 victory at Southampton, and it could be a similar pattern here.
Chelsea to win and both teams to score
Friday 12th May, 20:00 GMT
Man City v Leicester – Both teams to score
Saturday 13th May, 12:30 GMT
Draw HT/Arsenal FT – double result
Saturday 13th May, 17:30 GMT