The English Premier League is back! The EPL returns to competitive play on Wednesday afternoon with a double-header on NBC Sports Network. Aston Villa hosts Sheffield United at 1 p.m. ET, and that is followed by Manchester City hosting Arsenal. The matches will be streamed at NBCSports.com and the latter match will also air on NBC Universo.
Aston Villa vs. Sheffield United, 1 p.m.
Sheffield is tied for 6th place with Wolverhampton with 43 points. The EPL gets four Champions League berths and one Europa League berth. Manchester United currently holds the Europa League spot with 45 points, while Chelsea holds the fourth Champions League berth with 48 points. With nine match days remaining for most teams (ten for Sheffield), there is a lot of room for maneuvering.
Meanwhile, Aston Villa has 25 points and sits in 19th place out of 20 teams. The bottom three get relegated, and three teams are tied at 27 points in 18th place. Much like the top of the standings a lot can change over the close of the season.
Aston Villa +230 (+138 draw no bet) — 21% handle, 19% bets
Tie +230 — 10% handle, 14% bets
Sheffield United +125 (-165 draw no bet) — 69% handle, 68% bets
Aston Villa: M/F Anwar El Ghazi (9.4), F Mbwana Samatta (7.5), M/F Jota (2.1), M/F Keinan Davis (1.9)
Sheffield United: F Lys Mousset (5.9), F David McGoldrick (5.4), F Oli McBurnie (5.2), Billy Sharp (4.0)
Manchester City vs. Arsenal, 3:15 p.m.
Liverpool has not yet mathematically clinched the EPL title, but they will in short order with a 25 point lead heading into the restart. The battle for the other three Champions League spots are currently held by Man City, Leicester City, and Chelsea. Man City has 57 points, and has a four point lead over Leicester and nine point lead over Chelsea.
Arsenal is in ninth place with 40 points, and still has a shot at potentially a Europa League berth. They trail fifth place Manchester United by five points, and with a game in hand in their ten-match schedule, the Gunners have a shot. At eight points back of Chelsea, they have a chance but it’s probably a long shot.
Manchester City -315 (-1000 draw no bet) — 65% handle, 74% bets
Tie +460 — 4% handle, 6% bets
Arsenal +750 (+650 draw no bet) — 31% handle, 20% bets
Manchester City: M/F Riyad Mahrez (14.7), Facundo Agüero (14.3), M/F Raheem Sterling (13.4), F Gabriel Jesus (11.4)
Arsenal: M/F Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (14.1), M/F Nicolas Pépé (11.6), F Alexandre Lacazette (10.0), M/F Gabriel Martinelli (6.2)