Manchester City enter game week 25 with a 10-point lead at the top of the standings following their 3-1 win at Everton on Wednesday. It’s now City’s title to lose. The race for second spot could go all the way to the final day of the season. Manchester United and Leicester are locked on 46 points and will look to pick up maximum points from their respective fixtures on Sunday. The Foxes travel to Aston Villa while United host Newcastle. Here are some soccer bets that stand out to me on DraftKings Sportsbook for the upcoming English Premier League (EPL) games.
Southampton v Chelsea
Since Thomas Tuchel took over as Chelsea manager, the Blues’ form is second only to leaders Manchester City over the last five games. Chelsea has picked up 13 points from a possible 15 with just one goal conceded in those five contests. In their previous five EPL games under Frank Lampard, the Blues gave up nine goals which effectively cost the club legend his job. Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl must be fearing for his future after witnessing his side drop from fourth to 13th in two months. Saints have lost their last six and a seventh could increase the pressure on Hasenhuttl. Chelsea struggled in the first meeting trailing 2-0 and needing a 90th minute equalizer to claim a point in a 3-3 draw. With Timo Werner back scoring goals, Chelsea will fancy their chances of winning at St Mary’s.
Liverpool v Everton
Liverpool will hope for better fortune in the second Merseyside derby of the season. The first cost them Virgil van Dijk for the season. The defender’s absence has been the root of Liverpool’s problems this season which has left them fighting to finish in the top four. Everton has lost their last two EPL games by two-goal margins and they are without a win in their last three. But victory over their neighbors will see Carlo Ancelotti’s side go level on 40 points with the Reds whose title defense is all but over. The 2-2 draw earlier this season was the fifth tie in the last seven league meetings and another stalemate might be worth considering. Both sides have struggled to keep clean sheets. Everton are without a shutout in their last eight, while Liverpool has gone six games without stopping their opponents from scoring in the league. Everton’s last league win at Anfield was a 1-0 win in September 1999 when Kevin Campbell was the Toffees hero.
Fulham v Sheffield United
It seems every week there is a crucial relegation battle taking place in the EPL and this week sees basement side Sheffield United travel to Fulham. Fulham are the closest side to safety with an eight-point lead over the Blades, and victory at Craven Cottage will close the gap between the Cottagers and Newcastle to just three points. Fulham has only lost one of their last six EPL contests, but four of them have been ties. And the first meeting this season ended in a 1-1 tie. Three of the five meetings this season between the bottom three sides have produced two goals or fewer and this could be another low-scoring encounter. The first goal could be decisive. United has given up the opening goal in their last four EPL games while Fulham has conceded the first goal once in their last six.
Aston Villa v Leicester
Leicester’s chances of replicating their shock title win in 2016 may be slim, but there is still plenty for the Foxes to play for. A chance to finish second will be top of Brendan Rodgers’ wish list and victory at Villa Park will see them climb above Manchester United into second spot. Aston Villa has played two games fewer than most of the teams above them and if they can pick up maximum points in those couple of contests they could be on for their best finish in the top flight since finishing sixth at the end of the 2009/10 campaign. Defensively, these two sides match-up well. Leicester has conceded just one goal in their last three games while Villa has managed back-to-back shutouts in their last two league games. Under 2.5 goals could be the best bet in this contest.
Manchester United v Newcastle
Steve Bruce’s best times as a player came during his spell at Manchester United, but Sunday’s trip back to Old Trafford could edge him closer to being sacked as Newcastle manager. This is a game his side have to win otherwise they will remain in the relegation battle. As for the home side, their aspirations are much loftier and victory will keep alive their hopes of finishing second - if their neighbors City are to go on to win their fifth EPL title. Manchester United’s 4-0 win over Sociedad in the Europa League took the total number of match goals to 22 in their last five league and cup games. Fernandes has been United’s standout performer this season with 21 goals and 12 assists in the 36 games he has featured in for the Red Devils. Don’t be surprised if he is directly involved in a goal in this contest.
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