After a break that seemed like an absolute eternity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the English Premier League returned on Thursday morning with two make up games from previous postponements.
The EPL will see its first full matchday fixture this weekend with games to kick off on Saturday morning! As usual, we have a full preview and betting tips for the key games of the weekend below.
Saturday 5.15am (AEST)
Tottenham will face off against Manchester United in the game of the week this Saturday morning from 5.15am. The break would have come at the right time for the Spurs, who had won just three of their last 10 games and had slipped all the way to eighth on the EPL table. They will be keen to finish the season off strong and potentially get themselves into the Europa League qualification.
Manchester United were coming off a win and had lost just three of their last 10 when the season broke back in March. They currently sit in fifth place just three points behind Chelsea and the next nine weeks will be super important as they mount their charge toward Champions League qualification.
Almost impossible to get a read on this game with both teams having been out of action for over two months but on face value we have to give the nod to Manchester United. They have more to play for and have a good looking injury list at the moment, with only Phil Jones set to be out of action this weekend. At $2.40 to win, we think they represent solid value.
Saturday 9.30pm (AEST)
Leicester City currently sit in third place on the EPL table behind only Liverpool and Machester City but still have plenty to fight for as they hope to stay in the top four and gain automatic qualification for the Champions League. They sit eight points above Manchester United, so will only need to record a few more wins, but will no doubt be keen to secure their spot sooner rather than later.
Watford are in a tight battle of their own, one to avoid relegation. They sit clear of the relegation zone by goal difference alone at the moment and have quite a tough run home with games against Leicester, Burnley, Southampton and Chelsea in the next four weeks.
Great value for Leicester here, especially given the injuries that Watford are battling at the moment. The Hornets could be without up to eight players for this clash, while the Foxes will be near full strength. Back the away team to win.
Monday 4am (AEST)
Regardless of whether they don’t win another game for the rest of the season, Liverpool will be thanking the scheduling gods that the season was able to resume. They were on the brink of clinching their first EPL title since 1990 before the season was cancelled, and they’ll now need to win just two more games to secure the title.
Everton sit in 12th place on the EPL table with a 10-7-12 record. They are clear of relegation by 10 points and well outside of Europa league qualification, so for them, these last nine weeks will likely be in cruise control.
It will be interesting to see whether Liverpool return from the break with the same defensive tenacity and desire as they had in their 27-1-1 start. It wouldn’t surprise us if they were a bit sluggish out of the gates, which is why we think the draw is great value here in what could be a bit of a scrappy game.
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