Premier League Football Tips: Sunday 26th July
Thanks to Liverpool my midweek tips ended up pretty much break-even (-£5 overall) which wasn’t quite what I wanted but not a disaster by any means.
I’d like to finish the season with a bang in the final set of games this weekend. All matches kick off at 4pm on Sunday, with eight being shown live by Sky Sports, and the other two games being shown on the BT Sport channel.
It wasn’t easy to pick the games this weekend.
Will teams with nothing to play for show up and play well, or just put in a weak end of season performance? Will the teams with lots at stake go for broke?
I’ve tried to factor this in together with the best odds available to come up with this quartet of tips for the weekend.
Premier League Tips: Sunday 26th July
I have to be honest and say that I think Watford’s owner’s treatment of Nigel Pearson, regardless of their performance at West Ham, was absolutely disgraceful, but not entirely without precedent. As such, I would not be sorry to see them go down this season, just to spite their owner.
It is going to be a nervy day when a goal in one game, even regardless of the score, could change who stays up and who goes down. Watford, I think, have to press here and try and at least score and against that leaky Arsenal defence, I think they will.
The problem they have with that is that it plays to Arsenal’s strengths with the likes of Saka, Aubameyang and Lacazette able to use their pace to great effect as they did against Liverpool and Manchester City last week. Add to that Watford’s lack of confidence and I think the Hornets could well be stung on the counter here.
Watford have no choice, they have to go for it, so I think this will be an open game and both teams will score, I just feel Arsenal have the extra quality and confidence needed to get the win here.
When these two teams met earlier in the season, Chelsea were superb winners, inflicting a rare home defeat on Wolves at Molineux with a 5-2 win. The teams have had mixed fortunes each since then but both are looking at European qualification next season in this game.
Chelsea need just a point to claim a Champions League spot. Wolves situation is more complex, as they need to win to ensure they finish 6th to claim a Europa League spot, but even if they finished seventh, they could claim a spot in that competition if Chelsea win the FA Cup next weekend. Furthermore, if Wolves win the Europa League, they would qualify for the Champions League next season.
So there are a lot of permutations in this game and the pressure will be on both teams and while I can see Chelsea conceding a goal, I feel their attack showed enough potency in recent games to convince me that they have enough to get the job done here.
I am expecting a relatively nervy afternoon and for Chelsea to claim a win probably by a 2-1 scoreline.
There is no doubt that in terms of the battles for European spots this weekend, the Leicester v Manchester United game is the pivotal one in terms of Champions League as the result here will not only affect the chances of both these teams, but also Chelsea too.
Both teams know a win is good enough to secure qualification and I think that does help focus their minds on the task at hand. My concern for Leicester here is that they have looked very inconsistent during the latter part of the season since the restart, whereas Manchester United, last weekend apart, have been much more impressive.
However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team have now not won in three games and this blip of form has come at the worst possible time. Had they won their home games with Southampton and West Ham, they would already be qualified for the Champions League and Leicester is a tough place to go.
That said, I still feel United just have the edge in terms of quality and creativity in midfield and as such, I am going for them to nick a close one, probably by the odd goal in three in what should be a cracking game at the King Power.
There’s not a lot to play for between these two teams with just the extra money for as high a possible finish in the Premier League to look forward to for the winner. Of the two, Southampton have been in the better form of the two teams, despite their lower league position and I have been really impressed with how the Saints have played since the restart.
Sheffield United have blown hot and cold since games resumed in the Premier League but that does not take away from an outstanding first season back in the big time for Chris Wilder’s men and I have no doubt that they are going to be a problem for Southampton on Sunday.
This will be a closely fought battle but I think that Southampton have the form and confidence required to get the job done and claim the win here.
*Tips are exactly that tips (predictions) and do not guarantee success.