We are now in April, and with 2 months to go before the football season wraps up around Europe, the excitement will be all over the place with some exciting matchups to take advantage of.
England Premier League
Arsenal AH-1 to beat Burnley @ 1.95 (Bet365) – 3 points
Arsenal are the hottest form team coming into this weekend winning 7 straight games in the league dating back to 10th of February. They have been playing well all over the park, particularly up front with the form of Giroud, Sanchez, Ozil, Cazorla, Ramsey who have been playing, assisting and scoring through out the weeks. Giroud has knocked goals in 7 straight, and he will be looking to add to his tally this weekend.
Arsenal showed everyone last week against Liverpool how an 8 minute spell managed to sow up the game winning it 4-1 eventually. They have scored more goals from set pieces than any other team in the Premier League also, which shows you how deadly they have been up front. The defense of Arsenal has also stepped up in recent weeks. While they have conceded goals, it hasn’t been more than 1 goal, which have been after they have secured the lead in most of those games.
Burnley have struggled in a big way throughout the campaign, but put in some good performances against Chelsea, Spurs, Liverpool and Man City, and will feel optimistic coming into this game. But other than Tottenham, all the other teams were in a poor form heading into that game. Burnley’s biggest problem in securing performance has been in finding goals up front. They are the 3rd worst scorers in the league after Aston Villa and Sunderland; and this has been the reason for them failing to pick up results most of this campaign.
Arsenal will want to showcase their talents and try to solidify their 2nd place in the league especially with the Manchester rivals playing tomorrow. I expect Arsenal to win on the asian line.
Crystal Palace to beat Sunderland @ 2.72 (Betfair) – 1.5 points
Crystal Palace have been in great form coming into this game and will be looking towards this game against Sunderland to grab a victory to push potentially into 8th spot which would be a terrific achievement considering where they were when Pardew took over. In fact if you look at the league table after Pardew took over, Palace would be 5th just below Chelsea in 4th, which just showcases the great form that they have been in.
Palace have won 4 out of their last 5 games including against sides like Man City, Stoke, QPR and West Ham. They will look to this recent run of form, including form of players like Gayle, Murray, Puncheon, Zaha to continue their run towards the top half of the table. They have played with a certain confidence and freedom that Pardew has provided, and they have jumped big time towards the 11th spot in the table, 13 points ahead of the relegation zone.
Sunderland have been struggling, sacked Poyet and brought in Advocaat, who I doubt will be able to keep them away from the drop considering his lack of experience in this league. While they are 3 points ahead of the drop zone, their next few games Stoke, Southampton, Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, and Leicester City which should prove formidable for them. They will be missing one of their chief creators in this game in Seb Larsson who is suspended; while Brown, Giaccherini and Alvarez will be missing. Defoe scored a great goal last weekend, but looking at his hit or miss form, I have a feeling he will be kept quiet by the Palace defense.
Considering current form, you must back Palace to grab something out of this at low stakes.
Wolfsburg to beat Hamburg @ 1.80 (Bet365) – 2.5 points
Wolfsburg have been in great form and continue to build momentum heading into the last 7 games of the season, hoping that Bayern slip up and they could sneak into to shorten the difference between them and Bayern Munich. Wolfsburg have a 7 point lead over Gladbach, and will be hoping to continue with this momentum to seal up 2nd and the Champions League spot for next season.
Wolfsburg have been spending money in recent years to sign up some top talent including the likes of De Bruyne, Perisic, Gustavo, Ricardo, Dost etc who have been the backbone of their strong performances for most of the season. Schurrle had been signed in mid-season which gives them an added dimension of performance to keep up the charge with Bayern. Wolfsburg have been purely entertaining for those who watch them. Since November they have lost only 2 games against Augsburg and Schalke and have built on these strong performances to get their charge up there for title so that Bayern knows that any slip up, and they will be hot on their heels.
Hamburg on the other hand have really struggled in recent weeks. They have failed to pick up a victory since 7th of February. Their form guide reads 1 draw and 4 losses with only 1 goal scored and 10 conceded. Their problem has primarily been in front of goal as they are the only team who have scored less than 20 goals this season, with 16. This is something that looks likely to hurt them as they head to the final 7 games of the season. Despite having some inspirational players like Lasogga, Olic, van der Vaart, Behrami, Adler; they have failed to turn up for most of this campaign.
Wolfsburg are a side that shouldn’t be avoided, and on current form their are one of the hottest teams in Europe and I expect them to grab the full 3 points tonight.
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