Online Premier League Picks of the week
Take United over Arsenal
By Matt Pitt
West Ham United (+650) vs. Tottenham Hotspur (-250)
West Ham United know that securing all three points against London rivals Tottenham Hotspur would guarantee their Premier League survival for another season, while a Spurs victory would see the gap at the top of the table close to a single point, at least until Chelsea take on Middlesbrough on Sunday.
The Hammers are languishing in 15th place in the table on 39 points with Swansea City occupying the third relegation place on 32 points. The most points the Swans can finish on is 41. Slaven Bilic’s men have drawn their last three games but a point looks unlikely in this match if you look at West Ham’s record against the top clubs.
Against teams in the top six, West Ham have only earned three points from a possible 30, all of which as draws. Tottenham have won all but one of their six away games against teams in the bottom half of the table.
West Ham’s task is made even more difficult by the fact the could be without both Andy Carroll and defender Diafra Sakho, who are major doubts and Spurs have no new injuries.
The -250 on a Spurs win looks a little short to yield much value but the over 2.5 goals at -180 is a little better. Bovada also price Tottenham scoring over 2.5 goals at +125 and I like this bet considering they have triggered this market four times away from home and West Ham have leaked three or more goals at home five times this season.
Pick: Tottenham to score over 2.5 goals at +125
Arsenal (+100) vs. Manchester United (+275)
When Arsenal take on Manchester United it is usually for as part of the Premier League title race, but this season’s clash sees Arsenal residing in sixth place and needing a minor miracle to qualify for European soccer next season.
Arsenal are unbeaten in three home fixtures but their form has been patchy, with two wins, a draw and three defeats in their previous six league games. The Gunners are five points behind United with a game in hand on their rivals so this is a must win game for the London side.
Arsene Wenger could be without central defender Shkodran Mustafi who is a slight doubt with a thigh injury and Granit Xhaka looks set to miss out with an ankle injury but Arsenal don’t have any fresh injury worries at the moment.
United need to win to keep the pressure up on fourth-placed Manchester City in the race for an automatic Champions League place. The Red Devils could secure a place in Europe’s elite tournament by winning the Europa League title, but Jose Mourinho’s men still have an outside chance of finishing as high as third in the Premier League table.
If United are to grab all three points, they will have to do it without long term absentees Zlatan Ibrahimovic while Luke Shaw looks set to miss the remainder of the season. United do, however, welcome back Paul Pogba and should see Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Eric Bailly return to the squad.
These sides drew 1-1 at Old Trafford earlier in the season but there were a glut of goals last season when United won 3-2 at home and Arsenal 3-0 at the Emirates. I wouldn’t expect a goal-fest this time around as Mourinho’s men have the best away defensive record in the league. That said, United have only failed to score twice away and Arsenal have failed to score once at home so expect both team to score, which Bovada price at -150.
Pick: Both teams to score and the game to end in a draw at +330