SoccerWinners - EPL Week 27 picks (part 2)
Liverpool v Manchester City - Liverpool have a sequence of 10 games without defeat, which is a huge improvement from the first half of the season. They won 4 of the last 5 games, and drew 0-0 against local rivals, Everton. Unfortunately their stats are wrecked by the early season inconsistency. At home they have won 6, drawn 5 and lost 2, but if you look at the last 7 home games the results are WXXWXWW (won 4, drew 3) so you can see they are much stronger now than they were at the start of the season. They are also scoring much more and conceding less. Manchester City went through a rocky patch in January and early February, when they drew 3 and lost 1. That put them 7 points behind Chelsea. They recovered a couple of points when Chelsea drew, but they are still 5 points behind and need to win every game to keep the pressure on. The realisation seems to have hit them. They had big wins in the last 2 games, 1-4 at Stoke and 5-0 against Newcastle. Liverpool will provide a bigger test. The stats show they are very strong in attack. They average more than 2 goals per game, and they are actually better in away games than at home. The computer splits the prediction 3 ways. It picks out 0-1 as the exact score simply because it offers better value than 1-0 or 1-1. I find myself in a similar position. ManCity won the reverse fixture 3-1. Liverpool's improved form, combined with the home advantage should put them on a par with City. The difference could be a single goal, but which way? It is probably better to avoid betting on this game, but I will put a small bet on Liverpool at 3.3.
Arsenal v Everton - Arsenal have been in good form since Christmas, only losing twice (Southampton and Spurs) and winning 7, including 0-2 against ManCity. A win for ManU yesterday has put Arsenal down to 4th in the Premiership table. Their stats are strong, especially at home. They have won 8, drawn 3 and lost 1 home game, with a goal tally 28-11. Only Chelsea and ManU have better home records. Everton have been dropping down the table. They had terrible results in December and only 1 win this year. They can take some comfort from 4 draws, which included Liverpool and ManCity, but they are now in the bottom half of the table, and not completely safe from relegation. The stats show they are struggling to score, especially in away games. They score an average of only 1 goal per game, and concede slightly more. Historically they have fared well against Arsenal, and they drew the reverse fixture in August, but Arsenal are playing better now and Everton look weaker. The computer gives a strong home win prediction. This looks set up for a home win, so I will back Arsenal at 1.62.
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