Blues, Reds in Top Three
After winning four consecutive Premier League games, Chelsea hosts in-form Newcastle on Sunday while Liverpool will be determined to maintain the pressure on leaders Manchester City when they travel to play struggling Brighton. Our sportsbook is offering a great range of betting markets and props for the European top soccer leagues.
Chelsea vs Newcastle
We cashed last weekend’s Premier League Parlay at +224 with Chelsea covering the spread, beating Burnley 4-0, and Leicester adding three more points to their season tally after the short 1-0 win against Leeds.
The future of Chelsea, the reigning European and world champions, is uncertain after the UK government sanctioned their Russian owner, Roman Abramovich. A special license allows the Stamford Bridge club to keep operating and the team to fulfill their domestic and European fixtures for the rest of the season. Following Thursday’s developments, Chelsea could lose millions in sponsorship revenue. Their main sponsor, Three, has put its $52m shirt sponsorship on hold while fellow partners Hyundai, Parimatch and Zapp are also considering ending their agreements.
Chelsea won’t be able to sell new tickets for matches, including games in the European Champions League, and the club’s merchandise stores will be closed. Player transfers are banned, as are new contracts. They have several high-profile players out of contract this summer and if the situation persists, they won’t be able to replace them.
Away from the off-field chaos, there were positive results on the pitch for Chelsea on Thursday night as they beat Norwich 3-1 in the Premier League. It was their fourth consecutive success in the EPL, which keeps them third in the standings with 56 points picked up in 27 games. Trevoh Chalobah scored after just three minutes into the match, Mason Mount’s decisive finish in the 14th minute doubled their lead before Kai Havertz assured the win for Chelsea with his late strike.
Chelsea did drop plenty of points in December and January. However, they have hardly set a foot wrong since then but we must accept the fact that they are no longer involved in the title race. They also have a tough schedule till the end of the season with Champions League games included. On the other side, Newcastle is unbeaten in their last eight Premier League games, winning six in the process. Eddie Howe has revitalized Newcastle through good old-fashioned coaching. They are heading for mid-table safety but, for all the money spent on players, the game-changing arrival has been the manager. The fears of relegation, which haunted the first half of their season, have now all but evaporated completely.
Of course, they enter this clash as underdogs and Chelsea probably will win the three points, but given the circumstances, backing the Blues to win and including them in our soccer picks and parlays looks to be a bad move. Instead, we’re going for goals as we expect Newcastle to also contribute on the scoreboard.
Pick: Over 3 goals (+115)
West Ham vs Aston Villa
One year on from a top-four charge that fell just short, West Ham United is in danger of losing their European spots while their Premier League direct opponents go from strength to strength. West Ham has won just one of their last four fixtures across all competitions, losing three in the process. What’s more, there’s a case that the starting lineup is less dangerous now than it was at the start of the season, with a return to European competition making things worse. They enter this match as favorites at +115 on the three-way moneyline according to the latest soccer odds.
The Hammers lost 1-0 on the road to Sevilla in the first leg of the Europa League Round of 16. Nikola Vlasic missed West Ham’s best chance while Michail Antonio struggled to find the back of the net. Vladimir Coufal, Ryan Fredericks, Arthur Masuaku and Angelo Ogbonna make up four defensive absentees for West Ham, while Ukraine’s Andriy Yarmolenko has taken some time off. On top of that, Jarrod Bowen was a massive miss for West Ham in the last two fixtures across all competitions. West Ham’s medical chief confirmed that Bowen would face further assessment in the coming days.
On the other side, Aston Villa enters this clash on the back of three wins in a row in which they scored nine goals. Philippe Coutinho moved to Aston Villa from Barcelona on a six-month loan deal in the January transfer window. The Brazil playmaker has been directly involved in seven goals in only eight Premier League appearances since joining the club. Coutinho’s loan runs out at the end of the season when the club will need to decide whether they can afford to turn the player’s short-term stay into a permanent transfer.
If you’re betting online, you should stop backing the hosts for the rest of the season given the circumstances. They have many injury issues, they are out of form and they also have European commitments, which translates into a busy schedule with matches every three days. Once again, we are backing goals.