Seeley: EPL Best Bets for this weekend's matches

By Nigel Seeley  ( 

February 24, 2023 09:40 AM


Hello! Nigel here with my best bets for another exciting round of EPL action

Bournemouth vs Manchester City

Saturday 10:00 a.m. ET

We kick off this week with Pep Guardiola taking his side to visit struggling Bournemouth after a 1-1 draw with Leipzig in the Champions League on Wednesday evening. Man City played superbly well in the first half, and Guardiola will have left Germany with mixed emotions as he will have been pleased with his side's play but frustrated yet again this year they failed to kill the opposition off.

His side sits second in the EPL, just two points off leaders Arsenal but having played a game more. The Gunners have stuttered recently, and City will feel they should have passed them and be entering the final part of the season in prime position rather than chasing.

Last weekend, they disappointed in a draw with Nottingham Forest with missed opportunities costing City. They arrive on the south coast knowing nothing but a convincing win is needed to kickstart the defense of their EPL crown. It is true that City has failed to win in two of their last three away EPL fixtures. Still, I expect a comfortable victory away at the struggling Cherries, but odds of -330 make no appeal.

After a much-needed win away at fellow strugglers Wolves last weekend, Bournemouth will be heartened as they climbed out of the bottom three relegation places. But this is Manchester City, and they were brushed aside 4-0 in the reverse fixture earlier in the season. That win was after three defeats and two losses in their previous five EPL fixtures, and they have provided very little attacking threat this season. The head-to-head is a dominant one as Bournemouth has never beaten Man City in the club’s history, and I can’t see that unwanted record ending on Saturday.

City traditionally goes on a winning run at this time of the season. I can see a comfortable win for the men in blue. If Bournemouth is to stay up, it will be owing to victories against fellow struggling sides and not top-four teams. Despite the welcome win away at Wolves, Bournemouth has won just one of their last five home games and failed to keep a clean sheet in any of them. With Haaland arriving on Saturday, I feel the play here is on the Asian handicap and for City to produce a convincing victory to get their EPL title defense back on track.

Pick: Man City -1.5 at -130

Leicester vs. Arsenal

Saturday 10:00 a.m. ET

We have dealt with the second-place team Manchester City. Now let's look at the EPL leaders Arsenal, who make the trip to Leicester on Saturday. Arsenal has had Leicester’s measure in recent seasons with their last six meetings in all competitions bringing Arsenal five victories. At the Emirates earlier this season, Arsenal won an exciting clash 4-2 which leads me to think this will be a high-scoring game this Saturday. 

Arsenal was back to something like their best last weekend with a 4-2 victory against Aston Villa. With City failing to beat Nottingham Forest, they are back in control of their destiny, leading and with a game in hand of their chief rivals. After a tough few weeks, Mikel Arteta will have been hugely heartened by the battling qualities his team showed. They are certainly going to go on the front foot against this Leicester side, who is always a goal threat against anyone.

Their last fixture against Manchester United summed up Leicester and Brendan Rodgers' season. They wasted several good chances to take the lead while playing well before succumbing to a 3-0 defeat. Rodgers has steered Leicester to 14th place, four points off a relegation slot in recent weeks. With star man James Maddison back in the fold, he will know his best chance of getting anything on Saturday is to go at Arsenal and make this an end-to-end attacking game.

Leicester, the former EPL winners, have won only three of their home games this season, and that has largely been owing to their poor defensive performances. Compare that with Arsenal’s impressive away form this season which has seen them win nine, draw one and lose two of their 12 away fixtures. Leicester is capable of scoring if not beating Arsenal, and this will be an attacking fixture similar to the game earlier this season. Though it may not be 4-2 on Saturday, I do think the play is for both teams to score. 

Arsenal has a huge amount of offensive talent, but defensively they are missing Tomas Partey, and the Gunners have conceded in their last six matches. With Leicester being the top goal scorers in the bottom half of the EPL, and the Foxes having the worse defense in the top flight, I like BTTS “yes”.

Pick: Both Teams to Score Yes at -130

Everton vs. Aston Villa

Saturday 10:00 a.m. ET

Everton is looking for a third successive home win under new boss Sean Dyche as they welcome Aston Villa to Goodison Park on Saturday. Following his opening game win over leaders Arsenal, Dyche steered his side to a huge 1-0 win against fellow relegation strugglers Leeds last week. That was after a humiliating defeat in the Merseyside derby, and Dyche will now believe his Everton side can retain their EPL status on the back of strong home form.

He will not be fooled into thinking that will be easy as the table does not lie despite those two home wins. Everton sits just one point off safety. Dyche will bring Everton stability at the back with his organizational skills. Both wins have come while stopping the opposition from scoring, but the fact remains Everton provides very little goal threat. Their last five home games have seen them score one goal in each game. Unless he can find more goals soon, they could well go down, because, at 17, they have the second-worst goal tally in the entire league. Their current squad does not seem to show any players who can turn that awful stat around.

Villa boss Unai Emery will have wondered how his side conspired to lose 4-2 to Arsenal last week after looking in control and taking the lead twice. They have looked like a much stronger unit since Emery took over from Steven Gerrard, their former boss, and sit comfortably in 11th place with Emery talking of looking up, not down! Emery has Villa set up as a counterattacking team, and before the Arsenal defeat, they had won their previous three games on the road. I believe they can add to that on Saturday.

Villa has a very strong record against Everton, winning their last three encounters, and Emery will believe his side can beat this low-scoring Everton team. Yes, Everton has won their last two home games, but that has masked an awful season with nine defeats in their last 12, and their performance against Liverpool was dreadful. Villa has misfired recently, but that has been against the very best sides Manchester City, Arsenal and a shock defeat versus Leicester. But prior to that, they won their last three road games. Under Emery, they look like a strong, well-balanced unit, and they are set up to play away from home. They are simply a better team than Everton, and the value pick here, given Everton’s two recent clean sheets, is to go Villa draw no bet.

Pick: Aston Villa Draw No Bet +105 

Manchester United vs. Newcastle - League Cup Final

Sunday, 11:30 a.m. ET

I want to mention, without an official selection, it is the first trophy of the season on Sunday—the League Cup final from Wembley Stadium.

Manchester United takes on Newcastle, who have been a draw machine of late. Manchester United will be confident of landing a much-needed Cup and are deserved favorites.

Eddie Howe has made Newcastle tough to beat though, and this may go to extra time and even penalties. It could be a tight nervous encounter as many finals are. I am quite interested in the draw at 90 minutes and would suggest that for an interest at 250, but with the nerves and tensions running high, this could be a nervy encounter, just like the 0-0 draw that the two played out at Old Trafford earlier this season. United will be looking to win their first trophy under the ten Hag era, and Newcastle will be looking to end a 67-year trophy drought. My main pick would be under 2.5 goals in regular time at -125.

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