We’re two-thirds of the way through the Premier League season at this point. Although it doesn’t look like anyone is going to catch up to Manchester City at the top of the table, there is still plenty to play for. The top four teams will make it to the prestigious, and lucrative, Champions League, while the next two will have to grit through Europa League action. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of this week’s matches.
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Tottenham vs. Arsenal
Date and Time: February 10, 2018, 7:30 a.m. ET
Location: Wembley Stadium
US Television Coverage: CNBC
Betting Line: Tottenham -0.5 -119, O/U 3, 3.5
Both of these teams are riding high heading into the first clash of the week. Currently, Tottenham is in fifth place with 49 points and is two points behind Liverpool for third place. Arsenal is four points behind Tottenham and desperately needs to start making up ground.
Unfortunately, the Gunners got some bad news recently. Goalkeeper Petr Cech has already been ruled out of the north London derby due to a lingering calf injury. In his stead, Arsenal is likely to start David Ospina, a decent goaltender who is a clear step down from Cech.
Ospina has played sparingly this season. He has mostly been playing in Cup clashes and in Europa League action, and he has not played in a Premier League game since April 2017.
These teams are expected to light up the scoreboard. Tottenham’s Harry Kane recently scored his 100th goal with the club and is seen as one of the brightest stars in the league. He is an old-school center-forward with a devastating shot that he can get away with not much space.
Arsenal made its fans ecstatic on deadline day by purchasing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund. He is the talented goal scorer that this team needed now that Alexis Sanchez is playing on a league rival and already seems to have good chemistry with Mesut Ozil. That will be key going forward.
Manchester City vs. Leicester City
Date and Time: February 10, 2018, 12:30 p.m. ET
Location: Etihad Stadium
US Television Coverage: CNBC
Betting Line: Manchester City -2, O/U 3.5
Manchester City is 13 points clear of their city rivals and looks set to cruise to another Premier League title. It’s been a dominating performance from Man City this year, who have lost just one game and are blowing opponents out with ease. For Leicester City, the goal is to finish in the top half of the table. They are 11 points clear of the relegation zone and 13 points out of a Europa League spot.
After failing to get moved at the deadline, Riyad Mahrez has lived up to his threat of walking out on Leicester. Mahrez is one of the most gifted creators in the league, but he has wanted to be moved to another club all season long. It looked like a deal had been struck to move him to Manchester City, but Leicester wanted more money near the end and Man City pulled out. Since then, Mahrez has been on strike and has not showed up to practice or play for the club.
It’s a beautiful thing to watch Pep Guardiola’s system when it’s running at high gear. The club signed the players he wanted to bring his style of play to England, and it has paid off in droves. Man City is the highest scoring team in the Premier League by a wide margin and players like Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne have had their potential unlocked in this system.
English Premier League Free Picks
In the first match, lay the half-goal with Tottenham. Ospina is a back-up for a reason and won’t bring the same presence that Cech does. Take Leicester City and the goals in the other match. Leicester will be inspired to give a great performance even without Mahrez.
English Premier League Picks: Tottenham and Leicester City
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