Just 6 or so games left in the EPL, and fans should soak it up while they can, as the EPL viewing goes to Optus next year in Australia, which is a good thing if you already have that technology or just want to watch online. Although the reported one game a week on SBS is great news. SBS losing exclusive rights to the World Cup as a compromise isn’t.
The EPL seems to be putting on the finest season in a long time, with the winner likely to be Leicester or Spurs, and untold stories all the way down the league. Fancy both Manchester sides and Chelsea being a chance to miss the top 4 and Champions League.
With Leicester 7 points in front with 6 games to go, only Spurs fans, and the most hardened, entitled big club fan who looks at this interruption to regular services for the big clubs at the top of the ladder as a major inconvenience could not wish Leicester to win from here. It would be one of top level sport’s biggest upsets, and one of its best stories too. Whilst other teams will claim rebuilding, or a Basil or two (i.e. a faulty manager) but there will likely never be another example of a club going from dead last the previous Christmas to champions in a season and a half. And with a side without triple figure transfer spends, a lot of whom played in the Championship. As a fan of a club who seem destined to live in the second tier forever it gives hope.
Will there be another Leicester, with the amount of money floating around with the new TV deal, I believe there will be. The next club is line looks to be West Ham who already look great, and will have next season’s TV money and the move to the Olympic stadium to increase the coffers. Given the side they assembled in the most recent off season, with a little bit more cash to splash they will be a genuine Top 4 challenger next year.
Onto this week in specifics, and we have our tips and games worth losing sleep over. And there’s only 6 and a bit weeks left, so there’s no excuse.
SAT 9:45PM – WEST HAM v ARSENAL – A win for either side keeps their side in the hunt for higher honours, a loss will probably end realistic hopes of that. One side will be happier than the other at the end result.
SUN 12:00AM – CRYSTAL PALACE v NORWICH – Norwich are a team transformed from a side that looked doomed to return to the second tier at the first attempt to a side that looks home in the EPL. A loss here for the home side put both of these sides on the same number of points, however worryingly for Crystal Palace is how quickly they have entered a potential late season relegation race. We’re happy for Norwich for two reasons – 1 our team can never beat them in the Championship, 2 – it will mean all three promoted clubs will survive which is rare.
SUN 10:30PM – SUNDERLAND v LEICESTER – A key game at both ends of the table. Big Sam’s record of no relegation is in real trouble. However there’s a little Leicester in Sunderland as they are playing almost good enough to survive the drop despite relegation seems inevitable. They not only need to win, but need another team to be dragged into the mess. It could happen. As a Championship club fan, we really don’t need Sunderland, Newcatle and Villa coming down.
MON 1:00PM – SPURS v MAN UTD – If Leicester slip up just before this game kicks off, a win gets them within four, and Spurs fans rubbing their hands. And West Ham fans too. And a lot of people who just don’t like Man Utd.
3PM KICK OFF SPECIALS
SOUTHAMPTON to beat Newcastle
CHELSEA to beat Swansea
EVERTON to beat Watford
ASTON VILLA to beat Bournemouth
DRAW – Crystal Palace v Norwich
$1 for $80
THE OTHER GAMES MULTI
DRAW – West Ham v Arsenal
MAN CITY to beat WBA
LEICESTER to beat Sunderland
SPURS to beat Man Utd
DRAW – Liverpool v Stoke
$1 for $75