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Free Football Picks 18.03.2017

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Free Football Picks 18.03.2017

Post by admin on Sat Mar 18, 2017 1:11 pm

Stoke City vs Chelsea betting tips

Chelsea are closing in on the Double and although their record at Stoke is not the best, they should be able to grind out another important victory along the road to silverware.

The Blues can go 13 points clear at the top of the Premier League table before their main pursuers play on Sunday and if they do, it will surely render the title race as good as over with 10 more rounds of matches remaining.

Plus, Antonio Conte’s side are through to the FA Cup semi-finals after Monday’s 1-0 victory over Manchester United and by the time their Wembley date with Tottenham comes around on April 23/24, that match could be the top priority as the league trophy may essentially be in the bag by then.

There are still some tricky hurdles to cross first, of course, and this is one of them because Stoke has been something of a bogey ground for Chelsea to visit in the last few years.

Diego Costa of Chelsea in action during a pre-season friendly match (Getty Images)
Within their last three away league games the champions-elect have been held to draws at Liverpool and Burnley, so this is not an automatic three points, but four consecutive victories since the Turf Moor slip-up show that confidence could not be higher among the Londoners.

We have been saying for much of the season that mid-table Stoke rarely surprise, whether it’s in the sense of turning over the top teams or losing to opponents they are expected to beat.

But the Potters did cause something of an upset when they held Manchester City to a 0-0 draw away from home recently, and three clean sheets in their last four outings indicates manager Mark Hughes has improved the organisation at the back.

It could be difficult, therefore, for Chelsea to break down Stoke, but they unquestionably have the attacking options to do that and as they generally find the key to victory, this is likely to be another game that is ultimately ticked off successfully on the march towards two trophies.

Stoke City vs Chelsea stats

Chelsea have won on only two of their last seven visits to Stoke
Only Tottenham have beaten Chelsea in the league since September
A clean sheet has been kept in each of Stoke’s last five matches

ENGLAND: Premier League

16:00 Stoke City - Chelsea

Pick: 2

ODD: 1.70

Everton vs Hull City

Everton’s home Premier League form in 2017 has been exemplary and they should make it six of the best when hosting relegation-threatened Hull.

Five consecutive victories on their own pitch since the turn of the year, all of them with at least one goal to spare, illustrate how the Toffees have turned Goodison Park into a fortress – and also makes it all the more surprising that they lost in the FA Cup third round there to Leicester.

We thought Ronald Koeman’s side might have been vulnerable when they hosted West Brom last week but they swept away those opponents with aplomb, Romelu Lukaku wrapping up a 3-0 triumph with the goal that has made him favourite to be the Premier League top goalscorer this season now that Harry Kane is injured.

Everton's Romelu Lukaku (Getty Images)
Lukaku reportedly rejected a new contract this week despite his agent Mino Raiola having claimed he was 99.9% certain to sign it, and you have to think the Belgian striker is holding out for Champions League football rather than the Europa League which Everton look certain to be contesting next season.

As for Hull, they are still battling bravely against relegation and boosted their cause with a 2-1 home success against Swansea last week thanks to a double from on-loan Everton striker Oumar Niasse, who of course will be ineligible for this match against his parent club.

That will affect the Tigers’ ability to score goals and they have been struggling in that department badly away from home all season anyway, with Marco Silva’s side likely to continue relying on the points they collect in East Yorkshire to try and safeguard their top-flight status.

It really would be a big upset if Hull got anything out of this game and Everton have all the momentum they need to record another comfortable victory, which would lift them into sixth place before Manchester United, who currently occupy that position, take on Middlesbrough the following day.

Everton vs Hull City stats

Hull have not won away to Everton since 1952
The Tigers are the lowest scorers away from home in the Premier League this season
Only Chelsea and Tottenham have conceded fewer goals at home than Everton

ENGLAND: Premier League

16:00 Everton - Hull City

Pick: Over 2,5 Goals

ODD: 1.85

Leeds United vsBrighton & Hove Albion

Brighton travel to Leeds for their Matchday 38 clash after returning to the winning ways last week, in an attempt to regain consistency and snatch the points at Elland Road. Although we’ve seen them back in fine form against Rotherham United (0-2) and Derby County (3-0), we don’t feel they’ll now have what it takes to outclass the home side.

Leeds have been very confident in front of the home fans, and they’ve earned eight wins and one draw in their last ten games there, suffering just one loss (0-2 to Cardiff in February) in the process. We thus feel they can now build on their top 6 spot, and we’ll back them to hold the visitors to a draw at 23/10 with William Hill.

With a somewhat more lenient schedule in the final weeks of the campaign, the Peacocks will have to hold their turf and earn their spot with five tough games to come and we do feel they’ll be very confident to make Brighton just one in a row. However, this will not be an easy task as the visitors come into the match back in hot form and have an automatic promotion at their fingertips, with six points ahead of Huddersfield (who do have a game in hand).

They have netted five goals in their last two games, and although Leeds were a tough defensive side in front of the home fans, both sides are now fancied to find their way on the scoresheet. We’ll thus go for a Yes on Both teams to score as well, backing it at 5/6 with Ladbrokes and hoping to see a thrilling contest on the day which could as well decide their faith in the end.

Leeds United vs. Brighton & Hove Albion Stats
Brighton have beaten Leeds in their last six head-to-head encounters, earning confident wins and bagging at least two goals on all but one of those occasions. Leeds have last earned a win against them back in August 2013, with a last-minute winner from Luke Murphy, but with their current spell of form, we do feel they’ll now be just as challenging.

ENGLAND: Championship

18:30 Leeds - Brighton

Pick: Over 1,5 Goals

ODD: 1.44

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