Reading v Arsenal
This FA Cup semi has the potential to be one of the most one-sided in living memory. Arsenal are officially the form side in Europe while lowly Reading have not won a match since pasting Bradford in the quarter-finals. Wembley will be packed but if the Gunners (16 wins from 19 games in 2015) are in the mood, this could get messy. Olivier Giroud has bagged eight in ten matches and is crying out to be backed to score first at football’s spiritual home.
Betting: Giroud to score first at 7/2 (Betfred)
Aston Villa v Liverpool
The other Cup semi should be more competitive yet has the potential to turn into a Stevie Gerrard love-in. The Liverpool legend is off at the end of the season and having made a hash of Champions League qualification (I’ve been living off water and Skips crisps in recent weeks after throwing the rent money at them on several occasions – with disastrous results) the FA Cup is their last chance to salvage something from what’s been a rather disappointing season all told. The Stevie G Man is back from suspension and should feature against a Villa side who’ve only won three of their last 11 against the Reds.
Betting: Liverpool to Win and both teams to Score at 5/2 (bet365)
Crystal Palace v West Brom
There is league action too of course this weekend and Palace are on fire just now. They simply have to be considered in any football coupon you are thinking about putting on this Saturday with the Baggies having lost three in a row. Listen, if you don’t end up having them in your acca, don’t bother talking to me ever again. And I f*cking mean that.
Betting: Crystal Palace to win at 19/20 (Paddy Power)
Everton v Burnley
Burnley have not kept a clean sheet in any of their last 13 top-flight away games while Everton finally seem to be getting a grip after a terribly frustrating season to date. The visitors are desperate for points but I can only see them on the receiving end of a bit of a paddling here at Goodison.
Betting: Everton – Everton HT/FT at 13/8 (Betfred)
Leicester v Swansea
If the Foxes manage to stay up this season it will be right up there with Escape to Victory in terms of outrageous football-related stories. Incredibly a win could see them move out of the bottom three on Saturday evening. I fancied them at 6/5 to get that win and that was before I heard that Bafetimbi Gomis is out injured for the visitors.
Betting: Leicester to win at 6/5 (Paddy Power)
Stoke v Southampton
Tough one to call this with both teams enjoying good seasons. The layers are quoting odds against in places that both teams find the net and that’ll ding dang doo for Degsy.
Betting: Both teams to score at 21/20 (Betfair Sportsbook)
Chelsea v Manchester United
Bit of a disgrace really that this match will be happening at roughly the same time as the first FA Cup semi, but as much as I have a soft spot for the world’s oldest knockout competition, I know which one I’ll be watching. It should be a fascinating encounter. The Red Devils have won four on the spin but face an acid test at Stamford Bridge against a Chelsea side who’ve lost just one of their last 12 home clashes against ManYoo. The title race this year has been a bit of a sh*tter hasn’t it? About as exciting as the ‘Who Killed Lucy Beale’ craic on Eastenders and I fear it’s going to end just as ignominiously. Home win.
Betting: Chelsea to win at 11/10 (Boylesports)
Manchester City v West Ham
City have lost four of their last five matches and the noose is tightening on their beleaguered boss. If you are reading this Senor Pellegrini, there is a new takeaway that has just opened up round ours called Abrakebabra that I know are taking on if you don’t fancy the dole this summer? Good luck if you are planning to steam into the hosts here at 2/7. Personally I would rather sh*t in my own hands and clap.
Betting: Draw at 11/2 (Stan James)
Newcastle v Tottenham
The Toon Army are planning to boycott this fixture in protest after it was revealed the club had £34million in the bank at the end of the last financial year. That’s a f*cking liberty and compounded by the fact that Gabriel Obertan is still getting a game. £34million. I mean, that can’t have all been accumulated by selling Lonsdale tracksuits and those big white mugs that you need a fishing rod to retrieve the teabag from, can it Mr Ashley?
Betting: Tottenham to win 2-1 at 9/1 (bet365)