Norwich v Sunderland
What a game at Carrow Road to kick us off. Big Sam has come in for a bit of stick this week for labelling this a ‘must not lose’ encounter but I can see where da beg fella is coming from. A Norwich win would put them seven points ahead with five games to play and that would surely prove too big a deficit for even Sunderland, who’ve got improbable relegation escape acts down to a fine art in recent seasons. Even if they do go down, Allardyce won’t catch any flak. Never mind the 24% win ratio on Wearside. Big Sam is no clogger. He’s a modern, moustachioed forward-thinking football coach. So there.
Betting: 1-1 draw at 6/1 (Bet Victor)
Everton v Southampton
Lost – Won – Lost – Lost – Draw – Draw. That’s Everton’s form over the last six games. A team about as predictable as a mosquito who has been injecting amphetamine. And surely, surely only the clinically insane would consider backing them to win at 6/4 here?
Betting: Sadio Mane to score anytime at 3/1 (Betfred)
Manchester United v Aston Villa
What a win that was for Louis van Gaal and Manchester United in the week. The vultures were circling and no lesser authority than Martin Keown confidently predicted West Ham would brush them aside in that quarter-final replay. I don’t mind admitting I lost a packet on the Hammers on the night so I’m hoping to claw a bit back by tickling the Red Devils to romp to victory here and condemn Villa to the Championship.
Betting: Manchester United to win 4-0 at 11/1 (Paddy Power)
Newcastle v Swansea
I’m not sure what type of wedge Rafa Benitez is on at Newcastle but a return of one point from a possible nine is hardly awe-inspiring. It’s sh*t or bust now though. No excuses. No massaging of the goatee/jowls and talking about being unlucky. If the Mags don’t win on Saturday they are f*cked. Like proper f*cked. And on current form I would have to give the edge to Swansea here.
Betting: Swansea to win at 23/10 (Betway)
West Brom v Watford
The wheels have come off for both of these sides in recent weeks. Neither have to worry about relegation and Watford of course have that FA Cup semi-final to look forward to so the Hornets may look to rest a few star names with that fixture in mind. For this reason I tentatively go for the Baggies here at 7/5 but in all honesty my tip is rather like Ross Kemp’s hard man performances in ‘Ross Kemp on Gangs’ i.e unconvincing.
Betting: West Brom to win at 7/5 (Paddy Power)
Chelsea v Manchester City
City were absolutely superb over both legs against PSG and I make them favourites at Stamford Bridge even though the camel coats do not. Chelsea have only won one of their last six and that was against a totally underwhelming Aston Villa side.
Betting: Manchester City to win and both teams to score at 17/4 (Stan James)
Bournemouth v Liverpool
The Reds have looked half tidy in recent weeks and were absolutely outstanding on Thursday night to the point that when I walked up the stairs to bed I caught myself whistling ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. And that’s after having £50 on Dortmund to win at 13/10! To me they look a solid punt to beat a Bournemouth side dismissed 4-0 by Manchester City and 3-0 by Spurs in recent weeks. Divock Origi looks to be finding his feet for the Merseysiders and can open the scoring at 13/2.
Betting: Origi to score first at 13/2 (bet365)
Leicester v West Ham
The Hammers were poor against Manchester United in the week and it’s no win in five for them now. Leicester meanwhile have won their last five and are seven points clear at the top of the table. Foxes trio Jamie Vardy, N’Golo Kante and Riyad Mahrez have also all been named on the six-man shortlist for the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award. Despite all this the bookies have them just a shade under even money to get that ‘W’ on Sunday. Amazeballs. Simply amazeballs.
Betting: Leicester City to win at 19/20 (Paddy Power)
Arsenal v Crystal Palace
Bright young thing Alex Iwobi is 5/2 to score, and that’s not a bad shout considering he’s notched in two of his last three matches for the Gunners.
Betting: Iwobi to score anytime at 5/2 (Betfred)