Everton v Sunderland
The Black Cats remain bang in bother but just because a team has to win, doesn’t mean they will win. It’s like ‘Claggy’, the lad in my class at primary school who perennially had a bogey dangling from his hooter. You surely knew that one day he would blow that nose and everything would be alright. That day never came. The Toffees have lost just one of their last 14 at Goodison. 5/6? Yes please.
Betting: Everton to win at 5/6 (Sky Bet)
Aston Villa v West Ham
Villa have been in good nick in recent weeks and know a win here could all-but cement their top-flight status next term while West Ham’s season is cruising towards a rather inglorious conclusion. Mr Sherwood’s gilet versus Mr Big Sam’s big black funeral jacket? No contest surely.
Betting: Aston Villa to win and both teams to score at 3/1 (Coral)
Hull City v Burnley
The goals have simply dried up for Burnley, who could and probably will be relegated this weekend. That’s good news for Hull and boss Steve Bruce, a man who was deliciously described as looking like ‘a dinner lady who has enjoyed a decent MMA career’ in an article I read recently celebrating his mediocrity as a top-flight boss. Chances are we might see Steve smiling again on Saturday evening and bigging up “wor home form” to anyone who will listen.
Betting: Hull to win 1-0 at 11/2 (Bet Victor)
Leicester City v Southampton
Leicester boss and all-round bad-ass Nigel Pearson has been voted Manager of the Month for April. Winning said prize has long been regarded as a harbinger of impending doom and given I am still seething over his frankly f*cking horrible rant against that journo type the other week, I wouldn’t shed a tear if Leicester were relegated. Happily for Foxes fans everywhere, four wins in April means that is now unlikely and I think they are a huge price again at 13/8 to beat a Saints side who have lost their last three away games and who look for all the world like a team ready to trade boots and shin guards for flip flops and AfterSun on the beaches of Marbella.
Betting: Leicester to win at 13/8 (Stan James)
Newcastle v West Brom
I literally almost choked and then funnelled PG Tips through my nostrils the other day after hearing John Carver’s wild claim that “I believe I am the best coach in the Premier League”. That’s the same John Carver who has presided over eight straight Premier League defeats to leave NUFC teetering on the brink of relegation. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. It is my opinion that DS Jim Carver from The Bill may actually have done a better job in Tyneside in recent weeks, perhaps even during his 1999 meltdown when he was falling around Sun Hill p*ssed everyday. DS Carver was an intuitive operator. J Carver, clearly, is not. The Toon were 100/1 for the drop just a few short weeks ago. Sh*t could get real this weekend.
Betting: West Brom to win at 2/1 (bet365)
Stoke v Tottenham
This has been one of the more bad tempered top-flight matches in recent seasons. Six reds in the last six matches between the sides at The Britannia (and one in reverse fixture) makes Paddy Power’s 4/1 offer that someone will be having an early bath seem half tempting.
Betting: Red card to be shown at 4/1 (Paddy Power)
Crystal Palace v Manchester United
Striking similarities in the form lines between these two. Both have lost their last three matches and both have failed to find the old onion bag even once during that run. Memphis Depay has been acquired by LVG, who is set for another season of huge spending at Old Trafford. Can the Dutchman with the big relics guide them to a Premier League title next term? It’s possible. Can he guide them to a win over Palace here? Yeesssshhhh (that’s Dutch for yes).
Betting: Manchester United to win to nil at 15/8 (Stan James)
Manchester City v QPR
The home win looks nailed on here but it is surely too little too late for Manuel Pellegrini, the old school Chilean who refuses to play anything other than 4-4-2. The poor bloke has looked thoroughly miserable in recent weeks. Remember Manuel, happiness is a state of mind. Unless you have an itchy arse. In that case, happiness is scratching your arse.
Betting: Manchester City to win 4-0 at 13/1 (Bet Victor)
Chelsea v Liverpool
ManYoo’s result at Palace a day earlier could have some bearing on this but whatever happens at Selhurst Park I don’t think Liverpool are playing anywhere near well enough to win at Stamford Bridge. I do think this could be a fun game though with plenty of goals as Chelsea try to shake off the inevitable brutal hangovers they will be nursing having claimed the league title last Sunday. Still half p*ssed or not, Eden Hazard will be immense. Again.
Betting: Over 3.5 goals at 14/5 (Bet Victor)