Newcastle United and Aston Villa get the weekend’s Premier League action up and running with a fixture at St James’ Park on Friday night. We have several cracking matches to look forward to over the course of the extended weekend, as Leeds United host Chelsea, north London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur square off, and Manchester United welcome West Ham United to Old Trafford. We have four more brilliant days of football to enjoy and here are our thoughts on each of the games and top betting tips.
Newcastle United v Aston Villa
20:00, BT Sport, St James’ Park
Steve Bruce’s Newcastle entertain Dean Smith’s Aston Villa at St James’ Park this Friday night. After Fulham’s recent revival, the Magpies are now just one point above the relegation zone. The Toon Army have been fearing the worst for some time now and their slump, combined with Fulham’s good form, means we well and truly have a relegation battle on our hands.
While Newcastle are struggling at the wrong end of the table, Aston Villa have kept themselves in the top half this season. The Villans have had a superb campaign so far, winning 12 of 26 league matches. Their form right now isn’t great and they look set to be without Jack Grealish once again. Even so, Newcastle are a really poor side, so back the Villa win on Friday at evens.
Leeds United v Chelsea
12:30, BT Sport, Elland Road
Leeds and Chelsea lock horns in a tasty Premier League fixture at Elland Road on Saturday afternoon. United have lost four of their last five, while the Blues are undefeated since Thomas Tuchel inherited the managerial reigns at Stamford Bridge. The London outfit seem to be getting better and better at the moment. They have a really well organised defence, a tremendous work ethic and efficient press, and a huge array of options in attack. They have a deep squad and could be a good bet to finish second at this rate.
Leeds have been competitive this term, but the Yorkshire side have struggled for wins lately, picking up just two league victories from seven. Their goals have dried up whilst their issues at the back, especially from set pieces, continue. Their form contrasts sharply with Chelsea, who have been excellent under Tuchel, winning eight and drawing three of 11 in all competitions. The Blues have kept nine clean sheets in that period, and the away win to nil on Saturday is priced at 21/10. Great value given Patrick Bamford and co are misfiring for the hosts right now.
Crystal Palace v West Bromwich Albion
15:00, Sky Sports, Selhurst Park
On Saturday afternoon in the Premier League, Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace welcome Sam Allardyce’s West Bromwich Albion to Selhurst Park. The Baggies look to be heading for an instant return to the EFL Championship, as they are eight points adrift of safety in 19th. They have had the odd good result under Allardyce but the truth is their points per game has barely changed since he replaced Slaven Bilic.
The Eagles have blown hot and cold of late, but they should see off struggling West Brom on home soil this Saturday. In the reverse game at the Hawthorns, Palace ran out big 5-1 winners. WBA really need to win and if they attack they will leave holes for Palace’s speedy counter attacks. Take a punt on the hosts to win -1 at 10/3.
Everton v Burnley
17:30, Sky Sports, Goodison Park
Everton and Burnley do battle at Goodison Park on Saturday evening. Despite winning just one home league game since December, the Toffees are the odds-on favourites in this one. Whilst their home form has been poor their results on the road have kept them firmly in the hunt for a top four finish and they come into this clash some 16 points better off than the visitors.
What’s more, before last weekend’s loss at Chelsea, Everton had won three in a row without conceding. However, this looks set to be far closer than the table would suggest and with neither side possessing a huge number of goals in them, we predict a tight game. Burnley have struggled for wins lately, but they have drawn four of their last five. The pair drew 1-1 at Turf Moor earlier in the season, and a repeat scoreline here is available at 6/1, a price well worth taking.
Fulham v Manchester City
20:00, BT Sport, Craven Cottage
On Saturday night, runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City travel to the capital to take on in-form Fulham at Craven Cottage. As you would expect, Pep Guardiola’s superstars are the big favourites as they seek to extend, or at least maintain, their whopping 14-point advantage at the top.
Fulham’s excellent form has put them level on points with Brighton & Hove Albion in the battle for survival and just a point behind Newcastle. However, we can see Scott Parker’s rejuvenated side crashing to a heavy home defeat on Saturday. Man City have won 12 away league and cup games in a row, winning by more than one goal in 10 of those. City are priced at 20/21 to win -1 in this one and the stats suggest that is massively overpriced for a team capable of putting any opponent to the sword, no matter what form they are in.
Southampton v Brighton & Hove Albion
12:00, BBC One, St Mary’s
Southampton and Brighton meet in a huge Premier League fixture at St Mary’s on Sunday. The Seagulls are only above the drop zone on goal difference, while the Saints have slipped down to 14th after nine defeats in 11. This is a south coast derby with far more than pride on the line and whilst the hosts should be safe, Brighton are very much in the dogfight.
Southampton, who lost 5-2 at the Etihad Stadium in midweek, are in freefall, as Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men have taken just four points from the last 33 on offer. Even so, with 33 on the board, they may already be within just a win of safety this term. Brighton have been unlucky in recent weeks, but we fancy Graham Potter’s boys to leave St Mary’s with a massive three points. You can get the away win at 6/4.
Leicester City v Sheffield United
14:00, Sky Sports, King Power Stadium
Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester City host Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United at the King Power Stadium on Sunday. The Foxes will be targeting a comfortable home win against the league’s bottom team, knowing that anything less is likely to see them drop to fourth behind Chelsea.
After two defeats and a draw from three league and cup fixtures, City returned to winning ways with a hard-fought 2-1 win at Brighton last time out. The Foxes may have stumbled a little but they are riding high in third, while the Blades are rock bottom with just 14 points to their name. Wilder’s men have been a little better in 2021 than they were at the end of 2020 but they are really up against it here. We like the look of the hosts to be winning at half time and full time at 7/5.
Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur
16:30, Sky Sports, Emirates Stadium
This is the biggest game of the weekend as north London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham cross swords at the Emirates Stadium in a mouth-watering Premier League fixture this Sunday afternoon. Can the Gunners get revenge from their 2-0 defeat at Spurs in December? They trail their rivals by seven points in the table, not an insurmountable gap, but time is running out, so Arsenal fans will be desperate for their side to get a positive result here.
Both clubs have improved of late, and this derby fixture could go either way. The home side are the slight favourites, but we fancy in-form Tottenham to nick a narrow victory at the Emirates. Gareth Bale is flying right now and has managed six goals and three assists in his last six games. With Harry Kane also scoring Spurs look well set for a strong end to their campaign. Put some money on Jose Mourinho’s boys to win by one at 15/4.
Manchester United v West Ham United
19:15, Sky Sports, Old Trafford
Man United and West Ham meet in an intriguing fixture at Old Trafford on Sunday night. The Red Devils are sitting pretty in second, while the Hammers are just six points adrift in fifth, though they have a game in hand on the three sides directly above them. David Moyes would love to prove a point by getting a win at Old Trafford and if he could take the London club into the top four this term it would be an incredible achievement.
It will be no easy task though as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s boys will still be buzzing from last weekend’s impressive win at the Etihad. That said, United face a midweek Europa League game prior to this so the Hammers will be the fresher of the pair. David Moyes’ men have had a fine season up until now, but ultimately we are backing Man United in this one. You can get 2/1 for the hosts to be winning at half time and full time.
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool
20:00, Sky Sports, Molineux
The Premier League action concludes on Monday night when Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolverhampton Wanderers take on Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool at Molineux. The Reds head to the Midlands having lost six of their last seven in the league. They may well be glad to be away from Anfield though as incredibly they have now lost six league games in a row at the supposed fortress.
Wolves have made themselves tougher to beat in recent weeks, losing just one of their last seven Premier League affairs. Liverpool are in woeful form domestically, but they did pick up a good win in the Champions league in midweek. They have many injury issues at the back but we fancy Klopp’s boys to leave Molineux on Monday with a point. Take a punt on the draw and both teams to score at the very tasty price of 4/1.