Chelsea Getting KDB'd, Hammers Getting High At Leicester, The Missing Ingredient & 10 Things To Look Out For In The Premier League


1. Norwich v Sunderland – Chirpy Canaries Can Avoid Black Cats

People talk of six pointers, well quite simply, this is a million pointer. A win for Norwich, paired with defeat for Newcastle could all but see them safe. That would leave seven points clear of the drop. Surely that would be enough.

However, you can see this one being incredibly nervy. The Canaries have registered two draws in their previous four matches at Carrow Road, with the other two decided by the odd goal.

It feels like Sunderland’s last away clean sheet came when Sam Allardyce was still sporting a splendid slug on his upper lip, so they will have to score. Expect a distinct lack of quality, lots of direct balls and little separating the sides.

Draw 3,40

 

2. Everton v Southampton – Pelle To Win Battle Of The Nines

It’s all a bit weird at Goodison Park at the moment. It seems a section of the supporters want Roberto Martinez out, a section are massively behind him and the rest just don’t seem to be that fussed after a bit of a wet lettuce of a season.

The shining light has always been Romelu Lukaku and it will be a battle of two of the top-flight’s best number nines on Merseyside.

The Belgian hasn’t scored in four and his team have just one strike between them in that period. Graziano Pelle has four in as many outings for Saints and looks the player he was last term. Rumour has it he’s off in the summer, if he is then he’s certainly playing himself into a decent move.

Pelle to score and Southampton to win 5.40

 

3. Man United v Aston Villa – Villa Say Goodbye To The Premier League – But For How Long?

Let’s face it Aston Villa have been relegated for ages but this will be the weekend that they are finally resigned to their fate, not even Man United can make a mess of this.

The question for many will be how long it takes the Midlands club to get back to the big time. Many of the players dodged a bullet with the cancellation of the awards evening this week and most will be on their bikes this summer, gladly hounded out of Birmingham by the supporters they have so let down.

It is going to be a massive rebuilding job at Villa Park but it is far from a formality that they will return in the near future. Hopefully this is not the start of another Leeds United or Sheffield Wednesday sized disaster.

Man United to win: Aston Villa 2-0 start 2.75

 

4. Newcastle v Swansea – One Last Premier League Miracle This Season?

This has been the most unbelievable of Premier League campaigns but it is missing one key ingredient, there is no real battle at the bottom at present.

We need a survival story, something to keep us gripped as Leicester canter to the title with games to spare. Step forward Rafa Benitez and Newcastle United.

It makes no sense, there is no justification for it and it seems crazy to back it. However, Leicester City are about to win the league, so don’t ask questions. The great escape starts here, at least Sky Sports and BT will be hoping so.

Newcastle to win 2.25

 

5. West Brom v Watford – Adventurous Baggies Meet Headless Hornets

You will not find two more contrasting manager in terms of looks. Tony Pulis all baseball caps and white trainers, like your Dad on a day off, and Quique Sanchez Flores, the owner of the top-flight’s most beautiful hipster beard (sorry Joe Ledley), excellently tailored clothing and a sultry Spanish accent.

On the pitch, however, both these men will be brimming with pride at their team’s achievments. Both are safe and could even have one eye on a top half finish.

Don’t simply discount this as a rubbish, nothing game. Yes, the reverse fixture was a snore fest, believe me, I was there, but these two now have the shackles off. The Baggies were actually pretty adventurous against Man City and Watford have opened up a fair bit since survival was all but confirmed.

Over 2.5 goals 2.60

 

6. Chelsea v Man City: Pensioners’ Kids To Get KDB’d (That’s not a narcotic)

At the start of the season we would have been expecting to bill this one as a potential title decider but in all honesty it is pretty hard to get massively excited about fourth v 10th.

Chelsea have been experimenting with youth recently, no really they’ve actually been using a few of the three million young players they have, and Guus Hiddink seemed keen to keep that going after losing at Swansea last time out.

Man City will have the chance to go above Arsenal and into third here and with confidence high and KDB, the latest in a line of abbreviated Premier League personalities, on form they should do just that.

Man City to win 2.75

 

7. Bournemouth v Liverpool – Sturridge Staking His Claim

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but Bournemouth are having a bloody good time of it this season. They’ve racked up 41 points already, and could be forgiven for hitting the beach, it is literally minutes from the ground after all.

Liverpool will still be riding the crest of that Dortmund wave and although Klopp may make a few changes, you imagine that the whole squad will be on a high.

Daniel Sturridge may get a start after coming off the bench in midweek. Divock Origi put a mammoth shift in and has earned the rest, it’s a chance for the England man to stake his claim.

Sturridge to score and Liverpool to win 3.75

 

8. Leicester v West Ham – Hammers To Out Fox Leicester By Air

The champions-elect, as it is now popular to refer to them, simply have to avoid a capitulation and they will be crowned Premier League winners. However, this looks their toughest test.

West Ham will not be afraid to challenge the aerial prowess of the Foxes defence with their own Andy Carroll-shaped battering ram, and that gives the home side something different to contend with.

Ranieri’s men gave Sunderland a lot of chances last week and if Jack Rodwell still resembled a footballer they might have been in trouble. It’s five clean sheets in a row but that run ends here against a Hammers team who have drawn 13 times this season.

Leicester 1-1 West Ham 7.50

 

9. Arsenal v Crystal Palace –Meeting Of London’s Lesser Lights

London’s two biggest losers meet on Sunday. No, we aren’t referring to Pardew and Wenger, honest.

Only Crystal Palace (4) have taken fewer points that Arsenal (6) in capital derbies this season and the Eagles won their first game of 2016 last week, so a win at the Emirates might be a bit much to ask.

Arsenal have been breached just 8 times in their last 14 top-flight outings and Palace have shouldn’t really spark any fear into Wenger’s back four.

Arsenal to win without conceding 2.25

 

10. Stoke v Tottenham – Cracked Potters No Match For Spurs

Stoke seem to have put their feet up a little in recent weeks, with just one win in five in the Premier League. The ease with which Liverpool scored their goals last week is also a worry, given that defence included Ryan Shawcross.

That also doesn’t bode well for a clash with a Tottenham team that have a similar style to Liverpool and are in feverish pursuit of Leicester at the summit.

A win here is the only option for Pochettino’s side and it is hard to see the Potters, who’s only clean sheet in 12 games came against Newcastle, putting up that much of a fight.

Tottenham win: Stoke 1-0 Start – 3.15