Can Liverpool and Manchester City keep up the pace near the top of the Premier League? Matt Harris takes a look at Saturday’s non-televised matches…
Cardiff City 9.50, the draw 5.15, Liverpool 1.35
These two teams have very different agendas with the hosts battling for survival while Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool are serious contenders to claim their first Premier League trophy. The way in which the Reds demolished Manchester United at Old Trafford suggests a repeat performance on Saturday and it’s hard to argue with these odds.
Cardiff have taken points from teams surrounding them but even with home advantage I can’t see Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s men getting a positive result. Take the away win with Luis Suarez to score at least twice at 4.25.
Score Prediction: Cardiff City 1-3 Liverpool (11.00)
Everton 1.62, the draw 3.85, Swansea City 6.10
Everton won by three goals to one when the teams met in the FA Cup last month but Roberto Martinez’s men haven’t looked convincing in the league since that result. Narrow home wins over West Ham and Cardiff point to a similar outcome on Saturday and although I am expecting Everton to come through, it should be equally tight.
Swansea haven’t won since beating rivals Cardiff at the beginning of February so back the hosts plus both teams to score at 1.90.
Score Prediction: Everton 2-1 Swansea City (8.50)
Hull City 2.22, the draw 3.25, West Brom 3.55
Hull’s recovery following the signings of Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic seems to have halted after two straight league defeats while West Brom will be confident of a positive result after winning at Swansea last weekend.
The Tigers will be without George Boyd for this fixture after his high-profile clash with Joe Hart but home advantage should help them edge the points against Pepe Mel’s side who still look weak, despite that victory at the Liberty Stadium. It’s Hull for the win plus Jelavic to score anytime at 3.05.
Score Prediction: Hull City 2-1 West Brom (10.00)
Manchester City 1.15, the draw 8.50, Fulham 18.00
City’s form has stuttered and Manuel Pellegrini’s side weren’t completely convincing as they took the points back from Hull last weekend but this should be the banker that the market suggests. Fulham have definitely improved under Felix Magath but the Cottagers can expect a blank afternoon at the Etihad on Saturday.
Games such as these don’t always go to plan but I’m backing an emphatic home win with Alvaro Negredo scoring at least twice at odds of 4.25.
Score Prediction: Manchester City 4-0 Fulham (9.50)
Newcastle United 1.85, the draw 3.45, Crystal Palace 4.75
Newcastle have emerged to become my most unpredictable side while Palace have also upset the odds on a number of occasions this season. Form means little with these two even though you should note that the Magpies have only won two of their last seven.
No wins in four have taken the Eagles back towards the relegation zone and that leaves me backing the home win. Recent Palace games have also been low scoring affairs making under 2.5 goals look fairly generous at 1.63.
Score Prediction: Newcastle United 2-0 Crystal Palace (8.00)
Norwich City 2.15, the draw 3.30, Sunderland 3.65
The Black Cats may have enjoyed impressive domestic cup runs but a backlog of fixtures leaves Gus Poyet’s side in the bottom three. Norwich are by no means safe despite taking points from Spurs and Manchester City in recent weeks and when you analyse current form, neither side really has any.
The Canaries have conceded heavily away from home but are, in contrast, tight at Carrow Road so a low scoring draw seems the best option with an anytime goal coming from Steven Fletcher at 3.45.
Score Prediction: Norwich City 1-1 Sunderland (6.50)