Aston Villa 3.30, the draw 3.35, Southampton 2.20
Southampton were the one team to let me down in the result markets last weekend and that makes me less confident about backing Mauricio Pochettino’s side ahead of this game. That defeat at the hands of Cardiff was the Saints’ first home loss in three and as they are more vulnerable away from St Mary’s, Villa have a chance here.
Paul Lambert’s team come into this on the back of four straight defeats but home advantage, together with combined form suggests a share of the points. Back the draw at those 3.35 odds while issues in front of goal for both sides make under 2.5 goals a good option at 1.78.
Score Prediction: Aston Villa 1-1 Southampton at 6.50
Cardiff City 2.45, the draw 3.30, Stoke City 2.90
That victory by Cardiff last weekend makes this another tough game to call as the Bluebirds scrap for survival. In contrast, Stoke are now safe and the team with nothing left to play for doesn’t attract much confidence from a betting viewpoint.
Mark Hughes’ side are always worth backing at the Britannia, no matter who they play, but Cardiff’s home advantage, together with their greater need for the points makes Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s team the better bet. The Bluebirds could go level on points with Norwich with victory here and that extra incentive has finally convinced me to stake on the home win with Stoke not to score at a generous 2.85.
Score Prediction: Cardiff City 1-0 Stoke City at 7.50
Newcastle United 2.70, the draw 3.35, Swansea City 2.60
Newcastle’s defeat against Stoke last weekend was their fourth loss in a row and the fourth game in succession where the Magpies have failed to find the net. Alan Pardew’s side have the look of a team that can’t wait for the end of the season but they have a chance to score at the very least against a Swansea team who are far from safe.
Garry Monk’s squad have taken four points from a possible 18 but once again this could come down to the old cliché of backing the team who ‘wants it more’. The Swans are desperate for the points while Newcastle players may be dreaming of faraway summer beaches so I’m taking an away win with an anytime goal for Wilfried Bony at 2.95.
Score Prediction: Newcastle United 1-2 Swansea City at 10.00
West Ham 2.30, the draw 3.20, Crystal Palace 3.30
Tony Pulis’ miracle work now extends to beating teams challenging for the top four so a West Ham side who have lost their last two games look vulnerable here. Palace are in Champions league form themselves with four straight victories but the Hammers have a good recent record overall and the benefit of playing at home suggests that a draw is your best option.
Aside from this week’s five goal thriller at Goodison Park, games involving Palace tend to be low scoring affairs so back a share of the points plus under 2.5 goals at 1.60.
Score Prediction: West Ham 1-1 Crystal Palace at 6.25