1. Norwich v Manchester City – No Pressure City To Rattle Canaries’ Cage
Manchester City are not out of this title race. Yes, they’ve been inconsistent and they have blown chances against the likes of Leicester, Tottenham and Liverpool in recent weeks, nevertheless, it seems a lot easier to have confidence in the Citizens than Arsenal.
The Sky Blues simply do not lose to smaller clubs. The teams to beat them this season are the aforementioned trio plus the Gunners, West Ham and Stoke. Their results against the teams currently in the bottom four reads: played six, won five, drawn one, scored 17, conceded three.
Norwich are on a dire run of form that will seemingly never end. It is eight losses from nine Premier League outings. Their home record reads four defeats in five in all competitions, with 15 goals conceded in that period. City won 3-0 at Carrow Road in the FA Cup in January and, quite frankly, a relaxed away side could really inflict some pain on Canaries supporters.
Man City to win both halves 4.20
2. Bournemouth v Swansea – Survival Instincts On The South Coast
This could be one of the smuggest collections of people in the country on Saturday afternoon. In recent weeks these two sides have dragged themselves away from the drop as those under them implode and Alan Pardew leads a one-man crusade to get his team involved in the relegation battle.
Victory for Bournemouth would put them on the cusp of safety, which would be an incredible achievement from the south coast club. It’s now three games unbeaten for the Cherries but their home form hasn’t been great, with 3 losses in their previous four.
Swansea have wins at Everton (who doesn’t?) and Arsenal in their last four road trips and will present a stern test. This should be a tight affair
3. Stoke v Southampton – Diouf To Do The Damage
Another red and white striped derby to keep us interested this weekend. When will the vertical excitement stop?!
Stoke are on a decent little run at present and it has put them on course for their highest ever Premier League finish. Such is the nature of this division this term, they could probably even make the top six if they can keep their form going.
Saints are winless in three and the absence of Jose Fonte after his red card last week could leave them susceptible to the powerful Mama Biram Diouf, who impressed at Chelsea last time out.
Diouf to score anytime 3.65
4. Aston Villa v Tottenham – Kane To Smack Villa Again
After dropping points against 10 man Arsenal Tottenham couldn’t ask for a better match in which to bounce back. Championship-bound Villa should be swept aside with ease, and if they aren’t, Spurs are not worthy of any sort of title challenge.
Harry Kane is a man with happy memories of facing the Midlands outfit. He scored his first Premier League goal against Villa last season with a late deflected free-kick and from there has embarked on a run of form that has seen him become the Premier League’s leading marksman.
He grabbed another last minute strike when the teams met earlier in the season at White Hart Lane, and with Villa conceding 55 goals already this term, he is sure to get chances.
Kane to score last and Tottenham to win 4.50
5. Leicester v Newcastle – Rob Elliot Vs The Alamo
Leicester at home against Rafa Benitez’s/Steve McClaren’s (delete as appropriate) Newcastle looks as much of a home banker as is humanly possible.
Nevertheless, it is hard to believe that this Premier League season hasn’t got another three or four twists and turns in it and as unlikely as this sounds, the Toon may actually be a disorganised, shambolic speed bump that slows the Foxes down.
No, what am I writing? The Magpies are beyond awful on the road, with just two wins in their last 20 matches on their travels. Only Arsenal and Spurs have gone to Leicester and won, and while West Brom showed that sitting in and defending is the way to get something at the King Power, Newcastle simply do not have the defence to cope with the pressure. Rob Elliot has to contend with 15.5 shots per game, more than any other top-flight goalkeeper, you feel that could be even more on Monday.
Leicester to score in both halves 2.45