Four weeks to go and at the top of the table this could be the most pivotal weekend remaining in the season. Arsenal’s title hopes have faded after a disastrous April, however the Gunners could make things tough for league leader United with a victory over the table topping Red Devils on Sunday. Before that, second placed Chelsea have a tough assignment at home to fifth placed Tottenham. There aren’t many relegation battles going on this week, although the Midlands derby between Birmingham and Wolverhampton will be tasty.
Blackburn v Bolton (0000 AEST)
A cracking East Lancashire derby is a great way to start a bumper weekend. Blackburn don’t know how to win at the moment and sit precariously one point above relegation. A bad result on Saturday and Rovers may well find themselves in the drop zone. Bolton were soundly beaten by Fulham midweek, but that was without the injured Daniel Sturridge. The man on loan from Chelsea should be back for this one and he is a dangerous man near the goals. I think Bolton will look to turn the screw on their local rivals.
Andy’s Bet: Bolton to win @ 4.20 (Betfair)
Andy’s Bet: Daniel Sturridge to score anytime @ 3.00 (Sportsbet)
Blackpool v Stoke (0000 AEST)
Blackpool were a trifle unlucky not to wind up with all three points against Newcastle last weekend. They put the sword to their visitors for long periods, but were denied by the woodwork, some outstanding goal keeping and some conservative refereeing. With premiership survival now secured for next season, Tony Pulis will start resting his regulars and give the second stringers a chance to push for selection in the build up to the FA Cup Final. This game will define Blackpool’s season. It is that big, and boy do I hope they get up!
Andy’s Bet: Blackpool to win @ 2.86 (Pinnacle Sports)
Andy’s Bet: Over 2.5 goals @ 1.67 (Sportsbet)
Sunderland v Fulham (0000 AEST)
Black Cats boss Steve Bruce will have spent all week recovering from the madness of their second half against Wigan last week. They fell behind to the relegation candidates, before finding an equalizer from nowhere. The goalscorer, Asamoah Gyan, then limped off injured leaving them without any strikers. But, Sunderland astonishingly knocked in the next three in no time to charge to a first victory in over two months. Without any strikers and against travel sick Fulham, the Cottagers have won once away all season, this will be dull. Tune out!
Andy’s Bet: Draw @ 3.30 (Betfair)
Andy’s Bet: Under 2.5 goals @ 1.57 (Sportsbet)
West Brom v Aston Villa (0000 AEST)
Villa boss Gerard Houllier is still struck down by his health issues, so Gary McAllister continues to look after the side. Last week I wrote Villa would be distracted by the health concerns for their manager, this week I think they will be steeled to put in a top showing for the Frenchman. West Brom are no pushover, in fact their form since Roy Hodgson took the helm has been that of a top half team. I’m going to be backing Villa for the emotion factor.
Andy’s Bet: Aston Villa to win @ 3.15 (Betfair)
Wigan v Everton (0000 AEST)
Another match between a mid table team and a relegation battler. A win is likely to be enough to propel the Latics from the bottom three, but Everton are a difficult team to play against. I think Wigan will have the run of the game, but given their predicament, nerves may get the better of them in front of goal or down back.
Andy’s Bet: Draw @ 3.35 (Betfair)
Chelsea v Tottenham (0230 AEST)
Both sides are chasing near lost causes. Chelsea need to make up six points in four games to overhaul Manchester United at the top of the table, while Tottenham have to make up four points and a sizeable goal difference over five games on fourth placed Manchester City. Chelsea are getting back to their best and Tottenham are leaking too many goals. The Spurs backline has breached seven times in the last three games. Form points to a comfortable Chelsea win.
Andy’s Bet: Chelsea to win by 2 or more goals @ 2.30 (Sportsbet)
Birmingham v Wolverhampton (2100 AEST)
If you can find a bookmaker that lets you bet on the potential of a red card, this is the match to make the bet. Two fiery teams will duel it out with Premiership survival on the line. Oh, and this is a proper derby match. I don’t have a clue who’ll win, but I am confident goal chances will be few, and cards will be many.
Andy’s Bet: Under 2.5 goals @ 2.00 (Pinnacle Sports)
Liverpool v Newcastle (2100 AEST)
A wise man once said there are only two certain things in life, death and taxes. Very true you might be thinking to yourself, but I believe this great philosopher has left out one other inevitability. He who has scored for your club, will score against your club. That is why, injury permitting, Andy Carroll will rise like a mighty colossus to power a bullet header into the Newcastle net this weekend. It’s just going to happen.
Andy’s Bet: Liverpool to win to nil @ 2.50 (Pinnacle Sports)
Andy’s Bet: Andy Carroll to score anytime @ 1.83 (Sportsbet)
Arsenal v Manchester United (2305 AEST)
Do you reckon the affluent people of Chelsea will be tuning in for this one. You bet your life they will, and for once they will be cheering for local rival Arsenal. A win for Arsenal here and Chelsea will be three points behind United (if they also beat Tottenham), with a game against the Red Devils still to come. This is Arsenal’s cup final and it one of four or five mini cup finals United still have to play. I reckon the Gunners might just make the title race interesting with a few goals in the second half when the game opens up.
Andy’s Bet: Arsenal to win @ 2.64 (Betfair)
Andy’s Bet: Most goals in second half @ 2.00 (Sportsbet)
Manchester City v West Ham (0110 AEST)
West Ham’s fight for relegation survival will need to start next week. The Hammers aren’t going to find any points at Eastlands against a Champions League chasing Manchester City.
Andy’s Bet: Manchester City to win by exactly 2 goals @ 4.20 (Sportsbet)
SNEAKY EUROPEAN MULTI
Andy’s Bet: Liverpool, Hibernian, Borussia Dortmund, AC Milan, Real Madrid and Marseille all to win @ 9.35 (Sportsbet)