The Premier League is back from an extended gameweek 25 that has transformed the title race.
Just five points now separate Man City in first and Spurs in third, and with two of the top four set to go toe-to-toe on Sunday, gameweek 26 has the potential to be a defining weekend in the 2018/19 season.
The same can be said for teams in the lower half of the table too. Can Crystal Palace go a third game without defeat? How will Everton react to being comprehensively beaten in back-to-back matches? Will Wolves win four in a row for the first time this season?
Read on for more opinion from our football betting expert on some of this weekend’s intriguing encounters, including bets to look out for.
Crystal Palace v West Ham
Michy Batshuayi’s deadline day arrival at Selhurst Park was a stand-out transfer in the January window. And his presence was immediately felt when Jeffrey Schlupp slammed home Palace’s winner on Saturday, rebounding off of Batshuayi’s excellent solo effort.
The Belgian is 4/1 to score against the Hammers, I fancy him to put West Ham’s defence through its paces.
West Ham have yet to register a league win on the road in 2019, but the return of Marko Arnautovic to the side could be the boost they need. Yet to win back the hearts of the Hammers’ faithful since his exploits in January, if you think this weekend will prove reconciliatory you can get him at 2/1 to score at any time against the Eagles.
Liverpool v Bournemouth
It was at the Vitality Stadium on the 8th December that Liverpool leapfrogged league leaders Man City and climbed to pole position in the standings, where they remained until City’s 2-0 win on Wednesday. The recent dip in form for Klopp’s men has been compounded by question-marks over the Reds’ ability to cope with the pressure at the top.
One could argue that a visit from the Cherries is just the remedy for Liverpool. The south coast side visit Anfield off the back of a defeat to Cardiff, and it’s fair to say the travelling fans will be worried about this one — Liverpool are favourites to add to their travel woes at 1/5 to win this one, and with two goals in his last two games, Sadio Mané is 7/2 to score first.
It’s Bournemouth’s consistency, or lack thereof, that has undermined Eddie Howe’s side this season, with their spectacular home wins routinely undone by woeful form away from home. Can he buck this trend against Klopp? It promises to be a fascinating affair, and the Cherries to win at 12/1 certainly catches the eye.
Manchester City v Chelsea
In the last El Cashico, Chelsea reigned supreme with a 2-0 win at the Bridge through the unlikely scorers of N’Golo Kanté and David Luiz.
Enter Gonzalo Higuaín who, fresh off the back of a brace in last weekend’s 5-0 thrashing of Huddersfield, now has 38 goals in his last 37 games under Maurizio Sarri. It’s impossible to ignore the big Argentinian at 5/2 to score at any time on Sunday.
On the subject of Argentine sharp-shooters, it’s City’s who edges it for me in the goals market. With two goals inside the opening minute against Newcastle and Arsenal, Sergio Agüero is 3/1 to open the scoring. But this market is made more tantalising by the return of Kevin De Bruyne. Rested against Everton mid-week, the talismanic midfielder is 9/1 to score first against his old side this Sunday.
Want to know how to bet on football? Read our complete guide here.