The weekend isn’t just about scoffing your face with Easter eggs – you can gorge yourself on plenty of Premier League football too.
Back with his previews and tips ahead of four tasty televised contests is ex-player turned journalist Adrian Clarke…
Tottenham Hotspur v Bournemouth | 15 April 12:30
Spurs were sensational when swotting Watford aside last weekend, and most expect a repeat when Bournemouth come to town. I’m one of them. If Eddie Howe’s men leave White Hart Lane with anything more than dented pride, I’ll be staggered.
The second-placers are an absolute mean machine at the moment, so I’d be veering towards the Handicap bets.
You have to take on a 2-0 start for the Cherries to benefit from any kind of value on the hosts, but I’d still be content to recommend that gamble on Tottenham at 8/5.
Final scores such as 3-0 (7/1) or 4-1 (13/1) seem achievable, especially considering how leaky Bournemouth have been on their travels. Away to top eight teams in 2016-17 they have let in an average of three goals per game.
Consider a spot kick flutter too. Bournemouth are joint leaders (with Liverpool) on most penalties scored (7) with Spurs just behind them on six.
It’s 11/5 for a penalty to be awarded by Michael Oliver on Saturday, and with that in mind, Josh King, the Cherries’ taker is 17/5 to score anytime.
I can’t see an upset here though. This has the look of a nailed on home banker.
Southampton v Manchester City | 15 April 17:30
I’m not claiming they’ll triumph, but I’d suggest 17/5 is a big price for Southampton to beat Manchester City at home.
The Saints have picked up seven points from a possible 12 in this fixture over the last four seasons, and won’t feel the slightest bit intimidated by the superstars who roll up at St Mary’s.
They’ll take confidence from a quality performance at the Etihad earlier on this season too.
In a 1-1 draw Nathan Redmond shone and scored; and fresh from winning an England cap last month the 23-year-old isn’t a bad shout to open the scoring at 19/2. His pressing from the front and livewire style could pose problems for a City team that’s still getting to grips with the art of defending.
Opposing Pep Guardiola’s men doesn’t sit comfortably though.
They possess so much speed and slippery movement inside the final third that it’s a near certainty they will score.
For me winger Leroy Sane is the man in form. When City break on the counter he will make incisive runs that Southampton will find hard to track. He outlined this threat with strikes away at Sunderland and Arsenal.
You can claim 18/1 on the German to score in a draw, or 100/30 for him to notch for City in a valuable away win.
West Bromwich Albion v Liverpool | 16 April 13:30
These two sides will run and run and run until they drop, but will they give us a decent game of football? I’m not totally convinced. The clash of styles is a concern.
Liverpool will hog possession. Home or away the Baggies are rarely interested in keep-ball, so expect spells of lengthy domination from the Reds, who have found it hard going in those types of matches this season.
Liverpool’s go-to guy will be Phillippe Coutinho. To break down WBA’s stubborn resistance it may take a moment of magic from the Brazilian, and he’s rated a 23/10 chance to hit the net at some point. I must say his finishing of late has been high-class.
I doubt Tony Pulis’ men will create much in open play, so it will be set pieces where they pose the most menace. They lead the Premier League charts with 14 goals from dead balls, and with Simon Mignolet and co famously wobbly at those situations, the Baggies will be feeling chipper.
Defenders Craig Dawson 17/2, Gareth McAuley 19/2 and Jonny Evans 17/1 can all prosper if the Reds go weak at the knees at a set play.
I am expecting a low-scoring affair. Under 2.5 goals is just 8/9 so it appears plenty agree.
Manchester United v Chelsea | 16 April 16:00
I don’t think we’ll need to get an abacus out to keep score at Old Trafford either.
Just three goals have featured in Chelsea’s last four Premier League visits to Manchester United – and with stakes so high, and the managers both nervous about losing, this could be another cagey one.
To my mind the most likely final scores are 1-0 (13/2), 0-1 (7/1) or the goalless draw, currently on offer at 6/1.
I am looking forward to the David Luiz v Zlatan Ibrahimovic duel. The two former PSG teammates are huge characters, and neither will want to show weakness to the other.
The Chelsea defender is sure to be fired up, and let’s be frank, he is not the most reliable tackler the game has ever seen.
I wonder it may be shrewd to have a small nibble at the 20/1 on Luiz to be shown red. The Brazilian has been far too reliable this season. Something surely has to give, sooner or later!
Ref Bobby Madley has only sent one player off this term, but he is the second highest yellow card brandisher.
Chelsea are the superior side we know that; but can they really claim a third win of the season at Jose’s expense?
The embarrassment to United’s boss would be too much for him to bear (if funny, to us neutrals!) so a dull Home Win or Draw (11/25) is where I think this heavyweight duel is going.
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