The Premier League is entering the home straight. We are at that point where teams begin to see doors close, and it’s bordering on last-chance saloon for a few teams. In some cases, that has passed and they are requiring divine intervention.
As is now tradition in these parts, we are looking at the Premier League’s 3pm kick-offs…
Everton vs BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION
There’s unrest again at Goodison Park. Sam Allardyce has almost squeaked his side over the line to safety, but several dire performances have seen the former England manager criticised.
The football has been bleak, and failure to win this match could see Allardyce edge towards the door.
Brighton, meanwhile, have been the story of the league recently.
A five-match unbeaten run featuring three victories has pulled the Seagulls level on points with the Toffees, and Chris Hughton might finally be about to receive the acclaim he has deserved for so long.
I like the 7/10 price on Brighton to avoid defeat. Hughton’s side are secure at the back, having conceded just 38 goals this season, and have a knack for scoring goals at the right time.
TIP: Brighton to win OR draw @ 7/10
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN vs SWANSEA CITY
Swansea’s Carlos Carvalhal revival recovered from an awayday hiccup at Brighton to smash West Ham last weekend.
Home form continues for the Swans, but their road troubles are still prevalent, though they have lost just once in four away matches.
Huddersfield’s home form is not great either. Their 4-1 win over Bournemouth was a needed relief from relegation pressure, but they had conceded seven goals in their two home matches prior to that.
Last time out they were ineffective, and calmly seen off by Tottenham at Wembley.
The visitors have been hard to beat away from the Liberty Stadium, even if results have not been fantastic. The onus is on the Terriers to push for a win here, but I think Swansea will frustrate them and this could eke into a low-scoring draw.
TIP: Under 2.5 goals @ 13/25
NEWCASTLE UNITED vs SOUTHAMPTON
One point and one place separate these two in the league at the moment. The Magpies are marginally ahead of their Saturday afternoon visitors, but could be in the bottom three by Monday.
Rafa Benitez’s side have won just one match in seven in the league, but have lost only two in that span.
Southampton are no strangers to a draw themselves. The south coast club have tied a league-high 13 matches thus far, including their last two.
Saints have won once in their last 16 in the league, but will likely head to the northeast with avoiding defeat as the priority once again.
Like so many of the matches this weekend, this will be cagey rather than expansive. Pragmatism from Benitez and Mauricio Pellegrino could make this a tough watch.
TIP: Under 2.5 goals @ 3/5
West Bromwich Albion vs LEICESTER CITY
West Brom’s defeat last weekend was the final nail in their Premier League coffin. Alan Pardew’s calamitous spell at the Hawthorns has left the Baggies playing for nothing but pride in early March.
The visiting Leicester are winless in five league matches, and have not won in their last five away from home.
Claude Puel’s side have little to play for either this season other than chasing Burnley for seventh. The Foxes have not been as poor as results suggest, however. They are deserved favourites to win this one.
Barring a shock performance from the hosts, I fancy Leicester to win this comfortably. West Brom are in freefall. It’s surprising Pardew has lasted this long, but a heavy defeat here could provoke managerial change.
TIP: Leicester to win @ 31/20
WEST HAM UNITED vs Burnley
Burnley are without a win in seven straight Premier League away matches, having failed to score in five of those fixtures.
Sean Dyche’s side returned to form of sorts with their win over Everton, but are still my underdogs for this one.
David Moyes’ side were dismantled by Swansea last weekend, just as they were by Liverpool the week before.
The Hammers are deep in relegation trouble. Moyes still has to deal with a lengthy injury list, and will likely stick with a 3-4-3.
I think the hosts will get back on track in this one. There isn’t great value to be found anywhere, so I’m siding with West Ham to avoid defeat as they aim to rebuild their cushion from the bottom three.
TIP: West Ham to win OR draw @ 3/10
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*