The Premier League schedule is depleted this weekend thanks to the FA Cup semi-finals. The matches are spread across three days, with only a couple of them hidden away from the live television cameras.
The season has been an underwhelming one in many ways. There’s not much to play for even with the best part of a month remaining. The upside of that, is that we could get treated to some of those end of season crackers.
West Bromwich Albion vs LIVERPOOL
West Bromwich Albion’s win at Manchester United last weekend was remarkable. Not in it’s significance, but the quality of the performance. A truly dire season for the Baggies was picked up by their second victory since August. Now they face the minor task of halting Liverpool.
Jurgen Klopp’s side are a force to be reckoned with this season. The trio of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah are possibly the best in the world right now. While we may see a few players rested, the Reds are still in contention for the second spot in the league, so should be relatively strong.
I can’t look past Liverpool here. West Brom’s improvement at Old Trafford was too little, too late, this could be a painful couple of hours for them.
TIP: Liverpool to win @ 1/2
ARSENAL vs WEST HAM UNITED
Arsenal are firmly focused on the Europa League right now. That might just be a blessing for David Moyes’ Hammers, who – at the time of writing, at least – remain embroiled in the relegation scrap. The Gunners lost away to Newcastle last weekend but could name a stronger line-up for this one as they look to hold off Burnley.
It will likely be a weakened line-up from Arsene Wenger, however, which could give their fellow Londoners a decent chance of a result. This should be an open match, with freedom in midfield for both teams, which should lead to plenty of opportunities.
I’m going with goals, as you might have guessed by now. It should be fun, even if the match might not mean too much.
TIP: Over 2.5 goals @ 13/25
MANCHESTER CITY vs Swansea City
Manchester City will be in party mood as Swansea come to town. Pep Guardiola was reportedly on the golf course as they secured the title last weekend, and it will be interesting to see what team he picks here. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few youngsters given minutes.
The Swans are still tussling for their lives. Carlos Carvalhal’s side were held by Everton last weekend in what looked like a very winnable fixture. Anything here is a bonus, but I think they will be just fine this season thanks to their surge since Carvalhal arrived.
Goals are expected at the Etihad Stadium every week. There could be a fair few this weekend, particularly if they play in the relaxed manner than newly crowned champions are partial to.
TIP: Over 3.5 goals @ 21/20
Everton vs NEWCASTLE UNITED
Newcastle’s invaluable victory over Arsenal last Sunday secured them in the Premier League for another season. This campaign has been a Rafa Benitez masterclass. The Spaniard led the Magpies from serious trouble to comfortable safety within a few weeks, despite a relatively weak squad.
Everton have ended up neck and neck with their visitors. Their season has been a stark contrast to Newcastle’s, with disappointment the overriding emotion after the hefty spending of last summer. Sam Allardyce isn’t making many friends on Merseyside, and this summer looks like it’ll be a time to regroup again at Goodison.
I like Newcastle’s form coming into this one. Everton are cruising towards the end of the campaign and are up against it to get another win here.
TIP: Newcastle to win OR draw @ 13/20
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*