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Timothy Masters

Everton v Crystal Palace, 19:45
It is fair to say there are two managers on show here this evening who will be strong candidates for the annual award if Liverpool cannot convert their position into a first league title in a couple of decades. Having said that (fairly) it must also be noted that both Palace and Everton have been helped out massively by the form of the sides around them in the table, and if Arsenal in particular hadn’t slumped so dramatically there would be no hope for the Toffees of making the top four. Victor Chandler have 16/5 on Everton winning by a 2-goal margin, a result they need to keep up their charge for the Champions League places.

Everton’s Phil Jagielka has not quite recovered so John Stones will play at centre back, and Steven Pienaar is out as well. Crystal Palace will give fitness tests to Kagisho Dikgacoi and Yannick Bolasie, with Tom Ince possibly replacing Bolasie.

Man City v Sunderland, 19:45
It’d be nice to write about how Manchester City are unlucky to be seven points back on the leaders and agree with their more delusional players that they are victims of poor refereeing, but the result against Liverpool at Anfield was more than fair over the ninety minutes, and they had their own luck at the Etihad. Now they face perhaps the ‘unluckiest’ team in the land, with Sunderland propping up the table and a full seven points from Premier League safety at this point, and if City don’t win they can realistically say goodbye to their title challenge. At 7/10 in the score/win double with BWin Sergio Aguero must be a decent bet to make an impact, and needs to contribute at this stage.

Manchester City’s Yaya Toure will be out for about two weeks, but Sergio Aguero is fit. Sunderland defender Phil Bardsley begins a two-match ban, Liam Bridcutt will also be absent for personal reasons and Steven Fletcher and Keiren Westwood remain sidelined.

Arsenal v West Ham, 19:45

After squeaking past Wigan on the weekend it is clear that Arsenal are still some way from finding the form that saw them labelled potential champions earlier in the season, and that presents the away sides with a definite opportunity this evening. West Ham will most likely survive for another season of Premier League football, currently sitting on 37 points as they are, but adding to that total today would not only cement their safety further, but would also prove a feather in the cap of their unfashionable manager Sam Allardyce.

At 15/2 the away side aren’t fancied for the draw, but Wigan would have taken a point home from Wembley if that had been a league match and West Ham could do the same here today. 19/2 on a 1-1 draw with Victor Chandler isn’t a bad price, although the Gunners are 4/9 for a reason and should win if they play to potential. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Nacho Monreal and Lukas Podolski are doubtful for the home side, while West Ham captain Kevin Nolan faces a late fitness test and both George McCartney and Marco Borriello are out for the visitors.

Liverpool v Man City, 13:37

There are going to be many words written about this match over the next couple of days, and in a lot of ways it is as much a clash of cultures as it is a game to decide who gets momentum in the title race. City have a team built of great players, but anyone who came through the system is stuck on the bench while Liverpool are having to adapt the players they have week-to-week without spending such huge amounts on wages and fees, and today there is also an intriguing tactical battle to observe. At 40/85 with Betfair the odds on both teams scoring aren’t great, but beyond that it’s tough to be sure how this game will turn out.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has Daniel Agger fit again, but Jose Enrique remains out. Manchester City top scorer Sergio Aguero is set to feature and Yaya Toure has overcome a minor niggle, but Matija Nastasic is not fit yet.

Swansea v Chelsea, 16:07

By the time this game kicks off Chelsea could be five points behind the league leaders or sat in third place in the league table, depending on what happens at Anfield, and for a club that has just qualified for the Champions League semi-finals the pressure on their manager to rotate the squad intelligently is intense. Swansea away is a game that could be very difficult, with the Welsh team desperate for points, but in reality shouldn’t throw up that many challenges as they home side have won just once in their last eight matches. SkyBet have 11/4 on Chelsea winning by a 1-goal margin today, a result they need to stay in the title race proper.

Swansea boss Garry Monk is set to make changes with Nathan Dyer, Pablo Hernadez and Jose Canas are amongst those pushing for starts, and Kyle Bartley his only absentee. Chelsea duo John Terry and Eden Hazard are major doubts with Mohamad Salah set to be recalled, while Ramires is back after a three-match ban.

Crystal Palace v Aston Villa, 15:07

On the weekend when eyes will mainly be trained on Liverpool we once again have a number of fixtures that are crucial to the relegation battle in the Barclays Premier League to look over. Villa and their hosts for the day are currently both on 34 points and so close to safety they can already hear the Match of the Day theme for next year, but with the visitors having lost their last three matches on the spin the job is not quite done yet, and today could be good or bad. Recent form suggests a narrow home win, with 14/5 at Ladbrokes that Palace take it by a one-goal margin.

Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis hopes to have a fully fit squad, although it looks like Dwight Gayle is not ready to start. Gabriel Agbonlahor, Fabian Delph and Karim El Ahmadi are all fit to return for Aston Villa.

Fulham v Norwich, 15:07

The five point gap between Fulham inside the relegation zone and Norwich just above them was not enough to save the previous manager from the sack, and that controversial decision is set to be sorely tested now. If the new man in charge sees his side beaten in their opener under his gaze, and given the fixture list they have ahead of them then the Norwich fans may well voice some very early dissent about the changes that are being made. Bet365 have 8/1 that Fulham win 1-0, a result that would spice up the relegation fight no end.

Fulham are bolstered by the return from injury of Scott Parker, Dan Burn and Giorgos Karagounis but Kostas Mitroglou remains sidelined with a knee injury. New Norwich manager Neil Adams must decide whether to risk Leroy Fer, Joseph Yobo and Ryan Bennett, who are all being monitored.

Southampton v Cardiff, 15:07

With a considerable gap between Southampton and Cardiff in the table this isn’t the game you’d think the Welsh club would want at this stage, but the Saints are in the slightly strange position of being totally safe from relegation but having absolutely nothing to play for at this point either. An away win would give Cardiff fans hope they had probably not expected to have by this point, and also put even more pressure on Fulham but that means winning, and if 9/5 score/win candidate with BWin Rickie Lambert plays well that won’t be possible for the Welsh teams.

Southampton will assess the fitness of Gaston Ramirez and Artur Boruc, but Jay Rodriguez faces a six-month lay-off and Maya Yoshida remains out. Cardiff winger Craig Noone has been ruled out for the rest of the season, and Kenwyne Jones, Declan John, Craig Bellamy and Ben Turner are doubts.

Stoke v Newcastle, 15:07

Well, without meaning to influence your thinking about what you might watch this weekend this is not a game with anything riding on it, and with neither side having England hopefuls on display either it might well be a bit of a bust overall for the BBC boys as well. The home side come in on some pretty decent form, with four wins from their last six matches, but now they’ve made it to 40 points it won’t be as easy for Mark Hughes to motivate them. The odds on Papiss Cisse as an anytime scorer are now out at 37/10 with 888sport, pretty good value for the main striker.

Stoke midfielder Stephen Ireland could return for the visit of Newcastle and Charlie Adam is expected to be available for selection. Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul could return from a two-match absence, but Loic Remy will not be risked and both while Mathieu Debuchy and Moussa Sissoko are out.

Sunderland v Everton, 15:07

Everton might only be the second-best side in their city right now, but with six consecutive wins and a game in hand over Arsenal this could be the weekend they join their neighbours in the Champions League places. No team is more in need of points than Sunderland at this stage, but for the Black Cats necessity just hasn’t translated into results and there has been no win in their last seven league games. I think Everton will get the win today by a couple at 5/1 with Victor Chandler, and that might be the final nail in the Sunderland coffin.

Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet remains without Steven Fletcher and Keiren Westwood but has no other injury problems. Leon Osman is Everton’s only doubt, and although Phil Jagielka is out he could return next weekend’s game with Manchester United.

West Brom v Spurs, 15:07

Although these two sides are by no means the worst in the league it is fair to say neither is quite at the level they’d want to be right now, although while Tottenham will feel time is running out the home side will want it to speed up. The Baggies have a five-point cushion over the teams behind, but have only won twice in their last ten matches and won’t have a lot of confidence considering how well Tottenham have played on the road this season. BWin have 7/2 on Adebayor in the score/win, which would at least keep Spurs in view of the sides above.

West Brom midfielder James Morrison is a doubt for Saturday’s clash with Tottenham but Chris Brunt and Claudio Yacob are available. Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood still has the likes of Roberto Soldado, Erik Lamela and Etienne Capoue on the sidelines through injury.

Bayern v Man Utd, 19:45 (agg. 1-1)
There are not many people willing to stick out their neck and back the away side to qualify here, but there are a few factors that might work in United’s favour. Firstly, their away form has been superb so far this term regardless of overall prospects, second is the fact they were supposed to get battered at home and didn’t, adding doubt to Bayern minds and third we can take the historical view that the Germans are thought of as ‘chokers’ in big matches.

In home favour there are a lot of points, not least those areas of the pitch where Bayern are clearly hugely superior to their guests, but since winning the league it seems as though the manager is struggling to motivate his men a bit. Bayern are 1/8 to qualify, while United come in rated 6/1 at best, and if Paddy Power’s 13/8 score/win candidate Arjen Robben is on form this will be a horrible evening for the away back four in particular, even if the results is not a forgone conclusion.

Bayern Munich midfielders Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez are suspended for the tie, while Xherdan Shaqiri, Thiago Alcantara, Diego Contento, Tom Starke, Lukas Raeder and Holger Badstuber are all injured. Wayne Rooney is set to feature for United but Rafael and Marouane Fellaini were absent from United’s final training session, Robin van Persie is injured and Juan Mata is cup-tied.

Chelsea v Paris Saint Germain, 19:45 (agg. 1-3)

After talking about the advantage Liverpool have by not playing in Europe for the last few months Jose Mourinho has ninety minutes this evening to save both his dream of a Champions League title with Chelsea and his best excuse if the league title ends up at Anfield. It is of course true to say that Chelsea play more games, but PSG are a prime example of how much being a Champions League contender improves your recruitment prospects and the same has been proven true for the London Blues too.

Tonight they have a home match, which is always a good start under Mourinho, but a deficit that looks close to insurmountable and becomes more so if the away side manage to score even a single goal. As it has been all season, the lack of a quality goalscorer could well hold the home team back as they chase the score line that would see them through, and with PSG bringing the likes of Lucas Moura and Ezequiel Lavezzi to compliment Edinson Cavani up front the Blues will need to be aware of the counter-attacking threat.

PSG are 2/7 to qualify for the next round with Chelsea 3/1 at this point, and if Coral’s 11/4 anytime scorer Cavani finds the net it might be all over for Mourinho this year. Samuel Eto’o could be available for Chelsea, having trained on Monday, albeit not with his team-mates and Andre Schurrle should be fit, but Ramires is suspended and Nemanja Matic cup-tied. PSG will be without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who came off with a thigh injury in the reverse fixture at the Parc de Princes.

Tottenham v Sunderland, 20:00

It is unfortunate for both these sides that right now the teams around them in the league are generally picking up point, while in reality both Spurs and Sunderland need their contemporaries to fail in order that they can achieve their own ambitions this term. With Arsenal eight points clear of the home side and both Everton and United playing well it is vital that Tottenham get the win here, but that could condemn Sunderland, who have games in hand but haven’t won any of their last six matches, to relegation and a year at the least away from the bright lights of the Premier League. Spurs aren’t fantastic at home, but should win even if it’s only by 1 goal at 27/10 with Ladbrokes.

Emmanuel Adebayor should return from a three-match absence, and Vlad Chiriches and Paulinho are back in contention but Roberto Soldado and Jan Vertonghen miss out with. Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the return to his former club, with Steven Fletcher and Keiren Westwood still sidelined.

Everton v Arsenal, 13:30

Four points separate these two sides in the Barclays Premier League table, and with Everton having a game in hand over their guests for the afternoon there is a chance they could put themselves in a great position with a home win. They’ve got into that position by winning their last five consecutive league matches while Arsenal have just one victory in the same period of time, although it is worth noting that the Gunners share the best away record in the league with Spurs and Man Utd. At 7/10 with BetWay I reckon both teams will find the net, with the power of Romelu Lukaku set to test the away defence.

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey is set for his first competitive action in a while but Kieran Gibbs is a doubt with an ankle. Everton midfielder Ross Barkley is expected to be fit, but captain Phil Jagielka and Steven Pienaar remain absent with hamstring and knee injuries respectively.

West Ham v Liverpool, 16:00

Nine wins from their last ten, top of the table and almost certainly featuring the Premier League player of the season, Liverpool are the team to watch right now, but this trip to West Ham will not be a simple one for Brendan Rodgers and his men. The home side have won six of their last nine league matches and are realistically a couple of points from absolute league safety, and with Sam Allardyce an expert in destruction it will be difficult for Liverpool to combine defending the set-pieces well and trying to avoid the more zealous challenges as West Ham seek to kick them off the park. Coral have 4/5 on Luis Suarez as an anytime scorer, and the Uruguayan is most used to being kicked off all the Liverpool players, so should be fine here.

West Ham captain Kevin Nolan will be fit, but George McCartney is expected to miss the match with a hamstring problem he picked up in the same game. Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has no new fitness concerns, with Jose Enrique not expected to return this season.

Man City v Southampton, 12:45

It is either Southampton or Newcastle who have the least left to play for in the league at this stage of the Barclays Premier League season, while Manchester City are right in the group of teams at the top with a lot left on their plate domestically. With Chelsea dropping points at Villa recently there have been opportunities for City and Liverpool to make a push for the top of the table, and City could go to within a point of the leaders with a game still in hand if they get the win today. Paddy Power have 7/5 on Edin Dzeko in the score/win, with the Serbian looking hungry in the absence of other forwards.

Manchester City are again missing Sergio Aguero, although he has returned to training, and could feature against Liverpool next weekend. Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino could name the same team which beat Newcastle, depending on Victor Wanyama’s fitness, but Maya Yoshida, Nathaniel Clyne and Kelvin Davis are all out.

Aston Villa v Fulham, 15:00

With seven games left in the Premier League Aston Villa are eight points clear of the relegation zone and currently very pleased about how badly the sides below them are performing. Of all the teams failing to outperform Villa right now Fulham are probably the most dismal, picking up just five points off their last ten league matches, and they are definitely a side Villa will want to beat, and expect to as well. The home team are probably only six points from safety themselves, and desperately need a victory so a goal from SpreadEx’s 11/4 anytime scorer Andreas Weimann would be great news for the home fans.

Aston Villa star Christian Benteke is out for at least six months, but Nathan Baker has recovered from a foot injury and both Karim El Ahmadi and Gabby Agbonlahor could feature. Fulham forward Kostas Mitroglou remains sidelined and Darren Bent is ineligible to face his parent club, but Scott Parker could return and Fernando Amorebieta is back from suspension.

Cardiff v Crystal Palace, 15:00

It’s another massive weekend at the bottom of the Premier League table, and for clubs like these two there are not going to be many bigger games in the near future than these true six-pointers between now and the end of term. Neither Cardiff or Palace have been in this division all that long, and both have one win in their last six games to demonstrate that their form is very much in line with the league position too. A home win would put the cat amongst the pigeons a bit and liven up the league, and that would go even further if 12/1 first scorer with Betfair Wilfried Zaha can net against his former club.

Cardiff are boosted by the return of Craig Noone, but Fabio is a doubt after picking up a knock against West Brom. Crystal Palace are hopeful top scorer Marouane Chamakh will be fit as Dwight Gayle has an ankle ligament problem and is Palace’s only definite absentee.

Hull v Swansea, 15:00

Swansea and Hull are thirteenth and fourteenth respectively in the table, both on 33 points and with six games each left to play, and when the dust settles and the season is done there is a good chance they’ll look back on this match as a turning point in their campaign for survival. A win would take the victor within four points of the magical forty, a very good places to be with five games left to go as well as condemning a rival to a very difficult run-in, but nerves could play a part too. I think we’ll see a narrow home win today, maybe 1-0 at 7’s with Bet365.

Hull winger George Boyd is available to face Swansea, and Steve Harper will continue to deputise for injured goalkeeper Allan McGregor. Swansea have no fresh injury concerns.

Newcastle v Man Utd, 15:00

Only two places separate these two sides in the Premier League, and with eight points the gap this might be a chance for the home manager to fire up his inconsistent troops with a message that they can show themselves as good as the reigning champions here. United have been very strong on the road this year, ironic when you consider that Old Trafford has rarely been as noisy in the last two decades as at times this term, and this should be a very entertaining game between a couple of teams who will both want to win, for different reasons. Ladbrokes have 29/10 on United winning by a 1-goal margin, something their away form suggests they are capable of.

Newcastle’s injury woes continue, with midfielder Moussa Sissoko joining the likes of Loic Remy, Tim Krul and Mathieu Debuchy on the sidelines. Manchester United remain without Robin van Persie, while defenders Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling are doubts.

Norwich v West Brom, 15:00

Maybe it’s just the coincidental nature of the league, but it very much feels this week like we’ve written the same match report several times already. There are a fair few matches that have ‘relegation six-pointer’ written all over them in Sky Sports’ red, this being one of them, and that will make for a tense and interesting afternoon. The Baggies have a game in hand but are three points back on their hosts and had an annoying week dealing with dressing room conflict, and a 1-1 draw would be an ok, but not good result for both sides at 6’s with Victor Chandler.

Norwich defender Joseph Yobo will have a fitness check, and Michael Turner could make his first appearance since New Year’s Day. West Brom forward Saido Berahino is set to be involved, while Victor Anichebe, Claudio Yacob and Billy Jones are fit and Jonas Olsson returns after a ban.

Chelsea v Stoke, 17:30

Chelsea haven’t lost a league game at Stamford Bridge this season, winning all but two of their home matches and scoring nearly forty goals so far while Stoke have picked up just eight points on their travels and conceded at a rate of two to every one goal they score so far. Admittedly they away team have won four and lost one of their last five league matches and beat the Blues in the reverse fixture this term, so it could be closer than the league table suggests, but Jose Mourinho is supposed to be a winner, and a loss today would not be easy for the special one to blame on the players. You can get 13/8 with Stan James on both teams scoring, not bad when you consider how Chelsea defend set-pieces from time to time.

Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic returns after being ineligible for Europe and Ashley Cole is back from a knee injury, but Samuel Eto’o remains sidelined by injury and Ramires serves the final game of a suspension. Stoke’s Jonathan Walters is available, but Oussama Assaidi is not yet back in contention.

Paris Saint Germain v Chelsea, 19:45

This is the game the media must love, with players and managers who write the headlines for you and are impossible to parody due to their sheer strength of their absurdity, and once it kicks off there is a good chance the fans will feel the same. Players like Edinson Cavani, Lucas Moura and Zlatan Imbrahimovic will be vying to justify their Champions League level wages against the likes of Eden Hazard and Oscar, and for the neutral this is a match laden with exciting reasons to tune in and potential creators of magic moments. Paddy Power have 23/10 on the big Swede scoring in a home win tonight, and with PSG coming in off the back of seven straight league wins it seems likely they’ll go for a victory.

Fernando Torres is likely to start up front for with Samuel Eto’o injured, Ashley Cole is out with a knee injury and Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah are cup-tied. PSG have a slight doubt over defender Thiago Silva, but he is likely to play in a mask after fracturing a cheekbone.

 

PSG HOME RECORD

CHELSEA AWAY RECORD

GAMES

5

5

WON

5

1

DRAW

0

1

LOST

0

3

SCORED

11

4

CONCEDED

1

6

Most Confident Bet

Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Score Anytime is currently 11/8 with Bet365

Worth a Try

Under 2.5 Total Goals is currently 27/20 with Bet365

Value Bet

Correct Score Prediction to be 1-1 is currently 6/1 with BetVictor