There are three distinct battles currently going on in the Premier League at the moment.
Chelsea and Manchester City are in their own personal battle for the title, whilst Southampton, Manchester United, Arsenal, Spurs, Liverpool and maybe West Ham are desperately trying to claim the two remaining Champions League spots.
Meanwhile, the battle for relegation couldn’t be much tighter with the bottom 9 teams, amazingly, just separated by 5 points.
This week’s football tips involve teams concerned in all three of those battles.
Manchester City vs Arsenal
Arsenal may have beaten City 3-0 in this season’s Charity Shield, but City have certainly had the upper-hand in this fixture recently. The last six renewals have resulted in four wins for City and one draw – which makes the 5/6 look a little on the generous side. City have also won 6 of their last 7 Premier League home games, and enthusiasm is only tempered by them throwing away a 2-0 advantage against Burnley.
4 points Manchester City @ 5/6
Burnley vs Crystal Palace
Burnley’s draw at Manchester City is one of many creditable results for them recently and, after beating fellow relegation battlers QPR last week, they find themselves in another potential 6-point-swinger against a Crystal Palace team with whom they’re equal on points.
Burnley can take confidence from the fact they’ve won three of their last four home games against Palace (be those in the Championship), whilst they also got a draw at Palace earlier in the season, and have won their last two against fellow bottom-6 teams.
Palace will no doubt be buoyed by last week’s defeat of Spurs, and have drawn four of their last 5 Premier League away games, with their only defeat in those five games coming at the hands of Manchester City.
It’s not an easy game to call, but the draw edges the vote on value.
3 points draw @ 23/10
Newcastle vs Southampton
Newcastle have won and drawn one of the only two relevant renewals of this fixture, but the last two games between the teams have been won emphatically by Southampton by a score-line of 4-0.
Meanwhile, Newcastle have lost 3 of their last 5 Premier League games, whilst Southampton have looked clinical in notching-up 4 wins and a draw against Chelsea in their last 5 Premier League games.
After a mini-slump, Southampton have quickly hit back to dispatch the notion that the only way was down – and can press ahead here for a Champions League spot by posting another victory.
3 points Southampton@ 13/10