This weekend’s Premier League action is all about the battle to avoid relegation, including important potential six-pointers between Burnley and Cardiff and Brighton and Bournemouth. Southampton also entertain Wolves, whilst Newcastle travel to Leicester.
Check out our free tips for this weekend’s Premier League matches.
Leicester vs Newcastle (Friday 8.00)
If recent form is anything to go by, this will be the easiest to predict of all the games that feature sides in the relegation battle this weekend. Newcastle have really been struggling of late, with just three draws from their last eight away games in the Premier League.
They also face a resurgent Leicester that Brendan Rogers has moulded into a team capable of crushing clubs in the bottom half. They’ve taken the scalps of Huddersfield, Bournemouth, Brighton, Fulham, and Burnley, and there’s no reason why Newcastle won’t be added to that list, especially as Leicester also won the reverse fixture 2-0 earlier in the season. That makes Leicester look this weekend’s bankers at around 8/11.
Burnley vs Cardiff (Saturday 3.00)
Burnley can’t mathematically clinch their Premier League survival on Saturday, but a win would take them to a total of 39 points, and that’s usually good enough to avoid relegation. Three points would also stretch their lead over their opponents Cardiff to a long-looking 11 points, with the Welsh team having just five games to make up that deficit after this one.
After a run of four consecutive defeats in February and March, Burnley have also stopped the rot in style by beating both Wolves and Bournemouth. But it’s a different story for Cardiff who have lost their last two games.
Earlier this season, Burnley won 2-1 at Cardiff. It was a hard-fought match that was 0-0 at half-time, and it’s easy to see a similar scenario unfolding here. That means the value-bet may be Draw-Burnley in the half-time/full-time market.
Brighton vs Bournemouth (Saturday 3.00)
Brighton manager Chris Hughton will be hoping his side can bounce back from the disappointment of losing their FA Cup semi-final, as three points here would be a major step towards avoiding relegation.
However, the Amex Stadium hasn’t been a fortress of late, with Brighton only winning two of their last six home matches. That’s still better than Bournemouth’s recent away record, with their win at Huddersfield the only three points they’ve picked up in their last six matches on the road.
Brighton will be feeling the pressure, and they’ll surely stick to the defensive tactics that has seen five of their last six home matches produce less than 1.5 goals. Bournemouth have also been goal-shy of late, failing to score in four of their last six away games.
The bookies are offering over 2/1 about less than 1.5 goals and, whatever the final result, that looks a big price.
Southampton vs Wolves (Saturday 3.00)
Another team that will be looking to bounce back from the disappointment of exiting the FA Cup at the semi-final stage is Wolves, whilst Southampton will be hoping that this Saturday’s opponents are suffering a real hangover from squandering a 2-0 lead over Watford.
Southampton are currently the fourth-bottom team in the Premier League and, with Burnley and Brighton also playing at home on Saturday, they’ll be desperate for three points. Three wins in five games suggests The Saints are certainly playing well enough to get them, especially as their two defeats in that period have been to Liverpool and Manchester United.
However, it’s worth remembering that Wolves have beaten Manchester United twice in the last few weeks and have accumulated 14 more points than Southampton so far this season. But they’ve also lost to Burnley and Huddersfield, without scoring, on their travels recently.
Wolves did win the reverse fixture 2-0 earlier this season but, after last weekend, it’s easy to see them struggling to pick themselves up against an in-form Southampton side that has found some decent form late in the season and has much more to play for.