Man City may already be champions, but there’s no shortage of top class football to come. In fact, this weekend’s live action is dominated by what sides need to do, and what they have to win. While that doesn’t mean every team are desperate for top flight points, it does at least give us a slightly more competitive round of games to look forward to on Saturday and Sunday.
Liverpool and Arsenal are focused on their European hopes, which changes the dynamic of their weekend clashes. Meanwhile, City’s lack of European action is a good thing for the league as a whole, but bad for the sides they’re facing. With records to tumble, expect Pep Guardiola’s side to maintain their impressive pace when they feature among the weekend’s big games.
Saturday 28th April 2018
Stoke v Liverpool (12:30) – Stoke +2 (10/11 with Coral)
Liverpool clearly have their focus elsewhere this week, as this match lands right in between their Champions League semi-final clash with Roma. They looked home and hosed at 5-0 up in the first leg but conceding two late goals means they can’t play a full strength side here.
The Reds aren’t left with much to fight for in the league, although they do need to be wary of Chelsea’s return to form and their faint chances of sneaking into the top four at Liverpool’s expense. While that’s unlikely, it should give Jurgen Klopp and his team something to focus on for this weekend’s clash.
The Reds may have some motivation for this one, but they’re not likely to turn up with a full strength squad. They made major changes for a clash with West Brom last weekend, which saw a defensive collapse. Struggling Stoke will likely take some confidence after seeing that game, and we do think they’ll come to Anfield and graft for a result, especially given that Paul Lambert picked up a few good results here during his time with Villa. We can see the Potters at least holding Liverpool down to a one goal margin, while there’s not likely to be much appetite for a thumping from the home side, with Stoke +2 priced at 10/11 with Coral.
Swansea v Chelsea (17:30) – Both Teams to Score (5/4 with Betfair)
Swansea are stuck in 18th in the top flight, and they are struggling for points after a six game winless run. They need to improve their form before crucial clashes with Stoke and Southampton, the two sides who are directly below them in the table. While the Welsh side have a decent record of late at the Liberty under Carlos Carvalhal, will they be able to take all three points when they meet Chelsea in Wales in Saturday’s late kick off?
The Blues pose a threat after a three game winning run, which has come after their forwards returned to form. Both Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata scored at Wembley last weekend, but Eden Hazard was the pick of the bunch. Antonio Conte will be hoping his side continue that form going into this trip on Saturday, but he’ll certainly have concerns over their defensive record. The Stamford Bridge outfit have gone eight matches without keeping a clean sheet on their travels, while they’ve not had a great time in recent visits to the Liberty. We see both teams scoring in Saturday’s encounter, with BTTS looking well priced at 5/4 with Betfair.
Sunday 29th April 2018
West Ham v Man City (13:30) – Over 2.5 City Goals (5/4 with Coral)
Man City are pushing for a strong finish to their campaign, as they sit on the verge of some fantastic records. The Citizens are five points shy of the total points record, and only five goals short of equalising the highest scoring tally for a single season. On top of that, a win at West Ham on Sunday will bring them level with the 30 victories Chelsea recorded on their way to glory last season, a feat which had never been achieved before. Can Pep Guardiola’s side pick up a win in east London and move on to the verge of smashing all of those records?
City are certainly capable, and it’s all they can really achieve in the run-in following exits in the FA Cup and Champions League. West Ham aren’t going to offer much opposition, having struggled at home to the top sides this season. Tottenham, Liverpool and Burnley have all scored three or more goals in their trips to the London Stadium, while the five goals City hit past Swansea last week shows just how lethal they are at the moment. We’re backing over 2.5 goals for the visitors, a bet which can be backed at 5/4 with Coral.
Man United v Arsenal (16:00) – United to Win to Nil (31/20 with Ladbrokes)
Man United boss Jose Mourinho takes on old rival Arsene Wenger for the likely final time, with the Frenchman set to depart the Emirates this summer. The battle between these two has rumbled on for 13 years, and that’s likely to be dug up again before they meet on Sunday. While Mourinho will be going all out to defeat his foe one more time, it’s hard to see Wenger caring too much about the result in this return to Old Trafford. After all, the visitors have much more important things on their mind.
Arsenal remain in Europe, and they’re chasing United’s Europa League crown after making the last four. The Gunners are midway through a semi-final clash with trophy favourites Atletico Madrid, so expect a much changed side from them. With their focus elsewhere, we expect United to ease to a victory against an Arsenal side who have been awful on their travels. The visitors have yet to pick up an away point in 2018, while United have an excellent defensive record at Old Trafford. That has us going for a win to nil for the Red Devils, which is priced at 31/20 with Ladbrokes.