Only five Premier League matches being played this weekend due to FA Cup commitments. Three teams out of the current top four are taking part in those fixtures though, with Leicester, Spurs and Man City all in action over up coming three days.
Saturday sees Man City visit hapless Norwich, where it is surely anything but inevitable that Pellegrini’s team will pick up 3 points, despite their recent lacklustre display at Anfield. It also seems equally inevitable that Norwich’s Premier League dream will only be lasting for one season.
Norwich are currently 4/11 for the drop from the Premier League with Paddy Power. Norwich are actually the favourites in that market, because such has been the pathetic form of Aston Villa, they have been taken out of the market.
Back to tomorrow, and in 90 minutes betting, Man City are the favourites at a surprisingly long looking 8/13. This could be based on the fact that they have the Champions League second leg next week (Tuesday 15th), and despite currently being 3-1 up, it is still possible that they won’t want to risk all of their star players, and therefore might rest some of Silva, Aguero, etc.
Norwich are 5/1 outsiders, with the draw at 14/5. Kick-off is 12.45pm, and the match is being shown live on Sky Sports 1. As the match is live on Sky Sports and is the first live match of the day, it means that all Paddy Power customers can get the ‘Bet £20 Get £10 Free’ offer, which is two £5.00 free bets to use in play, if you place £20.00 pre match on selections at odds of 1/2 or greater. This is one of the many Paddy Power offers for existing customers including their acca insurance.
Also on Saturday, there are two 3pm kick offs. Bournemouth are hosting Swansea on the south coast, Eddie Howe’s side are 10/11 favourite, and must know that 3 points against a rival side here – to go with the 3 they picked up at St James’ Park last week – could all but ensure their survival. A win would put Bournemouth on 38 points, they are already 11 points clear of third bottom Norwich.
Swansea would also like a win, but even they look relatively safe with a 9 point lead over Norwich heading into the weekend’s matches. The Swans are 17/5, and the draw – which doesn’t look the worst possible outcome here and would probably suit both – is 17/5.
The third Saturday fixture is probably the only real dead rubber in the Premier League this weekend, with Southampton travelling north to face Stoke in the Potteries. Both are safe in mid table, and neither look like they are going to challenge foe Europe. Paddy Power can’t separate these two, with both currently priced up at 17/10, with the draw at 9/4.
Moving onto Sunday, and it’s the turn on Tottenham in the only Premier League fixture of the day. Spurs are away at the lost cause that is Aston Villa. Spurs are 1/2 to win this one, and after Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino, decided to leave Erik Lamela and Harry Kane out of Thursday night’s Europa League beating by Dortmund, he knows he has to win this match. If you’re an optimist, Aston Villa are 6/1 to win, a more realistic chance for Villa is the draw, which is currently 31/10 (kick-off is 4pm).
The final match of the weekend is on Monday (8pm, live on Sky Sports), and sees top of the table (no matter what happens on Saturday and Sunday, as the Foxes are 5 points clear) Leicester hosting Newcastle United.
Leicester are currently 8/13 to win this, with Newcastle at 5/1, and the draw at 14/5. A lot can happen between now and Monday, and all the rumours are that Rafa Benitez might be the new Newcastle manager by then (although I can see good reasons for that not happening).
As well as the potential new manager bounce effect from Newcastle, Leicester have had problems in their last two home matches. They only managed a 2-2 draw with West Brom last time out, and their previous home match before that seen them struggle to break down a defensive Norwich side that came looking for a point, only a late winner from Ulloa secured 3 points that day.
I’m not for a minute suggesting that Newcastle will turn up and leave with 3 points, but there is a slight chance they might make things a bit more awkward for Leicester, than many are expecting.
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