Liverpool v Manchester City might have been expected to take the headlines tonight in a repeat of Sunday’s Capital One Cup final, but this season is like no other, and more eyes will be on the massive game in East London. West Ham v Spurs is always a tasty derby fixture but it takes on even more significance tonight as Tottenham have the chance to go top of the Premier League after title-rivals Leicester were held to a draw by West Brom last night.
Meanwhile, our banker of the day Manchester United have a great opportunity to close the gap on the top four with a win at home to Watford, and Arsenal will look to keep their dwindling title chances alive with victory against Swansea at the Emirates. The other game on the coupon features a Newcastle side desperate to get out of trouble on the road at Stoke.
It all adds up to another superb night of top-flight action, and we’re going for a goalfest in three of those games.
West Ham v Spurs
This is arguably the biggest game of the night with 2nd against 6th, and it’s all set to be a high octane affair. Over 2.5 goals stands out as a great bet at -105 with Marathonbet
There is no love lost between these two teams, and the rivalry runs deep as far as the fans are concerned. Spurs ran out 4-1 winners when the two met at White Hart Lane earlier in the season, so revenge is on the menu for the Hammers with the added attraction of stopping Spurs going top of the league. West Ham have a bit of a history of spoiling title bids – just ask Alex Ferguson – and that will be high on the home side’s agenda as they also look to push their own European bid.
The Hammers have been in the top half for the majority of Slaven Bilic’s first season in charge, and they now sit in 6th place just four points outside the top four. A Champions League place is surely beyond the East Londoners, but they keep on getting results and with the move to the Olympic stadium on the horizon, a place in the Europa League would be a perfect way to start. Their unbeaten home run stretches back to August, and Spurs will have to smash that record if they want to take three points tonight.
Spurs run of six straight wins has been impressive not only due to results but also because of the style of football they’ve played, and if anyone has the look of title winners this season it’s probably the side from North London. They will go into this game with an attacking mindset as they try to get to the Premier League summit, and there is little likelihood of them sitting back and playing it cagey. Similarly West Ham can play with the same freedom as they have nothing to lose and everything to gain. They are well on course for a top half finish and have an FA Cup quarter final with Manchester United on the horizon. Tonight’s game should be a 100-mile an hour, wide open match and we’re predicting plenty of goals.
Liverpool v Manchester City
This may well be a very different game to the Capital One Cup final on Sunday, with both sides desperate for points for different reasons. Man City are a full 10 points behind Leicester at the top and Vincent Kompany has called on his team to hunt down the sides above them in search of another title. His return to the team is a huge boost although they could be missing Yaya Toure who is a doubt with a foot problem.
Liverpool’s Sakho is also a doubt, but they’ve been boosted by the news that Martin Skrtel could return after a hamstring problem. The Reds are languishing in 11th place in the table, and they have serious work to do to get back into the European positions. After losing out on penalties on Sunday they are left with only the Europa League and the Premier League to fight for. Jurgen Klopp doesn’t do defensive teams and he’ll be looking to avenge Sunday’s defeat with the kind of performance that saw Liverpool win 4-1 at City back in November.
A point is of little value to either side at this stage of the season, and we expect another open game with plenty of goal mouth action.
Stoke v Newcastle
Finally, we’re tipping over 2.5 goals in the Stoke v Newcastle game at +106 with Marathonbet
The Magpies haven’t played a competitive game since the 13th of February when they went down 5-1 at Chelsea, but it’s actually been a good period for them in terms of the league table. Norwich, Villa, Sunderland and Swansea have all failed to take advantage of their fixtures, and Steve McClaren and his men now have games in hand on all of them. Disregarding Villa who look all but down already, there are just three points separating the other four sides and it looks like two from that quartet for the drop. The games in hand have given Newcastle a lifeline, but of course they have to get the points, and that suggests they will travel to the Potteries looking for all three.
Stoke meanwhile have come back to form with a 3-1 win at Bournemouth and a 2-1 victory over Villa, and they’re looking to push up into the top half and snatch an unlikely European spot. They hold 9th place in the congested mid-table, and are looking for their fourth consecutive win against Newcastle on this ground.
Six of Newcastle’s last seven games have featured more than three goals, while Stoke have surpassed the three-goal mark in each of their last four. With the Magpies chasing the game this one is another that looks wide open.
West Ham v Spurs over 2.5 goals
Wednesday 2nd March, 19:45 GMT
Liverpool v Manchester City over 2.5 goals
Wednesday 2nd March, 20:00 GMT
Stoke v Newcastle over 2.5 goals
Wednesday 2nd March, 19:45 GMT
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