Saturday’s Manchester derby couldn’t have come at a worse time for Manchester City and Pep Guardiola as it is right in the middle of the Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool. Moreover, the 3-0 defeat at Anfield means that all City eyes will be on Tuesday’s second leg at the Etihad where they hope to turn the tie on its head. Thankfully for Guardiola, his side is well clear at the top of the Premier League and the result on Saturday evening should have no bearing on his team’s chances of lifting the English title. His focus is almost certainly to be on that uphill task in the Champions League next week.
Manchester United have no such distractions and although only playing for 2nd place in the Premier League, they also have pride to play for. The Red Devils have been completely overshadowed by their City neighbours this season and suffered an embarrassing 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford earlier in the campaign. Revenge will be in the air on Saturday and United are fancied to claim at least a point from a game which means much more to them than it does to the Citizens.
Chelsea’s 3-1 home reverse to Tottenham last weekend has left their hopes of qualifying for next year’s Champions League in tatters, and they face another London derby on Saturday with the visit of West Ham. David Moyes Hammers are flirting with relegation but secured a vital 3-0 win over Southampton last weekend to keep the demons at bay. This is usually the kind of fixture that ‘lesser’ sides will write off but West Ham are not in a position to give up points lightly. The Hammers have a decent record against Chelsea in recent times and will make a game of it in front of the Sky cameras.
We’ve been making hay with Burnley this term as the bookmakers continually underestimate the 7th-placed side and Sean Dyches’ men are worth backing again this week when they visit Watford. The Hornets are faltering in mid-table but the Clarets are chasing a possible Europa League spot, and at the odds, are worth a punt to claim another away victory.
Manchester City v Manchester United
First, it’s Manchester United or draw at odds of -105 with Betway.
City’s 3-0 loss at Liverpool came as a shock for fans and neutrals alike with the game expected to be a much closer affair. There is serious work to do in Tuesday’s second leg if Pep Guardiola is to keep the Champions League dream alive and it is quite possible he will rest some of his biggest players for this one.
Manchester United have found their groove again after the Champions League loss to Sevilla, scoring 2-0 wins against both Swansea and Brighton. This is a much tougher task but with no midweek commitments before or after this match, United will be fully pumped up to burst the City bubble and gain revenge for the 2-1 defeat earlier in the season. That result put City in the Premier League driving seat and they haven’t looked back since, but even if the Citizens were to lose this one, the chances are that they will still claim the title with ease.
Chelsea v West Ham
Both teams to score looks a good bet at decent odds of +110 with Betway when Chelsea host West Ham.
The Blues are eight points adrift of Spurs in 4th place after last week’s defeat and hopes of qualifying for the Champions League look forlorn. Surprisingly, they’ve only won three of the last ten games and have conceded in all but two of those. They’ve also only won two of the last five against West Ham and both teams have scored in four of those fixtures.
The Hammers are five points clear of the drop zone, but with only 33 points, they are not out of trouble. It’s difficult to know which West Ham side will turn up on Sunday – the one that swept Southampton aside 3-0, or the one that capitulated by the same scoreline against Burnley. That inconsistency has been the story of their season but they do have a habit of raising their game against their bigger London rivals. With nothing to lose and bouyed by the 3-0 win over the Saints, West Ham could cause Chelsea problems. Defensively, however, Moyes’ side has a poor record and Chelsea’s quality should see them get on the scoresheet.
Watford v Burnley
Finally, Burnley are a tempting price at +250 with BetVictor to grab another three points at Watford.
The Clarets were tipped here last week to win at West Brom and they duly landed the bet with a 2-1 win. After an extended sticky patch, Burnley have won three games in a row and are holding off the challenges of Leicester and Everton for 7th spot. That would be a huge achievement for a club which is relatively new to the Premier League, and although some sides have one eye on the beach at this time of year, Sean Dyche’s team show no signs of letting up.
It won’t be an easy game at Watford. The Hornets are mid-table with 37 points and still not mathematically safe from relegation. However, they’ve suffered resounding defeats to Arsenal and Liverpool in recent weeks and were held to a 2-2 draw at home by Bournemouth last week. The relative strengths of the two teams make Burnley a good speculative punt at big odds.
Manchester United or Draw – Double chance
Saturday 7th April, 17:30 GMT
Chelsea v West Ham – Both teams to score
Sunday 8th April, 16:30 GMT
Burnley to beat Watford
Saturday 7th April, 15:00 GMT
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