Expert football pundit and analyst Andy Gray joins the Paddy Power Blog to give his insight the weekend’s Premier League action as teams battle to keep their top 4 place and steer clear of the relegation dog-fight.
Andy Gray’s treble: West Ham, Swansea and Spurs @ 14/1 [click to tweet]
Tottenham v Manchester City, Live SS1, Sunday, 1.30pm
I know a lot of people will be tempted by the draw but if Gareth Bale and Jermaine Defoe start for Spurs – they can take all three points. Andre Villas-Boas’ side have had 10 days and can come into this game raring to go and how important it is they don’t fall away in the league now. I’ll take Tottenham to win at 2/1 and by a one-goal margin that’s trading at 7/2 with Paddy Power.
Liverpool v Chelsea, Live Sky Sports 1, Sunday, 4pm
This is a tough game to call. Liverpool will need to show that they are improving and try to beat a top 4 side like Chelsea. The Blues know they have a toughy run-in and won’t want to lose this game. They’ll be difficult to beat. A low-scoring draw for me and maybe 1-1 at 11/2 but I think both teams will score at 8/13. If Luis Suarez scores the last goal in this match, we will refund all losing First Goalscorer, Last Goalscorer, Correct Score & Scorecast singles on the match. (T&C’s apply)
Manchester United v Aston Villa, SS1, Monday 8pm
A home banker for me and United to win 3-1. Villa very rarely come away with more than the half time cup of tea from this tie but Alex Ferguson won’t want to give Manchester City any encouragement by dropping points. Christian Benteke will be a threat for Villa who have improved in recent weeks but I expect United to win and I think Robin Van Persie will score the opening goal. Two goals in his last two games will have been a huge relief to him and don’t be surprised if he’s the first goalscorer again on Monday night at 13/5. United
Fulham v Arsenal, Live Setanta Sports, Saturday, 3pm
The home side played better than their 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Chelsea mid-week suggests while Arsenal were involved in a really competitive 0-0 draw against Everton. Arsene Wenger’s side have the bit between their teeth now and will want to stay in the top-four reckoning. Martin Jol’s side are safe on 40 points and for me the Gunners have more to play for and I think they’ll win.
Norwich v Reading, Saturday, 3pm
I can see Reading getting something from this game. They had a decent 0-0 draw against Liverpool last weekend and I can see them getting a point at Norwich who are nervy at the moment. A 1-1 draw at 6/1 appeals to me.
QPR v Stoke, Saturday, 3pm
In a way QPR players can start to play with the pressure off and that may help them. Even if they win four of their last five games they’re unlikely to survive now. Stoke though can’t afford to make any mistakes and are playing ‘fear’ football at the moment. I’ll take Harry Redknapp’s side to win today at 5/4 and put Stoke in more trouble.
Sunderland v Everton, Saturday, 3pm
Nobody could have predicted Sunderland’s 3-0 win at Newcastle last week. The Black Cats will be bouncing and whether they have another performance like that in them we’ll have to see. If Everton don’t win today that will be their chance of a top-four finish gone. I fancy Everton to win and Ross Barclay looks a real prospect for them. I think both teams will score at 8/11 but Everton to shade it by a winning margin of one goal at 11/4.
Swansea v Southampton, Saturday, 3pm
This should be a really good game for the neutral. The Saints will try to play high up the pitch and that will allow Swansea to play through them a bit and can make home advantage count. Michael Laudrup’s side have waned a little since their Capital One Cup win so he’ll want to put down a marker for next season. I fancy over 3.5 goals at 2/1 and can see the Swans running out 3-1 winners at 16/1.
West Brom v Newcastle, Saturday, 3pm
This has draw written all over it. Newcastle’s 3-0 loss last week was a shocker and leaves them back in the relegation mix. I think Romelu Lukaku can cause the Magpies trouble if he plays but Alan Pardew’s side should get a draw at 23/10 with both sides scoring at 4/7.
West Ham v Wigan, Saturday, 3pm
The Hammers were very good for 70- minutes in their 2-2 draw against Manchester United mid-week and their goals were very impressive. Sam Allardyce knows one more win should confirm their place in the top flight and they’ll target Wigan today to get it done and dusted. West Ham to win for me at 5/4. A 1-0 win looks likely and West Ham are 3/1 to win to nil with Paddy Power.