Time’s running out quicker than Rio Ferdinand’s career at Manchester United if you want to nick a few quid before the Premier League season ends.
Liverpool take on Manchester City in what could be a title decider at Anfield on Sunday while Merseyside rivals Everton can take advantage of Arsenal’s FA Cup semi-final against Wigan and leapfrog them into fourth-placed if they beat Sunderland on Saturday.
The Paddy Power Blog has uncovered three left-field value bets in each game to keep you tuned in as the season reaches a climax.
Sunderland v Everton, Saturday, 3.07pm
The Blacks Cats’ nine lives in the top tier look spent as despite some early promise under Gus Poyet just couldn’t shake the legacy of Paolo Di Canio’s kamikazee management style.
Everton on the other hand have very much shaken the leaden hand of David Moyes and will slip into the promised land of the top four – at Arsenal’s expense – if they take all three points. Don’t expect it to be over by half time though – Sunderland have conceded just two first half goals in their last five while 85 per cent of Everton’s goals come in the second half.
Everton are 4/5 in the win-draw-win market but evens just to win the second half where they tend to score most. It is 7/2 for it to be a draw at half-time and Everton to win the game.
Liverpool v Manchester City, Sunday, 13.37
Three points and a first league title since 1990 will be staring Liverpool in the face in the game of the weekend.
Even Manuel Pellegrini’s maths should be able to work out that with Liverpool having been awarded 12 penalties this season, it might be best to leave Martin Demichelis at home.
Steven Gerrard has five goals in five games including two double penalty strikes and has three goals in four games (including two peanalties) against City.
You don’t need to be Joey Essex to figure out that Gerrard as anytime goalscorer at 23/10 and Liverpool to score a penalty at 6/1 could be one and the same bet.
There’s always the risk he’ll come off injured – but if you want an extra half-point – Gerrard to score from the spot is 13/2.
Arsenal v West Ham, Tuesday 19.45
With the Gunners’ annual title collapse now at full speed, an FA Cup semi-final date with Wigan may prove a welcome distraction before Tuesday night’s aerial barrage from West Ham at the Emirates.
Performance levels in the spineless 3-0 defeat at Goodison won’t be tolerated by the Arsenal faithful so expect the home side to have their game faces on against the Hammers.
But Sam Allardyce’s hoof-and-hope side like to make it uncomfortable for teams on – and off – the pitch. West Ham have actually taken the lead against Arsenal in their last three league clashes before Arsenal roared back to restore normal service in 3-1 (x2) and 5-1 wins.
The Gunners are 2/5 in the win-draw-win market but a tasty 7/1 to come from behind and take all three points.