Manchester City and Tottenham face each other for the third time in little over a week this Saturday, kicking off the weekend’s Premier League action. Newcastle and Southampton meet in the northeast in the evening kick-off.
The two Saturday televised Premier League matches are the focus of our attention in this piece.
MANCHESTER CITY vs TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
Manchester City and Tottenham must be sick of the sight of each other. The pair met in the Champions League quarter-final second leg in midweek and are reunited on Saturday lunchtime for a huge Premier League clash.
City remain in control of their fate in the title race, but Liverpool are keeping the pressure on.
Pep Guardiola’s side have the more challenging schedule, starting with the visit of Spurs. Any dropped points will lose the marginal advantage they have right now.
Tottenham, meanwhile, are in the midst of an almighty tussle for the final two Champions League spots.
Harry Kane’s injury weakens them, of course, but Spurs will be confident of clinging onto third if they can pick up something here.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side are in the box seat and will go four points clear of Arsenal and Chelsea with a win. Spurs are out at 15/2 to claim all three points at the Etihad.
Kane’s absence puts the onus on Heung-Min Son, who is having a brilliant season. Son’s runs down the channels could trouble City’s high defensive line; the former Bayer Leverkusen man is a clinical finisher and will take advantage of the slightest opportunity.
His 19/2 price to open the scoring is worth considering for Spurs backers.
City cruised past Crystal Palace last weekend after an early goal. This will obviously be a much sterner test.
Guardiola’s side have not been at their dominant best of late, often opting to save energy rather than run up a cricket score. They are priced at 8/11 to score under 2.5 goals.
The attacking talent on show makes 8/11 on both teams to score the standout price ahead of this match. This is a season-defining outing for both clubs; a score draw is a good value bet.
TIP: Both teams to score @ 8/11
PREDICTED SCORE: Manchester City 1-1 Tottenham (Priced at 9/1 with 888sport)
NEWCASTLE UNITED vs Southampton
Newcastle’s Friday night win away to Leicester has as good as secured safety.
The Magpies have been superb after a challenging start to the campaign, and showed that again at the King Power, defending resolutely and limiting the Foxes to very few goal scoring opportunities.
Rafa Benitez has worked wonders, and his attentions will now turn to improving their league position.
With a good run of results and others faltering, Newcastle could finish up in 11th or 12th, which would be remarkable considering their limited resources and where they were just a few weeks ago.
Newcastle suffered disappointment in their last home outing, losing to Crystal Palace to end a winning streak. If you fancy them to get back on track at St James’, the 4/11 in 888sport’s Premier League odds to avoid defeat is a good price.
Southampton’s manager, Ralph Hasenhuttl, deserves praise for their improvement like Benitez does at Newcastle.
A crucial home win to Wolves last time out has given them breathing space ahead of Brighton and Cardiff. Saints have won four of their last six and can leapfrog Newcastle with a victory on Saturday evening.
Nathan Redmond had become synonymous with unfulfilled promise. The former Norwich winger has thrived under Hasenhuttl, however, becoming a threat in the final third as Wolves found out last weekend.
His 9/1 price to open the scoring is a value bet considering his recent form.
These are two well-matched teams. Home advantage gives Newcastle the edge at 7/5 to win, though the 43/20 on Southampton to take all three points will get plenty of backing.
Newcastle striker Salomon Rondon has played a key role this season. His 7/2 price to score in a Magpies victory is a bet well worth considering for any Newcastle backers.
TIP: Rondon to score and Newcastle to win @ 7/2
PREDICTED SCORE: Newcastle 2-1 Southampton (Priced at 17/2 with 888sport)
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*