The final stretch of the Premier League season is upon us. Midweek matches have caught the stragglers up, leaving all 20 teams with three league matches to play.
With the top six all in televised action, the scrap for mid-table superiority and Cardiff’s push for a great escape take centre stage in the Saturday 3pm matches.
CRYSTAL PALACE vs EVERTON
Crystal Palace pulled off a stunning win away to Arsenal last weekend as they continue an inconsistent run. The Eagles are 12th before a ball is kicked this weekend.
Roy Hodgson avoided an early season threat of relegation and they are always a difficult team to face, posing a constant threat on the counter.
Everton put in their performance of the season at home to Manchester United last time out and were rewarded with a 4-0 victory.
Finishing best of the rest remains possible for Marco Silva’s men, but a victory here is a necessity. They can go up to seventh with three points.
888Sport’s Premier League betting is interesting for this one. Both teams are on offer at 17/10 to win, though both teams to score at 3/4 looks the best bet.
TIP: Both teams to score @ 3/4
PREDICTED SCORE: Crystal Palace 1-1 Everton (Priced at 27/5 with 888sport)
Fulham vs CARDIFF CITY
After a long time without a victory, Fulham have won two in a row for the first time all season. It’s irrelevant, of course, as the west London club have already been relegated.
Scott Parker’s side have, against all odds, kept consecutive clean sheets and are working to rebuild confidence that has taken a battering during a turbulent campaign.
Cardiff, meanwhile, are fighting for their Premier League lives. Away form hasn’t been their strength this term, but Neil Warnock’s side pulled off a crucial 2-0 victory at Brighton in their last road match.
Cardiff’s fate isn’t in their hands, though with Brighton facing a challenging schedule, a victory here will change the whole dynamic of the relegation tussle.
The 8/13 price on Cardiff to avoid defeat is great value. Warnock will set his side up to avoid defeat and hope to nick a goal.
TIP: Cardiff to win or draw @ 8/13
PREDICTED SCORE: Fulham 1-2 Cardiff (Priced at 9/1 with 888sport)
SOUTHAMPTON vs AFC Bournemouth
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s tenure has been a success. His team are not yet mathematically safe, but they are six points clear with only nine points left to play for.
Saints have won three of their last four at home, including a brilliant 3-1 win against Wolves in their last St Mary’s outing. They are unbeaten in five home matches against Bournemouth.
Eddie Howe is suffering an almighty injury crisis and will be forced to make some interesting line-up decisions.
Indifferent post-Christmas form has seen Bournemouth slip into lower-mid-table, though the Cherries could climb to 11th with victory in the derby on Saturday afternoon.
Saints are in touching distance of safety after another challenging season. Against a weakened Bournemouth, Hasenhuttl’s side are a good price to get the job done.
TIP: Southampton to win @ 22/25
PREDICTED SCORE: Southampton 3-1 Bournemouth (Priced at 12/1 with 888sport)
WATFORD vs Wolverhampton Wanderers
Watford and Wolves have been neck and neck all season, battling it out for seventh. The pair played out a thrilling FA Cup semi-final earlier this month, and Wolves will be looking for revenge after Watford’s dramatic comeback.
Split by a solitary point, and with only one goal separating them on goal difference, this match could decide who claims seventh spot.
Watford were left frustrated after a 1-1 draw with Southampton in their last match. Wolves, in stark contrast, bounced back from a disappointing draw with Brighton to cruise past Arsenal.
Midweek action for the Midlands club could make fatigue an issue in what will likely be an intense match at Vicarage Road.
Wolves are on a poor run of away form, picking up just two of the last 15 available points. With extra rest, Watford are a good bet at 31/20 to take all three points.
TIP: Watford to win @ 31/20
PREDICTED SCORE: Watford 2-1 Wolves (Priced at 17/2 with 888sport)
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*