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There are three teams battling it out for the Premier League title and Chelsea have seven games left to make sure the title comes to Stamford Bridge, with Jose Mourinho’s team making the short trip to Selhurst Park on Saturday.
The Blues demolished Arsenal 6-0 in their last match although might find life a little tougher against an Eagles side who are scrapping against relegation.
West Brom and Cardiff are also in the bottom five places and clash at The Hawthorns, with the Baggies having the opportunity to put clear daylight between themselves and the bottom three places.
Swansea and Norwich aren’t much further clear and meet at the Liberty Stadium, with the Canaries coming into the match with better form, although the Swans did pinch a point at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night.
Southampton can return to winning ways against the Magpies, while an improving Stoke side are now eyeing a top-half finish under Mark Hughes after winning 4-1 at Aston Villa and they take on Hull at the Britannia.
Crystal Palace v Chelsea, 3pm
Chelsea sit top of the Premier League although Manchester City and Liverpool are breathing down their necks and they will be looking to blow Crystal Palace out of the water at Selhurst Park.
Mourinho’s men were particularly fast out of the traps when thrashing Arsenal a week ago and they are no bigger than 4/9 with William Hill bookmaker to collect a maximum haul against a side who are struggling for points at precisely the wrong time of the season.
Tony Pulis has done an admirable job with the Eagles although they have taken just two points from their last five games, while Palace have failed to score in their last two home matches against Manchester United and Southampton.
With John Terry and Gary Cahill both in superlative form, the 11/8 with Sky Bet that Chelsea win to nil looks like a bet worth having, with the visitors not in the habit of conceding too many goals in recent weeks.
Nevertheless, the Blues were beaten on the road last time out when Aston Villa beat a nine-man team and Palace will be focused on discipline and taking any chances that come their way, especially from set pieces.
The Eagles are a 17/2 chance to win the game and they are no mugs in defence, having come within a whisker of a second goalless draw in the north-east before Newcastle bagged a late winner last weekend.
PREDICTION: Crystal Palace 0 Chelsea 2
Southampton v Newcastle United, 3pm
If you had told a Southampton fan at the start of the season that they would be five points behind Manchester United at this stage of the campaign, they might have been excited by the prospect of a title challenge.
However, ninth place is nothing to be sniffed at, with the Saints having been stationed in the top half of the table since August and they look a straightforward bet at 4/5 to claim victory in this match.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side wiped the floor with Tottenham at White Hart Lane for 45 minutes last Sunday although they typically threw away their lead which has become a hallmark of away performances although they should have too much in hand for Newcastle.
Adam Lallana should boss a Magpies midfield crying out for invention following the sale of Yohan Cabaye to PSG, while Loic Remy’s injury means that United are largely toothless and Luuk de Jong is not the answer.
Paddy Power go 15/2 about Lallana scoring first and he’s looking more like a nailed-on pick to line up for England at the 2014 World Cup, while Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez couldn’t be getting more game time up top.
Sky Bet go 21/10 about a Southampton win to nil although they aren’t too reliable in defence and perhaps it might instead pay to back them to triumph by 3-1 and 4-1 scorelines, with the visitors unlikely to get much from their long trip south.
PREDICTION: Southampton 3 Newcastle United 1
Stoke City v Hull City, 3pm
With 37 points on the board following a superb 4-1 victory at Villa Park, the Potters have probably done enough to remain in the top flight this season, with chairman Peter Coates feeling vindicated by his decision to part company with Tony Pulis and install Mark Hughes as manager.
The Welshman will also feel that his reputation has been restored following a rough time with Queens Park Rangers, although Harry Redknapp hasn’t fared much better since replacing the Welshman for plenty more Tony Fernandes money.
Stoke have been tough to beat all season and look a spot of value at 13/10 with Sky Bet to claim a fourth win in five games, having beaten Arsenal, West Ham and the Villans as well as a 1-1 draw at Norwich.
Peter Odemwingie has finally found a home and City look to have benefitted most from their Kenwyne Jones swap in January, with the Nigerian having scored in his last two matches and he’s a 13/2 poke to break the deadlock in this game.
It’s a case of the Two Peters or Little and Large for the Potters, considering Peter Crouch is enjoying an end-of-season renaissance which has seen his manager call for an England return although the former Liverpool man will settle for scoring a third game running himself.
Hull come into this game off the back of a 2-1 defeat at Upton Park on Wednesday night, with Allan McGregor sustaining a nasty kidney injury and the omens aren’t great for a team that have lost two-thirds of their away matches this season.
Nevertheless, the Tigers did well to lose the match by just a single goal following the dismissal of their keeper and they are a 29/10 chance to win the game.
PREDICTION: Stoke City 2 Hull City 1
Swansea City v Norwich City, 3pm
The Swans are unlikely to reach the 46-point mark of last season although Garry Monk is doing enough to keep the Welsh side in the top flight, with a bonus point gained at the Emirates on Tuesday night thanks to a late Mathieu Flamini own goal.
The result keeps them five points clear of the drop zone and a victory on Saturday would move them pretty close to safety, with Monk bidding to claim a first win since beating arch-rivals Cardiff shortly after he replaced Michael Laudrup.
Whether the home side should be odds-on is another matter, with Ladbrokes free bet offering a best price 4/5 about a win for Swansea who are actually two points worse off than opponents who were facile winners against Sunderland last weekend.
Norwich’s away form is nothing to write home about although Chris Hughton hailed one of the performances of the season as Robert Snodgrass and Alex Tettey fired home first-half goals against the Black Cats and they are 17/4 to claim victory in a fixture they won last season.
Michu is back in the starting XI and perhaps the Spaniard is about to start firing although Wilfried Bony is currently scoring the lion’s share of City’s goals and can be backed at 9/2 to break the deadlock in this match.
It’s hard to be confident about either team but worth noting that both teams have scored in each of Swansea’s last six matches, with William Hill offering 19/20 about both sides scoring in this particular game.
PREDICTION: Swansea City 2 Norwich City 2
West Brom v Cardiff City, 3pm
The Baggies have won just five games all season so it doesn’t exactly smack of value to back West Brom for Saturday’s match, especially as Cardiff put up a spirited display against Liverpool last weekend which saw the Welsh side twice take the lead before losing the match 6-3.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will hope to see the same attacking enterprise from his City team, although the bottom line is that the Bluebirds have lost 11 of their 15 matches on the road this term and that includes a defeat in their last eight games.
However, Cardiff came within a whisker of getting a point at Goodison Park and BetVictor’s 4/1 is probably a bit chunky considering Jordon Mutch is in sharp form for the visitors, while Fraizer Campbell could also cause a few problems for Albion.
Aside from a 3-0 reverse at the hands of Manchester United, all of Pepe Mel’s home games in charge of West Brom have finished 1-1 and the draw at 53/20 looks a decent bet with Winner, while the same firm go 13/2 about this scoreline happening.
Bet365 go 18/1 about Mutch scoring the first goal of the game, with the 22-year-old proving his worth to the Welsh club this season and this bookmaker offer unlimited each-way terms which means a goal during the ninety minutes would return a handsome profit.
PREDICTION: West Brom 2 Cardiff City 2