In the weekend’s early kickoff, struggling West Brom will see Premier League champions Man United arrive at the Hawthorns with plenty at stake for both sides. The Baggies are struggling, resting precariously above the relegation zone, with only a single point separating them from the dreaded drop spots. Sunderland, who occupy the next spot down, will have two games in hand on the Baggies by Saturday evening owing to their cup commitments, and so West Brom have to do what they can to eek out a result here. Given the Red Devils’ intermittent form it’s certainly not beyond the realms of possibility, but David Moyes’ men have a point to prove themselves, having suffered some horrendous results recently by their own standards. United are unbeaten in three though, and should be able to grab the points (5/6 with Bet Victor).
There are only three 3pm kick-offs on Saturday, and perhaps the biggest of these sees 19th placed Cardiff welcome bottom club Fulham to the Cardiff City Stadium. A win for either side would be huge, with Fulham able to move within a point of the safe spots assuming other results go their way, but more on that shortly.
Should West Brom fall short against Man United, a Cardiff win would see the Welshmen tie with West Brom on points – but a massively superior goal difference tally for the baggies means the Bluebirds are not likely to get out of the drop zone just yet. The Bluebirds are 11/8 with bet Victor to win, with Fulham standing at 12/5 with Betfair. Cardiff’s home advantage is likely to count for more than just a bit, so plump for a Welsh win, but considering the implications of any result on the league table this one is difficult to call.
Crystal Palace, meanwhile, take on Southampton at Selhurst Park with the guests in something of a limbo – sitting ninth but eight points ahead of nearest challengers West Ham. Obviously they need to keep up the good season to ensure a good finish, but this game appears to be a more important one for Palace, who could look to build on Saints’ back-to-back defeats against West Ham and Liverpool by adding a third loss to that unfortunate streak. Saints remain a club on the up, though, and so go for a Southampton win here (5/4 at Ladbrokes).
Norwich face Stoke at Carrow Road with only two points keeping the Canaries beneath the Potters, and so could leapfrog their opponents if they are able to claim the points. Stoke won their last outing, a 1-0 win over high-flying Arsenal, while Norwich came up short against Aston Villa, losing 4-1. Again, however, home advantage means something, and Chris Hughton is under pressure. This could prove a make or break game for his reign in East Anglia, Bet Victor (13/10) have a Canaries win in this one.
Finally, at the higher end of the table, table toppers Chelsea could extend their lead over Man City to seven points if they can beat Tottenham (8/13 at Ladbrokes). London derbies are often impressive displays for the neutrals, and with Spurs themselves chasing European qualification they won’t be doing their neighbours and favours – the draw is 3/1 with Totesport, though the best bet definitely appears to be with a Chelsea win.