This weekend’s action is largely a top half vs bottom half affair in something of an unusual fixture list, with only one or two Saturday fixtures bucking that trend, though the Super Sunday will leave fans foaming at the mouth for two top-class, top-half games which could well shape the Premier League table by the end of the season.
In Saturday’s early kick-off, Hull take on League Cup winners Man City, with the visitors needing a result to keep up the pressure on Chelsea and maintain their bid to regain the Premier League crown. Hull’s first team situation seems to be improving, with James Chester set to return for his first league start since January, and Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long look set to participate once again after being cup-tied for their FA Cup outing against Sunderland last weekend. City’s outlook in that respect is perhaps not as good, with Sergio Aguero a big doubt after suffering a hamstring injury during the club’s Champions League exit against Barcelona. However, the Manchester club are famous these days for having strength in depth, and should be able to cover the Argentine’s absence. Go for an away win, which is 4/7
Southampton see Norwich arrive at St. Mary’s with the Canaries looking increasingly like being destined for a tough run-in towards the end of the season. The guests sit four points ahead of the drop spots, having managed 10 points from the last 30. Southampton are a full 13 points ahead of their opponents here, having lost only two games in their last 10. The home win certainly seems to be the safe bet (8/13).
Everton see Cardiff arrive at Goodison Park with both sides having very different objectives heading in to kickoff – the Toffees want to do everything they can to leapfrog Man United back towards the European places, while Cardiff will be desperate to build on last weekend’s win over bottom club Fulham by leaving Merseyside with a result here. All in all, though, Everton are the home side, and are also the side flying much higher – expect the Blues to outshine the Bluebirds here (2/5 with Paddy Power).
Their nearest rivals in the league, Man United, also have the home advantage in their Sunday afternoon game – against Everton’s bitter city rivals, and rivals of the Reds themselves, Liverpool. Man United have won two on the bounce, but the visit of Liverpool is always an unpredictable spectacle – and the Red half of Merseyside will of course be looking to do all they can to cement their second place standing in the Premier League table, though with Man City having games in hand that could eventually translate to third. United and Liverpool are the two most successful top flight sides in English league history, and the hosts are generally considered the more fancied side despite sitting a few positions beneath their visitors (6/4).
In Sunday’s other big game, Arsenal travel the short distance across north London to White Hart Lane, where they do battle with Spurs. Only six points separate the two sides with the Gunners having a game in hand, but such relatively close standings will only add to the intrigue of the derby clash. These games are typically hard hitting affairs, with very vocal passion emanating from the stands as each set of fans urge their heroes on and get one up on their neighbours – and the bookies have Arsenal to win at a tempting 6/4 (Ladbrokes), with Spurs on 11/5 with William Hill. The draw is 12/5.