Arsenal v Chelsea 12:45 BST
Arsenal’s home defeat against Wigan Athletic on Monday means they still have work on their hands to make sure of Champions League football next term, with the Gunners five clear of Tottenham and Newcastle and a further two ahead of Chelsea.
However, the landscape would certainly shift if the Blues can pull off a win at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday lunchtime and the in-form visitors are available at 11/4 (bet365 £200 free bets) to inflict a second consecutive home defeat on Arsenal.
Chelsea will be full of confidence after an unlikely 1-0 win over Barcelona on Wednesday although the ninety minutes will have exhausted several players as they were made to chase the ball around and Roberto di Matteo will be sure to make several changes to the team that played that game.
Fernando Torres will surely start the match and the Spaniard really needs to demonstrate to Spain manager Vicente del Bosque that he can represent his country at Euro 2012, with odds of 15/2 (Bet Victor) available that the forward breaks the deadlock.
Jose Bosingwa, Michael Essien, Florent Malouda and Salomon Kalou are also likely to start and Arsenal seem to be playing their London rivals at a good time, with the bookies making Arsene Wenger’s team strong favourites to recover from their recent setback and collect the points here.
The home team are available at odds of 21/20 (Paddy Power free bets) and that defeat against Wigan was the first time they have slipped up at home since playing Manchester United in January.
Robin van Persie was the hat-trick hero against Chelsea in the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge and the Dutchman is available at 28/1 (Stan James) to take advantage of tired legs in the Chelsea camp and plunder another three-timer, while the Arsenal captain is an attractive 6/5 to score at any stage of the match.
Aston Villa v Sunderland 15:00 BST
Aston Villa are slowly inching towards Premier League safety, although it is more because of Blackburn and Wolves’ shortcomings than anything else. Finding wins has not been an easy task for Alex McLeish’s side who have just 7 victories from 33 games and they simply weren’t at the races when getting turned over at Old Trafford last week.
It’s now five games since the Villans won a match although they have two home games over the next few days and can be backed at 7/5 (bet365 £200 free bets) to claim the spoils against the Black Cats, something that looks a little skinny when you consider it is just one win in 12 games.
Andreas Weimann scored the winner in that 1-0 victory against Fulham and he also netted in a recent 1-1 draw with Stoke, with the Austrian available at 15/2 (Bet365 £200 free bets) to score the first goal, although Villa aren’t scoring too many at the moment.
Martin O’Neill is sure to receive a warm welcome from the home supporters after a relatively successful stint at the Midlands club before leaving in acrimonious circumstances, so we can be fairly sure that the Sunderland manager won’t be embracing Randy Lerner after the match.
His new team have done pretty well this season from when he took charge, although they have suffered some heavy defeats on the road, the latest of these being a 4-0 thrashing at Goodison Park and the Black Cats will chase the game if they fall a goal or two behind.
There has been just one win in seven games and no goals scored in three, although the visitors are probably a big too big at 11/5 (Bet Victor) to win this match, especially with players like Stephane Sessegnon and Nicklas Bendtner in the side.
Blackburn Rovers v Norwich City 15:00 BST
There are always twists and turns at the foot of the Premier League and Wigan Athletic’s recent resurgence has meant that Blackburn are now stationed firmly in the relegation zone with just four games to save their bacon.
The first of these comes on Saturday when Norwich City arrive at Ewood Park and few would have predicted that the Canaries would be 15 points better off at this stage of the season, with Paul Lambert’s side having accumulated 43 points already this term.
Blackburn will feel they have a score to settle with the east Anglian side considering they were the better team at Carrow Road in the reverse fixture before contriving to throw away a 3-1 lead to draw the game 3-3. Results like that are the reason why the Lancashire club are odds-on to be relegated.
Rovers can be backed at 11/10 (bet365 £200 free bets) to claim victory in this match and obtain three priceless points in the process. That is despite losing 11 of their 17 home games this term and five straight defeats will have hit morale hard.
Norwich are a very tasty-looking 14/5 (Stan James) to move into the top half of the Premier League, especially when you consider the performance served up at White Hart Lane recently when they took Tottenham by surprise and won 2-1. However, that was followed by a 6-1 whipping at the hands of Manchester City.
That will lead to mistrust among punters that some of the Canaries are looking forward to a summer’s break and it must surely be difficult to play with the same level of intensity when you know top flight safety is in the bag.
Bolton Wanderers v Swansea City 15:00 BST
The great news for Bolton Wanderers is that Fabrice Muamba was recently discharged from the London Chest Hospital and it is not beyond the realms of possibility that the Frenchman might play again for the Lancashire club.
The bad news is that Muamba might return to a club in the Championship, with Owen Coyle’s team sitting in 18th place and they have six matches to avoid relegation from the Premier League starting with the visit of Swansea.
Bolton are warm favourites to win the match and the best price available is 13/10 (Bet Victor bookmaker) although a 3-0 home reverse against Fulham has been followed by a 2-0 defeat at Newcastle, something which really does make this game must-win ahead of visits to Villa Park and the Stadium of Light.
Will Coyle continue with Kevin Davies as the lone man or look for David Ngog or Ivan Klasnic to make an impact instead, with Swansea arriving off the back of a 3-0 win over Blackburn which ended a run of four straight defeats.
Looking at Swansea’s results, City have been quite a streaky team, with three wins preceding those four losses and perhaps Brendan Rodgers’ team are going to finish on a high, with the bookies making them a 13/5 chance (Paddy Power) to claim a 5th away win of the campaign.
Anything is possible with the excellent Gylffi Sigurdsson in the team and the Icelandic international is a 7/1 chance to score the first goal of the game, while Danny Graham is slightly bigger at 8/1. Swansea won the match at the Liberty Stadium by a 3-1 scoreline and odds of 33/1 are available that the same thing happens here.
Fulham v Wigan Athletic 15:00 BST
Wigan are now as big as 8/1 (Coral free bets) to be relegated from the Premier League following amazing wins over Manchester United and Arsenal that nobody could have predicted. One more victory is likely to be enough to stay in the top flight and perhaps it will be achieved at Craven Cottage.
The Latics have won four of their last five games and are available at 7/2 (Stan James free bets) to claim yet another victory, with Roberto Martinez now looking to refocus his team’s minds on this match after that unlikeliest of wins at the Emirates.
Victor Moses was outstanding that night and can be backed at 12/1 to score the opening goal of this match, while Jordi Gomez is another that will be roving forward where possible and he can be backed at 18/1 (Blue Square) to break the deadlock.
Fulham will consider this to have been a decent season given their relative finances to the rest of the teams in the division, with Martin Jol’s team having accumulated 43 points from 33 games and the Dutchman will be targeting 7th place as a finishing position.
The Cottagers can be backed at 19/20 (Bet Victor) to land all three points and they have collected seven points from their last nine games, with the team coming into this match after a break of 12 days which should mean they are nice and fresh before their double dose of Merseyside when they play at Everton and Liverpool in quick succession.
Clint Dempsey has clearly been the stand-out player this term and is among the Premier League’s top scorers thanks to his eye for goal, with the American likely to be well backed at 9/2 (Paddy Power) to score the first goal.
Newcastle United v Stoke City 15:00 BST
Is this the moment where Newcastle United return to the top four of the Premier League, with Alan Pardew’s team having been one of the division’s surprise packages this season?
You would have to say that victory for the Magpies is pretty likely based on recent results which have seen the Tyneside club win five consecutive matches and four of them have been achieved without conceding a goal.
Indeed, while Demba Ba, Hatem Ben Arfa and Papiss Cisse have grabbed the headlines, it is Tim Krul who has arguably been the best Newcastle player all term, with Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson running a tight ship at the back. It all points to a United win on Saturday at odds of 8/11 (Paddy Power £100 free bets).
The same bookmaker offer odds of 9/5 that Newcastle win without conceding a goal and they generally don’t make it easy for opponents to find the net against them, having recently nullified Liverpool, Swansea and Bolton Wanderers. Stoke aren’t exactly full of goals on the road either.
The Potters have found the net just 11 times in their 17 away matches and it is something that Tony Pulis will look to address next season, although we can be sure that City won’t make it easy for their opponents on Saturday, having claimed four points from their last two matches.
Stoke are a 9/2 chance (bet365 free bets) to claim their 5th away win of the campaign and stranger things have happened than a team slipping up just as they look set to claim a place in next season’s Champions League.
The visitors know which two players they have to keep quiet, with Ben Arfa and Cisse having been outstanding in recent weeks and the majority of First Goalscorer bets will surely be placed on the pair at respective odds of 15/2 and 4/1.
QPR v Tottenham Hotspur 17:30 BST
Sir Alex Ferguson claimed a few months ago that Tottenham Hotspur were title contenders, although they now sit 23 points behind Manchester United and trends would suggest they are going to drop out of the bottom four by the end of the season.
Only goal difference is keeping them above Newcastle United going into Saturday’s matches and this is by no means an easy fixture considering that Queens Park Rangers are scrapping for their lives as we approach the business end of the campaign.
Spurs are the even money favourites (Bet Victor) to claim three precious points and Redknapp will be looking for a response after Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final drubbing at the hands of Chelsea which saw the Blues score five goals against beleaguered opponents.
While there was controversy surrounding Juan Mata’s goal, the plain fact is that the north London club have won just two of their last eight games, with no Premier League away win achieved in 2012 and that is the reason why it could be Europa League football again next term.
QPR are sitting outside of the relegation zone going into Saturday’s game, although that might be different when this match is played considering Bolton play Swansea earlier in the day. Mark Hughes will be looking for his team to achieve a fourth straight home win and odds of 3/1 (Coral) about this happening look way too big.
Rangers’ failure to land points on the road might yet cost them dear considering that trips to Chelsea and Man City await, although Loftus Road will be hoping to witness another home victory to match those achieved against Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal.