THE BLUE BRIGADE
After getting the better of Everton on Monday night, Chelsea’s hopes of a top-four finish have been given another massive shot in the arm and with Thomas Tuchel yet to taste defeat as manager of the Blues, he will look to extend his current unbeaten run to 10 league matches.
With no defeat in their last nine, Chelsea have become the form team of the division and it is this form, which has undoubtedly revived their season. A season, that looked like it was petering out at the turn of the year.
However, the decision to install Thomas Tuchel is now looking a remarkably shrewd one and the longer Chelsea’s unbeaten run continues, the more that Frank Lampard’s previous managerial efforts will fade into the distance.
Now though is not the time to see the West London’s outfit hard work become undone and this Saturday they travel to West Yorkshire, as they prepare for a visit to Elland Road and Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds.
Leeds are comfortably in mid-table and you could even accuse them of being on the beach between now and the end of the season. Which means motivation could be running low within the Leeds camp right now.
There is also a sense that energy levels may also be running low at Elland Road and even though staying in the division is certainly considered a job well done, Chelsea may well take advantage of collective empty tanks.
Summary: Back Chelsea to win at 1.75
BOTH TO SCORE IN LONDON TURF WAR
It is fair to say that the North London derby is a rather storied rivalry and this Sunday we will witness another chapter of this incredible hefty book being written, as Arsenal play host to Tottenham at the Emirates.
For Arsenal this may serve as something akin to a cup final and although they still have Europa League exploits to work with this season, it may be a rather tall order for Mikel Arteta’s men to win the current edition of the competition.
Of course, Tottenham are also harbouring dreams of winning that very same tournament and with their top-four hopes hanging by a thread, lifting a piece of continental silverware now arguably takes on even more importance.
Then again, neither party will want to take their eye off the here and now and that is the task, of not only earning local bragging rights for the next few months, but also earning maximum league points on Sunday.
Arsenal will go into this game as the slightest of favourites (2.55), if only because of their home advantage and Tottenham at the outside price of 2.80 may be worth greater consideration this weekend.
However, another market that may be attractive in an encounter such as this one, is BTTS (Both Teams To Score) and although Tottenham have shored up their backline as of late, they may see their net breached this weekend.
Add to the mix a resurgent Gareth Bale and there’s every chance that he and his attacking partners can cause the same level or even more damage to Arsenal and therefore, odds of 1.71 for at least a goal in either direction should be considered.
Summary: Back the BTTS option
UNDER NOT OVER AT SELHURST
Crystal Palace are all but safe from the threat of relegation to the Championship next season and if they win one more of the remaining league fixtures (or draw three of them instead), then their status will be all but guaranteed.
A status that West Brom are doing their best to maintain, although their plight is far worse and with Sam Allardyce’s men starting the week lying second bottom in the table, they are currently odds-on for the drop.
The Baggies find themselves eight points from safety and although they picked up a point against Newcastle on Sunday, their survival hopes will not have been helped by Fulham earning three later that same afternoon.
They go up against a Crystal Palace side that were heavily beaten by Tottenham later that same Sunday evening and although there were plenty of goals in that encounter, do not expect anything near a goal flurry in South London.
Summary: Back Under 2.5 Goals at 1.62