By News Team
9th April 2021
The headline act of the Premier League weekend sees second-placed Manchester United pay a visit to north London to take on Spurs as the race for a Champions League spot heats up.
With a whole host of matches up and down the country, we take a look at the pick of the action below.
Spurs welcome Man United in race for top four
When Spurs put six past Manchester United at Old Trafford back in October pundits reckoned Jose Mourinho’s side would be title challengers while the Red Devils would struggle to make the top six let alone qualify for the Champions League. Fast forward to now and United, comfortable in second spot, are all but assured of a top four place while Spurs are one of a number of teams fighting for the final slots.
Never spectacular, often pedestrian and rarely creative, United do however possess players who have a clinical and ruthless edge about them to win games. Their fortunate 2-1 Old Trafford win over Brighton summed them up as they came from behind for an eighth time this season to take all three points.
Spurs are currently three points off the top four and a win here would go a long way to helping them secure a Champions League spot for next season. Harry Kane and Son Heung-min have been excellent this term and Mourinho will be looking at the duo to inspire his side to victory.
Goal-fest expected as leaders City take on Leeds
Pep Guardiola is likely to shuffle his pack yet again for Manchester City’s Saturday lunchtime encounter but will be wary of the threat livewire Leeds pose. Squad rotation has become the norm for City but, with 27 wins out of the last 28 games, it has certainly not damaged results.
City come into this on the back of a late 2-1 win over Borussia Dortmund and Guardiola will have one eye on the return leg of their Champions League quarter-final in Germany on Wednesday. Hot on the heels of that crunch clash are two trips to Wembley, the first against Chelsea in the FA Cup semis and then a League Cup final date with Spurs.
So, with those games in mind, expect a few City superstars to once again start life on the bench here. The question is can Leeds take advantage? Plenty of punters will believe they can at odds of 15/2. Marcelo Bielsa’s side know no fear and this tight-knit team will certainly get in the faces of City as they go searching for an eighth win on the road. Patrick Bamford has led the line superbly for Bielsa and is an enhanced 7/2 from 9/4 to score at anytime.
City, however, remain the hot favourites and are 3/10 to win and move 17 points clear at the top. The two teams drew 1-1 at Elland Road at the start of the season and it’s 5/1 this one also ends in a stalemate.
Crystal Palace welcome Chelsea to Selhurst
Chelsea looked anything but top-four candidates when they imploded in spectacular fashion at home to Premier League strugglers West Brom last weekend. That shock coupon-busting loss not only ended a run of seven straight clean sheets but also put paid to Thomas Tuchel’s impressive 14-game unbeaten run since taking charge.
It was the kind of loss which could have seen a team go into freefall yet Tuchel is clearly not a man to allow any recriminations to fester as Chelsea’s professional 2-0 midweek win in their Champions League quarter-final first leg against Porto showed.
A Saturday teatime trip to Selhurst Park is probably not top of Tuchel’s wishlist right now and his side will have to get down and dirty to dig out a result. Roy Hodgson has done an incredible job keeping Palace away from the relegation zone. They are arguably one of the lesser footballing sides in the division but while they are not pretty, they have been effective at getting results.
Chelsea have needed Mason Mount to dig them out of a few holes this season and he could be called on again to win this one. He can be backed at an enhanced 11/4 to score at anytime. Chelsea are 1/2 to claim victory with the draw at 16/5, while the Eagles are 6/1 to pull off a shock and 12/1 to win 1-0.