The Premier League returns on Saturday 1st April and we’re in for an amazing two months of football to see who will land the title between Manchester City and Arsenal, who will secure the 4th place finish between Spurs, Newcastle, Liverpool and Brighton. Plus the relegation battle has as big as nine teams who are still in the mix to avoid playing Championship football next season.
For Punters.pub, let’s look at the Premier League title race first up. So Arsenal are 8 points clear of Man City, though Man City have a game in hand. Arsenal have the tougher run-in as face away trips to Liverpool in early April, Manchester City in late April, then Newcastle in early May. These three games will decide their fate.
For Manchester City, home games against Liverpool and Arsenal, plus an away game against Brighton remain their toughest matches in the run-in.
Experts are 50/50 on where the title will end up with many former Arsenal legends now firmly believing the title can head to the Emirates, but some still believe the experience and deeper squad and quality of Manchester City will reel in ‘The Gunners’ and secure them a 5th Premier League trophy in six years and can be backed at 7/5 with Paddy Power.
|Man City||7/5 Paddy Power|
The race to finish in the top 4 is hotting up nicely with only one place remaining if we believe Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United will finish in the ‘Top3’. With four teams vying for the 4th spot, this one is likely to go all the way to the final game of the season.
Spurs currently sit in 4th place and this is the same position they ended up last year, by snatching the Champions League spot from Arsenal. However, having played a few more games than their rivals, Newcastle, Liverpool and surprisingly Brighton are ready to pounce.
Liverpool have a make or break week when the Premier League returns on Saturday 1st April as they face Man City away and then two home games in that week in Chelsea & Arsenal. It’s a tall order for an inconsistent Liverpool side who lost away at Bournemouth last time out.
Even though there is turmoil at Spurs at the minute in the managerial ranks, Spurs don’t have a difficult run in on paper and with Liverpool’s tough run of fixtures and Newcastle United’s inexperience at the top end of the table, it could be Spurs, who once again manage to scrape into the 4th spot in the Premier League. At best odds of 23/10 with Betfair, this does offer some value.
he battle for relegation is the best it’s been for many years. Any one of 9 teams are firmly in the mix to be relegated this season and there are going to be so many 6 pointers coming up in April that will determine who can move away from the relegation zone and put 2 or 3 wins together to secure their Premier League status.
Current favourites to be relegated are Southampton (4/9), Bournemouth (8/13) and Nottingham forest (11/10) as it stands. Nottingham Forest are on a poor run of form and have been dragged back into the mix in recent weeks with defeats on the road at West Ham and at home to Newcastle.
Next up are Everton (2/1) Wolves (7/2) and after their massive win away at Wolves, Leeds (7/2) are the sixth team quoted to make one of the 3 places come the end of May.
A couple of teams in freefall who you expect to be in mid table at least at this stage of the season are also heavily in the mix for relegation, but with the quality in their squads are expected to be safe. Leicester City (4/1) West Ham (9/2) and Crystal Palace (11/2) are also in danger of the drop.
Nottingham Forest v Wolves, Crystal Palace v Leicester on Saturday 1st April are massive 6 pointers which will have a big bearing on the relegation picture. Should Nottingham Forest get a victory, this will re-shape the betting market and Leicester City at 4/1 can expect their price to fall should they succumb to a defeat at Crystal Palace.