ANOTHER weekend, another bumper set of Premier League fixtures to enjoy.
Following a profitable midweek, we’re taking a look at four top-flight games which have huge implications at the top and bottom of the table.
Chelsea vs Watford – Sat, 8pm
Just when you thought Chelsea were in the groove, the wheels came off.
And in style, too.
The midweek horror show against West Ham was classic Blues, with Frank Lampard‘s men creating enough chances to win the game twice and having VAR on their side – but still conspiring to lose.
Leaving one man back when away from home and vulnerable on the break wasn’t exactly wise, with the Chelsea boss fuming as his side failed to take advantage of Leicester’s defeat at Everton.
Back to the Bridge we go then, with Watford making the short journey to West London in desperate need of points.
That West Ham win was a disaster for the Hornets, with someone in the bottom five finally breaking ranks and actually picking up three points.
Nigel Pearson‘s side have done remarkably well to even give themselves a chance when you think about where they were before Christmas.
But the stark reality is with six games left to play, they’re winless in four and picked up just one point in games against Leicester, Southampton and Burnley. Not good enough.
Bad news for the Hornets – their record here is abysmal.
Out of nine meetings since 2000 at the Bridge, they’ve lost eight and have conceded more than two goals on EVERY occasion.
The ugly aggregate score is 31-8 to Chelsea.
You might see where we’re going with this one.
Chelsea matches this season have featured an average of 3.2 goals, which is the second-highest in the league behind Man City.
We reckon the Blues have been chastened by that loss to the Hammers and will come out all guns blazing.
Back over 1.5 goals in the first half at a huge 31/20, while 2/3 on over 2.5 goals in the entire game is a steal.
Tammy Abraham wasn’t at his best against the Hammers, with Christian Pulisic going close twice to landing our goalscorer tip.
The American is likely to be a favourite of many at 3/2 to net anytime, but we like Olivier Giroud should he start ahead of Abraham.
The Frenchman has two in his last four and is 11/10 to net at any point – value even if he’s coming off the bench.
SunSport’s best bets
- Two or more goals in the first half: 31/20
- Over 2.5 goals: 2/3
- Olivier Giroud to score again: 11/10
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Liverpool vs Aston Villa – Sunday, 4.30pm
Time to see if the Reds still have a title hangover.
It was a messy evening at the Etihad as Pep Guardiola‘s pumped up City took out their frustrations on a Liverpool side well short of their usual standard.
The result was a 4-0 win for the ex-champions, leaving Klopp’s side with the small matter of a twenty point gap at the top.
Nobody can argue Liverpool don’t deserve their title and that they didn’t deserve to celebrate – but we expect them to react to what in any case was a heavy and unexpected defeat.
Dean Smith and Aston Villa were already dreading this game from their perilous position in the relegation zone.
Villa’s first season back in the Premier League has been a chastening one and Anfield is the last place they will want to go when in such desperate need of points.
Liverpool are unbeaten here this season in the league, winning all 16 of their home matches.
And after the defeat against City, the bookies are wondering if they will go easy on Villa in this one.
Not a chance – didn’t you see that Klopp interview?!
The Reds to make it 17 from 17 has drifted to 4/11 – you back this Liverpool team at that price, at home, every time.
Villa might be fighting for their Premier League lives but they’ve failed so far to really fire when it matters.
Since the league returned they’ve picked up just one point and are without a victory on the road since New Year’s Day at Burnley.
We reckon Klopp will have his men right up for this after the one-sided scoreline at City, even if the title is won.
As well as the Reds to win, back them to score more than three goals at 23/20.
Sadio Mane has scored in three of the last four Premier League matches at Anfield.
Trust him at a very generous 21/20 to net anytime in this one.
SunSport’s best bets
- Liverpool to beat Aston Villa: 4/11
- Reds to score three or more goals: 23/20
- Sadio Mane to score at anytime: 21/20
*All odds from Ladbrokes and correct at time of publication.