Battle For Safety and European Places Intensify

It’s a smaller Premier League programme than usual this week due to the FA Cup quarter finals. Even so the matches being played all have a great bearing on the European qualification and relegation places. Let’s look at the games and give some betting tips.

Fulham v Leeds United – Friday 19 March (8pm KO)

All eyes in Brighton and Newcastle will be on Craven Cottage tonight. They are three points ahead of Fulham and won’t want to see them beat Leeds United. Definitely not Newcastle who would drop into the bottom three if the Londoners win.

Fulham have lost their last two home league games. Those were against Tottenham and Manchester City; this game is a little easier. To beat anyone though you need to score goals and Fulham have one goal in their last four matches. Just one goal in their last five home league fixtures isn’t promising is it?

Leeds United are 12th and have just one point from their last three fixtures. Only in the 3-0 home win over Southampton have they scored in their last five. This doesn’t look like a high-scoring match. Under 2.5 goals in the game has odds of 4/5 at BetVictor.

West Ham United v Arsenal – Saturday 20 March (3pm KO)

Up at the top of the table, West Ham United have a vital game this weekend. They are fifth and a win over the Gunners will see them go level on points with fourth placed Chelsea but behind them on goal difference. Home form is strong for West Ham with five wins in the last six. Only the two Manchester clubs have beaten the Hammers in their last seven league fixtures.

Arsenal are tenth and still hoping for a place in Europe next season. They just lack consistency and their last three away league games have produced a loss, a win and a draw. Arsenal do regularly get on the scoresheet on their travels. Only once in their last eight on the road have they failed to score. A bet on both teams to score should be a winner, that’s 4/5 at SportNation.

Brighton v Newcastle – Saturday 20 March (8pm KO)

This is perhaps the most important game of the weekend, especially if Fulham win on Friday. Both teams could do with a win, definitely Newcastle. Both start the weekend three points above the bottom three. Brighton improved their position with a 2-1 win at Southampton (not safe yet) but need to build on that.

Trouble is Brighton have only won one of their last 18 home league games. Only twice have they managed to score more than once in a home league match this season and neither game was won. With this game being followed by fixtures against Manchester United, Everton and Chelsea, you sense they need a win here.

Newcastle could be in the bottom three when this match begins. They have gone five league games without a win but on the flip side are unbeaten in three. Their last three fixtures have all ended in draws with under 2.5 goals scored. Two goals in those matches, both scored by Jamal Lascelles. With Wilson, Almiron and Saint-Maxim all injured, they are struggling for goals. Brighton have 13 home league goals, Newcastle 11 on their travels. Under 2.5 goals has odds of 8/13 at Bet365. Don’t rule out a draw, have a bet on that with William Hill who will give you 12/5.

Aston Villa v Tottenham – Sunday 21 March (7.30pm KO)

The weekend ends with Tottenham under pressure to recover from the losses at Arsenal and Dinamo Zagreb. They are eighth in the Premier League and six points off fourth place. This is their game in hand, but games in hand mean nothing if you lose them. A win here and defeat for West Ham would see them go fifth.
Their away form is poor though with six of their last eight games in all competitions being lost. Just three of their last 11 away league matches have been won, all against the sides currently in the relegation zone.

Aston Villa still have some hopes of European football next season. They are ninth, six points behind fifth with this game in hand. Form has dipped without Jack Grealish and only one point has been earned from the last three matches. Just one goal in those games and that was scored by a Newcastle player. An away win has odds of 7/5 at Paddy Power.