Liam Smith gives his tips on a selection of games from the Premier League, Championship, and Leagues One and Two.
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Arsenal v Chelsea – over 2.5 goals
Arsenal’s FA Cup semi-final clashed with Chelsea’s league game last weekend, now both sides battle it out at the Emirates. While Adam Federici grabbed the headlines, Gunners fans are dreaming of a second successive cup triumph after their classy performance to overcome a resilient Reading side. Jose Mourinho, meanwhile, again got his tactics spot-on against Manchester United as Eden Hazard tore apart LVG’s defence. Both teams will put their top-of-the-table credentials on display in this game.
Best odds – 5/12 (Bet365).
West Brom v Liverpool – 3-1 win in favour of Liverpool
Liverpool are reeling after their defeat by a rather average Aston Villa side, but they never got going in their FA Cup semi-final and couldn’t breach the defence. West Brom have been poor in recent weeks but overcame in-form Crystal Palace last weekend to basically secure safety. The Reds will be looking to bounce back from cup disappointment with a good result here and I can see them winning by a couple of goals.
Best odds – 11/1 (Paddy Power). £11 for every £1 you put on.
Brighton v Watford – Troy Deeney first goalscorer
Troy Deeney – who has netted 20 goals this season – was surprisingly pipped to the Championship Player of the Year gong by Patrick Bamford on Sunday night. Now the Hornets hitman will be looking to fire his team, who are within touching distance of promotion, back into the top flight. Brighton have looked a little weak lately and have found it difficult to pick up results following a difficult run of fixtures, so I can see striker Deeney firing the visitors ahead with an early goal.
Best Odds – 9/2 (Matchbook).
Preston v Swindon – Preston win
Preston and Swindon go head-to-head in a game that could have implications for who finishes second in League One. Bristol City have already won the title but the battle for the runners-up spot is a strong one, with three teams still in contention. The visitors will be looking to catch their rivals out with a good performance, while Joe Garner can help PNE increase the gap on MK Dons. I reckon the hosts will come out on top here.
Best Odds – 1/2 (Bet365).
Plymouth v Tranmere – Plymouth to win by 3 goals
Tranmere’s fears of relegation have become a real possibility in recent weeks after abysmal performances and manager Micky Adams has jumped a seemingly sinking ship. But Plymouth are still in the hunt for the play-offs and will be looking to secure their place with a good victory against the League Two basement boys. I can see the hosts quickly ending the game as a contest.
Best odds – 10/1 (BetVictor). You will receive £10 for every £1 you put on.
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