Liam Smith gives his tips on a selection of games from the Premier League, Championship, Conference – and La Liga.
Queens Park Rangers v Newcastle – over 2.5 goals
QPR were relegated last weekend and having gone nine games without a win, Newcastle sit three points from the drop zone with only two game remaining. The self-proclaimed ‘best coach in England’, John Carver, will be looking to guide his team away from the bottom four with a win over Chris Ramsey’s men downbeat side. I can see this game having plenty of action and goals, with the end result being 3-2 in favour of the hosts. Enjoy it while you can QPR fans, it looks like the darkest days are only around the corner.
Best odds – 2/11 (Paddy Power).
Manchester United v Arsenal – 3-1 win in favour of United
Manchester United edged to a 2-1 victory in a tight game against Crystal Palace, while Arsenal narrowly lost to a tough Swansea team. Both sides will go into this game looking to get a firm grip on third place and finish above each other in the Premier League. I can see United starting this game strongly with momentum from the weekend – and the news of signing highly-rated PSV Eindhoven starlet Memphis Depay. This game should be a classic game between these high-flying rivals, but I’m tipping Louis van Gaal’s men to win 3-1.
Best odds – 14/1 (Coral). £15 for every £1 you put on.
Bristol Rovers v Grimsby Town – Lenell John-Lewis first goalscorer
Bristol Rovers must have felt very unlucky not to finish top of the Conference table after 21 wins – only to be pipped by one point by Barnet, who finished on 92 points. But they bounced back from that disappointment to beat Forest Green Rovers 3-0 over two legs of the play-offs to reach the promotion final at Wembley. Grimsby have earned the tag of the play-offs nearly men but they have striker Lenell John-Lewis fired-up for the opener in this thrilling final.
Best Odds – 8/1 (Matchbook).
Atletico Madrid v Barcelona – Draw
Barcelona look set to reign over Spanish football once again as they edge ever closer to the La Liga title – if the Spanish courts rule against the planned strike. The visitors are on fine form and recently turned over a very strong Bayern Munich team in the Champions League. Holders Atletico will be looking to prove a point and gain some momentum ahead of the end of the season. I can see ex-Chelsea and Liverpool hitman Fernando Torres getting a goal in the early stages, but Barca will fight back to earn a point.
Best Odds – 2/5 (Betfred).
Norwich City v Ipswich Town – Norwich to win by 2 goals
Norwich and Ipswich go into the most important derby game in their history as they battle it out for a place in the Championship play-off final. The first semi-final tie ended in a hard-fought draw but the Canaries will be looking to apply more pressure at their own stadium in front of a home crowd. I can see this being a fiery encounter, but Norwich will eventually get the better of Ipswich with their great frontline with former Celtic star Gary Hooper and Cameron Jerome. I reckon the winner of this game is certain to reach the Premier League.
Best odds – 8/1 (BetVictor). You will receive £8 for every £1 you put on.
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