With four Premier League clubs in action in the FA Cup semi-finals, there are only six league matches over the course of the weekend, beginning with West Brom’s home game against Liverpool on Saturday lunchtime and ending with Newcastle’s visit to Everton on Monday night.
Crystal Palace have the chance to improve their chances of survival as they go to Watford in Saturday’s only other fixture, with the remaining three games all taking place on Sunday. West Ham go to Arsenal for a London derby and Stoke desperately need to end Burnley’s winning run at the Bet365 Stadium in the early games, before City’s title party against Swansea at the Etihad.
West Brom v Liverpool
West Brom gave themselves a glimmer of hope with their win at Old Trafford, but they need to follow up with the equally daunting prospect of beating Liverpool at the Hawthorns. Liverpool are of course strong favourites, but they will have one eye on Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg against Roma, while West Brom have already caused them problems this season.
Albion were 3-2 winners at Anfield in the FA Cup in January and they also held the Reds to a goalless draw back in December.
Liverpool rested both Salah and Firmino prior to their Champions League quarter-final second leg at City and were held to a goalless draw by Everton and it would be no surprise to see at least one of their star attacking trio sit this one out too. That gives the Baggies a better chance than they would otherwise have in this fixture.
Recommended bet: West Brom to win or draw – 2.5*
Watford v Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace edged closer to safety with their 3-2 win over Brighton last weekend and they can take advantage of Watford’s end-of-season malaise at Vicarage Road to all-but seal their place in next season’s Premier League.
Watford, who have been safely in mid-table all season, reached 36 points with their back-to-back wins over Everton and West Brom six weeks ago, and have since taken only one point from five matches.
Palace, by way of contrast, have taken seven points from their last four games, with Wilfried Zaha a key figure in their recent revival. The winger scored twice in the first half hour to set up their derby win last Saturday, and can give them the impetus for another welcome three points here.
Stoke v Burnley
The most unusual aspect of Burnley’s run of outstanding results is the number of goals they have scored – 11 in five games before Thursday night’s visit of Chelsea. Prior to that, Sean Dyche’s side had found the net only four times in eight matches. The return of Wood alongside Ashley Barnes in attack has sparked new life into their season, with the New Zealander scoring five times in as many matches.
At Stoke they will have had only a couple of days of rest between matches and that could take some of the sharpness away from their usually resolute defence – indeed both teams have scored in four of their last five matches.
Manchester City v Swansea
Gundogan was a surprise choice of penalty taker for City at Wembley, but he tucked his spot kick away nicely and with Sergio Aguero injured the Germany international should retain the responsibility for the remaining games.
Fernandinho serves the second of his two-game ban for reaching 10 yellow cards, so Gundogan is likely to keep his place at the base of City’s midfield.
With Swansea certain to sit deep and Sterling and Leroy Sane raiding in from the flanks, Gundogan will also get into some advanced positions, as he did when he scored in the Manchester derby.
*odds are subject to change