When Your Time is Running Out Fast

The title may have been won and the likely destination of the European places seems clear, but there’s still plenty for sports betting fans to focus on with Premier League betting this weekend.

In fact, the outcome of some of these football games could even decide who survives and who loses their top-flight status.

Time and matches are running out fast.

WEEK 36 SATURDAY:

Liverpool vs Stoke City

After blowing away Roma in the Champions League semi-finals, Jurgen Klopp’s men can all but seal a top-four spot with a victory against Stoke.

At the same time, the Potters, without a win in 11 matches, must grab at least a point at Anfield if they are to realistically keep alive their fading survival hopes.

Four points from safety with three games to go, is boss Paul Lambert about to lose his proud record of keeping every club he has managed in the Premier League?

Burnley vs Brighton & Hove Albion

The maths are simple.

Should Burnley win, they are virtually in Europe next season. Should Brighton win, they are virtually safe.

It could be a tense afternoon at Turf Moor.

Crystal Palace vs Leicester City

With their Euro hopes all but over, 2016 champions Leicester City could see their season peter out over the closing weeks of the campaign.

Palace can’t afford that luxury but know victory will be a massive leap towards their own safety.

With Wilfried Zaha a constant threat and often a target for opposition challenges, his boss Roy Hodgson feels his star man was unfairly treated in last weekend’s goalless draw with Watford when he was booked for diving.

Huddersfield Town vs Everton

It’s hard not to feel sorry for Sam Allardyce, a better manager than many give him credit for.

He has done exactly what was required of him when appointed in late November. He has not only guided the Toffees to safety but lifted them up to eighth place in the table.

David Wagner and Huddersfield are clinging onto safety—which would be a fine achievement—but must take something from this with their final three matches all against sides in the top six.

Newcastle United vs West Bromwich Albion

Victory at Old Trafford and a stirring fightback against Liverpool have restored some pride to the Baggies and their supporters in recent weeks.

However, the stark truth is that West Brom are just days from relegation.

It will likely be confirmed against a Newcastle side which has so much to thank boss Rafa Benitez for.

Southampton vs Bournemouth

Like West Brom before them, the Saints have shown slight improvement under Mark Hughes.

Yet, anything other than victory in the South Coast derby and their six-year stay in the Premier League will be over.

How Bournemouth, who need another two points to be certain of safety themselves, would love to claim bragging rights.

WEEK 36 SUNDAY:

Swansea City vs Chelsea

Swansea welcome FA Cup finalists Chelsea to the Liberty Stadium four points above the drop zone.

To stave off relegation would be a fine achievement for Carlos Carvalhal, who has overseen a dramatic upturn in fortune during the second half of the campaign.

Deposed champions Chelsea have a slim chance of Champions League qualification and must return from Wales with maximum points to stay in the hunt.

West Ham United vs Manchester City

The Hammers are six points from the drop zone and David Moyes has done the job asked of him when appointed to succeed Slaven Bilic.

Can he now all but secure safety with a few matches to spare?

Newly crowned champions City will try and extend their run as they go in search of becoming the first Premier League side to claim 100 points in a season.

WEEK 36 TUESDAY:

Tottenham Hotspur vs Watford FC

After the disappointment of an FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester United, Spurs go in search of a top three and, possibly, a third successive second-place finish.

That would be a fine achievement, especially given the club has had a temporary home at Wembley while White Hart Lane is redeveloped.

Watford have had travelling travails but should have done just enough during a season in which the Hornets’ managerial merry-go-round has continued apace.

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The Big Men Star in Big Football Games

West Ham United 1-1 Stoke City

Two giants of the English game took the headlines in a gripping battle at the London Stadium as West Ham fought back for a draw.

After 6-foot-7 Peter Crouch climbed off the bench to put Stoke ahead, there was live betting drama in the final minute of normal time when 6-foot-4 Andy Carroll hammered home the equaliser.

It’s a result that edges David Moyes’ team closer to safety but leaves the Potters in a perilous position, five points from safety and with the betting odds stacked against them.

In a tense battle, West Ham came out on the front foot with an explosive start but fizzled out as the first half unfolded. Virtually everything went through former Stoke man Marko Arnautovic, and he was a little unlucky not to score on 36 minutes after smashing his shot into Jack Butland’s face and away for a corner.

Stoke needed the points more and came out for the second half with purpose. Xherdan Shaqiri probed for an opening, but West Ham thought they’d gone ahead on 55 minutes when Arnautovic headed home only to be flagged offside. Then Edimilson Fernades thought he’d broken the deadlock for the Hammers, firing home from distance, but Arnautovic was adjudged to be interfering in an offside position again.

And it all looked like turning into a nightmare for the home fans when Peter Crouch was on the spot to poke home the opener after keeper Joe Hart spilled a shot, and that with just 11 minutes left on the clock.

But Carroll stepped up and fired his first-time shot beyond Butland into the corner to send the London Stadium into raptures. All smiles in the East End.

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Arnautovic backed to shine

West Ham United boss David Moyes hopes Marko Arnautovic can produce another match-winning display against Stoke City on Monday.

The 28-year-old Austrian moved from the Potters to West Ham last summer and has shown flashes of his potential at times this season.

He struggled during the first few months of the campaign but improved once Moyes had replaced Slaven Bilic as Hammers boss, with one of his best displays coming in the 3-0 win at the us Stadium in December.

Arnautovic has scored nine goal in his last 14 appearances and was at his imperious best again recently when West Ham beat Southampton, who are now managed by his former Stoke boss Mark Hughes.

"Players like Marko need a little bit of leg room, maybe more than others, and I think we gave Marko his leg room but I want to make sure he knows he has got to do the job here," Moyes said.

"I don't think he will (slack off) now, because he knows what got the crowd from booing him to cheering him every week and becoming one of their heroes."

West Ham can be backed at 1/1 to beat Stoke City while Arnautovic is 13/10 to score at any time against his former team, who are 1/8 to be relegated this term.

Lambert keen to end losing run

Stoke City boss Paul Lambert believes his side are playing well enough to go to West Ham United on Monday and claim all three points.

The Potters are entrenched in the relegation zone and have only five games to extricate themselves from trouble.

Lambert's side have lost their last four games, although they have all been tricky fixtures – against Manchester City, Everton, Tottenham and Arsenal.

Lambert, who succeeded the axed Mark Hughes at the us Stadium three months ago, is convinced that his side have the ability to beat the Hammers, saying: "We have to come away with something and the intent is to go there and win. We will do everything we can to get the three points.

"If we keep playing the same way we have in the last few games then we certainly have a great chance of winning the game.

"We know a win on Monday would drag a few more teams into the equation towards the bottom and that's what we have got to do."

Marko Arnautovic moved from Stoke to West Ham last summer and is 11/8 to score at any time on Monday while the Potters can be backed at 3/1 to return from the capital with all three points.

Moyes targets two more wins

West Ham manager David Moyes thinks his side need two more wins to be absolutely certain of ensuring Premier League survival this season.

The Hammers are six points clear of the drop zone heading into the weekend action, but they can only watch on with interest until they play host to Stoke City on Monday evening, with the Potters currently occupying one of the relegation places.

However, Moyes is upbeat for the challenge ahead having seen his side defeat Southampton 3-0 and draw 1-1 at Chelsea in their last two games.

He told reporters at his pre-match press conference: "We want to get ten wins. We've got eight, so we need two more. The magic number is 40 points.

"We don't have enough yet, but the performances we've put in the last two games have given everyone a real lift.

"If we can keep the form going, I don't see any reason why we shouldn't aim to go unbeaten until the end of the season. That should get us enough points to stay up."

The Irons are 1/1 to defeat Stoke on Monday, with the draw priced at 13/5 and a 2-0 win for the hosts available at 17/2.

Moyes hopes to have several key players back in contention for the game on Monday, with defender James Collins, playmaker Manuel Lanzini and striker Andy Carroll all potentially in contention.

He added: "Andy's in training. He's not played for 11 weeks, so we'll monitor him and see how he is. Getting Andy back will be a big plus for us, because we all know what he can do. Is he going to be ready? I'm not sure.

"Manu and James have both done some training. I'm hoping there is a good chance they will be involved on Monday."

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Butland issues three wins target

Stoke must win three of their final five matches to avoid relegation from the Premier League, according to goalkeeper Jack Butland.

The Potters slipped to a fourth successive defeat on Saturday as fourth-placed Tottenham made it six wins on the bounce with a 2-1 victory at the us Stadium.

Christian Eriksen fired Spurs ahead in the 52nd minute, before Mame Diouf equalised just five minutes later after a mistake by visiting goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

However, the north Londoners sealed the points on 63 minutes when Eriksen's free-kick appeared to elude everyone and dropped into the far corner of the net, although Harry Kane later claimed that he got the slightest of touches to the ball.

The defeat leaves Paul Lambert's Potters 19th in the table and four points off safety with just five matches remaining.

And Butland is in no doubt what is required from those upcoming matches – at home against Burnley and Crystal Palace and away at West Ham, Liverpool and Swansea – to ensure they remain a top-flight team next season.

He told the club's website: "We need three wins, we know what we need to do and we'll set out to do just that. If the team can play like we did yesterday then I firmly believe we'll win games.

"We're in a relegation fight, we're going to be physical, but we've also felt that nothing is going our way at the moment and we're not getting results our performances have deserved.

"We caused them problems yesterday, created opportunities and if things go slightly differently then we win the game."

Stoke, who are 7/2 not to be relegated, are 11/4 to win at West Ham next week, while the Hammers are available at 1/1 and the draw is priced at 12/5.

Pochettino eyes second spot

Mauricio Pochettino is targeting second place for his Tottenham side this season as they prepare to face relegation-threatened Stoke City.

Pochettino is set to have Harry Kane in his starting line-up as the striker has fully recovered from an ankle injury. The England international came on as a late substitute at Chelsea last weekend – his first appearance since he picked up the problem on 11th March.

Kane has scored 24 goals in the Premier League this term and is 8/15 to net at any time against the Potters, 2/7 to be relegated this season.

Tottenham are fourth in the table with 64 points after winning 3-1 at Stamford Bridge, four points behind second-placed Manchester United and two adrift of Liverpool in third.

"We want to finish as high as possible, we are in a good position but there are still a lot of games to play… if we can finish second, it would be better than third or fourth," said Pochettino.

"Our focus [against Stoke] must be 200 per cent. For me it will be a tougher game than at Stamford Bridge.

"Harry Kane is okay after playing nearly 20 minutes against Chelsea. This week was good, he is working hard. Of course, the expectation for him is to score goals. He is hungry to score."

Spurs are 10/11 to keep a clean sheet against Paul Lambert's struggling Stoke team and 7/1 to win the match from behind.

Wenger heartened by late win

Arsene Wenger said that Arsenal improved in the second half as they scored three late goals to beat Stoke City in the Premier League.

With 75 minutes on the clock the game was goalless and the visitors were on their way to collecting a valuable point in their fight against relegation.

However, the hosts were then awarded a penalty for a foul on Mesut Ozil in the area which was converted by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Two goals inside the last five minutes, from Aubameyang after an Ozil corner and then another penalty, this time taken by substitute Alexandre Lacazette, glossed over what was for the most part an unconvincing display by Wenger's side.

However, the Gunners boss said after the game that at least his side improved in the second half and showed spirit after such a disappointing opening period.

He told the BBC after the game: "It was a game of two halves for us. We were too sloppy and not sharp enough in the first half. We weren't switched on mentally.

"The second half was better as we were much more dynamic and showed more pace. We showed more control and made a difference.

"I believe that the most important thing was our spirit and we won the game in the second half.

"I know how our team can respond. Our players have been away for a long time and it is always a problem to try and switch straight back on."

Stoke's defeat leaves them staying in the relegation zone while the Gunners remain in sixth but they have now opened up a five-point gap over Burnley in seventh.

However, they are still 10 points off Tottenham who sit fourth with Mauricio Pochettino's side having the chance to extend that gap when they travel to Chelsea later on Sunday.

As with Manchester United late year, Arsenal's best chance of making next season's Champions League appears to be by winning the Europa League and they play the first leg of their quarter-final against CSKA Moscow on Thursday.

They are 1/3 to win the first leg at the Emirates Stadium with the Russian side 9/1 and the draw priced at 15/4.

Arsenal are 3/1 to win the Europa League at the end of the season.

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Gunners pair could face Stoke

Assistant boss Steve Bould has confirmed that Jack Wilshere and Alexandre Lacazette could be fit for Arsenal's visit of Stoke on Sunday.

Lacazette has been sidelined for the past six weeks because he required a small knee operation, but the Frenchman has been back in training this week and could play some part against the Potters at the Emirates Stadium.

When asked if he will play against Paul Lambert's side, Bould, who took the pre-match press conference in place of boss Arsene Wenger after he lost his voice due to illness, Bould said: "I don't know. He's trained, he trained yesterday but whether he will be involved at the weekend I'm unsure."

Meanwhile, midfielder Wilshere is set to be involved despite missing England's international friendlies against the Netherlands and Italy this past week becasue of a knee injury.

Bould added: "Jack trained yesterday, so he's okay.

"Everybody else has come back and we'll find out a bit more this morning."

Arsenal are 2/7 to defeat Stoke, while the Potters are priced at 9/1 to end a run of 15 successive defeats away to the Gunners by securing a much-needed three points and the draw is available at 9/2.

Football Betting on the Relegation Pressure Pot

We’re back again after the international break, with Premier League Betting and a belting programme of matches to enjoy.

The big clash is at Stamford Bridge where Chelsea hosts Spurs but elsewhere there are some mouth-watering prospects, particularly at the bottom end where the pressure increases week by week. Only five points separate 13th to 19th place.

West Ham captain Mark Noble has made a plea to fans to push them over the line and they face another tough test at home while Newcastle host Huddersfield in a six-pointer. The betting odds will crash down on any losers this weekend!

WEEK 32 SATURDAY:

Crystal Palace vs Liverpool

Former England boss Roy Hodgson has worked wonders to lift the Eagles out of the drop zone, but every game is tough when you are only two points above the trapdoor. Liverpool are on fire, and Mo Salah has 28 league goals, just two fewer than the whole of the Palace side, but the Eagles won’t mind that if they can secure survival.

West Ham United vs Southampton

All eyes at the London Stadium will be on the crowd after the disgraceful scenes during defeat to Burnley; but on the pitch there will be a monumental battle between 17th and 18th. I have a hunch both could survive but, with only a win each in the last six, this has the feel of a ‘must not lose’ game.

Newcastle United vs Huddersfield Town

These two promoted teams are both in danger, just four and three points above the drop. The Magpies are in better shape with a game in hand and the form of loan signing Kenedy. The Brazilian has given Newcastle the spark they needed and a likely win here would dump the Terriers in more trouble.

Manchester United vs Swansea City

The Red Devils are out of Europe so they can now concentrate on domestic matters, namely finishing second to City. Jesse Lingard has been in super form for England and he could be the man to lift Old Trafford. Swansea, with one defeat in six, are climbing away from trouble but it’s still much too tight at the bottom.

West Bromwich Albion vs Burnley

With news coming out of the Hawthorns that the money pot is empty it’s a rather depressing place to be for Alan Pardew’s bottom feeders. The one hope they have on Saturday is that the penalty James Tarkowski conceded for England was by no means the first time the young Burnley defender has been penalised in the box this season. Get your diving boots on Baggies!

Brighton & Hove Albion vs Leicester City

The Foxes are chasing Burnley for the seventh place while Chris Hughton’s Brighton just need another win or so to complete a memorable first season in the Premier League. Home form has lifted the Seagulls to 12th with four wins on the trot at the Amex Stadium.

Watford FC vs Bournemouth

You’d say that with 36 points in the bag both the Hornets and Cherries should be safe but they’ll both want to get to the 40 point mark as quickly as possible. Watford won at the Vitality Stadium back in August, and have been in good form at home, winning the last three, so I suspect Eddie Howe will be happy with a draw.

WEEK 32 SUNDAY:

Everton vs Manchester City

Everton are safe, which is a good thing when you see Manchester City rocking up at Goodison Park. The Sky Blues have Champions League matters on their minds, as well as having half their team playing in the recent Germany vs Brazil friendly but, such is the size and quality at Pep’s disposal; they’ll expect to win here…of course.

Arsenal vs Stoke City

Stoke City are looking in real trouble in 19th and boss Paul Lambert has struggled to make an impact. I can’t see it getting much better on Sunday, the Gunners usually have a fast finish and are improving, having won the last three in all competitions.

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