The FA Cup might be taking centre stage this weekend, but for those teams fighting to avoid relegation, there are a huge round of fixtures in the Premier League.
Hull, Swansea, Middlesbrough and Crystal Palace are all in action and the outcomes of their games are likely to have a big impact on who goes down.
West Ham vs Everton
Everton may have left it a little too late to make the top six, but if Arsenal continue to falter, they could yet make a late charge. The Toffees are at 5/4 to win and they have a decent record against the Hammers, coming out on top in six of their last ten meetings. There’s only one player to back as first goalscorer and that’s Romelu Lukaku, who is at 7/2.
Bournemouth vs Middlesbrough
Of all the teams in the mire, Middlesbrough seem to be showing the least signs – other than perhaps Sunderland – that they can beat the drop. Boro haven’t won a Premier League game since before Christmas, so Bournemouth at under 2.5 goals at 3/1 is the safe option.
Hull City vs Watford
It’s remarkable that Hull go into the weekend outside the relegation zone, but that’s just testament to the work Marco Silva has done since taking the job off Mike Phelan. The Tigers have only played Watford once in the modern top flight and they lost that game – back in October – 1-0. Watford tend to struggle away, though, winning just once on the road since the turn of the year. A draw is at 5/2, as Hull can probably afford to take just a point.
Swansea vs Stoke
Swansea’s revival has hit a wall in recent weeks and they need to start picking up points again quickly to ensure their Premier League survival. Paul Clement’s side have lost their last three games on the trot. The only positive is that Stoke aren’t faring much better, winning just one of their last six. The Swans haven’t been scoring, so Stoke’s joint top scorer Marko Arnautovic is one of the best bets at 9/4 to score in 90 minutes.
Liverpool vs Crystal Palace
Palace have been building up some momentum, losing just one of their last seven games. They’ve conceded just six goals in that period, but that’s largely thanks to Mamadou Sakho, who is ineligible to play against parent club Liverpool. With that in mind, we’re backing over 2.5 goals, which has happened in six out of the Reds’ last eight league games.
Burnley vs Manchester United
United are right back in the race for the top four after beating Chelsea. Liverpool are the only other top-six side playing in the league this weekend, so it could be a good opportunity for Jose Mourinho’s side to gain ground. The Clarets have a surprisingly good record against the top sides this season, having beaten Everton and Liverpool and drawn with Chelsea and United. If the Red Devils play like they did against Chelsea, though, they should have enough in their arsenal and are at 5/2 to win by one goal.