Championship Play-Off Final: Michael Owen’s View
Liverpool have the opportunity to return to the top of the Premier League on Sunday when they travel to relegation-threatened Fulham. Leaders Manchester City are in FA Cup quarterfinal action at Swansea 24-hours earlier.
Newcastle have only picked up two points from the last 18 available on the road, but they showed their resilience and quality to come from two-down to beat Everton at St James’ Park last weekend.
Bournemouth returned to winning ways with a comfortable success at Huddersfield at the weekend, but I feel it will be a point apiece back at the Vitality Stadium. The Magpies will have to look out for the Ryan Fraser/Callum Wilson axis who have combined for nine PL goals already this season – the last duo to hit double figures were Denis Bergkamp and Nicolas Anelka for Arsenal back in the 1998-99 season.
Tip: Game to finish in a draw at 12/5
Burnley have lost their last three league games – having gone eight unbeaten previously – while the Foxes have won two of their last three league games since they parted company with Claude Puel. It looks sure to be tight and tense, but I feel if there is to be a winner at Turf Moor it will be the Foxes who take maximum points and give Brendan Rodgers’ his first win on the road.
Tip: Both teams to score at 7/10
West Ham were disappointing at Cardiff at the weekend, but they are taken to win their third league home game on the spin for the first time since they moved into the London Stadium.
The Terriers home defeat to Bournemouth means they are 15 points from safety with just eight games to play and manager Jan Siewert will already be preparing for life in the Championship.
Tip: West Ham -1 on the handicap at 13/8
Fulham have lost nine of their last ten league games and it is hard to see them denting Liverpool’s title hopes and giving themselves a shot in the arm with regard to their slim chance of beating the drop.
Sadio Mane has scored eight times in his last eight PL games for the Reds and I will be surprised and disappointed if Liverpool were not back at the top of the table come Sunday night.
Tip: Liverpool to win and both teams to score at 17/10
Everton have failed to score in their last five league games against Chelsea and I feel the West London side will return to the capital with all three points from a low-scoring game at Goodison.
Marco Silva has yet to beat a “big six” side since he took over the reins at Goodison and I feel the wait will continue despite Chelsea having a Europa League tie in Kiev on Thursday evening.
Tip: Chelsea to win at 20/21
Weekend wager: West Ham, Watford and Liverpool at 21/5
Read my FA Cup quarterfinals preview and tips here.