With Arsenal having tied at Spurs and Chelsea’s win over Birmingham greeted with claims by the Chelsea boss that they can still win the title, we are set for an intriguing weekend as the Premier League approaches its climax. If Manchester United fail to beat Everton, the title race could be blown wide open again.Manchester United (-225) vs. Everton (+650)
United will be pleased that in this crucial weekend of games, they’ll be facing a team that they’ve beaten 27 out of 37 times, losing just once.
At Old Trafford, where Saturday’s game will be played, United have won 14 and drawn three of 18 games against Everton, who last won at United in August 1992 - the inaugural season of the Premier League.
But United have dropped points in recent games and the visit of an in-form Everton side is not the game Sir Alex Ferguson would have wanted this weekend.
Everton are unbeaten in their last seven Premier League games and, if they avoid defeat at United, it will represent their best sequence since the end of last season when they finished the campaign unbeaten in 11.
Sir Alex, though, has made a career out of winning these high-pressure battles and Everton will have to repel waves of United attacks if they are to get anything from this one.
If you are looking for a potential goal scorer in this one, Darren Fletcher has scored for United in three of his last five games against Everton.
Everton are always weaker for the absence of Mikel Arteta and the talismanic Tim Cahill, but possess goal threats in Leon Osman and the impressive young winger Magaye Gueye.
This will be a tight game but, looking at United’s superior record, you’d have to back them for a narrow win.Pick:
Manchester United 1-0 Everton (+550)Chelsea (-500) vs. West Ham (+1400)
They may be out of the cups and the Champions League, but Chelsea are putting together a run of form that will give Carlo Ancelotti’s side the confidence that they can pull off the unlikeliest of title wins.
And I don’t expect them to slip up here.
Remarkably, in the 85 league matches between the two sides Chelsea and West Ham have 34 wins apiece. The other 17 matches have ended in draws.
But the telling statistic is that Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 12 matches against the Hammers. The Blues have won 10 of those games and the other two ended in draws.
To compound the uphill task West Ham face is that their away form is dismal. They have lost 25 percent of their league away games 3-0 this season.
It’s quite clear that only a minor miracle will prevent Chelsea taking all three points.
The £50million question is “When will Fernando Torres score?” The Spaniard has scored five goals in five games against West Ham, including a hat-trick in March 2008, so could this be the day?
If Torres’s barren spell in front of goal continues, Florent Malouda is a good bet to find the net, with three goals in his last three.Pick:
Chelsea 3-0 West Ham (+600)