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Weekend Football Tips: 7th & 8th April
by the Cheeky Punter
This could be one of the biggest weekends in the Premier League season with two huge derby games in the north of the country, while there’s another bitter derby taking place between two London rivals on the same weekend.
The good news is that now that we have got all the international breaks out of the way, we now have a clear run in from the end of March through until May when the destination of the league title will be decided, if it is not already decided by this coming weekend’s results.
As we approach these final few weeks of the season, it’s been another decent season for me and I’m hoping to continue on until the end.
So without any further ado, here’s my tips for the coming weekend’s Premier League action.
Premier League Tips: Saturday 7th March
April 7, 2018
April 7, 2018
The teams met at Anfield back in December where a controversial Everton penalty handed them a 1-1 draw in a game dominated by Liverpool.
Liverpool then defeated Everton just a few weeks after this game in the FA Cup by a 2-1 scoreline, Van Dijk heading home a last gasp winner.
The teams have met 281 times, Everton winning 82, Liverpool 118 and there have been 81 draws over the years.
Everton’s last win over Liverpool came back in October 2010, a 2-0 win at Goodison Park. They have gone 16 games without a win in the fixture.
Everton’s recent record in this fixture isn’t the best and their record against top six sides at home this season isn’t also very good. Despite that, the Toffees have decent home record of late but they still have real concerns, especially defensively, against the top sides.
For Liverpool, this is a game that Jurgen Klopp will view as another must-win encounter if they are to keep ahead of the game in terms of qualifying for the Champions League again next season. It’s not ideal having a Merseyside derby in the middle of two crucial Champions League games but it is also an issue that Man City face too.
Liverpool have a good record in this fixture over the years and they have a strong record against Everton of late too. It is hard to see a way for Everton to stop the attacking trio of Firmino, Mane and Salah when they hit top form, although they did do so well at Anfield by amassing ranks in defence.
At home though, Everton fans will want a bit more attacking flair and I think that plays into Liverpool’s hands, so I am backing the visitors to win this one, though I do think Everton stand a great chance of scoring a goal against Liverpool’s back line,.
Liverpool To Win & Both Teams To Score - £10 returns 31.00
The teams met back in December where a goal from Scott Arfield on half time was enough to give Burnley a 1-0 victory.
Watford don’t have a great record in this fixture recently, winning just four of the last 17 matches between the two teams.
Burnley have won seven times in that period with the remaining matches all finishing in a draw.
In total, Watford have won 12 games against Burnley, Burnley have won 18 games while a total of 9 matches have been drawn between the teams.
Watford’s form is as changeable as their managers at times and the Hornets come into this game in relative mid-table safety but with a home record that isn’t really as strong as it should be. In contrast Burnley’s form away from home this season has been a marked improvement over last.
I think Watford’s constant changing of their manager doesn’t help build a unified team and it is telling that their best players are already making noises of wanting to play elsewhere next season. That to me suggests a team that is perhaps already got one eye on the off-season.
I don’t think Sean Dyche would allow his Burnley players the luxury of thinking about next season at the present moment and as such, and given the form they are in, I think they will likely be the sharper and hungrier of the two teams and as a result, more likely to win the game.
As they showed against West Ham last time out, Burnley can score on the road and I am backing them to do so here. However I think Watford will rally to claim a draw late on in front of their fans as I think Gracia is a shrewd tactician.
City have a solid record vs Utd over the past few years, winning 6 of the last 12 games between the teams, with Utd winning 4 and 2 games were drawn.
The teams met in the Premier League at Old Trafford back in December with City emerging with a 2-1 win thanks to goals from David Silva and Nicolas Otamendi.
United’s last victory over City came back in the Premier League in March 2016 when they won 1-0 at the Etihad thanks to a Marcus Rashford strike.
City have dropped just two points at home all season long (a 1-1 draw with Everton back in August).
Will Manchester City claim the league title against their most fierce rivals? To be fair, it is immaterial as even if they do not achieve that today, they will do so within the next couple of games anyway, so it is a question of when, not if, City clinch the title.
However, this game does come at a busy time for City with two games on Merseyside preceding this, one in the Premier League and one in the Champions League, followed by another Champions League tie with Liverpool just a few days after this game. If ever a point in the season will test City, it is this one.
United are dogged and determined and will make life very difficult for their neighbours. I don’t want to accuse Jose of being likely to park the bus, but that is what he has done away at several major rivals this season and I can see no reason why he would not do the same here.
Even if he does though, I think it is a futile gesture. City have unpicked amassed defences all season long and the only team to beat them have done so by pressing high and attacking them hard. United won’t do that and that is why City will win this one comfortably to nil.
Arsenal have the fourth best home record in the league which is stark contrast to their away form which is the 10th best in the division.
Southampton have the 13th best away record in the Prem but have won just two of the games they have played away this season.
The teams played out a 1-1 draw at St Mary’s earlier on in the season, Charlie Austin giving Saints a 3-minute lead only for Giroud to equalise 2 minutes from time.
The teams have played 94 times in total, Arsenal winning 48 games, Southampton 20 and there have been 26 draws between the teams.
Can Mark Hughes galvanise his Southampton team over these last few weeks of the season in order to save themselves from the Premier League drop? Saints owners are banking on the Welshman and to be fair, when looking at their fixtures, this wasn’t a game they had earmarked down to collect points from.
That said, Arsenal’s form has been sketchy especially of late. Sometimes they can sweep away teams with ease, as they did Everton and Milan at home, but in other games they have struggled, most notably when losing 2-1 to Swedish side Ostersund.
I’m sure Mark Hughes would take a point from this clash now if offered, but I think Arsene Wenger needs a statement win to answer a few critics and Southampton’s worrying lack of goals combined with a defence that is shipping too many sloppy goals, especially from set pieces, is a real concern.
I think Hughes will tighten up Southampton over the coming weeks, but this is a game that I think he will struggle to get any return from. I am backing Arsenal to win this one, though I do think that Southampton may grab a goal against that very leaky Arsenal defence.
Arsenal To Win & Both Teams To Score - £10 returns £30.00
The Cheeky Punter is an ex professional online sports bettor and trader with over 15 years of experience in the industry. He has worked for a number of top bookmakers including Ladbrokes, William Hill and Coral. He's also written for a number of leading news outlets including the Guardian, i (newspaper) and Soccer Lens. More about him here.