English Premier League
Manchester United vs. Chelsea (Sunday 4pm)
Sky Sports 1
This is Mourinho versus Chelsea at Old Trafford, with Manchester United somehow still in the running for a top four finish and Chelsea looking to take a giant leap towards the title. There is no doubt that this is the game of the weekend, with the only downside being that we have to wait until Easter Sunday to see it. Jose hasn’t had a full week to prepare for his old employers and was bitterly disappointed with United’s 1-1 draw with Anderlecht in Belgium on Thursday evening, which for us instantly tips the scales in the visitors’ favour.
Beyond that the hosts are without Mata, Jones and Smalling for definite, while Valencia could also miss out for a further blow. Chelsea, as usual, are at absolute full strength. With a full week to set up and momentum regained after their slip at home to Palace, we have to take the Champions to-be on at DNB. Indeed, if they are still slight underdogs at kick-off, we’ll be very surprised. The goal line does look low to us but Mourinho might spring a surprise with his formation to keep it tight, or might just try to kick Hazard off the park again…
Suggestion: Chelsea DNB @ 2.07
Italian Serie A
Internazionale vs. Milan (Saturday 11.30am)
BT Sport 1
While this is not the contest it once was the final Milan derby of 2016/2017 has a lot on the line. The teams are separated by just one place and two points in the table, with whoever finishes ahead likely to be rewarded with Europa League football next season, and the total reversal in fortunes over recent weeks adds a nice subplot. Inter were flying before their 2-2 draw at Torino in mid-March and looked capable of usurping Napoli for the final Champions League spot, but something happened in that game to throw them completely off course.
After working minor miracles since arriving at San Siro it seems that Pioli finds himself under huge pressure, which has only intensified after a dismal defeat to Crotone last time out. The other half of the city is much happier, with Milan’s only loss in nine coming at Juventus and being a very close-run thing. We’re obviously taking Milan on the plus handicap and are sorely tempted by the overs, but we’ll leave that one to braver souls.
Suggestion: Milan +0.5 @ 1.89
Newcastle United vs. Leeds United (Friday 7.45pm)
Sky Sports 1
This game kicks off festivities for us on Easter Weekend. You might remember that Newcastle also featured in our last Weekend Preview and cost us dearly when slipping to a 2-1 defeat at Hillsborough, so they owe us one here. Their task to stay with Brighton is made more difficult by Gayle being ruled out due to injury, but otherwise Benitez has the strongest pool to select from for some time. There’s no doubt that he’ll pick his team with Monday’s trip to Ipswich in mind, whereas Leeds probably have to go full strength.
Monk’s men rebounded well from two consecutive losses with a resounding 3-0 win over Preston last time out and with Bridcutt likely to return they can name a very strong line-up here. There’s a huge amount on the line for both teams promotion-wise and now Newcastle are back to chasing, they should play with more intent.
Suggestion: Over 2.25 @ 1.88
Italian Serie A
Roma vs. Atalanta (Saturday 2pm)
Roma are one of those teams (like Lyon) that have given us nightmares this season, but they appear to have found some consistency in terms of their approach after being knocked out of the Europa League (by Lyon, funnily enough). Our issue with Spalletti’s men has always been their attitude. They often get into good situations but do not display much professionalism in terms of game management, which leaves them liable to lose handicaps from winning positions. However, given that they’ve won four in a row by more than one and Atalanta are missing star attacker Gomez in addition to having big doubts over their wing-backs, we’ll take a risk on them here. However, we’ll add some security with a goals bet tagged on too.
Suggestion: Roma -1 @ 1.93 and Over 3 @ 1.84
English Premier League
Middlesbrough vs. Arsenal (Monday 8pm)
Sky Sports 1
Middlesbrough are at least finally trying to score goals and were unfortunate to only come away from their last game with a 0-0 draw. Now six points from safety with seven left to play they cannot afford to go back into their shells, even against superior opponents. It looks a great time to play Arsenal after their humbling loss at Crystal Palace, with Boro surely setting up to try and replicate Sam Allardyce’s approach. Cech and Koscielny should be back to shore up the visitors here, though, which means we’ll only suggest the goals and stay clear of the handicap.
Suggestion: Over 2.5 @ 1.80
Ones to Watch
Portuguese Primeira Liga
Sporting Braga vs. Porto (Saturday 8.30pm)
With six games left to go in Portugal this encounter is enormous because it is Porto’s biggest remaining test and they are in hot pursuit of Benfica at the summit, being just one point behind. The visitors have a significant edge on team news but the form is evenly split.
Suggestion: Over 2.25 @ 1.81
Birmingham City vs. Burton Albion (Monday 3pm)
The first of our Championship relegation double-header sees 18th hosting 20th, though positions could change after Good Friday’s round of games. Birmingham should take points at Rotherham, while Burton will also fancy their chances at home to Ipswich. We’ll add our suggestion for this on Sunday when more is known.
Suggestion: Burton Albion +0.25 @ 2.06
Blackburn Rovers vs. Bristol City (Monday 3pm)
This one is 23rd versus 21st and so there’s even more at stake, with Blackburn on a downward spiral at the moment. Before the markets open we like the idea of the visitors on a plus handicap, but after Friday’s results it has DNB as the natural line, as expected.
Suggestion: Bristol City +0.25 @ 1.76
German Bundesliga 2
Hannover 96 vs. Eintracht Braunschweig (Saturday 12pm)
Just three points separate BL2’s top four with six to play. Hannover are third on 53 and Braunschweig second on 54. As you might expect it’s an incredibly tight encounter handicap-wise, but there has been a propensity for both to go unders lately so we’ll back the trend to continue.
Suggestion: Under 2.5 @ 1.89
German Bundesliga 1
Hoffenheim vs. Borussia Monchengladbach (Saturday 2.30pm)
With six games left in BL1 it’s still a huge shock to see Dortmund lagging behind Leipzig and Hoffenheim in fourth, which is what makes this contest so interesting. Hoffenheim wobbled last week at Hamburg and Gladbach have started to turn things around. This sort of game should suit them.
Suggestion: Borussia Monchengladbach +0.75 @ 1.80
*Odds accurate at time of writing