Tottenham Hotspur vs. AFC Bournemouth: Spurs HT/FT Win (4 / 5 with Ladbrokes)
Tottenham’s performance against Watford last week was undeniably eye-popping. They moved through the gears so quickly, and once the first goal had gone in, it was a matter of how many (and on another day it could have been eight, not four).
They start fast and bludgeon teams at home. They’re unbeaten at White Hart Lane all season, and opposing teams are petrified when they walk out of that tunnel.
Spurs have been in the lead in their last four consecutive home games at half-time and have finished each one off. Expect them to make it five against an inferior AFC Bournemouth side.
Watford vs. Swansea City: Under 2.5 Goals (8/11, with Ladbrokes)
Calling this game is tough. Watford have done enough to stay up but it’s been a disappointing season, and while Walter Mazzarri will be cracking the whip the finish the campaign strongly in order to boost his own stock, the players may not respond.
But Swansea aren’t exactly in fine fettle either. Their last victory was on March 4, and they’re on a five-game winless run that’s dragged them back into the relegation mire, per WhoScored.com.
I’d like to take the coward’s way out and tip Under 2.5 Goals, because I simply cannot call it, but know that it will be tight.
Sunderland vs. West Ham: Under 2.5 Goals (1/1, with Boyle Sports)
The early front-runner for last on Match of the Day, Sunderland vs. West Ham promises to be pretty terrible. The Black Cats last scored a goal on January 14 and look bereft of confidence, while the visitors are battling myriad absence issues among their playing personnel.
Mark Noble is suspended, Winston Reid’s still hurt, Aaron Cresswell’s a doubt and Michail Antonio’s been ruled out for the season with a hamstring injury. It’s all going wrong for Slaven Bilic at just the wrong time, and a failure to beat the league’s worst team might further weaken his position as manager.
Southampton vs. Manchester City: City Win, BTTS (21/10, with Ladbrokes)
Southampton’s consecutive victories over Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion brought them to the 40-point mark for the season. They’re safe from relegation with eight games to spare and don’t have much else to play for, as Europe is pretty much out of reach.
Many of these late-season games are decided by motivation levels, and where Saints might be understandably lacking, opponents Manchester City are the complete opposite. They need wins and points to secure a top-four finish and keep the Pep Guardiola project rolling on smoothly.
Never trust a team with Claudio Bravo in goal to keep a clean sheet – particularly given Manolo Gabbiadini might return to the team – but City’s need to win takes them to victory regardless.