The football season has reached the stage where every match is crucial. Let’s hope that leads us to a winning weekend treble from Saturday afternoon’s schedule.
It might be FA Cup weekend, but we’ll be concentrating on league action with picks from each of England’s top three divisions. With a potential payout of over 5/1, that has to be worth a punt.
Everton v West Bromwich Albion
Ronald Koeman’s men just about came up short at White Hart Lane last weekend, but the Toffees have been a far stronger outfit at Goodison Park this season and will be eager to prove it once more as they face West Brom on Saturday.
The hosts have lost just once on home soil this term, scoring 27 times and conceding just 10 in 13 matches. Meanwhile, star man Romelu Lukaku will be eager to increase his tally of 18 league goals, especially against a team he previously played for on loan. If the Belgian, Ross Barkley, and Tom Davies link up well, the hosts will have no problems finding the target.
West Brom are enjoying a brilliant season, but they do only boast three wins on the road while they also suffered a disappointing home loss to Crystal Palace last weekend. Given that they’ve already hit the 40-point mark, Tony Pulis may have some trouble motivating his players also. Even if the Baggies are up for this one, a lack of goals on their travels could be a problem here.
Everton have already beaten the Baggies away from home this term. Back them to complete the double in style here.
Newcastle United v Fulham
The Championship leaders may have seen their lead cut short following a midweek draw at Reading. Nonetheless, Rafa Benitez’s men are well on track to gain promotion back to the Premier League, and will be aiming to take another step towards the Championship crown with an important victory against Fulham.
Newcastle have done remarkably well to come through the difficult run of three tough away games with seven points. While Fulham are chasing promotion themselves, albeit via the play-offs, the Magpies will be extremely confident about securing three points on their return to St James’ Park.
After all, Dwight Gayle and co. have already scored 37 home games this term, registering 11 wins from 17 league matches. Given that a win would keep them at least nine points clear of the play-offs with just nine games to go, you have to think that the hosts will find the momentum to find a big performance here.
Fulham’s away record is far from bad, and they may even score on Tyneside. Nevertheless, Newcastle’s extra quality really should shine through.
Coventry City v Bradford City
A disastrous league campaign sees Coventry rooted to the bottom of League One and 13 points from safety. Relegation is already virtually secured, and Saturday’s visit of Bradford could move the Sky Blues one step closer to that inevitability.
The hosts did pick up a credible 0-0 at Shrewsbury last week as well as a win against Gillingham just two home games ago. However, they’ve often looked out of their depth against the division’s top sides. Given that the promotion-chasing Bantams fall into this category, it could be another long afternoon for the home side.
Stuart McCall’s men are in pretty good form having picked up 8 points from their last four games. Meanwhile, the fact they’ve also won more than they’ve lost on the road should give them an extra sense of confidence as they aim to close the gap on the automatic promotion places at the Ricoh.
Home fans will be hoping that Russell Slade’s sacking will inspire a better performance from the hosts. Frankly, though, we just don’t see it happening. Away win.