BEN CLEMINSON PREVIEWS THE PREMIER LEAGUE ACTION THIS WEEKEND AND HARRY MADLEY LOOKS AT PAKISTAN V WEST INDIES
THE RACE for a top four finish and Champions League football promises to be a fascinating battle. Tottenham are amongst the chasing pack and have a chance to stake their claim this weekend against West Ham on Sunday. Mauricio Pochettino has received plenty of plaudits for his training regime which has helped Spurs finish games with a flourish. Fitness is paramount and his methods will be put to the test with Sunday’s lunchtime kick-off coming so soon after last night’s Europa League clash with Fiorentina.
A narrow defeat at Anfield brought an end to a three-game winning streak in the league, but they remain imperious at White Hart Lane. It’s been seven straight home league games since Stoke won there and that run includes victories over Chelsea and Arsenal.
In contrast, West Ham arrive in north London on the back of one win in eight league games. Only last weekend West Brom humiliated the Hammers 4-0 in the FA Cup and the pressure is on Sam Allardyce.
Goals have dried up too, with three blanks in their past four outings. Despite the game coming quickly after Spurs’ European exploits, Tottenham should win this comfortably enough and spread bettors are advised to buy their supremacy at 0.9 with Sporting Index.
Tomorrow Manchester City have the perfect opportunity to build on the encouraging 4-1 win at Stoke which arrested a poor run of form that had seen the champions in danger of losing touch with Chelsea at the top of the league.
Manuel Pellegrini’s men had won only one of their previous five league games and had exited the FA Cup, but Sergio Aguero’s first goals since December helped them ease to victory.
If the Citizens are going to hold onto any slim title hopes, and upset Barcelona next week, they need their main man firing.
Newcastle have won only one of their last seven, dropping out of the top 10 and seeing their FA Cup dream ended by Leicester. The Magpies have failed to find the net in their last six against City.
Yaya Toure will be a welcome return for the hosts and will be flying high having helped guide Ivory Coast to Africa Cup of Nations glory.
The hosts need a big performance to give themselves confidence for the Champions League clash with Barca and expect them to deliver one.
Predictably, City are short at just 1/4 with Betway to win, but the 8/5 for them to overcome a -2 handicap looks a fair bet. They have won the last six meetings by at least two goals.
Aguero’s goal minutes are trading at 40-43 with Sporting Index, but buying Toure’s – he has five in his last six against Newcastle – at 19 is more appealing.
Buy Tottenham supremacy at 0.9 with Sporting Index
Man City with a -2 handicap at 8/5 with Betway
Buy Yaya Toure’s goal minutes at 19 with Sporting Index