Our Preview and Tips of This Weekend’s FA Cup and Premier League Ties
It’s a busy weekend ahead in the FA Premier League and also the FA Cup as we have a selection of games from the Premier League taking place from Friday through to Monday as well as two FA Cup Semi Finals taking place at Wembley, one on Saturday and one on Sunday.
So the focus this weekend will not just be on which two teams will be contesting the FA Cup Final back at Wembley in May, but also whether teams at the top and bottom of the Premier League can pick up the results they need in order to give themselves the best chance of achieving their aims this season, whether that is winning the league, a Champions League spot, or simply avoiding relegation.
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We’ll begin our preview with the Premier League games as they kick off on Friday night on the south coast as Southampton host Liverpool at St Mary’s.
Premier League Preview and Tips
Friday 5th April
Southampton v Liverpool – Away Win – 4-9
Liverpool have the chance to return to the top of the Premier League with a win over Southampton at St Mary’s on Friday night after City went back top with their win over Cardiff City in midweek. This will be a tough game for the Reds though against a Southampton side who are battling to avoid the drop despite showing much better form under new boss Ralph Hassenhuttl.
The Saints have beaten Arsenal and Southampton at home since the Austrian took over the helm and they also won on the road at Brighton last weekend. Liverpool though are desperate for the win and know nothing less than 3 points here will get them back top of the table. It will be close, but I am backing the Reds to steal the win.
Saturday 6th April
Bournemouth v Burnley – Draw – 5/2
Two sides who have had indifferent seasons. Bournemouth started brightly before tailing away in mid and late season while Burnley have had a shocking start but a couple of runs of positive results over the past few months has eased them away from the automatic relegation places, although they are still just five clear of Cardiff City.
Burnley’s tendency to get results in streaks makes me feel that against an inconsistent side like Bournemouth, they could get something from this game. However Bournemouth are decent at home and I think that as a result, a draw is the most likely outcome here.
Huddersfield v Leicester – Away Win – 8/11
With Huddersfield already relegated to the Championship next season, they come into this game under no pressure but with manager Jan Siewert already under scrutiny amidsts reports that he has lost the dressing room at the club and the German is under pressure to start delivering results.
Leicester’s new boss Brendan Rodgers has enjoyed a solid start with wins in each of his last three games. I fancy the Foxes to continue that run here against a Town side that seem to lack a little heart at the moment and who do look like a Championship side struggling in the Premier League.
Newcastle v Crystal Palace – Draw – 11/5
Both these sides went down to defeats in London in midweek, Palace losing to Tottenham at their new ground and Newcastle went down by the same 2-0 scoreline to Arsenal. However both sides will know that a win here could well be a huge step towards safety so I am expecting a tight and very tenacious encounter.
Newcastle’s home form is excellent and I can’t see them losing this game, even if Palace play to their best, but by the same token, I think Palace are also good enough to get something from the game and as such, I think this has the hallmarks of a 0-0 or 1-1 to it.
Sunday 7th April
Everton v Arsenal – Away Win – 23/20
Everton have hit a better run of form in their last two games, winning them both and they now face an Arsenal side whose form over the last five games has only been bettered in the Premier League by Manchester City. Everton’s record against top six sides this season isn’t great and Arsenal will fancy their chances of getting something at Goodison.
The Gunners need the points to maintain their charge up the table, especially with Tottenham winning against Crystal Palace in midweek and Chelsea also managing a victory. This should be close but I am just about favouring the Gunners coming away with the points here.
Monday 8th April
Chelsea v West Ham – Home Win – 1/3
After a win over Brighton in midweek, Chelsea are back in action on Monday night with a home game against a West Ham side who were dreadful by their own admission in losing at home to Everton last time out. Chelsea boss Mauricio Sarri is an unpopular man with Chelsea fans though, and that won’t make for a friendly atmosphere in these games.
That said, Chelsea’s home form is excellent generally and I think that West Ham’s erratic form both at home and away means that they are unlikely to get anything from this game other than a defeat and a short trip back to east London.
FA Cup Semi Finals
Saturday 6th April
Brighton v Manchester City – Man City win – 1/7
Unfortunately for Brighton fans, I can’t come up with any good reasons as to why the Seagulls could cause one of the biggest upsets of the season and defeat Manchester City at Wembley. City continued their great run of form with a win over Cardiff in midweek and I can see them earning a similar result here.
With Kevin De Bruyne looking back to his best and City scoring goals from all quarters of the pitch, I can see them scoring a fair few goals against a Brighton side that doesn’t have the best of form and which has struggled against the top six teams this season. This should be an easy evening’s work for City.
Sunday 7th April
Watford v Wolves – Watford to win – 15/8
Given Wolves top six record I think most fans will have them down as the likely winners here but I think Watford have had equally as good a season as Wolves, the Premier League table proves that with just a point difference between the teams. However, Wolves have struggled against mid to lower league sides and Watford have already beaten Wolves 2-0 at Molineux earlier in the season.
I can see this being the closest of the two semis by a comfortable margin but I just think Watford’s extra physicality, their attacking flexibility and the fact that Wolves tend to struggle against certain types of teams, gives the Hornets the edge and I’m backing them to land a narrow win here.