Motivation is not in short supply – whether out of necessity or for personal reasons (see the Everton preview below) – and so we have a sound betting footing with which to work with. After all, there’s nothing worse than a late season dead rubber to wager upon.
So, where does the best betting value lie this Easter weekend?
Crystal Palace vs Leicester City (Saturday, 3pm)
This could be one of those rare old occasions when the bookmakers get their prices wrong.
Don’t get us wrong, Palace are going nicely at the moment with five wins from their last six Premier League outings, but then again Leicester boast an identical record and can be backed at 15/4!
We’ll take the hint though that the Eagles, with victories over Arsenal and Chelsea of late, are a side renewed under Sam Allardyce.
But we simply cannot ignore the Foxes here, even with a Wednesday night trip to Madrid to recover from. To have the opportunity to land a profit if they win or draw here, and get half our stake back if they lose by one goal, is simply too good to miss.
Leicester +0.75 Asian Handicap (9/11 with BetVictor)
Everton vs Burnley (Saturday, 3pm)
This feels like an open and shut case, with Everton enjoying seven straight home wins in the Premier League with a goal difference of +21 and Burnley still struggling away from home (W0 D4 L12).
Motivation is a key factor at this time of the season, and while Everton as a whole don’t seem to be lacking that one man who is certainly eager to please at the moment is Romelu Lukaku. The burly Belgian will fancy a summer move away from Goodison Park you would think, and goals between now and the end of the campaign will almost guarantee that occurring.
He bagged a brace against Leicester last time out, and with the Clarets rather hopeless on their travels he would have to be fancied to find the net once more.
Romelu Lukaku Anytime Goalscorer (5/6 with Paddy Power)
Stoke City vs Hull City (Saturday, 3pm)
Hull boss Marco Silva is a canny operator. He’s realised that if his side are to avoid relegation they need to a) score more goals in order to b) win more matches.
So, he’s paired Oumar Niasse and Abel Hernandez together in a 4-4-2 formation, and so far the move has paid off: they’ve won three of their last five matches by scorelines of 2-1, 2-1 and 4-2.
Such an enterprising approach does leave you vulnerable at the back however, and in conceding 14 in their last six clearly that is the pay-off that Silva and his troops must put up with.
Stoke are by no means flying high at the moment, but they will surely find the net on home soil here.
Both Teams to Score (19/20 with bet365)
Southampton vs Manchester City (Saturday, 5:30pm)
The player and the price; there’s nothing not to like about this selection.
You get the feeling that Manchester City are better away from home than they are on their own patch; the stats don’t back that up, but when the onus is on the opposition to come forward a bit more that’s when City’s pacey frontline counter-attacks with relish.
Southampton won’t back down here and will look to dominate possession, so the Citizens’ front three of Sterling, Sane and Aguero should be able to create plenty of opportunities for one another.
The Argentine has scored in each of his last three league games, and you sense he should have plenty of chances to extend that run here.
Sergio Aguero Anytime Goalscorer (10/11 with William Hill)