We're now on the home stretch in this season’s Premier League but with just a handful of games remaining there is still plenty to play for. The title race looks like going down to the wire, the battle for Champions League qualification is an intriguing one and at the bottom there are several teams looking nervously over their shoulders.
Meanwhile, someone has to win both the Golden Boot and PFA Players’ Player of the Year awards. Here at Compare Betting Sites we take a look at all the teams and players in contention and search the betting markets for the best odds available.
Premier League Outright Winner
Manchester City - 1/2 (888 Sport)
Liverpool - 15/8 (Ladbrokes)
Liverpool’s return of 79 points from 32 games represents their best ever in a league campaign and for a team with 18 top-flight titles, that is some achievement. However, the fate of Jurgen Klopp’s side is still out of their hands thanks to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City juggernaut.
Manchester City are unbeaten in all competitions since January and are relentlessly chasing an unprecedented quadruple. The reigning Premier League champions have already retained their Carabao Cup crown and are in both the semi-final of the FA Cup and quarter-final of the Champions League.
City have arguably the tougher run-in of the two title challengers and there is one week later in April that could prove pivotal in their season. Tottenham Hotspur visit the Etihad Stadium on April 17th for the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie. The same two sides then meet in the Premier League at the same venue three days later before City travel to Old Trafford where they take on cross-city rivals, Manchester United on April 24th.
Liverpool have four Premier League games of their own in April but face several potential banana skins. The Reds are away to relegation-threatened duo, Southampton and Cardiff City as well as hosting already-relegated, Huddersfield town. Their sternest test throughout the month will come when Chelsea visit Anfield on April 14th. Either side of that fixture will be the first and second legs of their own Champions League quarter-final against Portuguese club, FC Porto.
Top Four Finish and Champions League Qualification
Tottenham Hotspur - 8/13 (Betway)
Arsenal - 8/13 (BetVictor)
Manchester United - 6/5 (Bet365)
Chelsea - 9/4 (SkyBet)
At the mid-way stage in the Premier League season Chelsea and Spurs looked nailed on for a top four finish. Arsenal looked mere also-rans and Manchester United were in complete disarray under Jose Mourinho. However, all four sides now find themselves in a fantastic position to claim a Champions League qualification spot.
Spurs remain the bookies’ favourites to finish in the top four but Mauricio Pochettino’s side are enduring a miserable run at form at present. A disastrous return of just one point from five league games has seen Spurs go from dark horses in the title race to now looking over their shoulder at the chasing pack. By the time Spurs host Crystal Palace on Wednesday they could find themselves outside of the top four.
Arsenal are one of the division’s most in-form sides. After Monday’s game against Newcastle United, the Gunners are now on a six-game unbeaten run in the Premier League (won 5, drawn 1). Arsenal have turned the Emirates Stadium into something of a fortress recently and made it ten league games without defeat at home in the league against Newcastle. A feat they’ve not achieved since their 1997/98 double-winning season.
On paper, the Gunners perhaps have the easiest run-in of any Premier League side. Arsenal do not have a single game remaining against any of the so-called Big Six. Their toughest game could be their trip to Everton at Goodison Park this coming weekend. The biggest threat to Arsenal’s hopes of a top four finish could be their continued participation in the Europa League. With a two-legged quarter-final against Italian giants, Napoli, to come, Unai Emery may be tempted to rotate his squad in the Premier League.
Manchester United have been like a new side since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took the reins at Old Trafford. The Norwegian was put in charge on a caretaker basis in December but having done such a remarkable job since arriving, he has since been handed the role on a full-time basis.
The final week of April could be a season-defining week for the Red Devils. United are already set to welcome Manchester City (24th April) and Chelsea (28th April) to Old Trafford in the Premier League whilst if they can get past Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-final, they will play the first leg of their last-four clash on April 30th.
Crucially for the Red Devils, their final two opponents this season could both be relegated by the time they meet. United are away at already-relegated Huddersfield Town before closing the season at home to a Cardiff City that are currently five points from safety.
To Be Relegated
Cardiff City – 1/5 (SkyBet)
Burnley - 7/1 (Paddy Power)
Brighton & Hove Albion - 20/1 (Unibet)
Southampton - 66/1 (Bet365)
Huddersfield Town’s relegation has already been confirmed and Fulham are all-but-down also with a 16-point deficit to make up in just six games. Cardiff City currently occupy the third relegation spot and are odds-on to go straight back down.
Last weekend could prove to be critical in the battle to avoid the drop. Burnley and Southampton both won on Saturday, claiming three points against Wolves and Brighton respectively. Cardiff City then welcomed Chelsea to South Wales with a five-point margin to make up on the sides above them. Despite leading for most of the second half, the Bluebirds controversially went down to a 2-1 defeat.
At odds of 1/5, it’s fair to say that Cardiff City face an uphill struggle to retain their Premier League status. However, Neil Warnock’s side will still be quietly confident of staying up given that they still have four very win-able games coming up.
Cardiff City’s three games on the road in April are against Burnley, Brighton and Fulham. Whilst the Bluebirds are capable of claiming a maximum nine points from those three games, there is also the possibility that they could lose all three and be relegated with several games to spare.
If Cardiff City do perform the great escape, Burnley seem the most likely to drop into the second tier. Sean Dyche’s side finished seventh last season but have endured a miserable campaign this time around. The Clarets’ last four league fixtures are against Chelsea, Manchester City, Everton and Arsenal. It is therefore vital for their hopes of avoiding the drop that they pick up some points in their next two games, away at Bournemouth and their winner-takes-all game at home to Cardiff on April 13th.
PFA Players’ Player of the Year
Virgil Van Dijk - 4/9 (Betfair)
Raheem Sterling - 10/3 (William Hill)
Sergio Aguero - 14/1 (Paddy Power)
Despite the fact that there are still six weeks to go in the 2018/19 Premier League season, the votes have already been placed for the end of season awards. At 1/4, Raheem Sterling looks a near-certainty to claim the Young Player of the Year award. However, the senior award is slightly tougher to call.
Sterling is also in contention for this award and his chances would have been boosted by his fine run of form for both club and country at the time of voting. Aguero, the league’s top scorer at present, would be a worthy winner but, Liverpool’s influential central defender, Virgil van Dijk, is expected to win the award.
No defender has won the league’s top individual award since John Terry in 2004/05 but Van Dijk has completely transformed Liverpool as a defensive unit since his world record transfer from Southampton.
Sergio Aguero - 11/8 (Betfred)
Harry Kane - 4/1 (Bet365)
Mohamed Salah - 4/1 (Betfred)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - 7/1 (BetVictor)
Sadio Mane - 12/1 (Coral)
Sergio Aguero leads the way in the goal scoring charts at the moment with 19 goals but there are still several forwards in with a chance of claiming this season’s Golden Boot. Aguero’s hopes of winning this award may come down to team selection. With Manchester City in the hunt for a clean sweep of trophies, Pep Guardiola may opt to rest his star striker ready for the upcoming Champions League games. In Aguero’s absence, Gabriel Jesus is a more than able deputy.
If Aguero falls short in the Golden Boot race then that could leave the door open for any of the chasing pack to claim the accolade. Kane, Salah, Aubameyang and Mane are all just two goals adrift of Aguero’s 19-goal haul.
As we’ve previously mentioned, Arsenal have by far the easiest run-in of any Premier League side, therefore, BetVictor’s odds of 7/1 on Aubameyang could prove an absolute steal!
With hundreds of betting markets available on the Premier League and countless other leagues across England and the rest of the world, Compare Betting Sites is the best place for those looking to make their deposits stretch further.