Baggies & Saints can end all square…

April 8th, 2017 | Ian Carnaby's Sports News

Last week was another profitable one with Liverpool accounting for Everton in the Merseyside derby. I believe they will go on to finish in the top four in the Premier league, together with Chelsea and Tottenham, but the fourth place is up for grabs.

Many will say that Manchester City will surely stake a claim but they are a strange side, brilliant going forward at times but certainly vulnerable at the back. I have seen many better Manchester United teams than the current one, which is why I’d still give Arsenal a shout, especially after the confidence-building win over West Ham.

The big problem in the immediate future, however, is that the Gunners have to go to CRYSTAL PALACE on Monday evening. I watched the Southampton-Palace game the other night and, although the Saints deserved to win on chances created, the visitors hit the post twice and should have made more of the threat posed by Benteke and Townsend.

There is some 15/4 about Palace against Arsenal and my gut feeling is that that is too big. They are worth a small wager because Sam Allardyce has started to put things right and they will always be dangerous on the break, sheer speed working in their favour. Southampton managed to keep Zaha quiet but it may not happen twice in a row. I certainly think Palace will score in this match.

I feel rather more strongly that they will stay up and I’d have a bigger bet on that being the case. The bookmakers are not silly, however, and they tend to quote prices solely on teams being relegated. Put it this way: if someone offered me 4/6 of better about Crystal Palace staying up, I’d have a sizeable wager. Maybe things will look more worrying before they improve but they are better than the other teams fighting to avoid the third relegation place if we’re starting to think that Sunderland and Boro are doomed.

As for Southampton, some of their approach play was very easy on the eye and if Gabbiadini had been fit they might have had a hatful. No one knows what will happen in the close season and, depending upon which paper you read, Chelsea may be interested in three of the back four. Quite frankly, Saints fans are understandably tired of it all after several summers of the same old thing. Leaving the Van Dijk question out of it – bidding will start at around £50m – I think Ryan Bertrand is the most likely to go. His body language against Bournemouth looked all wrong to me and he couldn’t wait to get off the pitch at the end. I sense a parting of the ways but I could be wrong.

If Sam McQueen continues against West Brom on Saturday that’s fine with me and I think he is the better long term bet anyway. This is a tight one to call, possibly low scoring, and I think it will end all square. A very quiet betting weekend.

West Brom v Southampton 10 units THE DRAW at 13/5

CRYSTAL PALACE 10 units at 15/4 to beat Arsenal

CRYSTAL PALACE 40 units to stay up if 4/6 or better available