MILLWALL GOOD FOR A PLAY-OFF PLACE
April 8th, 2016 | Ian Carnaby's Sports News
I suppose the way to look at last week’s vital Premier League fixtures is that Leicester probably did enough, in extending their lead over Tottenham to seven points, to lay one hand on the trophy.
And yet, and yet. The narrow victory in a moderate game against Southampton (disappointing on the day) contrasted sharply with the blood and thunder Liverpool v Spurs match. Something tells me there will be a round of fixtures when Spurs gain three points and everyone will realise it’s still going to be close.
I tipped Tottenham before the season began and a handsome profit looked likely for a while. I think their best form is the best in the league and they may reproduce it against Manchester United on Sunday. By then, Leicester will have played at Sunderland against a team desperate for points. They CANNOT keep winning 1-0 to see the season out and I still think they will face major problems if the opposition scores first.
The bookmakers have shortened up Leicester as they were bound to do but they have not made then unbackable for the title and Sunderland are only 5/2 on Saturday. It will be edgy but I don’t think Sunderland will lose and, if that is the case, the stage is set for Tottenham to turn it on soon afterwards, which I think they will.
United are hard to assess but Louis van Gaal, though not appreciating the expectations at Old Trafford, has them close to a Champions league place now. This is a very hard task indeed, however, and Spurs are fair value at evens with Paddy Power.
The same sort of situation exists at the bottom, where Norwich gave themselves a lifeline with the 3-2 win over Newcastle. But Palace is a tricky place to go and I make the home team favourites here. That in turn would give Newcastle hope and there are signs that Rafa Benitez is getting his message across.
Frankly, they normally lose 4-0 at St Mary’s and, if they go flat-out from the start, that may happen again. But things are not quite that desperate yet and I see this being a cagey affair. The Saints are hard to predict but still rely too heavily on Pelle and the in-and-out Dusan Tadic up front. Many supporters believe the best partnership is Long and Austin and that would give the visitors problems. But I don’t think Newcastle are 11/2 chances in this and I’d be wary of the Saints at 4/7.
One of the other early recommendations was Walsall at 40/1 each-way in League One. They’ve given us quite a run and are in the play-off positions but don’t convince me. A win at Oldham would help change my mind but the 2-0 defeat at a hopelessly unreliable Sheffield United was disappointing.
I’m prepared to play at odds-on when Millwall entertain Shrewsbury. The Lions have been in good form these past few months, still look a solid home side and can justify odds of 8/13.
CRYSTAL PALACE 10 units at 11/10 to beat Norwich
TOTTENHAM 20 units at evens (Paddy Power) to beat Manchester United
MILLWALL 40 units at 8/13 to beat Shrewsbury