Title race not quite a two-horse affair

March 19th, 2016 | Ian Carnaby's Sports News

The Premier League title will not be decided for a few weeks yet but it promises one of the best finishes in recent years. Interestingly, though Leicester are five points clear, the bookies are still inclined to offer a shade of odds against and I go along with that.

They look relaxed enough and keep producing the goods but the 1-0 wins over Watford and Newcastle were something of a grind and I just wonder if the winning post will come soon enough for them. Crystal Palace have had a very poor run in the league but are too good to be dragged into the relegation scrap and I think this is a very awkward game for the Foxes, with the home team reasonable value at 11/5 with Betfred.

It’s hard to know what to make of Spurs, though there is little doubt Mauricio Pochettino prizes the title way above the Europa League, which is just as well, given their dismal exit. If Leicester falter, Tottenham absolutely HAVE to take advantage  –  no easy task against Bournemouth. They may just shade a very close encounter.

The title race isn’t a match just yet and both Arsenal and Manchester City could have say in things, together with West Ham. On a truly fascinating weekend, I’d go for a draw in both local derbies  –  City against United and Newcastle v Sunderland, but Arsenal almost certainly need to win at Everton, whose home form is moderate. No bet there.

Sunderland looked well organised at Southampton and Rafa Benitez already seems to have had an effect at Newcastle. I’m not entirely convinced that another team won’t be ‘sucked in’. Put it this way, Swansea must beat Villa to banish all fears and I just wonder.

There are no ‘bankers’ this weekend, but I wouldn’t put you off doubles and a treble on the two derby matches mentioned above ending up all-square, together with Derby v Forest.

It’s hard to know what to make of Bristol City, who win away often enough to allay fears of a return to League One but then let their supporters down at home. They will put a few past someone quite soon and Bolton’s mini-revival now that there are new owners and backers on the scene may not take effect quickly enough to avoid defeat at Ashton Gate.

CRYSTAL PALACE 15 units at 11/5 to beat Leicester

BRISTOL CITY 20 units at 4/5 to beat Bolton