FOR weeks it’s been two from three to join Aston Villa in the Championship – now I reckon it’s one from two.
Norwich look likely to go down with Villa so that should leave a straight fight between north-east rivals Newcastle and Sunderland.
Only one point separates the three clubs but the next two matches should be crucial. Norwich could get nothing from Arsenal away today and Man United away next week while Newcastle, who have played a game more, must be targeting six points from Crystal Palace at home today and Aston Villa away.
Sunderland should take at least a point front Stoke today and another when Chelsea visit the Stadium of Light.
There are loads of ifs and buts and bookies side with Sunderland making them 21-20 to drop out with Norwich 1-3 and Newcastle 2-7 favourites. Those odds will change if Newcastle win today and Norwich lose – and for me it’s a Sunderland win or draw.
The Alan Pardew factor adds an edge to Palace’s visit to St James’s but their Premier League spot is safe and their priority is the FA Cup Final.
Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle have battled to draws against Man City and Liverpool and home form is decent so back them at evens with McBookie.
Sunderland’s form has also improved and they were unlucky not to beat Arsenal last week. Sam Allardyce says clean sheets can keep his side up and they’ve kept three in four games. All they need now is the likes of Jermain Defoe to find his shooting boots and he is 11-2 at McBookie to score first.
Stoke have lost three in a row and conceded four goals each time – albeit to Man City, Spurs and Liverpool – but they have little to play for and I’m on Sunderland at 19-10 with William Hill. If that’s too much a leap of faith consider Sunderland draw no bet at 19-20 with Coral.
Arsenal are fighting Man City for fourth and are no bigger than 3-10 to win but I like Alexis Sanchez to score at evens with Betfred.
Watford can end a five-game losing run by beating a Villa side who have been defeated 10 in a row. McBookie go a biggest 7-10 so for a better price I’m on Watford to score 2+ at 5-6.
In the Championship the final play-off spot will be decided when Sheffield Wednesday entertain Cardiff. The Owls are draw specialists and a point is all they need – that pays 5-2 at McBookie.
Gary Caldwell’s Wigan, my antepost picks, are 13-20 to clinch the title with victory at almost relegated Blackpool, and Burton will all but join them by beating play-off hopefuls Gillingham. They are 11-10 at Stan James.
In League Two Accrington will be promoted if they win their last two games. They are 21-20 at McBookie to get the first at a Wycombe side whose play-off hopes are over.
Bets to Consider
Watford to score 2+