Premier League leaders Chelsea take a four-point lead into the weekend fixtures when they travel to seventh-placed Everton. In fact, none of the top seven play on Saturday. Tottenham in second and still in the title race host bitter rivals Arsenal on Sunday, with the visitors sitting sixth. Liverpool in third do not play until Monday when they welcome Watford, whilst Man City in fourth go to Middlesbrough. Manchester United in sixth host Swansea City. At the bottom, Sunderland can be relegated to the Championship if they fail to beat Bournemouth and other results go against them. With the other two sides in the relegation zone, Middlesbrough and Swansea, playing the Manchester sides on Sunday, Hull have the chance to put some daylight between them and the drop zone by picking up points at Southampton. Burnley are not yet safe, so will look to pick up something from their trip to Crystal Palace, whilst champions Leicester will also be looking to take something from West Brom to allay any of their relegation worries.
Brighton can win the Championship title on Friday night if Newcastle lose at Cardiff. If Newcastle do win, then the Seagulls, who are already looking forward to life in the Premier League next year, can be crowned champions by beating Bristol City at the Amex on Saturday. The Seagulls enjoy a four-point lead going in to the penultimate game of the season and face a Bristol City side who look all but safe after their strong finish to the season. Newcastle sealed promotion on Monday with a 4-1 win over Preston and must win at Cardiff on Friday night to keep their title hopes alive. Huddersfield in third made sure of their play-off place with at midweek 1-0 win at Wolves and travel to relegation threatened Birmingham looking to hang on to third-spot. Reading sit fourth and can make sure of their play-off place with a win or draw at home to Wigan, with the visitors relegated if they fail to win, whilst Sheffield Wednesday can also confirm their top-six finish with maximum points at Ipswich. Fulham are finishing the season well and will hope to snatch the final play-off spot by beating near neighbours Brentford whilst hoping Leeds don’t get a result at home to Norwich. Rotherham are already down; Wigan will join them if they don’t win at Reading, and Blackburn could also be relegated to League One if they fail to beat Aston Villa at Ewood Park and results concerning Birmingham, Nottingham Forest and QPR go against them, with the latter two meeting at Loftus Road.
League One concludes its season on Sunday with no games on Saturday. Sheffield United are champions and will look to reach 100-points by beating already relegated Chesterfield at Bramhall Lane. Bolton in second were seconds from promotion last Saturday before a last gasp goal for Fleetwood stalled the party. The Trotters will hope to join the Blades in the Championship on Sunday by beating Peterborough at the Macron Stadium, whilst Fleetwood in third, the only team who can catch them will hope to push Bolton all the way by beating Port Vale, which will in turn relegate their visitors. Scunthorpe and Bradford confirmed their play-off place last week, so the only remaining spot will go to Millwall, Southend or Rochdale. Chesterfield, Coventry and Swindon are already down, and will be joined by Port Vale should they fail to win at Fleetwood. If they do win, then Gillingham and Bury could drop instead.
League Two leaders Doncaster have failed to win any of their last three games, which has kept the title race open. Rovers host Exeter knowing a win and defeat for Plymouth will see them crowned champions. However, visiting Exeter in fifth need to win to boost their play-off chances, whilst Argyle welcome already safe Crewe. Portsmouth in third, who have an outside chance of the title, travel to Mansfield in eighth who are looking to gatecrash the play-offs. Luton can confirm fourth place with a win at Accrington, whilst Blackpool in sixth need to beat visiting Notts County. Stevenage are holding on to the last play-off place but face a trip to not yet safe Yeovil. With two games remaining their are a host of clubs just outside the top-seven still in with a chance of making the play-offs. These include Mansfield, Wycombe, Carlisle, Cambridge and Colchester. At the bottom, Leyton Orient were relegated from the football league for the first time in their history last week. For a long time they look like being joined by Newport County, but four wins from their last five games has seen the great escape on. Newport travel to Carlisle looking to pull further clear of the drop zone, whilst Hartlepool who replaced them in the bottom two last week, face the only other side who could be relegated, when they travel to Cheltenham.
Lots to be decided this weekend. Here are our tips for Saturday’s football.
HOME WIN AND BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE – LUCKY 15:
- BARNSLEY – C
- DERBY COUNTY – C
- FULHAM – C
- CAMBRIDGE UNITED – L2
Barnsley flirted with the play-off places for stages this season but have fallen away as the campaign has gone on. They score plenty of goals though, but also concede plenty. They welcome a Burton side who will be delighted to have survived (although not yet mathematically) their first season in Championship football. We see this being a very open game, both sides scoring bu Barnsley ending on a high in front of their home fans.
Derby and Wolves can play out an entertaining end of season game at Pride Park. Both sides have improved in recent weeks, but both will hope to do far better next season. We see an open game with both sides getting on the score sheet, but Derby just edging it.
Fulham can all but seal their Championship play-off place by beating Wigan at Craven Cottage. The home side have been dubbed the ‘entertainers’ in recent weeks as they have been scoring freely. The face a Wigan side who will be relegated if they don’t win, so will come out fighting. We see plenty of goals in this one and both sides scoring, but Fulham coming out on top.
Cambridge still have an outside chance of making the League Two play-offs and will need to beat Crawley at home to keep that hope alive. We see them doing it in what could be a high scoring game against a visiting side who can play freely with no pressure. We’re backing a U’s win but see both teams finding the net.
OVER 2.5 GOALS – ACCA:
- Brighton v Bristol City – C
- Preston v Rotherham – C
- QPR v Nottm Forest – C
- Carlisle v Newport – L2
- Leyton Orient v Colchester – L2
- Notts County v Blackpool – L2
- Plymouth v Crewe – L2
BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE – ACCA:
- Stoke v West Ham – PL
- Sunderland v Bournemouth – PL
- Leeds v Norwich – C
- Accrington Stanley v Luton – L2
- Barnet v Grimsby – L2
- Cheltenham v Hartlepool – L2
- Doncaster v Exeter – L2
- Morecambe v Wycombe – L2