Man Utd and Southampton hoping to keep top four dreams alive
Coral writers preview the Premier League action on a super Saturday of Easter action at 3pm, featuring Manchester United against Aston Villa and Everton versus Southampton.
Manchester United v Aston Villa
Although many would describe their season as disappointing, United could somehow be up into second place in the table after this fixture, and even by the end of the matchweek, if Arsenal and Manchester City slip in their respective games.
Louis van Gaal’s men arguably have the easiest of encounters this Easter weekend too, as the Gunners face Liverpool in the early Saturday kick-off and the Citizens are on the road to Crystal Palace on Monday evening.
Villa also happen to hate facing the Red Devils, especially at Old Trafford, as they have lost 11 of their last 12 matches against them there. United, therefore, are odds-on favourites at 1/3 for victory again.
Tim Sherwood has made a decent start to his tenure at Villa Park, gaining two straight wins in the league at one stage, but lost last time out at home to Swansea City. These two teams did draw in the reverse fixture this season, though, so another share of the spoils can be backed at 4/1, while the Villans are 10/1 to claim their first victory over United since 2009.
For goals, Christian Benteke, who netted against the Red Devils last time out, is a tempting 7/2 to score anytime again.
Radamel Falcao, meanwhile, who was also on target in that fixture, could get a rare start for the hosts after his three goals for Colombia during the international break and in Robin van Persie’s continued absence. He is 23/20 in the anytime market.
Everton v Southampton
Southampton come into this game needing a win (17/10) if they are to have any chance of qualifying for the Champions League next season, as they have slipped to being six points off the top four.
They have got back into form in recent weeks, though, claiming two victories in their last three matches, and can take heart in the fact that they beat Everton 3-0 earlier this season.
However, the Toffees have a superior record over the Saints at Goodison Park, as they are undefeated in their last nine (winning seven) there against them. They are 7/4 chances for victory, while a draw is priced at 11/5.
Roberto Martinez has a number of injury doubts for this clash, with Romelu Lukaku, Darron Gibson, Kevin Mirallas and Steven Pienaar all facing late fitness tests. But if big Belgian Lukaku can feature, he is 2/1 to net anytime, as he did in this fixture last season.
For the Saints, back Graziano Pelle, fresh from his strike for Italy against England, in the same market at 5/2.