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Relegation battle hots up in Easter Premier League matches

Aston Villa v Southampton
Villa (12/5 for victory) have lost their last four in a row in the league, while the Saints (5/4) have not won their last two. Neither side are on form, so back a draw here at 11/5.

Paul Lambert’s side certainly need a victory more, as they currently lie down in 14th place in the table – just four points above the drop zone, with a game in hand. They are priced at 16/1 to go down at the end of the season.

Southampton, meanwhile, don’t have much to play for, with a place in the top 10 virtually assured, while only a miracle will see them finish higher than eight place – their current position.

Cardiff City v Stoke City
Stoke (21/10 for victory) are on a great run of form, having won three out of their last four in the Premier League, but, with their safety now confirmed (1/6 top 10 finish), they can relax and Cardiff can take advantage of that.

The Bluebirds (7/5 to win) managed a crucial 1-0 defeat of Southampton in their last match, and will hope to take that confidence into this fixture, as they languish down in 19th place in the league and three points away from safety. They are 9/4 to stay up, and odds-on to go down at 1/3.

Cardiff have not won their last seven battles with Stoke in all competitions, but you can back former Potter Kenwyne Jones at 9/4 to score anytime, to help the Welsh side gain back-to-back victories.

Newcastle United v Swansea City
Swansea (7/4) have won their last three games against Newcastle (6/4), and with the Magpies suffering four straight league losses, expect a close matchup at St James’ Park.

Swansea have it all to play for, being just three points above the relegation zone, and need to take away something from this game. A draw at 23/10 is a great shout.

On-loan Magpie Loic Remy and Swan Wilfried Bony will be hoping to add to their impressive season tallies, so you can back them respectively at 5/4 and 7/4 to net anytime.

West Ham United v Crystal Palace
Tony Pulis has done a remarkable job at Palace (7/2 for top 10 finish) since taking over, and has brought them to the brink of safety, being 10 points above the drop zone. West Ham (7/1), meanwhile, are seven clear.

Palace caused a massive upset in their last game by beating top-four challengers Everton but, with both the Eagles and Hammers usually so hard to break down, this match looks destined for draw at 11/5.

If you think Pulis’ men can win a fifth straight fixture in the league, then back them at 5/2. A price of 23/20 says West Ham can get a home victory and all but secure Premier League status for next season.