Blues battle Burnley hoping to extend Premier League lead
Jose Mourinho’s Premier League leaders Chelsea will be hoping to extend their advantage over reigning champions Manchester City when they host Sean Dyche’s Burnley at Stamford Bridge.
Elsewhere, the hunt for a place in next season’s Champions League continues, as fifth place Arsenal, 10/3 with Coral for an FA Cup triumph, travel to Selhurst Park and Louis van Gaal’s third-placed Manchester United make a trip to the Liberty Stadium.
Chelsea v Burnley
The Clarets have not defeated Chelsea since 1983, and have lost three of the previous four meetings between the sides.
Mourinho’s title favourites, strongly odds-on at 1/6 to win, have opened up a dominant seven-point lead over their closest rivals City, after winning four of their previous five league fixtures.
The brilliant Blues comfortably eased past Burnley in the reverse at the beginning of this current campaign, with superb Spain international striker Diego Costa helping fire his side to a 3-1 triumph. Chelsea’s clinical centre forward is 3/1 to open proceedings, having done so at Turf Moor last year.
Strong Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic has been in surprisingly clinical form, netting three times in his last five outings for Mourinho’s men.
Two of his important strikes were late match-winning league goals against Liverpool and Aston Villa respectively, and he is 7/1 to continue that fine run anytime, having scored against Dyche’s side in their last encounter.
Burnley’s terrible domestic league dearth has continued in recent weeks, having now won just once in their previous nine games, and are without a victory in four outings.
However, Dany Ings is still managing to help his side keep a shred of belief with his his goalscoring exploits, after netting nine Premier league goals. The ferocious forward is 7/2 to strike again anytime at Stamford Bridge.
Crystal Palace v Arsenal
Palace have not been able to overcome the Gunners in a league clash since October 1994, with Arsenal securing victory in their last four meetings, and another triumph could see the away side climb into the top four.
Although, Alan Pardew has guided the Eagles, 7/2 to win, to a rejuvenated run of form after leading a climb to 13th in the league table.
The visitors are gunning for the coveted fourth spot, having gone within only a single point of Southampton, who currently occupy the final Champions League position.
Arsene Wenger’s European hopefuls, 2/1 to win to nil, won both Premier League encounters with Palace 2-0 last season, and are 15/2 to do so again this time out.
In one of last term’s victories, Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain netted a delightful second-half double, and the England starlet is 4/1 to strike again anytime at Selhurst Park.
On-loan forward Yaya Sanogo is ineligible to face his parent club, so former Gunners striker Marouane Chamakh is set to lead the line for Palace alongside Frazier Campbell.
The Moroccan marksman has only managed three goals this term, playing in support of the frontman, but he recently fired in a brilliant FA Cup brace against Southampton in a surprise Eagles win, and is 11/4 to score again anytime.
Swansea v Manchester United
Van Gaal’s rejuvenated Red Devils, even-money to win, have been picking up crucial results recently but have lacked potent performances to go with the points gained.
The Liberty Stadium could prove to be the scene of their eventual undoing, having only ever won two of their 11 games against the Swans in Wales, once under Sir Alex Ferguson and another during David Moyes’ short spell in charge.
Garry Monk’s Swansea City side, 11/4 to win, have climbed to ninth place but have struggled in previous weeks, securing three points on only one occasion in their last nine league fixtures.
The Welsh outfit toppled United in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford, with Gylfi Sigurdsson on target in the 2-1 triumph, and the Iceland international playmaker is 9/1 to open proceedings this time out.
United emerged victorious in the last encounter at the Liberty Stadium, with deadly Dutchman Robin van Persie bagging a brace. The clinical centre forward netted in his side’s last win over Burnley, and is available at 7/1 net twice in Wales.