Premier League survival scuffles as Newcastle and Sunderland face crunch clashes


Holly Thackeray | May 6, 2016

While there are plenty of tasty televised Premier League tussles for punters to enjoy this weekend, there are also some wonderful wagers to be had on some vital Saturday 3pm frays with Coral.

Two important encounters in the relegation race take place as Newcastle United travel to Villa Park, while Sunderland host tricky Chelsea as the scrap for safety intensifies in the Northeast. While, elsewhere, Crystal Palace pit their wits against Stoke City, West Ham United play their penultimate Premier League game at Upton Park versus Swansea City and Bournemouth battle West Bromwich Albion.

So, peruse our preview for a selection of prime punts on these mid-afternoon encounters…

Aston Villa v Newcastle United

  • Premier League
  • Saturday, May 7th
  • Kick-off: 15:00 BST
  • Villa Park, Birmingham

Villans aiming to stop survival heroics

Newcastle will be hoping there is no deja-vu upon their visit to Villa Park, where a defeat by the Villans back in 2009 condemned the club to relegation.

Of course, this time it is Aston Villa that are already down, and the Magpies that still have a chance of retaining their top-flight status, with the Villans angling to bring the Tyne team down to quell the unrest on their own patch. But the Birmingham-based club have not enjoyed the feeling of a victory since February, a woeful stretch of 11 outings all ending in defeat, so don’t look worth a 5/1 wager to change that here.

Rafa Benitez’s boys, meanwhile, have the wind in their sails having clambered out of the drop zone and are even odds-on at 8/13 for another crucial three points after going undefeated for four fixtures and pipping Palace to the points last time out.

Rapid wingman Andros Towsend has been instrumental to the Tyneside survival cause, and is 11/2 to bag the first goal, or 6/4 to strike anytime, with poacher Papiss Cisse 6/5 in the same market. Stand-in stopper Karl Darlow, who has impressed since being thrown in the deep end, should have a point to prove against the team that cut him loose as a youngster and is a price to keep a clean sheet.

Villa, meanwhile, will be hoping a few players put themselves in the shop window, and it’s Jordan Ayew (11/4) who has looked most lively for the rock-bottom boys from Birmingham.

Sunderland v Chelsea

  • Premier League
  • Saturday, May 7th
  • Kick-off: 15:00 BST
  • Stadium of Light, Sunderland

Blues to bring grey clouds to the Stadium of Light?

Of their relegation rivals, Sunderland may just have the toughest task this week as they welcome Chelsea to the Northeast, with a 15/8 long shot at victory.

If the Black Cats can somehow pull a result from this fixture (even a draw at 12/5) it would certainly help smooth an unfavourable run-in which also features Everton and Watford. Though splitting the spoils has been Sam Allardyce’s main concern lately, and the Mackems could use the confidence of killing off a clash.

Jermain Defoe is the marksman who keeps conjuring magic for Big Sam, and has hit two in his past three games, so is worth a cheeky 6/4 chance to score anytime.

Having won seven of their last eight, Sunderland may be a pricklier opponent for inconsistent Chelsea (29/20) than the team sheets suggest, though with the likes of Eden Hazard (7/1 to deliver the first blow) and Cesc Fabregas (7/2 to be on target anytime) hungry again the Black Cats will need to dig deep for survival at the Stadium of Light.

Crystal Palace v Stoke City

  • Premier League
  • Saturday, May 7th
  • Kick-off: 15:00 BST
  • Selhurst Park, south London

Potters and Palace to each pinch a point

It’s tough to see anything other than a draw (12/5) being on the cards at Selhurst Park, after this pair of mid-table teams ended evenly in two of their previous meetings, as Stoke trek to the capital without a win in five and having shipped 13 goals in their past four games.

Though Mark Hughes’ men almost shut-out Sunderland last time out, and will face very little in the way of potency from Palace, with the Londoners on target just once from their previous four league match-ups. A stalemate, therefore, is enticing at 8/1, as Alan Pardew could eye keeping his contingent fir ahead of their FA Cup final.

Should you fancy a flutter on some scorers, the Eagles’ obvious attacking choice Yannick Bolasie (7/1 to draw first blood) has been finding the net again of late, with Connor Wickham (6/1 for the final say) also continues to improve.

The Potters possess the most appealing striking shouts, however, with Marko Arnautovic (2/1 anytime), Mame Biram Diouf (2/1) and Jon Walters (11/4) all possible game-changers if Stoke are in the right mood, with a top 10 finish still to cement for the Britannia Stadium boys.

West Ham United v Swansea City

  • Premier League
  • Saturday, May 7th
  • Kick-off: 15:00 BST
  • Upton Park, east London

Hammers for a Swansong?

Well, not quite a swansong, as West Ham have one more match after this at Upton Park but they will be hoping to go out in style before their summer move, with Swansea a perfect penultimate opponent.

The Irons are odds-on 4/9 favourites to take three points, though you can upgrade that price to 6/5 by opting for Slaven Bilic’s great entertainers to be winning at both half and full time.

As the Hammers have hit six across their last two games, customers can also back the east Londoners at 6/4 to score three or more at home against the Welsh club. Midfielder Mark Noble has notched four in his last two, so makes sense at 4/1 in the anytime market, while dangerman Dimitri Payet is overdue a goal of his own and is 7/1 to get proceedings underway.

Swansea are safe but far from the swashbuckling side they were last season and with little to play for their best hope arrives from in-form Andre Ayew (2/1 to grab a goal anytime), with main men Gylfi Sigurdsson and Ashley Williams to miss the rest of the season.

Bournemouth v West Bromwich Albion

  • Premier League
  • Saturday, May 7th
  • Kick-off: 15:00 BST
  • Dean Court, Bournemouth

Cherries can avoid Dean Court defeat

In their last home match of the season, Bournemouth are 19/20 to mark their success story and safety by beating the Baggies. The end of the south coast side’s season has brought just one victory in six, so a draw again may be more likely at 5/2.

Albion, meanwhile, are not any better off form-wise having gone seven without a win, in a streak that looks set to continue at Dean Court, after the Cherries pipped them to the post on their own patch earlier in the campaign.

A repeat of that 2-1 result is 15/2 to occur, with Marc Pugh (5/1 for another goal anytime) last on target for the home team and striking pair Callum Wilson and Benik Afobe still finding fitness and seeking to finish on a high.


Check out more on the Premier League in our dedicated section.

Coral’s top tip: Recent Tyneside goal hero Townsend is tasty at 11/2 to score first.

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