The victors of one tournament will be decided on Saturday as Liverpool and Chelsea do battle for the FA Cup but this weekend could also realistically conclude the Premier League title race too, following Manchester City’s 1-0 victory over rivals Manchester United on Monday.
Roberto Mancini’s men have a substantial goal difference advantage at the table’s summit and they know that victory at Newcastle will take them to within touching distance of the championship.
Subsequently, City are now just 4/9 with Stan James to wrest the Premier League trophy from their neighbours, a 7/4 chance at Coral and BetVictor make the leaders 4/6 to move a step closer to glory by getting the better of the Magpies.
However, there could yet be another twist in the tale at St James’ Park, where the hosts, who have been tremendous this season, culminating in Wednesday’s impressive 2-0 success at Chelsea, look to have been underestimated by bookies.
Now in the hunt for the top three, Alan Pardew’s charges are 4/1 via Paddy Power to send the championship hopefuls home empty-handed but even a draw will reopen the door for Manchester United and Boylesports offer 16/5 for the spoils to be shared on Tyneside.
Blue Square chalk a 1-1 scoreline up at 15/2 and with a fairly cagey opening a distinct possibility it looks likely that viewers will have to wait for the game’s first goal, which is 6/5 with Betfred to arrive after the 27-minute mark.
Following his stunning brace in midweek meanwhile, Papiss Cisse could be the man to break City hearts and the sensational, Senegalese striker is 7/1 courtesy of Ladbrokes to send the Toon Army into raptures by breaking the deadlock.
A few hours later at Old Trafford, Sir Alex Ferguson’s charges can keep up their side of the bargain with a comfortable victory against Swansea. Boylesports mark a skinny 2/9 against a United success and the home side are worth considering in the handicaps, where Skybet penalise them by a goal at 4/7.
At the bottom, only a victory will do for Blackburn, who are almost relegated and Rovers are 6/4 with Stan James to keep their slender survival hopes alive at the expense of the Latics. However, Roberto Martinez’s men will be keen to guarantee their own safety and William Hill make them 5/2 to secure a share of the spoils at Ewood Park.
QPR, at 21/20 (William Hill) can boost their chances of staying up by sending Stoke home empty-handed and Coral’s 11/10 chances Bolton can ensure the relegation scrap goes right to the wire by overcoming a West Brom team rocked by news that boss Roy Hodgson will be leaving them to take up the vacant England post.
Elsewhere, Coral rate Spurs at 11/10 to boost their hopes of sneaking into the top three by defeating sorry Aston Villa while Everton and Fulham are worthy favourites at 4/5 (Ladbrokes) and 10/11 (Betfred) respectively as they prepare to face relegated Wolves and Sunderland.