Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Juddmonte International - Baaeed going further than a mile

 All eyes will again be on Baaeed as racing's greatest horse in training goes further than a mile for the first time. Will he prove vulnerable at the extra distance? From how he's finished his races to date, it would seem that 10 furlongs should pose no problem to the superstar as he tries to emulate the great Frankel who did it admirably well 10 years ago. But beware of the Knavesmire; Golden Horn lost his unbeaten record there to Arabian Queen. In this year's edition, let's chuck away Sir Busker and High Definition who I don't think have a winning chance. 

Dubai Honour might not be among the creme de la creme but he can certainly aspire to places in Group 1's. He has disappointed in 2 races this season and unless he's been brought at his peak, he can be discarded as well. My feeling is that his period of strength will be more in the autumn, so this race is probably a stepping stone for him.

Mishriff is the old warrior that is always a menace in these races. He might fill the placings more often than not these days, but on a good day, he is able to pick up the pieces. I believe this is his optimum distance and if he's anywhere near his Eclipse form of last month, he could be primed for this. 

Native Trail is the dark horse of the race. He seemed to be stretched in the Eclipse, which aligns well with his sprinting pedigree, being a son of Oasis Dream. I think his optimal distance is a mile but given that connections persist to bring him at the mile and a quarter, we'll know definitely whether he is up to the task. If the race is ran tactically, he could a serious danger to Baaeed. I cannot see him out of the first 3.

Baaeed is so good that it is quite unimaginable that he will falter here. But if there is a race that he will be vulnerable, it is this one as he goes the extra distance. I still think he will get the work done. I expect Native Trail to come closest.

Dupla: Baaeed/Native Trail

Friday, August 12, 2022

EPL 22/23 - Week 2

Aston Villa v Everton - Home

Arsenal v Leicester - Home

Brighton v Newcastle - Draw

Man City v Bournemouth - Home

Southampton v Leeds - Away

Wolves v Fulham - Away

Brentford v Man Utd - Away

Nott Forest v West Ham - Away

Chelsea v Tottenham - Away

Liverpool v Crystal Palace - Home


I finished the last write-up saying that Lampard will be sacked by Everton; it is really a matter of when, not if. He was a fantastic Chelsea and England player but he still has to earn his laurels as a manager and so far, he hasn't shown much. But more importantly, Everton lack real quality in the squad and as things stand, I see them battling at the lower end of the table. They visit Gerrard's Villa on Saturday, a team that hasn't started well, going down two nil at Brentford on opening day. The Villains lacked sharpness upfront although they dominated possession. I see them edging this by the odd goal and look at Coutinho to shake things up at Villa Park.

Things have started badly for Man Utd, beaten at Old Trafford on opening day. The naysayers have been having a field week and you would think it's only doom and gloom for the Red Devils. What many seem to forget however, is that Brighton usually play their best football on the road. So the result, however unlikely, was no fluke or shocking. I see the Red Devils picking things up at Brenford and at current prices, I see them as value as outright winners. Brentford have started the season on a winning note but the bounces went their way against Aston Villa last week. If Man Utd show up with a good-to-go Ronaldo, they have every chance to claim the spoils.

Win: Man Utd, Aston Villa

Friday, August 5, 2022

EPL 22/23 - Preview & Week 1

 Fulham v Liverpool - Away

Bournemouth v Aston Villa - Away

Leeds v Wolves - Draw

Newcastle v Nottingham Forest - Home

Tottenham v Southampton - Home

Everton v Chelsea - Away

Leicester v Brentford - Away

Man Utd v Brighton - Home

West Ham v Man City - Draw


Hurray, football is back! Beware, this season is going to be different. There is the World Cup in December, which basically means that it will be a tale of 2 halves. The pre and post World Cup teams might very well be very different, which adds complexity to the determining the final outcome. With all said and done, it seems that Man City and Liverpool still look the strongest contenders for the title. From the pack, Arsenal and Tottenham look to have strengthened from last year. Chelsea have a lot to prove after an ownership upheaval and Man Utd cannot do worse than last season.

Man City are deservedly favourites on paper. The loss of Raheem Sterling cannot be underestimated but the arrival of superstar striker Haaland is a fantastic boost to their attack. The quality of Aguero has been seriously missed in the past couple of seasons and the Norwegian striker might be the missing piece of the puzzle for Guardiola's men to finally lift the Champions League. If they over-prioritize the UCL, the Citizens might be vulnerable in the league and hand a major advantage to rivals Liverpool.

The Kops have also lost a major player in Mane. I have reservations on Darwin Nunez making an immediate impact but Liverpool are still formidable in attack. Luiz Diaz will showcase more of his talent and Salah looks as green and determined as ever. This Liverpool team is almost a finished product and will surely fight on all fronts this season again.\

Confidence of Spurs fans have skyrocked since Conte has taken over managerial duties. The Italian knows how to win in the Premier League and gives the Londoners hope of glory should the above two fail. Son and Kane are the best duo in the business and look set to lead the charge up front. They have a good enough squad to make the UCL again this year and should improve on last year's tally.

I still have my doubts whether Arsenal have it to make the top 4 but they have reinforced shrewdly during the off-season. The arrival of Jesus from Man City gives them extra vivacity in attack and I expect the likes of Odegaard and Saka among others to have another strong season. Provided they are more consistent than last year, the Gunners should make the top 6.

Chelsea are in new territory post-Ambramovich era. I think their decline has started. The squad is aging although new boy Sterling is always a force to be reckoned with. I will be bold here and say that the Blues won't make the UCL this year. Odds of that look pretty good on the exchanges, I'll take them.

Man Utd had an annus horribilis last year and can only have a better season. From the sacking of Solksjaer, to the Greenwood problems, to the MacGuire and Rashford issues, to the appointment of Rangnick, all went bad. The only shining light was Ronaldo and even he wants to get out now. But the appointment of Ten Hag looks a step in a positive direction and it will be interesting if he can re-liven the squad. Finishing in the top 4 is certainly not a given but the early weeks should give an indication where this team is going.

As prediction, I see Man City winning the Champions League. They will leave the title to Liverpool. Spurs and Man Utd possibly take the UCL spots. And yes, Lampard will be sacked from Everton.




Friday, July 22, 2022

King George - Emily Upjohn tackles the boys

Although there will be some markee absentees, this year's King George reunites a top-class field of proven middle-distance performers. While Westover is the deserved favourite, the form looks very even and it will be no surprise if there is a hotly-disputed finish in the end. Here is my take on the field.

Broome - Surprised me when he landed the Group 2 Hardwick Stakes during Royal Ascot. Clearly, tactics played a big part in that race. He is one of those horses that is good enough to win an average Group 1 but not quite good enough to win a top one, which is the case on Saturday. Discard.

Mishriff - Second to Adayar in this contest last year. On his best day, can mix it up with anyone and he looked unlucky when a neck second in the Coral-Eclipse. Gets a new jockey in James Doyle and it will be interesting to see how the new pair gets along. He should be at the finish.

Pyledriver - Isn't quite up the level of some of the more prominent ones in this race but on his best day can aspire to a Top 3. Quite unlikely though.

Torquator Tasso - Shocking winner of the Arc last year. If he reproduces the form of that race, he should be head and shoulders above the field. But it looks more likely that his best form is on softer underfoot conditions and better suited for October racing. Has to be respected as an Arc winner but this race will go a long way confirming whether he was a fluke in the Arc or an actual force.

Westover - dominant winner of the Irish Derby and unlucky third in the Epsom Derby. He would not have won at Epsom but would have gone closer to the winner without the traffic problems. Clearly he is a colt on the upside and will benefit from the 3-year old allowance against the elders. The opposition is a far cry from what he encountered at the Curragh and he will have to show he can duke it out when challenged. 

Emily Upjohn - Unlucky to have lost her unbeaten tag in the Oaks. She is without much doubt the best middle-distance filly of the Classic division. She might become ever better with time and it will be interesting to see if she is ready to duke it out with the males at this stage. The weight allowance might give her the decisive advantage from the rest.


I will pick Mishriff, Westover and Emily Upjohn as a trifecta from this bunch. It should be a hotly contested affair between the three and I give a small preference to Westover over the other two.

Win: Westover
Trifecta: Westover/Mishriff/Emily Upjohn

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Royal Ascot - Day 4 - Is Inspiral ready ?

 The Coronation Stakes is the centerpiece race of day 4 of Royal Ascot and sees the return of Inspiral, last year's standout 2-year old filly. The daughter of Frankel was tipped to dominate the Classic division this year but has been tardy to start the year given that she has been slow to come to herself according to the Gosdens. Those are not encouraging remarks for a filly that is very short in the market against some top-class opposition.

Cachet took full opportunity of the absence of Inspiral to win the 1000 Guineas, and she did her reputation no harm by coming an unlucky second in the French version. She deserves respect and should be in the thereabouts.

Mangoustine beat Cachet in the French Guineas and looks set to run a big run as well. The French have a good record in this race with the likes of Watch Me, Qemah and Ervedya striking in recent years. She might prefer softish conditions to be at her best but she's got the class to win this.

Finally, I believe Prosperous Voyage could have a say in this tight contest having always been in the places in her 6-race career. She ran a cracker in the 1000 Guineas running on but unable to catch Cachet. She might benefit from the extra rest and if the leading fancies fail to fire, she can definitely be counted to pounced. 

At her best, Inspiral would beat all before her given her juvenile form.  While we know she will improve for the run, the question is whether she will be found wanting fitness-wise against primed opposition. Her price is way too short to consider, however good she might turn out to be. I'd rather go with Cachet and Mangoustine with Prosperous Voyage as an each-way punt.

Win: Cachet/Mangoustine

Each-way: Prosperous Voyage

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Royal Ascot - Day 3 - Stravidarius for one last hurrah

 It is a rare occurrence to see an 8-year old winner at Royal Ascot; it is even rarer to see 2 of them. Nature Strip thrashed all pretenders to ascertain himself as the best sprinter in the world on Tuesday. Another veteran Stradivarius, will try to put the younger brigade to the sword by winning the Gold Cup for the 4th time to equal the great Yeats. 

His 2 main rivals will be Trueshan and Kyprios. The former is the true king of the staying division but only when the underfoot conditions are on the softish side. The fact that the ground will be good to firm on Thursday means that he will probably not run at all. So, one down for Stradivarius. Kyprios is very possibly the up and coming stayer from the young generation. His pedigree is impeccable with Galileo as sire and a top-class Danehill mare as dam. He has relatively low mileage for a 4-year old and his last win in a Group 3 of over 14 lengths was visually impressive although it was in a 4-runner field. I am not sure he's ready for the punishing Gold Cup distance at this time of his career but if he takes it like duck on water, his younger legs might prove too much for Stradivarius. The latter will run his race and it is only a matter of whether Kyprios can take the mantle away from him. It's a toss-up really between the two although the public favours will certainly be going to the 8-year old; the roof will come time big time should he win.

Forecast: Kyprios/Stradivarius

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Royal Ascot - Day 2 - Bay Bridge looks exposed

 All selections hit the board on Day 1 and hoping that Day 2 brings the same amount of success.

The Prince of Wales Stakes looks disappointingly thin in my opinion but it looks to be a hotly contested race. I am somewhat surprised that the favourite is Bay Bridge and a short one to say the least. This New Bay colt is only a Grade 3 winner (albeit an impressive one) although he has a superior rating to the rest, which are mainly solid Group 1 winners. Bay Bridge is certainly progressive and could eventually be a Group 1 performer but until he proves himself at this level, I am tempted to lay him in this race. 

Shahryar is a serious Japanese invader and impressive winner of the Sheema Class in Dubai. The Japanese have conquered all in their late forays in international festivals starting with last year's Breeders Cup, then in Saudi Arabia, and eventually in Dubai. They are starting to conquer the world and the quality of their stock is as good as anywhere now. And they'll get better as they have shrewdly enhanced their broodmare quality. This son of Deep Impact must have a top chance.

State of Rest has proven a serious international traveller winning top-level races in the USA, Australia and France. He was third in the Tattersalls Gold Cup behind Alenquer but wasn't disgraced at all. He should be at the finish.

Lord North might be a step slower this year at the age of 6 but he's still proven to be a contender in his races. He finished behind State of Rest in the Tattersalls Gold Cup which leads me to think that the latter has more upside that this old warrior.

Grand Glory is a Group 1 winner in France but I think she's a few pounds short at this level.

I believe this will turn out to be a battle between Shahryar and State of Rest. Punting on both to win might be a good way to cover both and still win. 

Win: Shahryar/State of Rest


Monday, June 13, 2022

Royal Ascot - Day 1 - Megastar sprinters and milers

Day 1 of Royal Ascot has produced a fantastic race card with a few mega star names on show. Never since the days of Frankel has there been such anticipation in the opening race, the Queen Anne Stakes, where the exciting Baaeed will try to cement his reputation as a mile god and the best since the afore-mentioned Frankel. The unbeaten son of Sea The Stars will start at prohibitive odds but should put all opponents to the sword as usual and bag the much-coveted mile race. Similar to the Lockinge, Real World should prove best of the rest. The son of Dark Angel looks set to be to Baaeed what Excelebration was to Frankel; a high-class deputy, vied for second place.

The mile race for the Classic generation, the St James' Palace Stakes, will also be an opportunity for Coroebus to add to his glowing reputation as a serious upcoming miler. The Guineas towers heads and shoulders towards a quality field, My only reservation is that Godolphin jockey William Buick usually gets turned over when riding odds-on favourites, so hopefully for Coroebus' backers, he'll ride the odds-on favourite judiciously. If the son of Dubawi runs his race, there should be no qualms on him winning.

Finally, it's Australia v USA for sprinting bragging rights as Nature Strip takes on Golden Pal in the King's Stand Stakes. Wesley Ward is as bullish as ever on the horse he considers the best he has ever had but such exuberance from Ward has usually led to considerable disappointment before. Sure, he's won at Royal Ascot so many times that his horses need to be considered seriously whatever the bullishness or lack of. Nature Strip doesn't quite bring the aura or anticipation of a Black Caviar but he's a legitimate Group 1 winner and the best sprinter from Down Under. Australian racing is filled with average stayers but their sprinting stock merit serious consideration; they can hold their own against anyone else on turf. This match-up will be refereed by the locals led by Man of Promise from the Godolphin operation. The son of Into Mischief was somewhat disappointing on World Cup night at Meydan but can have a legitimate shot here should the 2 favourites fail to fire.

Win: Baaeed, Coroebus, Nature Strip
Win without Baaeed: Real World
Second, Place: Real World

Friday, May 27, 2022

UCL Final - Lucky Madrid on the way of Liverpool

The Kops and their fans must have given a huge sigh of relief when Real Madrid qualified for the final at the expense of Man City. Unless you believe, like a few, that there is an invisible hand helping Real in the UCL, there is every reason for Liverpool to rejoice meeting their opponents in this year's final; they have limped their way to this stage of the competition.

Real were oh-so-lucky to beat PSG in the last 16 stage. They were outgunned again against Chelsea but got unbelievably lucky to make it to the semi-finals. They should have been blown away by Man City but managed to find the goals at the right time to get to the final. Was that lucky or plucky, as I read somewhere? Probably both, but more so the first one. This team is certainly not as good as in the Christiano Ronaldo days but they are now being carried almost single-handedly by Karim Benzema. The Reds need to shutter the Frenchman to extinguish any hopes Real might have of winning.

Were it not for Man City, Liverpool might be contemplating an amazing quadruple. Klopp deserves his manager of the year award. By all regards, this Liverpool squad is possibly their best ever. I thought they would slip somehow late in the season but their depth has pulled them through. They are a hard team to beat. Mane and Salah aren't feeling the effects of their African Cup stint and still scoring important goals. Particularly Mane has scored so many match-winning goals that he has to be a leading contender for the Ballon d'Or. This Liverpool team should beat Real but on a given day, anything can happen. Jitters can hamper players, Real can get lucky (again). But if all is fair and square, the Kops should be the ones celebrating at the end.

Win: Liverpool

Saturday, May 21, 2022

EPL 21/22 - Final week - Man City won't slip

Man City should be crowned champions (deservedly) by the end of Sunday's matches. They should have bagged the title weeks ago but Liverpool were unbelievable in their challenge and City are lucky to have held a healthy cushion before easing in the end. I don't see a Gerrard miracle for his beloved Kops; Villa might keep it close for a while but in the end, the Citizens should prove too strong. 

Liverpool should beat Wolves handily as well as keep a view on the upcoming Champions League final against Real Madrid. Wolves are a team without much spine by all standards and will be keen to avoid a drubbing more than anything at Anfield.

I said it before and I see Spurs getting the final UCL spot in front of Arsenal. Conte will have done his job in securing that all-coveted spot. There are rumours of food poisoning among the Spurs squad but if they field their first team against Norwich, they should win. In fact, what is most important is for them to field a healthy Harry Kane and Heung-Min Soon.

Arsenal should have an easy match against Everton given that the latter secured their league safety in mid-week. The Evertonians celebrated as if they won the league after their win against Palace and I think they won't have much in the tank or spirit as they face a Gunners team whose main aim will be to win in the hope that Spurs falter at Carrow Road.

It will be either Burnley or Leeds that fall to the Championship on Sunday. Slight advantage to the former here as they host Newcastle as Leeds travel to Brentford. It has been amazing witnessing the fall of Leeds United after they captivated the Premier League only last year under Biesla's tenure. It proves the point that the Argentine can get the best out of a squad in one season but has nothing else to offer the next. Kind of like a horse making a huge run then having nothing more to give in the next ones.

Man Utd might secure sixth spot in front of West Ham but this is not a given. The Red Devils are horrible enough that Palace are good value to beat them. Hiring Rangnick was a mistake of huge proportions and I think heads at the executive level are the ones that should have fallen; at least more so than the Glazers themselves, which is what their fandom is looking for. The Hammers definitely have the team to go get 3 points at Brighton, so sixth spot is a live possibility for them.



Saturday, May 14, 2022

EPL 21/22 - Week 36

 Tottenham v Burnley - Home

Aston Villa v Crystal Palace - Draw

Leeds v Brighton - Away

Watford v Leicester - Away

West Ham v Man City - Away

Wolves v Norwich - Home

Everton v Brentford - Home

Newcastle v Arsenal - Home

Southampton v Liverpool - Draw


I firmly believe that Spurs will capture the 4th UCL spot. They should bag maximum points in their remaining matches against Burnley and Norwich. Arsenal has a tricky visit to Newcastle and I think they will drop points there. They might also drop more against Everton in their last match in case the Toffees are still fighting relegation at that stage. But the Newcastle one is where I think they will have their hopes of UCL qualification evaporated. 

Man City also have a tricky away visit to West Ham in their quest to wrap up the title. If they win this, they will win the Premiership. Easier said than done as the Hammers are rock solid and difficult to break. The Citizens just edged this encounter in the first leg in horrendous snowy conditions but the setup will be totally different this time. Guardiola's men just have too much quality and depth squad to make the difference. I think the blue side of Manchester will party after this match.

I like Everton's chances against Brentford. The stakes are high for the Toffees and they seem to have regained some form in the last few matches. Brentford have nothing to play for and have poor form on the road. The home team should edge this one and ensure survival.

Win: Man City, Tottenham, Everton

Win 4th spot: Tottenham

Friday, May 13, 2022

Lockinge - Real World challenge for Baaeed ?

Frankel was as peer-less as any horse that ever ran on turf and it is worthy of Baaeed's rising prominence that he's being dubbed as the best miler since Frankel. The unbeaten son of Sea the Stars cemented his reputation as the world's best miler by beating top-class Palace Pier is a fantastic duel in the QE2 Stakes last year. He might not be100% race-fit for his re-appearance in the Lockinge and odds-on is not really attractive but he's definitely the horse to beat.

I am not sure why Mother Earth and Alcohol Free are the next best-fancied in the market. To me, his main rival should be Real World. This progressive miler from Godolphin is Suroor's best horse and is u beaten on turf. All his defeats have been on dirt where his trainer has persisted in running him in pursuit of the biggest glories like the Saudi Cup and Dubai World Cup. Clearly, this son of Dark Angel does not relish the dirt and has strong form on turf. He might not beat Baaeed but he should be close by, particularly that his Meydan runs will help fitness-wise. I see Real World as fantastic value each-way, place, and in any match-bets against Mother Earth and Alcohol Free. The first-named always seemed unlucky in her races last year and has made an alright return this year winning a Group 3 at the Curragh. I believe she is a few pounds off Real World in ability. Alcohol Free needs soft ground to be at her best and she won't get it on Saturday.

Each-way, Place: Real World
Match bets against Mother Earth and Alcohol Free: Real World

Friday, May 6, 2022

EPL 21/22 - Week 35

 Brentford v Southampton - Away

Burnley v Aston Villa - Home

Chelsea v Wolves - Home

Crystal Palace v Watford - Home

Brighton v Man Utd - Draw

Liverpool v Tottenham - Draw

Arsenal v Leeds - Home

Leicester v Everton - Away

Norwich v West Ham - Away

Man City v Newcastle - Home


This past UCL midweek semi-final matches might prove decisive in crowning the Premier League champions this year. Liverpool overcame nervousness and Villareal to book their ticket to the UCL final. Imagine the confidence that the Kops are riding on at the moment. Man City stumbled unexpectedly against Real Madrid when they already had one foot in the final. Imagine how devastated they must be to have given the match away against the almost-always-lucky Spaniards. From the past seasons, we know for a fact when Guardiola's men take a tumble of that dimension, they can take a few weeks to recover. So it very much hinges on this questions this week-end. Can Liverpool overcome a dangerous Spurs team this week, the latter at loggerheads with Arsenal for the 4th UCL spot ? And will Man City have recovered enough mentally to beat an improving Newcastle side, something they would have no problem doing on a normal Sunday ? If they do and in convincing fashion, then I believe they will go on and retain the title, the only trophy left for them to look forward to. 

Liverpool have an arguably tougher assignment against Spurs because of the stakes for both. I mentioned before that I expect Liverpool to flounder at this stage but they still haven't done it. The adrenalin is pulling them forward at the moment. It reminds me of the Red Devils and their Treble year of 1999. I really hope the Kops win the UCL this year because, my personal opinion, Madrid winning it will be a travesty to football! They didn't deserve to win against PSG, certainly not against Chelsea and definitely not against City. I will grant them their fighting spirit but put aside all their on-field theatrics and talk of referee bias, they are by far overrated as a team playing in a poor league.  For the sake of football, Liverpool would be deserved winners but we'll get to that in due time. Much can happen before the final as the Kops will be huffing and puffing on all fronts while Madrid will be well-rested as they have already bagged La Liga.

Win: Man City

Draw: Liverpool/Spurs

Friday, April 29, 2022

EPL 21/22 - Week 34

 Newcastle v Liverpool - Home

Aston Villa v Norwich - Home

Southampton v Crystal Palace - Away

Watford v Burnley - Away

Wolves v Brighton - Draw

Leeds v Man City - Away

Everton v Chelsea - Away

Tottenham v Leicester - Home

West Ham v Arsenal - Home

Man Utd v Brentford - Home


I see Spurs making a decisive step forward in the race for tthe 4th UCL spot. Man Utd are out of the picture and I don't see Arsenal going to win at West Ham. Tottenham will host Leicester who had a tough mid-week match in Europe and I cannot see anything other than a home win here. Look for Son and Kane to again deliver the goals that will seal 3 all-important points for the Londoners.

I can see Liverpool dropping points at in-form Newcastle. It won't be an easy match for the Kops and the hosts have it well within them to gather at least a share of the spoils. That will be good news for Man City who should score by the bucketload against Leeds United. City should either extend or keep their lead at the top of the table by the week-end.

Win: Man City/Tottenham

Draw-no-bet: Newcastle

Friday, April 22, 2022

EPL 21/22 - Week 33

 Arsenal v Man Utd - Home

Leicester v Aston Villa - Home

Man City v Watford - Home

Norwich v Newcastle - Home

Brentford v Tottenham - Away

Brighton v Southampton - Draw

Burnley v Wolves - Home

Chelsea v West Ham - Draw

Liverpool v Everton - Home

Crystal Palace v Leeds - Home


Early kick-off match Arsenal against Man Utd will be huge in deciding the 4th UCL spot coveted by the Gunners, Red Devils and Spurs. At the moment, the Gunners have the advantage and I think they will blow away any remaining hopes Red Devils fans might still harbour. I mentioned Man Utd are a team on the skids last week and they duly confirmed that with a thrashing at Liverpool in mid-week. The talent is there but I now believe that Rangnick has proven not to be the right manager to put all that talent to good use. In fact, it is very possible in my opinion that had the club kept on with Ole, the results probably would have been better. It is to be seen whether the arrival of Erik ten Hag next year will improve things but one thing for sure is that the club is spent and done for the year. On the other side of the coin, the Gunners are battling and reaped an amazing win at Stamford Bridge in their last match. The team might lack the talent that Utd have on paper but the youngsters there are working their socks off to get results. Their battling qualities means that they are favourites to down out-of-sorts Man Utd. If they could put 3 against Chelsea, they will have no problem scoring against the Red Devils. Home win for this one.

Crystal Palace are a team with good form at home and they should have enough to overcome Leeds at Selhurst Park. Leeds are in a precarious position at the moment but they are sporting good form having won 3 out of their last 4 matches. Biesla almost ran the team to the ground for much of the season and Jesse March has righted the ship so far. The home team still needs a few more points to assure safety but they are showing good resiliency in their matches and playing more like a mid-table team. I see them edging this encounter and look good value at current odds.

Win: Arsenal, Crystal Palace