As Premier League Gameweek 28 rolls on, Thursday night sees four crucial games at both ends of the table, with the battle for European places and the fight to avoid relegation intensifying. Of the three 19:30 kick offs on the menu, Norwich City’s home clash with Chelsea looks to have the most on the line.
For the table-propping Canaries, a five-point gap to safety leaves this as another vital outing for Dean Smith’s men, with just five more games to play at Carrow Road after Thursday night. Realistically, however, the visit of Chelsea doesn’t hold much optimism of a result.
The Blues, still looking slightly anxiously over their shoulder at third-place chasing Arsenal know that only three points will do here to keep the Gunners at arms-length. Having put four past Burnley at Turf Moor this past Saturday though, Thomas Tuchel’s men could be hitting form again at the perfect moment. Chelsea demolished the Canaries 7-0 in the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge earlier this season, and though a repeat scoreline would take some doing, back-to-back four-star showings could materialise. For that to occur, 14/1 odds with Bet365, Betfred and Sporting Index look worth investigating, or to play it safer, for over 3.5 goals to be scored, Betfair’s 2/1 will treble your stake.
Up front, it will be interesting to see whether Kai Havertz keeps his place in attack ahead of Romelu Lukaku, but if he does, given the forward has scored in three of the last six games in all comps, the German’s 9/5 pricing to score anytime with MansionBet and 10Bet is very favourable.
Moving north into Yorkshire, Leeds United play their first home game under new boss Jesse Marsch as the Whites sit just two points above the drop zone having played a game less than Burnley and two more than Everton below them in the standings. Visiting Aston Villa will fancy their chances of making things more awkward for the American steward, after putting four past Southampton at the weekend but though Leeds rather flattered to deceive against Leicester in attack, they were improved at the back last time out. If Marsch is to pick up a vital and perhaps unlikely win on Thursday evening, it is likely to be in tight contest. Does a 1-0 home win for Leeds at 11/1 with William Hill look a stretch? Maybe not so far as first it seems.
At Molineux meanhile, Wolves still harbour hopes of a European berth next season but after three defeats on the bounce, Bruno Lage has seen his hopes somewhat derailed. With Watford visiting the Black Country, The Hornets sit a win away from potentially jumping out of the bottom three so could Thursday night see Watford yet pick up at least a point against the stuttering hosts? On paper, that looks difficult given their conceding seven goals in the last three, however, they did hold Manchester United away in their last trip on the road. A draw at 5/2 with SBK could therefore appeal.
Thursday evening’s other clash now takes on a mid-table feel, with Southampton entertaining a Newcastle United side who have not only escaped the relegation zone but are storming up the standings. Since the turn of the year, the Magpies have lost just one of their eight games played in 2022, that being their shock Emirates FA Cup defeat to League One Cambridge United.
In the Premier League however, Eddie Howe has led his side to winning five in seven, taking seven points from nine on the road most recently. For the Saints meanwhile, having gone without a loss in seven also, a 4-0 thumping at Aston Villa could be a fork in the road, which could see a revitalised Newcastle fancy their chances here. Indeed, the away win looks appetising, offered at 14/5 by all four of BetVictor, SpreadEx, VBet and PariMatch.