Rangers v Celtic
Live on Sky Sports
Rangers wrapped up the title a long time ago and there’s nothing on the line in Sunday’s opening big fixture.
But these two can seemingly never play out a bore draw and it seems unlikely that the home side will miss the chance to put the hurt on their currently managerless old rivals.
Betfair’s Frank Monkhouse says: “Celtic have visited Ibrox twice already this season and lost both games, failing to score on each occasion. Without a manager and with the club’s future shrouded in uncertainty, it’s easy to see why there’s a chunky 2.8815/8 available on a Celtic win.”
Back Rangers to beat Celtic @ 2.486/4
Napoli v Cagliari
Live on Premier Sports 1 and Betfair Live Video
The hosts are chasing an impressive top four finish while the visitors are gaining momentum in the battle to avoid relegation from Serie A. There will be a lot at stake then at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium on Sunday afternoon when Naples meet Cagliari and goals look likely.
Key Stat: Two of Napoli’s last three home matches in Serie A each produced seven goals.
Dave says: “So the Cagliari charge continued last weekend against Roma, and now Leonardo Semplici takes his team to Naples for a game against a Napoli side who are locked with Juventus and Milan, and just behind Atalanta, in what is turning into a thrilling race for the Champions League places. Lazio are not finished in that argument either, and so every point suddenly matters, which is why I don’t think Gennaro Gattuso’s team will slip up here.
“Cagliari look set to cause problems though, and I could see this being a free scoring game. It was Cagliari’s loss of goalscoring form that got them into this mess in the first place, but they seem to have put that right, grabbing eight in their last three games, and they certainly look likely to score here against a Napoli defence that is still prone to mistakes, for all the brilliance of Kalidou Koulibaly.
“Two of Napoli’s last three home games have featured seven goals, and the reverse fixture finished 4-1 in favour of the Neapolitans. I think it will be closer this time, but either way, it seems certain to have goals.”
Dave’s bet: Back Over 3.5 Goals in Napoli v Cagliari @ 2.68/5
Man Utd v Liverpool
Live on Sky Sports Main Event
It’s arguably England’s biggest derby on Sunday afternoon as Liverpool make the 25 mile journey down the M6 to face fierce foes United. The champions are 3.39/4 to finish in the top four and a rare win at Old Trafford would help and put some much-needed gloss on their miserable title defence.
Key Stat: United have lost just one of their last 15 home games against Liverpool in all competitions (W10 D4), and are unbeaten in their last eight since a 0-3 loss in March 2014.
Alex Keble says: “Liverpool will move back to their 4-3-3 formation for the trip to Old Trafford, and that will make their central midfield more stable than it was in the 1-1 draw with Newcastle United, when Jurgen Klopp’s 4-2-4 allowed Saint-Maximin to easily dribble through the middle. However, without Fabinho screening against the counter-attack, Liverpool remain poor in midfield, failing to press well enough to prevent incisive counters.
“Manchester United are adept at breaking quickly. They will happily sit in a safe midblock for this game and wait for moments to pounce, which should happen given Paul Pogba’s form as a left winger. He drifts infield to join Bruno Fernandes, potentially allowing United to outnumber Liverpool in this crucial zone of the pitch.
“Given that Liverpool are struggling to stay in control of games, it is easy to imagine Fernandes and Pogba getting their heads up and releasing Marcus Rashford in behind Liverpool’s makeshift defence.”
Alex’s bet: Back Man Utd to beat Liverpool at 2.89/5
Tottenham v Sheffield United
Sunday 2 May, 19:15 BST kick-off
Live on Sky Sports
The identity of the next Tottenham manager remains a mystery with two former-frontrunners, Julian Nagelsmann and Erik ten Hag, ruling themselves out this week. In the meantime, the club remain in the hunt for a top four or, more realistically, a top six finish. This is the type of the game, against relegated Sheffield United, that Spurs must win if they’re to have any chance of being in Europe next season.
Key Stat: Tottenham Hotspur have scored at least once in each of their last 10 Premier League games (W5 D2 L3), the longest current run in the competition.
Paul Higham says: “Tottenham are unbeaten at home against the sides in the bottom 12 in the division in nine games, and have scored more than once in seven of those outings. Spurs have also scored in their last 10 Premier League games, which is the current longest run.
“With the Blades so bad at finding the net they’ve lost 17 games to nil this season, a remarkable achievement and one that makes Spurs to win this game to nil at 2.01/1 look a touch generous – Spurs have had 11 home clean sheets in all competitions this season.
“With United conceding over 2.5 goals a game in their six away trips to the current top eight and still waiting for a clean sheet, it all points to another difficult afternoon for the Yorkshire side.”
Paul’s bet: Back Spurs to win to nil against Sheff Utd @ 2.01/1
Valencia 8.07/1 v Barcelona 1.412/5; The Draw 5.69/2
Sunday 2 May, 20:00
Live on LaLigaTV and Betfair Live Video
It’s fair to say that La Liga is providing the most exciting title race in Europe (although French fans may argue otherwise). Going into the weekend the top four were separated by just three points with Barcelona the favourites to win the title. They may well have been overtaken in the market by the time they step out for this tricky away trip though.
Key Stat: Valencia are unbeaten in eight matches at home (W4D4).
Dan Fitch says: “Having suffered a massive blow in midweek, Barcelona now face what is arguably the toughest fixture, of any of the title contenders this weekend.
“Barca were 1-0 up against Granada and had chances to extend that lead, before conceding two second-half goals. Now they must bounce back against Valencia.
“The odds for a Barcelona win look too short given the circumstances and it’s worth taking a chance on the draw landing at 5.69/2.”
Dan’s bet: Back Valencia and Barcelona to draw at 5.69/2
Monaco vs Lyon
Sun, 20:00 BST
Live on BT Sport 1 and Betfair Live Video
Key Stat: Monaco come into this match on a run of five wins out of their last five in Ligue 1 without conceding a goal.
It’s third v fourth in Ligue 1 on Sunday night. Monaco are two points off leaders Lille 2.789/5 – with second-placed PSG 1.728/11 favourites – and yet Niko Kovac’s team are 13.5 to lift the French title this season. Three points here would keep them on track while Lyon, who are six points off the top, would see a victory as a way of staying in the race. Should be a good game with both teams going for it.
James Eastham says: “We ought to be treated to a feast of attacking football between two sides that have looked more comfortable playing on the front foot all season. Under manager Niko Kovac, Monaco have wanted to win convincingly rather than narrowly all season. They’re one of the few Ligue 1 sides that can be relied upon to try to add a second, third and fourth goal after going ahead in games.
“Meanwhile, Lyon’s 3-2 home defeat to Lille last weekend – a serious blow to their title hopes – showcased the good and bad of Rudi Garcia’s side.
“Lyon played some excellent football to secure an early 2-0 lead, only to wobble and eventually collapse defensively when Lille came back hard. After that loss Lyon have to chase maximum points here, which will encourage the game to open up even more.”
James’ bet: Back Monaco vs Lyon Over 3.0 on the Goal Lines market @ 2.111/10