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Top 10 Betting tips of the weekend

News By: Collins Udeme | 07/04/2018

Manchester City v Manchester United

Victory would see Manchester City clinch the title but boss Pep Guardiola may be tempted to rest players ahead of Tuesday's game against Liverpool. City will monitor Sergio Aguero's knee injury, and even if he is fit they may prefer to save him for the Champions League quarter-final second leg.

Manchester United's only confirmed absentee is goalkeeper Sergio Romero. Defender Daley Blind is unlikely to feature despite returning to training following an ankle injury. Nemanja Matic was the sole defensive midfielder to start last weekend's win against Swansea, and manager Jose Mourinho must decide whether to field a similarly attacking line-up at the Etihad Stadium. Ander Herrera or Scott McTominay could be recalled if Mourinho opts for a more pragmatic approach against the runaway league leaders.

United have lost eight of the last 13 league Manchester derbies, as many as in the previous 49 encounters.

However, the Red Devils are unbeaten in their last two league visits to the Etihad (W1, D1), keeping a clean sheet in both games but I expect that trend to end this time despite rumours that City are willing to extend their wait for the Premier League title by fielding a second-string side.

Prediction

Man City 2-0 Man United

Bet9ja - 1.90

Hamburg v Schalke

In-form Schalke are looking to consolidate their place in second spot when they travel to bottom club Hamburg on Saturday in the Bundesliga week 29 fixture.

The hosts are in desperate need of a win coming into this game after their 1-1 draw with Stuttgart on Matchday 28 which left them seven points adrift of a non-relegation place.

Hamburg manager Christian Titz must make do without the suspended Gideon Jung in defence, but fit-again Kyriakos Papadopoulos should slot right in at centre-back again. While Jann-FIete Arp and Luca Waldschmidt are vying to lead the line as HSV look to add to their league-low tally of just 20 goals this season, Bobby Wood remains sidelined with a muscle injury.

Hamburg, by contrast, have not managed to taste victory in any of their last 15 games – their longest winless run in history. If Schalke keep a clean sheet they will equal a club record for consecutive games without conceding (six) and I'm tipping them to either win or draw with a clean sheet.

Prediction

Hamburg 0-1 Schalke 04

Bet9ja odds: for X2&NG - 2.13

Everton v Liverpool

Ahead of the Merseyside derby, Idrissa Gueye is doubtful for Everton after missing last week's defeat by Manchester City with a muscle tear. Ashley Williams is back from a ban but Eliaquim Mangala, James McCarthy, Mason Holgate and Gylfi Sigurdsson remain injured. Liverpool will check on the fitness of Mohamed Salah after he suffered a muscle problem against Manchester City. Emre Can is also a doubt, while Joel Matip, Adam Lallana, Joe Gomez and Ragnar Klavan are all injured.

Everton have won only one of their last 22 league meetings with Liverpool (D10, L11), and are winless in 14 encounters since a 2-0 victory in October 2010. In all competitions Liverpool are unbeaten in 16 games against Everton (W8, D8) - their longest ever run without defeat against their Merseyside neighbours.

Seven of Everton's last eight Premier League defeats at Goodison Park have been against 'big six' sides, with the exception being Burnley's 1-0 win there in October. For Everton, it is probably the perfect time to respond after being taken apart by City. Some of the City players found Anfield hostile on Wednesday, but the atmosphere will be the same for Liverpool players at Goodison Park. I'm tipping both sides to score.

Prediction

Everton 2-2 Liverpool

Bet9ja - 1.70

Borussia Monchengladbach v Hertha Berlin

Borussia Monchengladbach's next chance to get their season back on track arrives on Saturday afternoon when they welcome Hertha Berlin to Borussia-Park. The Foals' hopes of qualifying for Europe next term have faded after the squad has been ravaged by injury for much of the second half of the season.

Just two wins in 11 league games in 2018 tells the story of their campaign, but there was good news for Dieter Hecking's side this week, with Denis Zakaria, Tony Jantschke and Vincenzo Grifo all back in training after recovering from injury or illness.

Raffael started last week's 0-0 draw away to Mainz after returning from a calf complaint and should join Thorgan Hazard and Lars Stindl in attack on Saturday. Hertha were likewise held to a goalless draw in their clash with Wolfsburg on Matchday 28, a result that kept them just one point and two places below Gladbach in the standings.

Germany international Marvin Plattenhardt is expected to start at left-back following suspension, but Maximilian Mittelstadt is sidelined with a hip injury. Niklas Stark missed training in midweek due to a thigh knock and Valentino Lazaro has been training individually, but both should recover in time to feature.

Both teams have just won two of their 11 Bundesliga matches in 2018. Hertha boast the meanest Bundesliga defence away from home in 2018, conceding three goals in six outings but I expect them to crack Borussia-Park with the home side winning by at least a goal margin.

Prediction

Mochengladbach 2-1 Hertha

Bet9ja odds: 1X&GG - 2.18

Freiburg v Wolfsburg

Freiburg and Wolfsburg are both looking nervously over their shoulders at the relegation zone ahead of Saturday's head-to-head at the Schwarzwald-Stadion.

Freiburg won't miss their star man after Petersen's first yellow card was rescinded on Friday. His availability comes at a crucial time for Die Breisgauer, with four points all that is separating them and relegation-threatened Wolfsburg. Vincent Sierro should keep his place in midfield after impressing on only his third Bundesliga start, while winter signing Lucas Höler remains a fitness doubt.

Renato Steffen could come in for suspended midfielder Josuha Guilavogui, but out-of-form Liverpool loanee Divock Origi may have to settle for a place on the bench once again. USA defender John Brooks is training again following a lengthy absence but is unlikely to be rushed back. With Jeffrey Bruma and Felix Uduokhai both unavailable, teenage defender Paul Jaeckel is likely to start at centre-back.

Freiburg manager Christian Streich’s side are without a win in their last five, and have only won twice in 2018 and they face an uphill test against a Wolfsburg side who have won their last four games in a row in Freiburg. I'm tipping the away side who have picked up as many points away this season as they have at home (13) to win this tie.

Prediction

Freiburg 1-3 Wolfsburg

Bet9ja odds - 3.15

Cologne v Mainz

Second-bottom Cologne host 16th-placed Leon Balogun and his Bundesliga side Mainz in a veritable relegation six-pointer on Saturday.

Cologne have given themselves every chance of beating the drop on the back of some big wins since the turn of the year, but will have to show a dramatic improvement after going down 6-0 to Hoffenheim last weekend.

If the Billy Goats can return to winning ways against Mainz, however, the gap on the relegation play-off spot will be a surmountable three points with five rounds of fixtures still to come. To help their cause, winter signing Simon Terodde - scorer of five goals in nine Bundesliga appearances in 2018 - and defender Frederik Sorensen are set to return to the starting line-up from injury. Captain Jonas Hector and Marcel Risse have both been nursing knocks, but both have trained ahead of the game, and coach Stefan Ruthenbeck has said his skipper will play.

Mainz travel to Cologne without a win in their last nine Bundesliga matches, although they did take a potentially priceless point off Borussia Monchengladbach last time out. The 05ers occupy the relegation play-off spot on goal difference, but will move up a place if they can better 15th-in-the-table Wolfsburg's result against Freiburg.

Dutch midfielder Nigel De Jong was dropped to the bench against Gladbach, while veteran Rene Adler was preferred to young Florian Müller in goal. Coach Sandro Schwarz is sweating on the fitness of several first-team players as he plots a first Bundesliga win since 20 January, with Yoshinori Muto (muscle strain), Danny Latza (thigh), Abdou Diallo (broken nose), Robin Quaison (knee) and Stefan Bell (knock) all rated as 50-50.

Mainz have not scored in their last four Bundesliga outings (D2, L2) while the The Billy Goats' 6-0 defeat to Hoffenheim last week was their biggest loss in the league since losing away to Bremen by the same scoreline in the 2005/06 season.

Cologne have the worst home record in the Bundesliga this season (W3, D3, L8), Mainz have the third worst away record (W1, D5, L8). I'm tipping the away team to score in this encounter.

Prediction

Cologne 3-2 Mainz

Bet9ja odds - 1.32

Hannover v Werder Bremen

Free-falling Hannover will look to arrest an alarming five-match losing run when they welcome northern rivals Werder Bremen to the HDI-Arena on Friday.

Hannover were denied a dramatic equaliser by the VAR in last weekend's compelling 3-2 defeat to RB Leipzig. It's now almost two months since the Reds last came away with all three points, a run of form which has seen the promoted side slip to within six points of the relegation play-off spot with six rounds of fixtures remaining.

At the opposite end of the form table, Bremen extended their unbeaten run to five matches courtesy of last weekend's 2-1 win at home to Eintracht Frankfurt. Florian Kohfeldt has performed miracles since coming in as coach last November, taking the Green-Whites from second bottom to 12th in the standings, and this week penned a long-term deal that will keep him at the club until summer 2021.

Hannover have lost their last five in a row and will hope to avoid a sixth defeat as no team in the Bundesliga this season has suffered six successive defeats. A win would take Werder onto 39 points - a point tally that is considered safe as no team has ever been relegated from the Bundesliga with that number of points.

Despite the news of a two-week lay-off for Brazilian forward Jonathas, knocks to Salif Sane and Felix Klaus and the long term injury to Defender Waldemar Anton may not play again this season because of a thigh problem, the home side have my blessing on this one. I see both sides getting on the score sheet but with Hannover emerging champions after 90 minutes.

Prediction

Hannover 2-1 Werder Bremen

Bet9ja odds: 2.32

West Brom v Swansea

West Brom's Gareth Barry is likely to miss the remainder of the season as he requires minor knee surgery. Nacer Chadli will be monitored after returning to training following a thigh injury, but James Morrison and Daniel Sturridge are still out. Swansea have midfielder Sam Clucas available again after he recovered from a knee problem. Jordan Ayew completes his three-match ban, while Renato Sanches and Angel Rangel remain sidelined.

Swansea who have won their last two Premier League games against West Brom, and are looking to secure their first league double against them since 2011-12 have have won eight of 13 Premier League games against West Brom (D1, L4), more victories than against any other opponent.

I do not see the Baggies doing any magic in terms of staying up now but, with Darren Moore in charge, I believe they will go all out and win this tie which brings together the division's joint-lowest scorers. Both have netted 25 times (as have Huddersfield).

Prediction

West Brom 2-0 Swansea City

Bet9ja odds - 2.35

Leicester v Newcastle United

Leicester midfielder Matty James has been ruled out for the rest of the season following surgery on his Achilles earlier this week. Daniel Amartey misses out because of a hamstring injury and Wilfried Ndidi begins a two-match suspension. Newcastle striker Islam Slimani is ineligible to play against his parent club so the visitors are expected to be unchanged from last weekend. Joselu has been passed fit and Mo Diame has shaken off a minor knock.

Leicester have won their last five matches against Newcastle, four of them in the Premier League. The Magpies are winless in all five of their previous league and cup games at the King Power Stadium (D2, L3) with their only goal coming in a 1-1 draw in December 2003, when Darren Ambrose hit a late equaliser. Leicester are unbeaten in six Premier League home games (W2, D4).

The Foxes have drawn their last three Premier League home matches (all 1-1). They have not drawn four consecutive top-flight matches on home turf since March 2004.

The Magpies have made themselves a hard nut to crack away from home but they never look like scoring enough goals which is why I placing ma faith a Foxes win and a clean sheet.

Prediction

Leicester 1-0 Necastle

Bet9ja odds - 1&NG

Bournemouth v Crystal Palace

Bournemouth will be without Junior Stanislas for the remainder of the season because of a knee injury.

Captain Simon Francis faces a late test on his injured hamstring but fit-again forward Lys Mousset may be involved. Crystal Palace may be without a striker as Christian Benteke is doubtful with a groin injury and both Alexander Sorloth and Connor Wickham are still out. James Tomkins is fit to return but Joel Ward, Jeffrey Schlupp, Jason Puncheon, Scott Dann and Bakary Sako remain out.

Bournemouth who have taken 14 points from a possible 21 points from their last seven home league games (W4, D2, L1) have accrued 21 points in 2018, a tally only bettered by the current top four Premier League sides. Crystal Palace have won only four of their 34 league away fixtures against Bournemouth (D9, L21). However, the Eagles are yet to concede a Premier League goal at the Vitality Stadium, having won 2-0 there last year and drawn 0-0 the season before.

Writing Bournemouth off would be at one's peril as they continue to keep coming back from the dead, picking up another point with a last-gasp equaliser at Watford last week. So I am going for a Cherries win here with both sides to score.

Prediction

Bournemouth 2-1 Crystal Palace

Bet9ja - 4.65
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