A busy midweek football schedule lies ahead, featuring action from the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A. Each of these leagues are represented in our £5,000 1X2 Pick 5 pool which kicks off on Wednesday night and we decided to take a closer look at three of the featured matches.
Tottenham vs. Crystal Palace
Wednesday, 3rd April, 19:45
Tottenham’s slide continued on Sunday as a late howler from Hugo Lloris condemned them to their fourth defeat in five Premier league games and kept Liverpool’s title hopes alive.
It’s now five league matches without a win for Spurs, a solitary point against Arsenal their only return from a run which included defeats to Burnley and Southampton.
Much fanfare has been made over the reopening of White Hart Lane and Crystal Palace will become the first visitors to the impressive new ground on Wednesday, though they will be hoping to make it an unhappy unveiling.
Spurs have had the better of Palace in the league recently, winning seven straight encounters in a run that stretches back to 2015. However, Palace did knock them out of the FA Cup in January and will fancy their chances of capitalising on Tottenham’s recent slump.
Palace’s league form has been good recently, winning three of their last five, and they have actually taken more league points than Tottenham since the turn of the year.
It is worth remembering that Tottenham struggled for a long time upon moving to their temporary home at Wembley Stadium and there is no guarantee that they won’t require a similar period of transition upon their latest move, especially given how jaded many of their key players look.
Palace have a sturdy defence, plenty of attacking flair and I fancy them to get something from this game. As such, I’ll be supporting the draw.
Roma vs. Fiorentina
Wednesday, 3rd April, 20:00
Two out of form sides will go head to head at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday, as Roma welcome Fiorentina.
Roma have struggled in the league lately, with a 4-1 home thumping by Napoli preceded by a 2-1 defeat away to SPAL. In fact they have lost four of their last five in all competitions which has seen them drop to seventh and lose ground in the race for a Champions League spot.
Fiorentina find themselves in tenth and haven’t been performing much better. The Viola haven’t won in six matches, including the league and Coppa Italia, though they drew four of those. They have actually become draw specialists this season, sharing the points in 14 of their 29 league fixtures which is two more than anyone else.
I do think motivation will begin to play a part at this late stage of the season. Fiorentina have little left to play for; they are 13 points clear of the relegation zone and ten points behind European qualification. By contrast, Roma are still just four points from the Champions League spots and a point shy of Europa League qualification.
It’s tough to separate the pair on form but considering motivation and squad quality, Roma retain the edge. Their previous seven league matches have seen three or more goals and I fancy them to win another high scoring affair.
Real Sociedad vs. Real Betis
Thursday, 4th April, 20:30
Depending on your perspective, you can interpret Real Sociedad’s form in two different ways. If you wish to be positive you could assert that they have only lost two of their last 14 matches. Alternatively, with a more negative outlook, you might point out that they’re on a run of five games without a min. The truth of the matter seems to be that they’re tough to beat but find wins hard to come by.
Real Betis are also having a tricky time as of late. A 1-0 victory over Celta Vigo remains the only bright spot of the last month. They lost to Valencia, Getafe and Barcelona in addition and drew with the ten men of Rayo Vallecano.
The sides are separated by just a single place and three points in the league. However, Betis have found the Anoeta Stadium a daunting place to visit recently and haven’t managed a victory there in their last 11 trips.
There is little between the sides and I’m struggling to separate them. Sociedad have drawn three of their last six at home and I feel another stalemate could be on the cards here.