With Newcastle United widely tipped to beat Crystal Palace at home this weekend, wins for Sunderland and Norwich City are essential if they wish to remain in touch with the survival skirmish.
The Toon have no bigger backer than Black Cats boss Sam Allardyce, who has lain his support for Rafa Benitez’s side on thick ahead of kick off:
“Newcastle will win on Saturday, I’d have a bet on that if I could,” was one extract from a stream of sound bites from Allardyce, whose team seemingly can’t afford to spill points at Stoke City.
It’s not just their potential relegation that hinges on this must-win scenario either, with our monster 66/1 treble reliant on victories for the trio of teams battling to beat the drop.
Newcastle to beat Crystal Palace @ 95/100
The Eagles’ 5-1 obliteration of the Tynesiders in the corresponding clash was their first win over their next opponents across in 11 21st century renewals.
Prior to their 3-3 draw at St James’ last term, they hadn’t so much as scored a goal in this corner of the north east in four trips post-2000.
With no Premier League road win in nine ahead of their latest trip, Allardyce’s confidence in Palace is built on sturdy foundations.
Sunderland to beat Stoke @ 7/4
The Black Cats are surprisingly short for their Britannia visit, but the hosts have nothing but their summer holidays to focus on over the coming weeks, with a top-ten finish all but assured.
Mark Hughes’ men coming into this one having lost three on the spin, shipping four goals on each occasion, while they’ve failed to win all bar one of their games since March 2nd, with four of their six defeats to bottom-half outfits so far coming at the Britannia.
Sunderland inflicted one of their three road losses to teams stationed below the Premier League’s waistline and have been bested in just one of nine meetings with the Potters.
Norwich to beat Arsenal @ 23/2
As ambitious as this punt sounds, the negative atmosphere at the Emirates will aid the Canaries as they look to capitalise on Arsenal’s ambling towards the campaign’s end.
Just four Premier League foes have been bested in the red half of north London in 2016 and Alex Neil’s troops pulled off similarly-sized shocks when winning at Manchester United and drawing at Liverpool earlier in the season.