The Premier League race is well on truly on!
It is a race which has everyone gripped. Until recently there appeared to be more than two contenders, but others have fallen away while the dominant pair have remained on course.
This is a battle which could last the distance and may even go down as one of the most memorable in Premier League history. But enough about Watford and Wolves’ fight for seventh place.
Manchester City are in a race of their own, of course, and it is hard to see them slipping up here when they meet Watford at the Etihad – back the champions to win both halves at 2.00.
Arsenal vs Manchester United (Premier League)
Arsenal vs Manchester United is no longer the standout fixture in the Premier League, with memories of Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira going head-to-head (literally) in the centre of the park now firmly in the past.
It is certainly difficult to imagine Mesut Ozil and Nemanja Matic scrapping it out in a similar manner, although perhaps Fred and Mohamed Elneny will have the good grace to give us neutrals some entertainment by engaging in a physical tussle or two at the Emirates Stadium this weekend.
Both sides have played well in recent weeks so I am sitting firmly on the fence – back a draw at odds of 3.50.
Barcelona vs Rayo Vallecano (La Liga)
Back-to-back victories over dreaded rivals Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey and La Liga sent Barcelona fans into dreamland last week, but that will not stop them throwing their toys out of the pram if they are not 3-0 up after 20 minutes of this weekend’s meeting with Rayo Vallecano.
The La Liga title is now well within the grasp of Ernesto Valverde’s side, who may duly turn their attention towards the Champions League for the remainder of the campaign.
Barcelona will prove too strong here even if they do ring the changes, so back a home win and over 2.5 goals at 1.50, perhaps as an accumulator option.
Liverpool vs Burnley (Premier League)
There are two schools of thought regarding Liverpool at present. Optimists will point to the fact that Jurgen Klopp’s men are just a point behind Manchester City and have lost only one game all season, while pessimists argue that they have now drawn four of their last six league matches and appear to be running out of steam at precisely the wrong time.
It would be interesting to know what Klopp thinks deep down, although we imagine he would spontaneously self-combust if a reporter tried to ask him which camp he fell into – and we are firmly against spontaneous self-combustion around here.
The Reds should get back on track against Burnley, so go for a home triumph to nil at 1.80.
Bayern Munich vs Wolfsburg (Bundesliga)
Bayern Munich’s form is ominous at present, with the Bundesliga champions having now drawn level on points with leaders Borussia Dortmund.
German football’s big bad wolf take on, er, Wolfsburg this weekend knowing that they can pile even more pressure on Lucien Favre’s men with another victory.
Bayern will have half an eye on their upcoming Champions League clash with Liverpool, but we still expect them to get the job done – back another home win to nil at 2.20.
Borussia Dortmund vs Stuttgart (Bundesliga)
Dortmund appeared to have one hand on the Bundesliga trophy a few short weeks ago, but their stuttering form has allowed Bayern Munich back in.
This weekend’s meeting with Stuttgart could, therefore, be a nervy one, but we expect BVB to squeeze past, just! – go for a draw with a 0-1 handicap at 3.90.
By Greg Lea
After many years of sports writing with an emphasis on football, including a stint at Sky Sports, Greg is here to help you with betting tips. Follow him on Twitter @greglea to get the latest updates before placing your bets.