Real Madrid have edge in Clasico, Spurs to beat Chelsea, Sane on target
El Clasico and the FA Cup dominate the weekend's action. Here's the best tips.
Real Madrid know they can virtually put the La Liga title race to bed with a victory over eternal rivals Barcelona on Sunday. It's an absolutely huge game and one Zinedine Zidane will be relishing given the fact that Barcelona have been all over the place in recent weeks.
The teams endured contrasting fortunes in the Champions League in midweek, with Los Blancos seeing off Bayern Munich while Barca were dumped out after a 0-0 draw at home to Juventus. The big question now is whether Barca can pick themselves up for Sunday's crunch Clasico. It looks unlikely, with Luis Enrique's side enduring a wretched couple of weeks and results wise they're now on their worst run of the season.
The Catalan giants have already suffered some heavy losses on the road this season against the likes of Manchester City, PSG and Juventus and it looks a tough ask to win at the Bernabeu, where Madrid are unbeaten in La Liga having scored 40 goals in 16 outings.
Cristiano Ronaldo bagged a hat trick on Tuesday night and will relish facing a side who have conceded twice against Malaga and Real Sociedad in recent weeks. Barca's defensive weakness is there for all to see and they also go into Sunday's epic without Neymar, who is suspended. Bet365 offering 11/10 on a Madrid victory and that looks a big price under the circumstances.
Spurs to beat Chelsea?
There are two huge FA Cup semifinals taking place at Wembley this weekend, the first of which sees title rivals Chelsea and Tottenham face off. The Blues are four points clear at the top of the Premier League but have faltered somewhat in recent weeks and could yet be reeled in by Spurs, who have won their last eight.
Those wishing to oppose Tottenham will point to their awful record at Wembley this season, where they lost two of their three Champions League matches at the famous old stadium. However they've looked awesome in recent weeks and acquitted themselves well in both previous games against Antonio Conte's men this term. At Stamford Bridge they took the lead before losing in a game they probably deserved at least a point from. They gained revenge at White Hart Lane however with two goals from Dele Alli helping them to an impressive win in January.
Chelsea looked ragged in losing 2-0 to Manchester United last weekend and Tottenham's versatility could be the key here. Chelsea will almost certainly set up 3-4-3 but Spurs' ability to adapt could be crucial. Mauricio Pochettino has deployed his side in a variety of set ups this season and you get the feeling momentum is definitely with Tottenham, who are slight underdogs with the bookmakers.
Bet365 go 7/4 on a Spurs win in 90 minutes even though both teams are chalked up at 5/6 to qualify for the final. It should be a cracking contest, but one Tottenham can edge on current form.
Sane the man for City
On Sunday, Arsenal and Manchester City clash in another colossal FA Cup semi. Another defeat for Arsenal will pile further pressure on Arsene Wenger, whose future with the Gunners is still very much in the balance. Too often this season Arsenal have looked listless and disinterested and with a top four finish now looking out of reach, this is their final chance to turn a miserable season around. They have the pedigree having won the FA Cup twice in the last three seasons but look a team devoid of leaders at present.
The teams played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at the Emirates on April 2 but Pep Guardiola's men were on top for much of that contest and if their finishing had been more clinical they could have won handily.
Both teams remain fragile defensively but Guardiola's lot look the pick here. Leroy Sane caused Arsenal all sorts of problems earlier this month and the German could be worth a punt at 6/1 with bet365 to score first.