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Carver targets climb up table

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Newcastle head coach John Carver is looking upwards rather than over his shoulder as the Barclays Premier League season enters its final phase.

The Magpies sit in 11th place in the table ahead of Saturday's home clash with struggling Aston Villa, 10 points clear of the drop zone, but four short of the top 10.

But with Carver in temporary charge following Alan Pardew's January exit and the FA Cup having come and gone with barely a whimper on Tyneside, disgruntled fans are already writing off the season.

However,...

Premier League's best weekend bets

James Milner and Manchester City meet Raheem Sterling and Liverpool on Sunday.
James Milner and Manchester City meet Raheem Sterling and Liverpool on Sunday.

It's been a difficult week for Premier League clubs in European competition, with Manchester City and Arsenal suffering defeats at the hands of Barcelona and Monaco in the Champions League, and then Liverpool and Tottenham crashing out of the Europa League on Thursday night.

The biggest challenge here for some of England's leading clubs could be putting those setbacks behind them and re-focusing on domestic matters -- such as Liverpool and Manchester City, who meet on Sunday.

Here's a look at the best value bet for that match as well as three others, including Manchester United-Sunderland, Newcastle-Aston Villa and Stoke City-Hull City.


Manchester United (home) vs. Sunderland

Asian handicap: Man Utd -1.25 (-122) vs. Sunderland +1.25 (+114)
3-way line: Man Utd -282 / Sunderland +988 / Draw +427
PickCenter public consensus money line pick: 82 percent picked United
Total: 2.5 (Over -116, Under +106)

You need a masochistic streak to back Manchester United this season. Just when you think Louis van Gaal's side have turned a corner, they hit the wall or drive into a dead end.

...

Kevin Hughes Aston Villa  By Kevin Hughes

Sherwood's six-win target for Villa an ambitious undertaking

Here are the 5 best saves from Week 26 in the Premier League including Brad Guzan's one-handed stop.

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has stated the club need to win six more matches in order to stay in the Premier League come the end of the season. For a team that has won only five so far in 2014-15, that certainly sounds ambitious.

It's a steep target; that's victory in half of the remaining 12 fixtures. Looking at the games to come, it's likely that Sherwood is hedging his bets on Villa winning at St James' Park on Saturday, for starters. Following that are matches against West Brom, Sunderland...