Fri, Apr 21, 1:10pm by Staff Writer
Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur put their tussle for the Premier League title on hold this week, but only so they can meet in a blockbuster FA Cup semi-final with a chance of a domestic double on the line.
Chelsea’s Premier League lead has been pared back to just four points ahead of Tottenham as the London clubs prepare to meet at Stamford Bridge this weekend.
The once all-conquering Chelsea suffered a major blow last week when they lost 2-0 to Manchester United.
Spurs, meanwhile, showed their class and determination in a 4-0 win over Bournemouth.
Chelsea have the edge in terms of FA Cup experience, winning the title six times since Spurs’ last lifted the trophy, most recently in 2012.
But despite the fact that Chelsea have not lost back-to-back matches in more than a year, William Hill is giving Spurs the edge, paying $2.60 for a win, $2.70 for a loss and $3.20 for a draw.
Underachieving Arsenal host Manchester City in the other FA Cup semifinal with more than a trophy at stake for Gunner manager Arsene Wenger.
Arsenal currently lie seven points off fourth-placed City in the Premier League and could miss out on the top four for the first time since 1996.
Amid howls for the French manager’s sacking, Arsenal will again be without Shkodran Mustafi, David Ospina, Jeff Reine-Adelaide and Lucas Perez for the all-important match, while Danny Welbeck is subject to a late fitness test.
City are rightfully the clear favourites for the London match at $1.85 for the win, while Arsenal is on $4 and $3.75 for a draw.
Back in the Premier League, third-placed Liverpool will look further their own title ambitions when they host Crystal Palace.
Liverpool have not conceded a goal in eight games following a 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion last week. They are just nine points behind Chelsea and can cut that to six this weekend.
Palace, meanwhile, have looked strong since appointing Sam Allardyce as manager and have given Liverpool trouble in past seasons.
But Liverpool’s late season form has been impeccable and, with a title still up for grabs, the Reds are rightful $1.50 favourites at Anfield this weekend. Palace is on $6 with $4.25 for a draw.
Manchester United are just four points behind home-town rival City with a game in hand, and will be eager to move closer to a Champions League spot when they travel to Burnley.
Burnley will be buoyed by their win over Chelsea and are always difficult to beat at home, but Jose Mourhino’s United should still be too strong, paying $1.61 for the win, $5.50 for a loss and $3.80 for a draw.
Hull are tipped to claim a home win over Watford at $1.90, with $4 for a loss and $3.50 for a draw, while Swansea are paying $2.25 to down Stoke.
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