We have already taken a look at the best options in this week’s Grand National on Monday, so for our second article this week we are going to focus on the other big sporting events this weekend, which are the games taking place in the Premier League and the two huge FA Cup semifinals taking place at Wembley across Saturday and Sunday.

Due to the fact there are four Premier League teams involved in the FA Cup, it is a somewhat curtailed program of games across the weekend in this competition, but there are still plenty of significant games taking place from Friday night through to Monday which could have a significant impact on how things turn out at the end of the season.

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We’ll start with a preview of the Premier League action before switching out focus to the FA Cup games for the second part of the article.

Premier League Fixtures

Friday 5th April

Southampton v Liverpool

There’s a crucial game at St Mary’s on Friday evening as title-chasing Liverpool fresh from their last gasp win over Tottenham at Anfield at the weekend, take on a Southampton side who are battling to preserve their status in the Premier League for next season in the bottom reaches of the table.

Under Ralph Hassenhutl, the Saints have produced markedly better form than earlier in the season and they have notched up some notable performances at home in recent times, defeating both Arsenal and Tottenham, which suggests that this is not going to be an easy night for Liverpool.

The Reds haven’t been at their fluent best for a little while now but they have been grinding out results, however they badly need a win here to ensure they remain in contact with City at the top of the table heading into the final five games of the season.

I expect them to do that but it won’t be a comfortable night. So I am backing Liverpool to win at 4/11 with bet365.

Saturday 6th April

Bournemouth v Burnley

The Cherries form has tailed off somewhat of late and but for a good start to the season, Bournemouth may well have found themselves embroiled in a battle against the drop. They could still get drawn into that if they are not careful and they face tricky opponents in Burnley who will be delighted after ending their losing run last week with a great win over Wolves.

Just five points separate these teams now and although Bournemouth are 12th in the table, they still need at least one win, if not two, to ensure themselves of survival in my view. That is doable, but the Cherries do need to start finding more consistency.

This will not be an easy game for the home side and the fact Burnley are a streaky team makes me feel that they could end up with another three points here. I am going against the bookies here and backing a rare Burnley away win at 12/5 with bet365.

Huddersfield Town v Leicester City

It seems all is not well at Huddersfield with rumours that the manager at the already-relegated club, newly appointed Jan Siewert, has fallen out with a number of key first team personnel at the club. Could Siewert be on his way before the start of next season?

In contrast, Leicester’s change of manager has worked well for the Foxes as Brendan Rogers has overseen three wins in a row and they will be confident of continuing that good run of form and their climb up the table against the Premier League’s bottom side.

The one factor you can’t account for is a lack of pressure on Huddersfield Town now and that could free the home team up a little more. However, I think given the form of both sides, you would have to be crazy to back against Leicester here, so I am taking the Foxes to land their fourth win on the bounce at 8/11.

Newcastle United v Crystal Palace

After a hard fought 2-0 loss to Arsenal on Monday, Newcastle will want to keep their much improved home form going as they welcome Crystal Palace to St James Park. Palace lie in 13th spot in the table at the time of writing and they are just one point and one place above Newcastle.

Palace have been one of the most difficult sides to predict in the Premier League this season, putting on superb displays against some of the top sides, notably Manchester City and Liverpool, but looking awful against some of the lesser teams in this league. Newcastle away is a long and tough trip for the Eagles though and on the back of a tough away trip in midweek too, it is a big ask for them to win here.

Newcastle will want a response from their loss to Arsenal last weekend and I think the home fans will get it here as I am backing Newcastle to win this one narrowly at 7/5.

Sunday 7th April

Everton v Arsenal

Both these teams produced solid performances last weekend to record good wins and both have produced some markedly improved form of late to see their relative positions in the league table improve.

Everton moved into 10th with their win over West Ham, leapfrogging their opponents in the process and they have now lost just one of their last five, winning both of their last two. However the Toffees will know their home record against top six sides isn’t great and they’ll need a top performance against an in-form Arsenal side.

The Gunners record in the Premier League is only bettered by Manchester City over the last five games and that has seen them move up to third in the table ahead of Tottenham by two points. A win here would massively boost their hopes of earning a Champions League spot next season.

Goodison Park is a tough place to go usually but I fancy Arsenal are in the mood to get the job done here, especially with Everton being so inconsistent at home. As such, I am backing the Gunners to land the win here at 11/10.

Monday 8th April

Chelsea v West Ham

The final Premier League game of the weekend is a London derby between Chelsea and West Ham at Stamford Bridge. It is fair to say both sides have not had the season they would have wanted, with Chelsea in particular falling off the pace in the Premier League in spectacular fashion over the last few months in particular.

With open warfare between Sarri and Chelsea fans, it is not conducive to a healthy atmosphere at Chelsea and that will give the Hammers hope of ending what is a generally poor record in recent times against their London rivals.

However, I just can’t see it as the Hammers showed last week that they are still well short of being a genuine top six team and their mid-table position is about right based on their performances. As such, it has to be a Chelsea win for me here at 1/3 at bet365.

FA Cup Semifinals

Saturday 6th April

Brighton v Manchester City

Is there any convincing case you can make for Brighton to be able to win this game? Well, in truth, not really and if they were it would be arguably the biggest cup upset in the competition this year. That may sound strange given these are two Premier League sides, but such is City’s form and dominance at the moment it is hard to see them slipping up.

With a squad packed with talent, an incredible run of form, two trophies already in the bag, three wins at Wembley already this season and three more trophies still very much in their sights, City could well be set for a season for the ages and in truth. I cannot see Brighton stopping them in any way shape or form here.

This isn’t a question of whether City will win for me, simply it is just a case of how much they will win by. Unbackable in the Full Time Result market, I’d back City to win this one 2-0 which is a 9/2 shot at bet365.

Sunday 7th April

Watford v Wolverhampton

If the first FA Cup Semi Final seems to be a certain win for one team, then the second is much more open. Watford and Wolves look well matched on paper and both head into this game in positive spirits having recorded morale boosting wins in midweek ahead of the game.

Watford’s 4-1 thumping of Fulham not only confirmed Fulham as relegated but saw the Hornets jump to 8th in the table. Wolves win over Manchester United however saw them remain ahead of Watford with one more point and a one goal better goal difference.

Watford won the earlier encounter between the teams this season 2-0 at Molineux in the Premier League and they would happily accept that result again here. But something tells me Wolves extra quality on that big Wembley pitch could be the key and although this will be close and I can see extra time being required, I think Wolves just will do enough to reach the final.

As such though, I’m backing the draw at 90 minutes here which is a 9/4 shot with bet365.