Dale Tempest: The big draw
Dale Tempest looks ahead to the weekend's action in the Premier League and believes it could be a tight affair at Anfield.
- Related Content
Former professional footballer Dale Tempest has turned bookie - he's now Sky Bet's public relations director.
A 16-year career saw him play for the likes of Fulham, Huddersfield and Colchester so he knows exactly how the game is played and these days he's very much got his finger on the pulse of the markets as both a punter and a bookie.
His regular Friday column explores the mindset of players and bookies and highlights the best bets for the weekend's action. Here's his take on this weekend's Premier League action with the title race hotting up.
Interesting weekend, it's one of those weekends that, while the neutrals will all be looking at Liverpool v Manchester City on Sunday, it's fascinating in that it's one of those weekends that the bookies look at with dread.
In Palace, Fulham, Stoke, Southampton and Hull in the FA Cup on Sunday you've got five games that could easily go to the favourites and it would be no surprise to anybody.
Long and Jelavic are out for Hull which is a negative for the Tigers but Sheffield United have just played so many games trying to catch up on their Sky Bet League One fixtures that the wide open space of Wembley looks sure to take a toll and 8/11 doesn't look a bad price at all.
I wouldn't back Villa with somebody else's money at the moment and, when you take Benteke out of the equation, there isn't a lot positive to say about Paul Lambert's side but on the reverse Crystal Palace are flying and will be in a lot of home banker lines this weekend.
Generally I would say that backing teams like Palace at home at around even money is the worst thing you can be doing as so often these type of sides can let you down but Villa look like they're already on their holidays and I'm sure there'll be no let up from Tony Pulis' team.
Last weekend saw a massive momentum shift in the relegation battle with Fulham's win at Villa and Norwich's loss to West Bromwich Albion and the fact that the Canaries have now lost their last seven away and discarded their boss suggests Fulham could get the much needed win.
They haven't lost in the last seven against Norwich and have won five of them; the 11/10 looks more than fair.
Southampton have let me down so many times this year but the 15/8 for a Saints victory and both teams to score looks particularly generous when you consider how many goals Saints have shipped this season, particularly after going in front.
This is the last chance saloon for Cardiff so nothing but a win will do; therefore, you'd expect a positive reaction and an attacking display.
Newcastle are another team that look like they're already putting on their suntan lotion with some woeful displays recently but, bizarrely, they do have a good record against Stoke having won four of the last five.
It's a game I'll probably leave alone but Stoke's record at the Britannia could be tempting me in by Saturday afternoon.
Sunderland v Everton and West Brom v Spurs are two games that I've got down as potential draws.
Everton are in fantastic form but Sunderland have actually beaten them in their last two outings and Poyet knows a win is the only thing that will start to turn things around and it has to be a positive display from the Black Cats.
I've been hugely impressed with Everton this season but they've still only won six of their 16 away games and the 7/10 price is putting me off.
Pepe Mel has drawn five out of six at home since he's joined West Brom and I think this could be six out of seven although it's difficult to tell the mentality of the Tottenham team at present.
One of the biggest games, not just of the weekend but the whole season, is at Anfield on Sunday and whenever the market expects goals the relevant prices adjust accordingly.
These two teams have scored 174 goals in 64 games which is quite incredible. It's the first time in a long time that i can remember seeing 16/1 for a 0-0 draw.
Five of the last six meetings at Anfield have been drawn, however, and once again, with so much at stake, I can see the 13/5 for the draw is the price that will be attracting me in.