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Europa League round-up

A review of Thursday's action in the Europa League, where all four British sides involved ended the night satisfied.

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Free football preview and betting tips: Super Sunday in the Premier League

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Gabriel Jesus celebrates his early goal for Manchester City against Liverpool
Gabriel Jesus celebrates his early goal for Manchester City against Liverpool

Nick Hext backs Burnley to win at Stoke and goals in the first half at the Etihad Stadium as Super Sunday's best Premier League bets.

Sunday's Premier League recommended bets

3pts Burnley to beat Stoke at 13/5

2pts Most goals to be scored in the first half of Manchester City v Swansea at 23/10

For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record


Arsenal v West Ham United (1330 BST, Sky Sports Main Event)

Arsenal have home advantage against West Ham on Sunday but the focus for the Gunners is on the first leg of their Europa League semi-final with Atletico Madrid on Thursday evening.

The agenda in the build-up to this match though is led by confirmation of Arsene Wenger's exit at the end of the season.

Wenger had made it clear prior to Friday's surprise announcement that his priority is Arsenal's best chance to qualify for the Champions League.

"For us it (the Europa League) is the biggest priority now," he said in his pre-match press conference before facing the Hammers.

"This weekend is preparation for Thursday. I rested most players after the (CSKA) Moscow game and they will need a game."

Arsenal sit sixth in the Premier League. Fourth-placed Tottenham are as good as out of sight as they hold a 14-point advantage over the Emirates Stadium outfit before this weekend's matches.

The winner of the Europa League secures automatic qualification to next term's Champions League group stage and Arsenal are out to follow the lead of Manchester United, who secured that path last year.

I'm keen on West Ham to find a way to take advantage of Arsenal's Europa League focus.

Going for goals is a good approach at the Emirates. Arsenal have only failed to score in one their last 31 home games in the Premier League and West Ham have netted in all of their previous nine away matches in the top-flight.

The problem is the bookies are aware of this and have it heavily odds-on for both teams to score and over 2.5 goals in this contest.

West Ham have drawn on the road against Tottenham, Chelsea and Burnley this season. Those three sides sit fourth, fifth and seventh in the Premier League so there's nothing to be scared of from Arsenal, who are residing in sixth.

West Ham also pushed Premier League champions Manchester City before falling to a 2-1 defeat at the Etihad Stadium and the first clash against Arsenal this term ended in a 0-0 draw at the London Stadium.

It will be interesting to see if news of Wenger's upcoming departure unites the Arsenal fans behind their side.

I reckon West Ham have a good chance to leave the Emirates with a point but it's hard to know if news of Wenger's upcoming departure will inspire or hinder the Gunners.

Danny Welbeck is one Arsenal player to watch.

Danny Welbeck scores for Arsenal against CSKA Moscow
Danny Welbeck scores for Arsenal against CSKA Moscow

The former Manchester United forward netted twice in the 3-2 victory against Southampton in the last home game for the Gunners and he followed that up with an effort in the 2-2 draw at CSKA Moscow in the Europa League.

Welbeck was introduced from the bench in last weekend's 2-1 defeat at Newcastle and I'm sure Wenger will get the England international back in his starting XI.

He's 7/5 in the anytime goalscorer prices and is worth a look if selected to start.

Score prediction: Arsenal 2-2 West Ham (Sky Bet's odds: 12/1)

Best bet: Arsenal to draw against West Ham at 15/4

Alternative bet: Danny Welbeck to score at 7/5


Stoke City v Burnley (1330 BST)

Burnley are available at over 2/1 across the board to win at Stoke and that price just has to be snapped up.

The Clarets are going for a fourth away victory in a row after enjoying success at West Ham, West Brom and Watford since the start of March.

Chelsea ended a five-match winning run for Sean Dyche's men by bagging a 2-1 victory at Turf Moor on Thursday night.

However, you don't need me to tell you that there's a huge difference in quality between Chelsea and Stoke.

The Potters are on a 10-match winless run, the longest stretch in the Premier League after West Brom's surprise victory at Manchester United last weekend.

Andy Carroll’s late equaliser for West Ham in Monday night’s 1-1 draw at the London Stadium has further dampened spirits.

Peter Crouch had looked set to secure a much-needed win for Stoke but it never looked like Paul Lambert's men would hold on for a three-point haul.

I wasn't impressed by Stoke's performance against West Ham. Like Southampton, they are dropping down to the Sky Bet Championship without putting up much of a fight.

The Potters have conceded 64 goals this season, the most in the top-flight, and only Huddersfield, Swansea and West Brom have found the back of the net less than the bet365 Stadium outfit.

That's the recipe for relegation.

Stoke have only beaten Huddersfield in their previous 16 outings and there's no reason to back such a poor side as 7/5 favourites against seventh-placed Burnley.

The Clarets are a cracking price for the win so it's a simple selection for this game.

Score prediction: Stoke 1-2 Burnley (Sky Bet's odds: 11/1)

Best bet: Burnley to beat Stoke at 13/5

Alternative bet: Burnley to beat Stoke by one goal at 4/1


Manchester City v Swansea City (1630 BST, Sky Sports Main Event)

It might surprise some of you that Premier League champions Manchester City are looking to halt a three-match losing run at home when they host Swansea on Sunday.

Manchester United won 3-2 at the Etihad in the Premier League, while Basel and Liverpool both claimed victories at the Citizens in the Champions League.

There's 25/1 available if you think Swansea can extend that losing run to four matches. That's obviously a big price but it's hard to make a case for the strugglers to spring a surprise.

Swansea have only won one of their last six Premier League games and are looking over their shoulder at the relegation zone after a really encouraging start to life under the management of Carlos Carvalhal.

The Portuguese should still keep the Swans in the top-flight. They have a four-point advantage over third-bottom Southampton and a game in hand on Mark Hughes' side.

Manchester City secured the title on the back of rivals United's 1-0 defeat at home to West Brom last Sunday. However, it was all down to their own hard work over the course of the season that top spot was secured.

There are still record-breaking targets to aim for and you can get the full details of them by clicking this link.

Five victories to end the campaign will see Pep Guardiola's men end on 102 points. That would be seven more points than Chelsea's record haul of 95 in the 2004/05 season.

Gabriel Jesus will lead the attack for the next month after Sergio Aguero had keyhole surgery in a bid to resolve a problem in his left knee.

The Brazil forward is out to net for the third match in a row and he's most likely to net before the break.

Gabriel Jesus celebrates with Kevin De Bruyne after scoring for Manchester City
Gabriel Jesus celebrates with Kevin De Bruyne after scoring for Manchester City

Eight of Manchester City's last nine goals have been scored in the first half and I reckon this will be another quick start for Guardiola's side in a straightforward victory.

The Premier League champions have only managed two clean sheets in their previous 10 home games so backing Swansea to find the back of the net provides a bit more value.

Manchester City to win and both teams to score can be backed at 5/2 and that's a more enticing way to back the heavily odds-on home side.

Score prediction: Manchester City 3-1 Swansea (Sky Bet's odds: 10/1)

Best bet: Most goals to be scored in the first half at 23/10

Alternative bet: Manchester City to beat Swansea and both teams to score at 5/2


Preview posted at 1515 BST on 20/04/18

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