Weekend Witness - - Racing - WITH ERIC DEN­MAN

AF­TER World Cup qual­i­fy­ing games the English Pre­mier League goes into round 31 of 38. To­day’s early game at 2.45 pm has strug­gling Sun­der­land against League lead­ers Manch­ester United. Sun­der­land has the worst record of all 20 clubs over the last seven games, with just three points out of a pos­si­ble 21. Manch­ester United won this fix­ture 3-1 in the first round and that trend could be re­peated to­day. At 5 pm, Ar­se­nal take on Read­ing and the vis­i­tors look cer­tain to be rel­e­gated this sea­son. Ar­se­nal are push­ing strongly for a place in the Cham­pi­ons League next sea­son and look the best bet of the week­end. Manch­ester City have no chance of win­ning the League, but should get max­i­mum points at home to­day when they host New­cas­tle, who are only six points above the rel­e­ga­tion zone. Southamp­ton with 31 points are just above the dan­ger zone and face a tough op­po­nent when in-form Chelsea visit. Southamp­ton have beaten Liver­pool and Manch­ester City at home and af­ter draw­ing 2-2 with Chelsea in Lon­don, I fancy this one to end up a draw. Mid-ta­ble Swansea host Spurs, who must win this game to main­tain their Cham­pi­ons League spot, so I go for the vis­i­tors to win 2-1 in Wales. As­ton Villa have fought them­selves one above the rel­e­ga­tion zone and I am ex­pect­ing them to hold Liver­pool to a draw in a tough call. The Lon­don derby has Ful­ham host­ing QPR, who lost their cru­cial match against As­ton Villa and only three points to­day would help them sur­vive rel­e­ga­tion. Ful­ham won their last Lon­don derby against Spurs, and are my warm choice this af­ter­noon. West Ham play at home and look worth a small bet when they host West Brom. The fi­nal big rel­e­ga­tion match will see Wi­gan at home to Nor­wich. Af­ter their last-minute win against New­cas­tle, Wi­gan must get max­i­mum points to­day to avoid rel­e­ga­tion and are my hot choice to beat strug­gling Nor­wich.

For rugby fans, you won’t have to worry if it is a wet Easter week­end be­cause there are no less than five Su­per 15 fix­tures to­day. The kick-off this morn­ing is as early as 5.35 am, when the Hur­ri­canes host the EP Kings. We have no his­tory to go on, but the Kings have shown enough courage for me to rec­om­mend a small bet on them with a start in the hand­i­cap sys­tem. At 8.35 am, the Chiefs host the Blues and given the home team’s abil­ity to score tries, they look a good bet to over­come their hand­i­cap, hav­ing won this fix­ture by 15 points last sea­son. The Bulls away tour is turn­ing out a night­mare and the Brumbies could add to their mis­ery at 10.40 am this morn­ing. The Bulls won this fix­ture by two points at Lof­tus last sea­son, but a vastly im­proved Brumbies look a good bet to­day. At 5.05 pm, the Chee­tahs will be look­ing for their fourth vic­tory on the trot when they host the hap­less Rebels. The Chee­tahs are play­ing at­tack­ing rugby and should be good enough to over­come their hand­i­cap in Bloem­fontein. The best game of the week­end kicks off at 7.10 pm, when the Storm­ers host the Cru­saders. The Storm­ers have scored 71 points in their last two fix­tures, but the Cru­saders have scored an amaz­ing 96 points in their last two vic­to­ries. I pre­dict the Cru­saders by seven points tonight.

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