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Sam Hendry with his best football bets for the weekend

Sheffield United vs Brighton – Saturday 3pm

The Blades are an inch short of evens to defeat struggling Brighton this afternoon and should be backed to claim another three point sin their unlikely bid to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

After the news broke of Manchester City’s two-year ban from European competitions, UEFA confirmed that the Premier League’s fifth placed side would qualify for the continent’s premier tournament for the 2020/21 campaign.

Given the struggles of some of the country’s more established sides, that puts Chris Wilder’s side right in the mix given they are only two points off Chelsea in fourth with some favourable upcoming fixtures.

Without a win in their last seven in all competitions, Brighton have slipped closer to the relegation zone. They’re not a bad side, but they just don’t have that winning habit and could find it tough at Bramall Lane.

Southampton vs Aston Villa – Saturday 3pm

After a mid-season revival, Southampton’s have hit a bad spell again with three defeats in their last four. They also have the worst home record in the division having only won earned 11 points from their 13 games at St Mary’s.

Luckily, they come up against a porous Aston Villa defence who have now conceded the most goals in the league after a calamitous late loss to Spurs last week.

Danny Ings will certainly fancy his chances – only Jamie Vardy and Sergio Aguero have more league goals than the in-form Englishman this year.

Villa will be confident of posing problems for Southampton as well. Despite their defensive woes, they are usually good for a goal especially with Jack Grealish in the side.

Ings to score anytime is 8/11, both teams to score is 8/13 and you can combine those two punts at bet365 for a 6/4 double.

Leicester City vs Manchester City – Saturday 5.30pm

A big game between two of the top three, but one that doesn’t carry the weight of importance a match of such calibre usually would given both teams are comfortably ahead of fourth yet miles behind Liverpool.

Brendan Rodgers has a dilemma in defensive midfield with Wilfried Ndidi and Nampalys Mendy injured, and Hamza Choudhary suspended leaving him short.

There could barely be a worse opponent to have such a shortage. Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez could thrive in such conditions.

Leicester have plenty quality going forward to threaten the visitors dodgy defence and I’d back Jamie Vardy to end his recent goal drought. He hasn’t scored in his last six games but has a great record against City and will relish the space left in behind.

Vardy to score anytime is 11/10 and it’s 12/5 for a City win and both teams to score.

 

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