Sam Hendry with the weekend’s best football bets

Crystal Palace vs Manchester City – Sunday 2.05pm

An absolute must win game for City after the disappointing defeat to Tottenham midweek which leaves their Champions League hopes hanging by a very loose thread.

In their next three games after this they face Tottenham twice before a mammoth encounter at Old Trafford and anything less than wins from those could prove catastrophic to their season.

Pep Guardiola’s team selection will be interesting after his midweek tinkering backfired with Riyad Mahrez quiet and Fabian Delph at fault for the only goal of the game.

Palace were a missed penalty away from ending City’s unbeaten record when they met in the corresponding fixture last season, but their home from this term has been erratic to say the least and having beaten Newcastle last week, they could take their foot off the gas with relegation fears gone.

City have been exceptional for the last 3-4 months and one bad result shouldn’t derail that momentum; a 2-0 away win is available at odds of 6/1 (Bet365, BetVictor)

Liverpool vs Chelsea – Sunday 4.30pm

Half an hour after the final whistle at Selhurst Park it’s kick-off at Anfield in a fixture that brings up painful memories for Liverpool fans after Steven Gerrard’s infamous slip when these two sides met five years ago in a similarly crucial title bout.

Jurgen Klopp has dismissed that fixture as being irrelevant as to what is happening now and while he is right, the comparisons will inevitably come should Liverpool lose.

However, there have been multiple occasions this year when people have predicted a downward turn of Liverpool’s form and despite the football not being quite as sparkling as last season, they have continued to post win after win.

Goals in the last week for Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino are a major plus for the Reds after being carried by Sadio Mane’s goals for a good month. If they come into form at the same time then their long wait for a Premier League crown will surely end

Chelsea are a difficult team to read; as capable of producing a dominating victory as they are a shambolic defeat.

They had a tough match away to Sparta Prague on Thursday and that extra fatigue could be the deciding factor here. I have this one to be a half time draw/full time Liverpool win at odds of 7/2 (generally available)

Burnley vs Cardiff City – Saturday 3pm

While the race for the title continues to thrill, the relegation spots could be wrapped up sooner rather than later and Burnley can all but secure their Premier League survival when they host Cardiff.

After a terrible first few months of the season, Sean Dyche’s side looked destined for the drop, but since the turn of the year they have rediscovered some of the form of last year.

Cardiff have games yet to come against Brighton, Fulham and Crystal Palace which could still turn their season around, but losing that late lead to Chelsea two weeks ago – unjustly given Chelsea’ equaliser was clearly offside – felt like it could be a defining moment in their season

As it is, they travel to Turf Moor to face an in-form Burnley five points from safety and with their closest rivals all involved in winnable fixtures.

Burnley to win and under 2.5 goals is my pick here at a price of 3/1 (generally available)

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