Top-Four Race Takes Centre Stage on Thursday

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Leicester face tough opposition in Sheffield United as they bid to hang onto a top four spot.

Sheffield United player

There are four Premier League games taking place on Thursday evening and there could be huge developments in the battle for the Champions League places, while top-flight survival is also on the mind of Aston Villa.

At Goodison Park, Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton play host to Villa at 18:00 and the visitors will be desperate to come away with all three points, which would move them to within one point of safety.

The Villans picked up a valuable 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace last time out and Dean Smith’s men may be worth a punt at 27/10* to overcome the Toffees, who have nothing to play for and may already be thinking towards next season.

Leicester Letting Top-Four Place Slip

Also at 18:00, there is a big clash at the King Power Stadium as Leicester City take on Sheffield United. The Foxes are fourth heading into the contest, only ahead of fifth-placed Manchester United on goal difference, while the Blades are five points off the top-four places.

Brendan Rodgers’ men were thumped 4-1 by Bournemouth last time out and they will be without defender Caglar Soyuncu for the rest of the season following his red card in that defeat to the Cherries.

Chris Wilder’s side are on a four-game unbeaten run, winning three and drawing one, and they look a solid shout at 16/5 to extend that run and put another dent in Leicester’s Champions League hopes.

United to Extend Unbeaten Run?

If Leicester drop points on home soil, Manchester United will be hoping to take advantage of that when they make the trip to Selhurst Park to take on Palace in one of two 20:15 kickoffs.

The Red Devils drew 2-2 against Southampton last time out, a result which extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 18, and they will be feeling confident of downing a Palace side that look like they are on the beach.

Roy Hodgson’s men have lost their last five matches, conceding over an average of two per game, and they will find it tough against a United side that boasts the fifth-best attacking record in the division.

France international Anthony Martial has been in good form for United, netting twice from his last two outings, and he is 13/10 to score anytime in Thursday’s contest.

Saints to See off Seagulls

The fourth and final game of the night, which also kicks off at 20:15, is a south-coast affair as in-form Southampton welcome Brighton to St Mary’s.

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men snatched a late equaliser against the Red Devils last time out to extend their unbeaten run to four matches, and the Saints have only tasted defeat once since the campaign resumed.

As for the Seagulls, they have been thumped 3-1 and 5-0 in their last two outings and they will find life tough against Southampton, who have lost just two of their past 19 matches against Brighton in all competitions.

On offer at 6/5, the Saints look worthy of that price as they aim for a top-half finish this season.

*All odds correct at time of writing.

A single-handicapper, James always offers an interesting insight to the world of golf, with extensive knowledge of both the US and European Tours. James also has a wealth of information about the domestic and international football scene.
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