Whether Spurs and Saints get cut adrift is Saturday’s 3pm theme

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There are a host of fascinating 3pm kick-offs in the Premier League before it pauses for the international break and the overriding theme concerns the ‘rat race’ for the top four places in the division.

Arsenal, as is usually the case at this time of year, are looking good for a Champions League spot.

The Gunners are nestled in third by a point and should Manchester City fail to take all three at home to West Brom in their lunchtime assignment, Arsene Wenger’s charges could well finish the weekend in second.

Arsenal’s top-four quest is sure to be aided, ironically enough, by a recurrent round-of-16 Champions League exit, so 3/5 to defeat Newcastle looks accumulator-worthy.

Newcastle have recorded a single win in seven league games under John Carver and if Arsenal prosper as expected, the emphasis to keep a modicum of pressure on them falls squarely on Southampton and Tottenham.

The pair start the weekend locked on 50 points apiece, seven back from Arsenal, with Southampton’s far superior goal difference keeping them sixth.

In theory both teams should finish the weekend as winners, but any slip ups whatsoever and regardless of what happens at Anfield on Sunday, thin top-four hopes virtually evaporate.

Despite a feckless display at Old Trafford, 3/5 says Spurs and their new England striker Harry Kane can find a way past rock-bottom Leicester at White Hart Lane.

Burnley’s win over the champions last time out means their trip to St Mary’s might not bring about such a straightforward conclusion as the Saints’ 1/2 price implies.

A win for the Clarets combined with an Aston Villa loss and no better than a draw for Sunderland, dangles the carrot of 16th by the end of play for Sean Dyche’s men.

This is not a weekend for Spurs and Saints to stumble.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.