English Premier League Game Week 9 Preview

English Premier League - Football


Welcome to the week 9 preview of the English Premier League which sees us encroach on the quarter mark of the season. With 8 weeks gone it’s safe to say we’ve seen more ups, downs and surprises than we would have thought at the start of the season. For one, who would’ve thought Manchester United would have been languishing in 8th place. It might have been somewhat understandable to be around 4th or 5th given the new management in Moyes, but 8th is certainly where they don’t won’t to be for too long. It certainly makes the build-up to the January transfer window pretty exciting with all the rumours and speculation heaping pressure upon the managers and players themselves. But enough of that talk, there’s some big games this weekend in particular the Tyneside derby between Sunderland and Newcastle as well as a clash of the big boys between Chelsea and Manchester City. Another game I’m certainly looking forward to is Villa hosting Everton with a clash of the Belgian powerhouse strikers in Benteke and Lukaku. If that’s not enough to excite you this weekend, then I’m really not sure what will.


Best Bets this week:

Sunderland v Newcastle over 2.5 goals at $1.94 – Recent meetings have pointed more to an under 2.5 result, but with a depleted Newcastle defence, an in form Remy, and a first home game for Poyet I’m sure there will be goals.


Aston Villa and Everton both to score at $1.71


Great Value this week:

Arsenal half time/full time against Palace at $2.04


Betting odds from Betfair as at 25/10/13


Crystal Palace ($10) Vs Arsenal ($1.39), Draw ($5.2) 

Another manager bites the dust with Ian Holloway doing the noble thing and departing Crystal Palace by mutual consent. With no replacement yet announced, it’s a little difficult to see how Palace will react. There’s no doubt they’ll be up for this given it’s a home game and they are effectively manager-less, but they are up against an Arsenal side with a lot to prove themselves after being beaten by Borussia Dortmund during the week. I’d suspect Crystal Palace will come out pretty hard in the early stages of the game with Arsenal playing a tad cautious knowing that Palace will come out firing. Once Arsenal kick into gear though, I don’t think there will be a lot stopping them here. Besides their Champion’s league defeat during the week, they’ve been in incredible form and I don’t think the likes of Ozil, Ramsey and Carzorla will allow another loss this week.


Predicted result: Arsenal 3-0


Best bet: Arsenal half/full time at $2.04 is good value


Best Bet Confidence: 80%


Aston Villa ($3.55) Vs Everton ($2.3), Draw ($3.4) 

Recent history between these two shows some pretty tight battles with 4 of the last 6 resulting in draws and with the last 5 seeing both teams score. With Benteke returning from injury last week against Tottenham and threatening from the moment he stepped on the pitch to add to the goal scoring threat that is Lukaku for Everton, this trend should continue.


Everton are in a pretty good run of form with 4 wins from their past 5 thanks largely to Lukaku and the bright talent in Barkley. With neither side having major injury concerns of note, I think this game will follow recent trends and end in a draw. Villa have shown how they can stun the big sides as they did against Manchester City and Arsenal. Benteke’s return will be huge for this side. As a Tottenham fan it was nervous times when Benteke came on last week and if not for hitting the cross bar the game could have ended in a draw at the very least. He lifted the players around him and I think he’ll do this again this week against a side that is tough home and away.


Predicted result: Draw 1-1


Best bet: Both teams to score at $1.71


Best Bet Confidence: 90%


Liverpool ($1.45) Vs West Brom ($8.8), Draw ($4.8) 

Liverpool take on West Brom this week hoping to reverse the result of the last time these two met at Anfield. In fact the baggies have won their last two visits to Anfield to give them 4 wins from their last 6 meetings in all competitions. The Baggie’s have also had a better run of results in their last 3 in comparison to Liverpool. A win against United away, a draw against Arsenal at home and a draw away at Stoke makes for impressive reading. Liverpool have had 2 wins in their last 3 though against strugglers in Sunderland and Crystal Palace whilst they succumbed to 2-2 draw against a spirited Newcastle side that were reduced to 10 men.


If Liverpool are going to get the win this weekend, and I think they will at home, they’ll need to lift their game in the first half. Last week against Newcastle they just looked incredibly flat. Whether it was due to the International break and fatigue I’m not sure, but there was no urgency when not in possession and equally a lack of creativity and adventure when in possession. They know they escaped with a win last week and they’ll bounce back this week at home in a tight one.


Predicted result: Liverpool 2-1


Best bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.66


Best Bet Confidence: 85%


Manchester United ($1.35) Vs Stoke ($12.5), Draw ($5.3) 

A tough game for Manchester United here against a typically stubborn side to break down in Stoke. United will looking to continue their strong record over Stoke undefeated in their last 10 meetings winning 9. Though it remains to be seen which United side will walk out this weekend under Moyes. The one big positive apart from the emergence of Januzaj will be the return of RVP having missed their Champion’s league fixture during the week. Stoke meanwhile will be looking for a positive result or at least performance having lost 3 of their last 4.


A shock loss here cold really start a wave on criticism at Moyes here having only managed to win their Champion’s league fixture during the week with an own goal. There’s no questioning their talent and class that they have in their squad, I just think Moyes needs to put a little faith in a couple more youngsters such as a Zaha. If Ferguson was still around, I’d dare say Zaha would have made his debut by now but perhaps Moyes problem has been over cautiousness. Let’s hope for his sake he can inspire his side to a big win this weekend. His side needs goals at home having so far only scored 4 in their 4 home games this year compared to 13 from their first 4 home games last season. Could be the perfect time to keep the critics quiet.


Predicted result: Manchester United 3-1


Best bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.83


Best Bet Confidence: 75%


Norwich ($2.22) Vs Cardiff ($3.65), Draw ($3.4) 

An interesting battle awaits here with a big spending Norwich side that has thus far really only misfired against a Cardiff side not short on confidence. Both sides have registered just the two wins, but in my view Cardiff has been the far more competitive of the two taking it up to the likes of Tottenham and Chelsea as well as beating Fulham and Manchester City.


Both sides will be viewing this as a must win game given their predicament at the lower levels of the table. I think for this reason as well as that both sides have conceded 13 goals in their 8 games, we could be in for a goal scoring draw here. Whether it’s a tighter 1-1 affair or a more exciting 2-2 draw doesn’t matter too much as I feel both teams will score here and we’ll more than likely see this end in a draw.


Predicted result: Draw 2-2


Best bet: Both teams to score at $1.87


Best Bet Confidence: 80%


Southampton ($1.64) Vs Fulham ($6.6), Draw ($4.1)

It’s been pleasing to see how well Southampton have done this season thus far sitting in 6th which is a massive effort from this side. Saint’s fans will be hoping they don’t fall into a bit of a poor run of form as West Brom did last season having started so brightly. I think they inevitably will, but I can’t see it starting this weekend at home to Fulham. Though the last 2 between these two have ended in draws, this Southampton side has a lot more to it than last season with the likes of Osvaldo and Wanyama running around.


All credit to Fulham for their last 2 games with wins over Stoke and Crystal Palace after a bit of a tough patch, but travelling down to Southampton is not easy for any side. It’ll be intriguing to see the battle of Osvaldo/Lambert against Bent/Berbatov though I suspect the former will have the last laugh in a tight match.


Predicted result: Southampton 1-0


Best bet: Under 2.5 goals at $2 looks good value here


Best Bet Confidence: 75%


Sunderland ($2.94) Vs Newcastle ($2.68), Draw ($3.4)

One of the big games of the weekend sees the Tyneside derby take place between Sunderland and Newcastle. The last time these two met it ended with Sunderland stunning Newcastle away with a 3-0 win under then new manager Di Canio. It remains to be seen whether Poyet can inspire his side to such a victory again in his first home fixture as manager. They will have their chances this weekend with Newcastle pretty light in defence with Coloccini out injured and with Yanga-Mbiwa missing thanks to his red card against Liverpool last week. Newcastle should welcome Steven Taylor back in defence to partner Williamson in a timely return.


As a derby we should expect goals here given Newcastle’s depleted defence and knack of conceding (14 conceded this year, 9 of which have been in away matches). There’s a lot going for both sides here. For Sunderland it’s their new managers first home game in charge which will be inspiration to get their first win of the season. For Newcastle, despite their defensive frailties at the moment, their attack has been led brilliantly by Remy and Ben Arfa whilst the cracking goal from Cabaye shows they have class in midfield. This one is evenly poised and I can’t see a clear winner here.


Predicted result: Draw 2-2


Best bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.94 looks the better value, though Both teams to score is a safer bet at shorter odds of $1.68


Best Bet Confidence: 85%


Chelsea ($2.42) Vs Manchester City ($3.3), Draw ($3.45) 

20 goals have been scored between these two sides in their last 4 encounters in all competitions and you’d suspect that this game could end up with a few goals given the wealth of attacking talent that both sides possess. Chelsea had a strong win against Schalke in the Champion’s league running out 3-0 winners, whilst Manchester City took the points in a tough game away at CSKA Moscow. Importantly for Chelsea was the form of Torres scoring 2 goals so it’ll be pretty interesting to see if Mourinho sticks with him this weekend. Personally I think he should show a little faith in him and give him a run after a strong performance.


City could be boosted by the return of Kompany this weekend though he could sit this one out as to not risk further injury. Apart from that, there are no other major injury concerns so we should see the best players from both sides take part. Hopefully this doesn’t finish in the same fashion as the Manchester United Chelsea game which was a dull 0-0 draw. Whilst I think this may finish in a draw, I’m pretty sure we’ll see goals from both sides.


Predicted result: Draw 1-1


Best bet: Both teams to score at $1.64


Best Bet Confidence: 90%


Tottenham ($1.47) Vs Hull ($8.8), Draw ($4.5) 

The return of Huddlestone to White Hart Lane should make for a pretty interesting reception as Hull take on Tottenham. Both sides have been solid this season with Hull super impressive given their lack of world class names. But what they lack in expensive players, they sure do make up for it with team spirit and determination. This is a side that doesn’t give up and will be a stern test for Tottenham. Tottenham had a tough test against Sheriff in the Europa league during the week and this looks like it’ll be a similar type test early on. The downside to Hull’s chances this weekend is that Allan McGregor, who has been very good in the goals, will be out through injury along with Livermore who is ineligible against his parent club.


White Hart Lane is a tough place to win for many sides and whilst I think Hull will really take it up to Tottenham here early, I don’t think they’ll get the win. Soldado’s first goal from open play in the top flight last week will also have done him and the side the world of good to give him the confidence to do it again this week. With key players such as Walker and Townsend rested from Europa league duties during the week, Spurs should have a pretty fresh squad to choose from. Despite the return from injury of Robbie Brady for Hull, the key loss for me is McGregor which could diminish some of the defensive confidence in this side.


Predicted result: Tottenham 3-0


Best bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.92


Best Bet Confidence: 70%


Swansea ($1.73) Vs West Ham ($5.5), Draw ($4) 

Swansea take on West Ham this weekend to round out the week 9 fixtures. The Hammer’s have been pretty solid defensively on the road this season have only conceded the one goals thus far, but they face a tough trip to Swansea. Without a clear cut striker in their side, they could well play the same style they did against Tottenham by choking the opposition’s midfield for space and breaking on the counter when winning possession. That could be a key tactic against a Swansea side that thrives on possession but I think Laudrup would have seen that game between Spurs and West Ham and wouldn’t be surprised if that was the tactic played here.


Swansea could again be without Ashley Williams in defence having played without him during the week in their Europa league clash. That could open the door for a West Ham goal here, but with a front line of Bony with Michu just behind, they’ll need to be careful about pushing too high up. This should be a close game but I think with Swansea’s strikers in Michu and Bony as well as this being a home game, they should be able to get the win here.


Predicted result: Swansea 2-1


Best bet: Swansea to win at $1.73


Best Bet Confidence: 70%






As an Australian growing up AFL was always my no.1 sport especially given I was lucky enough to grow up a few blocks from Carlton’s home ground, Princes Park, where I was lucky enough to attend many games. That’s where my passion for sport began but it was until the early 2000’s when I discovered a real passion for football with the Socceroos 2002 World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay accelerating my football journey. From there I began to follow the Premier League and haven’t looked back since. These days I’m a massive Tottenham fan where I’ve enjoyed many sleepless nights religiously watching them without missing a game despite many roller coaster feelings. There’s just something magical and glamorous when you watch the EPL and knowing the Profits owners Drew and Euan through studies, I’m now lucky enough to be able to share my thoughts on each game each week of the season.

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