Another weekend of football awaits us after a week of plenty of action that saw Abramovich sack another coach at Chelsea after a poor run of form. It makes this weekend’s matchup of Chelsea and Manchester City all the more interesting as it has already been one of the most anticipated matchups all season. As well as this matchup, will we see West Brom continue their amazing run of form? Will Spurs bounce back after an embarrassing rout against arch rivals Arsenal? Do QPR have any hope against Manchester United?
Best Value: Arsenal looks great value at $1.71.
Sunderland ($2.52) Versus West Brom ($3.15), Draw ($3.45)
A surprise win for Sunderland away at Fulham saw them take their first points on the road which took them 3 points clear of the relegation zone and gives them some breathing space. The Black Cats capitalised on a ten men Fulham, however their problems are still visible and one win will not change their fortunes as of yet. West Brom’s fine form has continued strongly since day one of the season and saw them notch another win against title chasers Chelsea. Three wins in a row for Steve Clarke’s men has firmly secured them in outright 4th position as Everton lost to Reading. WBAs players like Long, Morrison and Odemwingie have been in fine form though travelling to the Stadium of Light will be a tough contest.
Predicted Result: Draw 1-1
Betting Option: Lay Sunderland at $2.52
Stoke ($2.22) Versus Fulham ($3.55)
Stoke City have been solid at home so far this season with the Britannia becoming a fortress. It’s never easy for travelling teams to take on Stoke as they always make the game a bit of a scrap fight. Stoke took the points last season late in the game and will look to do the same again however their scoring record has been a worry as they are equal 2nd lowest scorers, with 10 goals in 12 games. Fulham on the other hand are the 2nd highest scorers in the league with Berbatov and Ruiz leading the way. Fulham had been travelling well till their loss last week and things won’t get any easier this week. A draw seems the likely outcome.
Predicted Result: Draw 1-1
Betting Option: Lay Stoke at $2.22
Manchester United ($1.21) Versus QPR ($18), Draw ($8)
Mark Hughes lives to fight another week but will this be his last against his former team United? Zero wins, 4 draws and 8 losses would have surely sent any other team manager packing in the league – surely this cannot continue too much longer. United took the 3 points last time at Old Trafford, and after a shock loss to Norwich at home last week the hair dryer will be definitely out if Ferguson’s men aren’t back performing to their normal high standards. QPR would hope to take advantage of United losing midweek to Galatasary, however with the Rangers conceding the 2nd most goals in the league and United top scorers this should be a comfortable win for the Reds.
Predicted Result: United win 3-0
Betting Option: United Win @ $1.21
Everton ($1.49) Versus Norwich ($8.2), Draw ($4.7)
Everton had a rare slip up last week against a team they should have beaten if they want to be playing in Europe next season. Everton haven’t loss at home so far and look to play catch up to West Brom by defeating Norwich. Norwich has not lost in 5 and their win against United and Arsenal would have Chris Hughton’s men buzzing with confidence. The only concern for the Canaries is their scoring, no team has scored less than them and you can’t win games if your strikers aren’t putting the ball in the back of the net. Everton should have enough depth to cover for Fellaini’s ban and take the win at home.
Predicted Result: Everton win 2-0
Betting Option: Everton Win @ $1.49
Wigan ($1.9) Versus Reading ($4.5), Draw ($3.9)
Reading finally broke their winning duck last week against an Everton side failing to capitalise on their early lead. The 3 points took them out of the relegation zone and this weekend’s match will be crucial in who gets a head start in the annual dog fight for survival. Arouna Kone looks promising for the Latics and will be dangerous at home. Wigan’s form has been so up and down this season we can’t be sure which Wigan team will turn up to play. The Latics have a knack for playing well till they concede and if Reading takes their chances they could make it two on the trot. A tight contest is predicted but home advantage should just see Wigan take the points.
Predicted Result: Wigan Win 1-0
Betting Option: None
Aston Villa ($5.3) Versus Arsenal ($1.71), Draw ($4.2)
Arsenal travel to Villa Park coming off a 5-2 rout against Tottenham last week. Despite the red card to Adebayor when Tottenham were well on top, one cannot deny how well Arsenal played. Cazorla was fantastic and if he plays as well this week he is bound to be damaging. Equally as impressive was Theo Walcott who was causing all sorts of problems for Spurs. Villa on the other hand are coming off a 5-0 thrashing from Manchester City and are well short of confidence coming into this one. Villa are yet to register a win at home in their last 5 against Arsenal and it looks like this trend will continue. At $1.71 it looks quite good value for Arsenal in this one.
Predicted Result: Arsenal 2-0
Betting Option: Arsenal to win at $1.71
Swansea ($3.75) Versus Liverpool ($2.12), Draw ($3.65)
This is an interesting matchup with Swansea coming off a very impressive away win at Newcastle and Liverpool defeating a Wigan side which of late had shown some solid form. Swansea started the season very well before going into somewhat of a rut and it now looks like they are back to playing some of their better football. Luis Suarez has been in fine touch in recent weeks and Swansea will have to quell his influence on the game if they are to have a chance of getting some sort of result in this one. The corresponding fixture between these two last season resulted in a 1-0 win to Swansea late in the game. With both sides playing decent football now this is sure to be another close encounter.
Predicted Result: Draw 1-1
Betting Option: Both teams to score looks the best value here at $1.66. The draw at 1-1 at $7.4 is tempting.
Southampton ($2.38) Versus Newcastle ($3.15), Draw ($3.65)
Southampton had a great win over QPR last week to give them their first win away and second win of the season. Coming home to host a Newcastle side that can’t seem to get anything right lately, they’ll certainly be confident. Newcastle is yet to win away this season and won’t have an easy time down in Southampton. Even though the wins column only sits at 1 at home, Southampton has played some of their best football at home which has seen them trouble the likes of Manchester United. Newcastle has also lost some creativity in midfield with Cabaye out with a groin injury until the New Year. Look for Southampton to consolidate their win against QPR with a strong result here at home.
Predicted Result: Southampton 2-1
Betting Option: Southampton is tempting odds at $2.38 to win
Tottenham ($1.7) Versus West Ham ($6), Draw ($4.2)
Tottenham play host to West Ham in another big game this week, especially big for Spurs as they search for a win to keep them in touch with the top 4. West Ham will have little fear as they’ve shown recently against other big clubs with a stunning win away at Newcastle and holding Manchester City to a draw at home. Spurs were soundly beaten on the scoreboard against Arsenal in their dramatic 5-2 loss but you can’t deny that Spurs were on track for a strong win early on if not for Adebayor’s brain fade – Though at the end of the day the fact remains they lost. West Ham will be looking to get a big scalp here with Spurs under pressure for that next win and struggling with a number of injuries. Look for spurs to come out strong at home and put the drama of last week behind them. It won’t be as easy as the odds suggest but Spurs should get their next win here with the goal scoring duties left to Defoe. Watch for Carroll who’ll be looking to get his first goal for the Hammers against a big team.
Predicted Result: Tottenham 2-1
Betting Option: Tottenham to win at $1.70
Chelsea ($2.62) Versus Manchester City ($2.86), Draw ($3.75)
What a week it has been for Chelsea, though is it surprising considering the little patience Abramovich has shown us in the past? We think not. Earlier in the week Chelsea were at $2.52 favourites and have now drifted to $2.62 on betfair. City’s last 6 Premier League games sees them undefeated with 5 wins and 1 draw whilst Chelsea sit at 2 wins, 2 draws and 2 losses in their last 6. Interestingly the last 10 games between these two have not resulted in a draw. Question marks over Torres’s form continue so it will be interesting to see how interim coach Benitez handles him. City will be hoping to fly under the radar here with all the pressure on Chelsea to perform and get the 3 points at home. With the likes of Tevez, Aguero and Silva contributing goals in the 5-0 rout of Aston Villa, they won’t be too short of confidence to add to the woes of Chelsea here. Chelsea will no doubt be pumped up to get back on the winner’s list, one just has to wonder how their mental state is.
Predicted Result: City 2-1
Betting Option: Whilst City looks value at $2.86, both teams to score at $1.52 is good value as well.
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