Well it was certainly a bumpy weekend with plenty of ups and downs in the FA cup fixtures. Liverpool will be fuming about their poor showing against Oldham where they were stunned 3-2 and will need a big turnaround in form when they face Arsenal away this week. Likewise, Tottenham will be searching for answers after their poor showing at Leeds where they lost 2-1 – But perhaps that is what you get for not playing a striker. Let’s have a look and see where the teams stand as they head into this week’s midweek fixtures. It’s sure to be an action packed week with the close of the January Transfer window as well to keep us on our toes.
Best Bet: Chelsea to win at $1.5
Safe Multi: Manchester City to win at $1.49, Manchester United to win at $1.26, Chelsea to win at $1.5 and Everton double chance at $1.10 = $3.09
Value Multi: Manchester City at $1.49, Manchester United at $1.22, Everton to win at $1.61, Stoke to win at $2, and Chelsea at $1.5 = $8.77
Aston Villa ($2.5) Versus Newcastle ($2.75), Draw ($3.3)
- Aston Villa Last 5:LLDLD
- 1 win in their last 5 at home
- Have only scored 1 goal in their last 5 at home
- Newcastle Last 5:LLLDL
- Lost 4 of their last 5 away
Beaten in the FA cup against championship side Millwall, who thinks we should just relegate Villa and put them and their supporters out of their misery? Despite the injury woes of these two, both have been terribly disappointing and painful to watch. As we say this every week with the bottom teams this could just be the game to decide which team stays up! It will be anyone’s guess who will come out on top but hard to see either team taking control or finally breaking their winning drought. Newcastle has strengthened in the Jan transfer period so far and it will be interesting to see if their new signings will have an immediate impact.
Predicted result: Draw 1-1
Betting Option: none
QPR ($8.2) Versus Manchester City ($1.49), Draw ($4.6)
- QPR Last 5:LLWDD
- Have shown improvement defensively over their last 3 games only conceding 1 goal to West Ham (Drew against Spurs and beat Chelsea)
- Manchester City 5:LWWWW
- Averaging 2.5 Goals For over their last 4 wins.
Redknapp sent out a second string side against MK Dons in the FA Cup with a view of keeping his first team players refresh and fit for the arrival of City. QPR are still 5 points adrift of safety and will definitely be looking to get something out of this match. City have been in good form recently, twice beating Stoke home and away as well as beating Arsenal at the Emirates. Mancini will be a little worried that his defence is starting to wear thin with Kompany out with a calf injury, Toure brothers at the African Cup as well as Maicon and Richards still on the sidelines. This could open up some opportunities for Remy to cause some damage but City should have enough class to beat the rangers and keep the pressure on Manchester United.
Predicted result: City to win 2-1
Betting Option: City to win at $1.49
Stoke ($2.00) Versus Wigan ($3.8), Draw ($3.4)
- Stoke Last 5:WDLLL
- Conceded 11 goals at Home all season of which 10 have come in their last 5 at home.
- Wigan Last 5:LWLDL
- 1 win in their last 10
Stoke will be looking to bounce back after suffering their worst period of the season, being thumped by City, Chelsea and Swansea would definitely dent their confidence from being touted as the best defence in the League. Their last 5 games at home says it all with 10 of their 11 goals conceded at home coming in their last 5. Wigan is struggling sitting 19th and the trip to the Britannia will be a tough physical test and the Latics look likely to fail. Stoke will impose their physical strength to bounce back from a tough period and unfortunately Wigan, whilst they have been competitive, don’t look to have a strong enough unit to outshine Stoke at home.
Predicted result: Stoke win 2-1
Betting Option: Stoke to win at $2 is the value whilst the safe bet is Stoke double chance at $1.22
Sunderland ($2.4) Versus Swansea ($3), Draw ($3.3)
- Sunderland Last 5:WLLWW
- Only one win against top half sides this season
- Swansea Last 5:DWDDW
- Undefeated in their last 6
Sunderland host Swansea in what’s sure to be a fantastic game with both sides showing good form in the New Year. Swansea will not be easy to beat and are on a 6 game unbeaten run to consolidate their mid table placing. Sunderland has improved and are starting to play some really good football with their last 5 at home seeing 4 at home seeing wins against Manchester City, West Ham and Reading. We can’t underestimate Swansea given their recent good run but they have been playing a lot of football of late and this could test their fitness.
Predicted result: Sunderland to win 2-1
Betting Option: Sunderland Double Chance at $1.36
Arsenal ($2.3) Versus Liverpool ($3.2), Draw ($3.3)
- Arsenal Last 5:WDLLW
- Podolski and Walcott have combined for 60.8% of Arsenal’s goals in all competitions this season.
- Liverpool Last 5:LWWLW
- Lost 3 of their last 5 away (Man Utd, Stoke and Tottenham with wins over QPR and West Ham).
Arsenal host a humiliated Liverpool side that lost 3-2 to Oldham over the weekend in the FA Cup. Arsenal managed to scrape past Brighton but only just. The battle of this one will rest between the attacking pairs of Walcott/Podolski and Suarez/Sturridge. So far the Suarez/Sturridge partnership looks to be a good one and at times they look like they have been playing together for a lot longer. They’ll need to sparkle again here if they are to have any chance of toppling Arsenal at home.
Predicted result: Arsenal 2-1
Betting Option: Both teams to score at $1.55
Everton ($1.61) Versus West Brom ($5.5), Draw ($4)
- Everton Last 5:WLWDD
- Only 1 loss at home in the PL to Chelsea.
- West Brom Last 5:WLLLD
- 1 win in their last 5 away
The ever consistent Everton host West Brom this week and with Everton hard to beat at home and WBA struggling of late it’s hard to see anything but an Everton win here. Though they have been playing well, they have struggled to score in their last two games. It’s hard to see exactly where West Brom has got it wrong lately after their early season form. With only 1 win in their last 5 away games, we can’t see West Brom getting a win here.
Predicted result: Everton 1-0
Betting Option: Everton to win at $1.61
Fulham ($2.2) Versus West Ham ($3.4), Draw ($3.25)
- Fulham Last 5:DLWDL
- Need to find some home form with only 1 win in their last 5 home games and only scored 5 goals.
- West Ham Last 5:LWLDL
- 4 losses and a draw in their last 5 away only scoring once.
A struggling Fulham entertains an equally struggling West Ham this week with both in desperate need of a win. Berbatov again will be the key in this one and but with their struggles in midfield depth he’ll again be needed all over the park to create chances. West Ham is struggling away from home so their best chance here will be for a draw with a win not out of the question. It’s hard to see either side dominating but the value here is the double chance for West Ham with a draw the most likely outcome.
Predicted result: Draw 1-1
Betting Option: West Ham Double Chance at $1.67 looks the value here
Manchester United ($1.22) Versus Southampton ($12), Draw ($6.5)
- Manchester United Last 5:WWWWD
- The RVP machine continues to rumble along with 6 goals in his last 5 games! He also scored 3 against Southampton last time they met in that 3-2 thriller.
- Southampton Last 5:DDWDD
- Solid away form over their last 5 with only 1 loss (3 draws and 1 win)
Manchester United was perhaps a little unlucky to have let a goal slip in injury time against Spurs in their last PL fixture but will be looking to consolidate their top spot when they host Southampton. Southampton’s new manager will need time with his players to impose his style of play but they did well in their last fixture against Everton to get the draw. It’s a tough assignment here that should be too much for Southampton and with RVP in such stunning form, there should be plenty of goals here.
Predicted result: Manchester United 3-1
Betting Option: Manchester United to win at $1.22
Norwich ($4.33) Versus Tottenham ($1.85), Draw ($3.5)
- Norwich Last 5:LLLDL
- Struggling – have not won in their last 6
- Tottenham Last 5:WWWDD
- Undefeated in their last 7 dropping only 3 goals. They’ll need to improve their defensive performances after their loss to Leeds though.
Norwich host Tottenham with both teams struggling in different ways recently. Spurs have struggled to recapture their sparkling form from Christmas and haven’t been able to score as consistently with draws against QPR and Manchester United. The positive is that they haven’t been conceding heavily despite the shock 2-1 loss to Leeds in the FA cup. Norwich has been on a tough streak of late failing to win in their last 6 fixtures. Norwich were excellent in their last meeting with Spurs managing to snatch a draw, but given their recent run of form it’s hard to see them getting the points over a Spurs side that should respond to their average results of late.
Predicted result: Tottenham 2-0
Betting Option: Tottenham to win at $1.85
Reading ($7) Versus Chelsea ($1.5), Draw ($4)
- Reading Last 5:DWLWW
- Full of confidence with 3 wins in their last 4.
- Pogrebnyak has found some form with 3 goals in the last 4.
- Chelsea Last 5:WLWDW
- Struggling against the small boys – draws against Southampton and Brentford and that loss to QPR keeps them under pressure.
Reading has had a fantastic run of recent results with wins over Newcastle, West Brom and West Ham in their last 4. Coming up against Chelsea will be a difficult task though Chelsea have been a little poor looking at their Capital One Cup fixtures against Swansea and their poor 2-2 draw against Brentford in the FA Cup. Reading will be filled with a new sense of confidence but this could be harmful in their bid to get a big scalp in Chelsea. It will be interesting to see how they play – do they play for the draw or do they play adventurous for the win? Either way could be dangerous if Chelsea get their game going. Expect a Chelsea win but with some steady resistance from the renewed Royals.
Predicted result: Chelsea 2-1
Betting Option: Chelsea to win at $1.5 is great value!
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