Another week of exciting matchups is ahead of us with particular interest in Everton versus Liverpool and the other big one between Chelsea and Manchester United. Can the three pronged midfield attack of Oscar, Hazard and Mata overpower the strike force of Rooney, RVP, and Welbeck? The battle between these players will be pivotal to each side’s chances and should provide for some beautiful football to watch. It’s a tough one to call but one thing is for sure is that this is going to be a must watch game this weekend.
Best Value: West Ham looks very attractive at $3.35 against Wigan away – a good option for a few cheeky multi bets.
Arsenal ($1.35) Versus QPR ($11), Draw ($5.90)
Arsenal would be bitterly disappointed in dropping what looked like an easy 3 points against Norwich last weekend and will be gunning to rectify that by continuing QPR’s winless streak to 9. Arsene Wenger will need to work with his strikers after struggling to convert one of their 14 shots on goal and will be looking to score against a Rangers side who are sitting 20th on the table and have conceded 17 goals thus far. The last time these two met Van Persie was the difference in a 1-0 victory to the gunners. Can Gervinho, Podolski and Giroud fill the massive shoes Van Persie left behind? QPR would have taken positives from their last game against Everton and should have capitalised on the sending off of Pienaar. This should be a routine win for Arsenal at the Emirates but with a 2-0 defeat at home midweek in the Champions League to Schalke things look worrying for the Gunners.
Prediction: Arsenal 2-0
Betting Option: Arsenal to win at $1.35
Aston Villa ($2) Versus Norwich ($4.30), Draw ($3.65)
Aston Villa has not won in 4 and hosts a Norwich side who will be buzzing after defeating Arsenal at home. With both teams struggling this season and lingering just above the relegation zone this could be a massive match for one team to catch a break. Last season’s fixture ended 3-2 to Villa thanks to a brace from Darren Bent. Villa’s last goals came against West Brom from a Bent equaliser in the 80th minute and have struggled to score in over 190 minutes of game play. Norwich’s Grant Holt has scored in his last 3 games and wouldn’t surprise anyone if he gets his name on the scoresheet for the fourth consecutive time. Hard one to predict as a lot is riding on this early relegation battle but the home advantage could be the decider in a close contest here.
Prediction: Aston Villa 2-1
Betting Option: None
Manchester City ($1.24) Versus Swansea ($17.50), Draw ($7)
City are starting to create a habit of leaving it late to snatch wins from their opponents with late victories against Fulham and West Brom in the past three games. Edin Dezeko has bailed them out both times scoring 3 goals but yet he’s still not getting a starting line-up spot. Mancini would be feeling the pressure of keeping up the pace with Chelsea trailing by 4 points and could easily be further behind if they had no super sub in Dzeko. Swansea have hopefully put their dismal run of poor form behind them after an encouraging win against Wigan at home, but this upcoming match for the Welsh side looks like mission impossible for them as last season fixture saw them get thumped 4-0. Michu has been Swansea’s outstanding player so far scoring in the last two games and 6 in total. Swansea will be hoping that City’s midweek game against Ajax in Amsterdam has done some damage to their confidence after being outplayed 3-1 by the Dutch. Nevertheless the depth and talent at Mancini’s disposal accompanied by the Etihad home factor shall see City pick up the three points comfortably.
Prediction: Man City 3-1
Betting Option: Man City Win at $1.24
Reading ($2.96) Versus Fulham ($2.58), Draw ($3.55)
The Royals start to the season has been disastrous with 3 draws and 4 losses in 7 games and will have a fight on their hands to pick themselves out of the relegation zone. In contrast Fulham have been surprisingly strong even after losing some very important players in their setup from last season. Dempsey, Zamora and Dembele haven’t been missed by the Cottagers as Berbatov, Rodallega and Richardson have all stepped up to fill the void. Fulham’s narrow victory against Villa was their 4th thanks to a Baird goal late in the game. Reading would take some positives from their second half display at Anfield and could have snatched an equaliser and a point. Readings form at home has seen them draw against Stoke and Newcastle, and they were unlucky not to take three points against Newcastle. At the Madeksi stadium the Royals have only conceded 4 goals and this could be the underlying fact in what determines whether they can finally get that first win for the season. Can they keep a clean sheet? Or will Fulham get their 2nd win on the road.
Prediction: Fulham 2-1
Betting Option: Lay Reading at $2.96
Stoke ($2.04) Versus Sunderland ($4.20), Draw ($3.55)
Stoke host Sunderland in what should be an interesting encounter. As we’ve said many times, Stoke have been great defensively this season but were somewhat exposed against Manchester United in their 4-2 loss. The tactics of rotating 3 strikers in a triangle type formation certainly frustrated Stoke’s defenders which is perhaps why they let 4 goals slip through. Sunderland were lucky to get a draw at home to Newcastle thanks to a late own goal from Demba Ba made it 1-1. Stoke have won 3 of the last 4 at home against Sunderland with the corresponding fixture between these two resulting in a 1-0 win to Sunderland. Sunderland has also struggled away this season with only 3 goals and could struggle to score here against a stubborn Stoke defence that has only let 1 goal slip through at home this season.
Predicted result: Stoke 2-1
Betting option: Stoke to win at $2.04
Wigan ($2.40) Versus West Ham ($3.35), Draw ($3.50)
Wigan entertains West Ham this week at the DW Stadium. The Hammers will be riding high after their impressive 4-1 win over Southampton (despite Southampton controlling possession) whereas Wigan are hoping to rectify their 2-1 loss at Swansea. West Ham has been the better team of these two this season with 4 wins and two draws, with Wigan struggling so far with the 1 win. With Nolan and Noble hitting the back of the net for the Hammers against Southampton, they certainly have a number of attacking options. The Hammers they’ll need these attacking options to fire away from home as they’ve only scored 2 goals in away games this season. Wigan’s chances rely on Di Santo and new signing Kone to be on song in front of goal. It should be a good contest here but expect the Hammers to get the spoils in this one.
Predicted result: West Ham 2-1
Betting option: Lay Wigan at $2.40
Chelsea ($2.44) Versus Manchester United ($3.15), Draw ($3.55)
One of the games of the week sees two of the big guns face off in what’s sure to be a cracking contest. Chelsea is coming off a fantastic 4-2 victory over Spurs when they looked down and out at 2-1 down thanks to some classy finishes from Mata. The three pronged attacking midfield of Oscar, Hazard and Mata has been truly sensational to watch with their creative runs and slick passing. United are coming off a tactically fantastic win over Stoke at home with the likes of Rooney, Van Persie and Welbeck constantly rotating in a triangle type formation to frustrate the Stoke defence. It’ll certainly be interesting if similar tactics are used here against Chelsea, as they too have been tough to score against. With the last corresponding contest between these two resulting in a 3-3 draw this game shouldn’t be too shy for goals. Against United is their record at Stamford Bridge having not registered a win in their past 5 attempts. If they are to win here they need to play Welbeck, Rooney and Van Persie together again. With that said, Chelsea really look irresistible in their recent performances, so look for them to get over the line in this one. $2.44 is great odds as well.
Predicted result: Chelsea 2-1
Betting option: none
Everton ($2.94) Versus Liverpool ($2.72), Draw ($3.35)
The Merseyside derby is always a big occasion for the city of Liverpool and has always produced an entertaining match between these two rivals. Last season saw Liverpool take victory through Carroll and Suarez however this time around Everton have been in fine form only losing once so far. At Goodison Park it has been a happy hunting ground for the Reds side in the past, with Liverpool winning 4 of the last 5 encounters and will hope to carry their winning form from last week’s win against Reading. With Pienaar suspended and Fellaini still a doubt to start this could be a close fought contest, however goals are hard to come by for Liverpool with Suarez struggling to find the net, while Everton have Mirallas, Jelevic and Anichebe all scoring this campaign. The Blues have only conceded 3 goals this season at home thanks to a solid defence, while the Reds have conceded 6 on the road and this could be a major factor in the outcome of this match. We believe with the strong form David Moyes men are in and the home ground advantage Everton should just pip Liverpool in this derby. Watch out for a card or two…
Prediction: Everton 2-1
Betting Option: None
Newcastle ($2.02) Versus West Brom ($4), Draw ($3.70)
Despite coming off a 2-1 loss to Manchester City, West Brom is one of the form teams in the league and their visit to Newcastle is building up to be a tight contest. Newcastle has been somewhat mediocre of late after a lot of talk before the season that they would be fighting for a top 4 spot. They currently sit in 11th spot on the ladder coming off 2 draws and a loss of which at least one of these should have been a win. The last time these two played at the Sports Direct Arena it resulted in a 3-2 win to West Brom. This season however, WBA is yet to win away this season and have also only scored 2 goals away. Newcastle are a pretty organised team and shouldn’t be taken lightly and with Demba Ba currently joint top scorer in the league with 6 goals, they’ll certainly have enough firepower. Look for this one to be a tight contest with Newcastle just getting the 3 points.
Predicted result: Newcastle 2-1
Betting option: none
Southampton ($4.40) Versus Tottenham ($1.89), Draw ($3.95)
The Saints at times have certainly played some exciting football at their home ground this season, and will look to continue that when they host Tottenham this week. With Spurs coming off a tough loss to Chelsea and a somewhat disappointing Europa league draw, they’ll be hungry to get the 3 points in this one. Tottenham’s problem all season has been an inability to score in the first half with the majority of goals coming in the second half this season and they’ll be looking to rectify this against Southampton. Spurs should be boosted by the returns of Bale and potentially Dembele who were both sorely missed in the loss to Chelsea. Look for Lambert and Rodriguez to cause Tottenham’s defence a few issues who have been prone to leak a few goals this season. In the end though, Spurs should just be too strong in this one. Look for Defoe to continue his scoring ways and add to his 5 goals so far.
Predicted result: Tottenham 3-2
Betting option: Tottenham to win at $1.88
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