Another big weekend of football beckons in what is shaping up as one of the most intriguing and exciting title races for some time. Chelsea of course are the early leaders, but it only takes a few bad results and injuries to fall back to the pack and with plenty of football to come there will no doubt be some surprises. I think this weekend is looking like one of those that might throw up a few curve balls in terms of results.
**Odds from Sportsbet as at 25th October
West Ham ($6) versus Manchester City ($1.57), Draw ($4)
First up is West Ham taking on Manchester City at home in what looks an interesting game. The Hammer’s look a much more free flowing side this season compared to previous and have put themselves in a good position to be competitive here. They’ve been in some solid form winning 3 of their last 4 albeit that their last 2 wins were over the struggling QPR and Burnley. They’ll need to take the next step up though if they are to get a win over Manchester City here though who have beaten West Ham in their past 5 games in all competitions scoring 16 goals in the process and only conceding twice. City had a good win over Tottenham last weekend to make it 3 in a row and whilst I think West Ham will be tough at home, City should get the 3 points in the end. Although 2 of Aguero’s 4 goals against Tottenham last week were penalties, he was in sensational form and that kind of form will propel City forward here.
Predicted score: Manchester City 3-1
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.51 (95%)
Next Best: Manchester City to lead at Half-Time at $1.91
Liverpool ($1.44) versus Hull ($7.5), Draw ($4.5)
One of the danger games for me this weekend with Liverpool playing pretty poorly this season whilst Hull have been pretty tough to beat. I feel the fact Liverpool currently sit in 5th masks their issues which is that they look a little dull in attack without Sturridge and they are shaky at the back. They relied on luck last week against QPR and if not for 2 own goals QPR should have and deserved to win. That though is football and it’s a fickle game at times but is one of the main reasons why it’s the best sport in the world. Their opponents Hull sit in 11th but have only lost twice in 8 games and I think they’ll provide tough competition for Liverpool this week. Perhaps the thing that will hamper their chances will be if Michael Dawson doesn’t make the start having come off with an injury against Arsenal last week. He was in good form so that could open things up for Liverpool if he’s not available. Either way though I still feel Hull will be hard to beat here. Liverpool seem in a bit of a rut with Sturridge out for a little longer, the bad version of Balotelli is hanging around, and they just can’t seem to keep a clean sheet (1 from 8 games). Liverpool more likely to win but don’t be surprised if they drop points here.
Predicted score: Draw 2-2
Best Bet: Both teams to score – Yes at $1.67 (80%)
Next Best: Over 2.5 goals at $1.55
Southampton ($1.61) versus Stoke ($6), Draw ($3.75)
Southampton put on a clinic last week against Sunderland knocking 8 past them in what was an incredible game for the sheer amount of goals scored along with a few goal keeping howlers, and own goals as well. It would surely be an amazing thing for a repeat performance here but I dare say that last weekend was just one of those blowouts that happens from time to time in football. They take on a stronger side defensively in Stoke this weekend so we should have an interesting game with one of the more potent attacks taking on one of the better defences of the league. Taking out the 8 goal anomaly last weekend, Southampton were still going at 2 goals a game at home whilst only conceding once 3 games. Interestingly though, Stoke have not failed to score in any of their away games this season which should give them some confidence ahead of this one. It’ll be interesting to see how they come out against Southampton though after that performance last week – will it play on their minds a little if they concede early? If they do it’ll give Southampton plenty to go on and claim another 3 points. Southampton though will need to be careful to not let their confidence turn into over confidence this week.
Predicted score: Southampton 2-1
Best Bet: Half-Time Double Chance – Southampton & Stoke at $1.61 (75%)
Next Best: Southampton to win at $1.61
Sunderland ($4.75) versus Arsenal ($1.75), Draw ($3.75)
A shocking display from Sunderland last weekend will no doubt leave them feeling pretty empty and asking a lot of questions as to what happened. Bigger things await though with a visit from Arsenal who themselves are struggling a little in the league having not won since 20th September. They will however take a boost out of their comeback win in the Champion’s league over Anderlecht where they scored in the 89th and 90th minute to claim victory. Given their problems with injuries and suspensions it would have been a much needed boost. If they can take that winning mentality into this one then they shouldn’t have too many problems. Sunderland though will be looking for a strong reaction to last week especially at home so I doubt they’ll be pushovers here. Before last week the Black Cats had only lost once and were looking in relatively good form. A danger game for Arsenal as a result with the unknown of how Sunderland will react here. For me though I’m going with the Gunners for a close win.
Predicted score: Arsenal 2-1
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.85 (80%)
Next Best: Arsenal to win and Both Teams to score at $3.62
West Brom ($1.91) versus Crystal Palace ($4.2), Draw ($3.5)
West Brom take on Palace this weekend and both sides will be looking to get back on the winners list with the Baggies losing and drawing 1 from their last 2 and Palace losing their last 2 games. West Brom for me though look the more likely to get the 3 points here at home and coming off a pretty good performance against Manchester United earlier in the week to claim a point and what probably should have been 3 points. Berahino is in excellent form with 4 goals from his last 3 games and I think he’ll again be the main here and will cause Palace problems. I think Palace look a little off at the back away from home conceding 9 from their 4 away games and with Berahino in good form West Brom are the ones to beat here.
Predicted score: West Brom 2-0
Best Bet: West Brom to win at $1.91 (75%)
Next Best: Berahino to score anytime at $2.3
Swansea City ($1.91) versus Leicester ($4.2), Draw ($3.5)
Swansea have thus far failed to recapture their early season form which saw them win their first 3 games of the season and have since claimed just the 2 points from 5 games. There is no doubting their ability though and they still pose a threat to many a side in this league. They take on Leicester this weekend with Leicester themselves not in the greatest of form with just 1 point from their past 3 games. Leicester have struggled away from home with just the 1 win and 3 losses and perhaps more crucially just the one goal scored away from home. They could find it tough against Swansea this weekend who can be pretty tough to break down in defence which has seen them concede just the 3 goals at home this season which came in 2 of their 4 games at home. I think this is the perfect opportunity for Swansea to get back on the winner’s list and claim a win for the first time since August.
Predicted score: Swansea 2-0
Best Bet: Swansea to win at $1.91 (85%)
Next Best: Exactly 2 or 3 goals at $2.05
Burnley ($4.5) versus Everton ($1.83), Draw ($3.6)
As if last weekend’s match against West Ham wasn’t tough enough, Burnley now face the task of hosting Everton. With Arsenal, Hull, and Stoke to follow, it’s a tough run of games for Burnley to negotiate. Perhaps one thing in their favour though is that Everton have so far failed to reach the heights of previous seasons as they sit in 13th on the table winning just 2 games from 8. Everton did though get a good win over Villa last weekend and that will no doubt give them a boost. The recent return of Coleman too has been a big boost with the defender one of the best attacking fullbacks in the league. My one concern is the effect of the Europa League. Everton have so far lost their following premier league outing after their Europa league games and given they played this week it does make for an interesting build-up. If it was another side other than Burnley though I’d be inclined to think Everton may have some trouble this weekend. I think they may be a little lethargic but I can’t see them losing this one.
Predicted score: Everton 2-1
Best Bet: Everton to win either Half at $1.42 (95%)
Next Best: Everton Draw No Bet at $1.3
Tottenham ($1.73) versus Newcastle ($5), Draw ($3.5)
Interesting matchup here with Tottenham taking on Newcastle who claimed their first win of the season last weekend against Leicester. It’s also interesting for the fact that Newcastle beat Spurs in the same fixture last season 1-0 and with some confidence building at Newcastle this could be a good game. Tottenham have had an interesting week of football losing 4-1 to Manchester City despite playing pretty well and then thumping a lowly Asteras Tripolis in the Europa League 5-1. If you haven’t seen the highlights of that game, I highly recommend you jump on YouTube and watch Lamela’s Rabona goal which is no doubt leading the charge for goal of the season now. I think another key thing to take out of that game is that Spurs finally look like they have a striker and a young one at that in Harry Kane. His 4 goals in his past two Europa League games should earn him a start this weekend or at the very least some extended game time off the bench. I think the confidence boost from Tottenham’s Europa League win should be enough to see them win here with Newcastle looking a little thin with injuries and in relatively poor form away from home.
Predicted score: Tottenham 2-1
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.7 (70%)
Next Best: Tottenham to win at $1.73
Manchester United ($2.87) versus Chelsea ($2.4), Draw ($3.5)
Whilst Manchester United are currently a shadow of their former selves, this is still going to a game that gets a lot of attention as they host Chelsea this weekend. Chelsea though have a few injuries to contend with this weekend as there are doubts of Remy & Diego Costa which could perhaps slow down their offence a little. They do however have Drogba ready to take the lead if need be and he can still be a threat even in the twilight of his career. Things have started to come back together for United a little in recent weeks winning 2 of their last 3 with a hiccup earlier in the week against West Brom when they drew 2-2. The Jury is still out on this Manchester United defence but the potential absence of Costa and Remy could give them some reprieve. Chelsea tend to approach these big matchups with caution and although the frailties of United are well known I don’t think they’ll take any other approach than caution here against a big rival. For me this rests on the fitness of Costa. Yes United have been pretty poor this season but things look like they are slowly coming together and in my opinion this game looks delicately poised to go either Chelsea’s way or almost as equally a draw.
Predicted score: Draw 1-1 (Depending on the line-up if Costa or Remy take part then I’d be leaning towards a Chelsea win)
Best Bet: Both teams to score – Yes at $1.62 (80%)
Next Best: Exactly 2 or 3 goals at $2.03
QPR ($2.3) versus Aston Villa ($3.25), Draw ($3.25)
The final match of week 9 sees QPR take on Aston Villa at home. QPR were incredibly unlucky to not get something out of their match against Liverpool last week with 2 own goals ultimately ruining their chances having been the better side throughout. They’ll need to take the positives out of it though when they take on Villa here in what should be a good contest. One point from their last 5 games doesn’t make for great reading but I think you could see improvement in QPR last week and I think they’ll be heavily focused on 3 points here given matches against Chelsea and Manchester City follow this one. Villa themselves are in much need of a win having lost their past 4 games conceding 11 goals and also failing to score any of their own. They too need points which for me points to this one being a hotly contested game. As a result I think we can see this one ending in a high scoring draw with neither side able to afford another loss.
Predicted score: Draw 2-2
Best Bet: Both teams to score – Yes at $1.91 (85%)
Next Best: Over 2.5 goals at $2.25
All of the above are the opinions of the author and are not recommendations or advice. The author may not be taking every bet listed above. Bet at your own risk.
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