This week’s EPL action provide us with the first Manchester derby of the year which will be the highlight on Sunday. At this time of the year there tends to be one major upset a week so it’s just a matter of dodging that bullet with your multi!
Recommended multi for this week
Newcastle $1.75 over Hull – Take the Geordies to get up here! They have started the season strongly and will have too much attacking flare for Hull
Chelsea $1.25 over Fulham – The blues will be desperate to return to the winners circle after some poor form mid-week. Fulham have been rubbish and could be in for long year!
Swansea $2.25 over Crystal Palace – Swansea have had a tough draw to start the season and will appreciate this drop in class BET OF THE WEEK at the odds
Tottenham $1.80 over Cardiff – Tottenham travel to Wales but will have too much class here.
West Ham had a vital win over West Brom last week but haven't won at Anfield for 50 years. They have been turned over 2-0 at Chelsea, 5-1 at Arsenal and 3-1 at Spurs. Liverpool by 2+ with no Carroll for West Ham is the go.
Fulham are returning from a 3-2 victory in the west London derby over QPR on Monday while Newcastle lost 3-1 in Portugal on Thursday. For that reason Fulham or Draw at St James' Park is value.
West Brom have been playing in high scoring matches of late while Arsenal look leaky on the road. Both teams to score at the Hawthorns looks the option.
Monday night is the Manchester Derby at Old Trafford with United winning at City 3-2 in December. Already 15 pts clear but a win in front of their home fans will seal the title. Sir Alex wouldn't have it any other way.
Liverpool 2+ goals
Fulham or Draw
Both Teams To Score (WBrom v Arsenal)
Total = 10.78
Tottenham vs Newcastle
Newcastle have 2 wins on the trot to relieve the pressure on Alan Pardew. Tottenham won at West Brom to remain in fourth position. The new look French Newcastle team have the players to trouble Spurs but it's hard to go past Tottenham at White Hart Lane.
Tip - Spurs to win @ 1.65
Chelsea vs Wigan
Chelsea are in 3rd but are suddenly being chased down from the pack behind them after the disappointing 3-2 loss at Newcastle. Wigan remain in relegation trouble but salvaged a late draw against Southampton and Stoke in their last two. This is the sort of game where Chelsea can put teams to the sword and I expect nothing less.
Tip - Chelsea by 2+ goals @ 1.85
Sunderland vs Arsenal
Arsenal scraped home 1-0 against Stoke to keep in touch with the top 4 while Sunderland went down through a late winner at Reading. The Stadium of Light hasn't been a happy hunting ground for Arsenal so tread carefully around this one.
Tip - Both teams to score @ 1.68
Southampton vs Manchester City
Southampton might be in a relegation fight but at home they've proved value for money with a draw against Arsenal, and tight high scoring losses against Man Utd and Spurs. Man City are anything but the team which won the title last year so I fancy Saints to get something out of this.
Tip - Southampton or Draw @ 2.40
Aston Villa vs West Ham
Aston Villa are a shambles, and you really fancy them to go down unless something can change. They showed glimpses at Everton of what they can do, and should have taken the 3 points after blowing a 3-1 lead which ended up 3-3. West Ham got a vital 3 points at home to Swansea last week but away from home they are dreadful. 7 goals all season away from home is poor, and Aston Villa will see this game as the one to take maximum points from.
Tip - Aston Villa @ 2.45
Manchester United vs Everton
United are flying, but Everton have been somewhat of a bogey team for them. Everton won 1-0 this season at Goodison while Everton helped Man City win the title by clawing back from 3-1 down at Old Trafford to earn a late 3-3 draw. I fancy Everton to get something out of this and to stay in the race for 4th spot.
Tip - Draw @ 3.85
Stoke vs Reading
Reading have been a form team of late picking up results to move away from the drop zone. Stoke have had a few draws of late but are a hard team to beat at their fortress. A tough one to pick so my pick is to stay away!
Norwich vs Fulham
2 teams in midtable, with Norwich coming away with a point at QPR last week and Fulham had their chances in a 1-0 loss to Manchester United. Fulham are a different team on their travels and Norwich are solid at home. Tough game to choose but looks like there won't be many goals in it.
Swansea vs QPR
Time is ticking for QPR while Swansea are safe in midtable but will have one eye on the upcoming League Cup Final. While Swansea are hard to break down at home, QPR haven't lost many games under Redknapp but instead have played out many draws. Value if you are willing to back to relegation threatened club to get a result.
Liverpool vs West Brom
For a team whose form has been patchy Liverpool are way too short against a team who has done well this season. Monday night football can throw up anything as well. West Brom were solid despite a 1-0 loss with 10 men against Spurs. Liverpool played out an exciting 2-2 draw against Man City but are still yet to beat a top 10 team this season. West Brom lie in the top 10.
Both teams to score (Sunderland-Arsenal)I
Chelsea by 2+ goals.
QPR or Draw
Man Utd-Everton Draw
Under 2.5 goals (Norwich-Fulham)
Southampton or Draw
QPR vs Norwich
QPR have been solid defensively since Redknapp took over and it showed in their 0-0 draw in midweek. Norwich were solid in their 1-1 draw with Spurs as teams have found the Canaries difficult to break down. QPR will look at this game as the one to take 3 points off, and will be on a high following some impressive January transfer signings.
Tip: QPR @ 1.90
West Ham vs Swansea
West Ham's impressive start is long gone and the club hasn't won in 7 and only has 2 wins since November. Swansea are on a high since making Wembley and will be good value away from home as West Ham have
shipped 8 in their last 2.
Tip: Swansea or Draw @ 1.57
Reading vs Sunderland
Reading have slowly turned their poor start to the season around of late and 2 late goals earned the side a 2-2 draw with Chelsea. On the other hand Sunderland played out a 0-0 draw with Swansea but its another point
away from safety. Sunderland's away record isn't crash hot while Reading have played in some high scoring thrillers. Should be goals in this one.
Tip: Over 2.5 goals @ 1.82
Everton vs Aston Villa
Everton's much towards the top 4 continues with a well earned win in midweek against West Brom. This is another chance to get 3 points on the surrounding teams against the struggling Villa. Poor away from home and in all sorts following the 2-1 loss to Newcastle and knocked out of the League Cup and FA Cup by Bradford and Millwall.
Tip: Everton by 2+ goals @ 1.72
Arsenal vs Stoke
Stoke had defensive problems against Liverpool in midweek again but they fought hard for a 0-0 draw. The sort of game Arsenal hate as Stoke play the exact opposite style and are hard to break down. Has a tight game written all over it.
Tip: Under 2.5 goals @ 2.05
Wigan vs Southampton
A real basement duel and a definite 6 pointer. Southampton were impressive in defeat at Old Trafford while Wigan fought from 2 goals down to earn a draw against Stoke. Both teams look frail defensively so both teams to score @ 1.55 should pump up the multis a bit.
Newcastle vs Chelsea
Newcastle got a much needed (not surprising) win at Villa while Chelsea are coming off back to back draws against Brentford and Villa. Newcastle are by no means out of trouble and the local fans will be wanting blood with the return of Demba Ba.
Fulham vs Manchester United
United keep on rolling on and sit 7 clear at the top and could be 10 clear with a win as Man City play on the Sunday. Rooney is back scoring goals and with RVP still scoring for fun there could be goals in this one. Fulham are solid at home and will have confidence after a 3-1 win against West Ham.
West Brom vs Tottenham
West Brom have excellent home form but are in a state of turmoil following the events of Odemwingie trying to secure a transfer to QPR by driving down to London, which ultimately fell through. Spurs are hanging around the top 4 but haven't been able to pick up 3 points of late. With Odemwingie sent home from training on Friday and a division in the squad I think Spurs will pick up the 3 points
Manchester City vs Liverpool
The sort of banana skin which could see United move further ahead at the top. Liverpool always lift against the top teams but have been rocked with the news Raheem Sterling has been arrested over an assault of a
woman. The teams played out a 1-1 draw at the start of the season, and this one could head the same way.
Swansea or Draw
Both Teams to Score (Wigan/Southampton)
Over 2.5 goals (Reading/Sunderland)
Under 2.5 goals (Arsenal-Stoke)
Man United by 1 goals
Everton 2+ goals
Chelsea vs Arsenal
Chelsea host Arsenal in a London derby which will be vitally important for determining who will qualify in the race for champions league spots. Both teams have been inconsistent throughout the season with Chelsea drawing with Southampton at home last start however they will be buoyed by the form of new recruit Demba Ba who scored his third goal for his new club last week.
Arsenal were never in their clash against Man city last start due to an early red card to Koscielny. Arsenal's have fewer points this season (34) after 21 games than in any previous season under Arsene Wenger. They have been able to control plenty of possession in recent weeks however converting those into chances is proving difficult.
Chelsea are far too short in this grudge match to be taking with any confidence and Arsenal know this is their chance to start climbing the table.
Double Chance - Arsenal or draw $1.88
Tottenham vs Manchester United
Tottenham seek their first league double over Manchester United since 1989-90, but United are 10 matches unbeaten in the Premier League, with nine of those wins. That form has much to do with Robin van Persie, who has scored nine goals in his last 10 appearances.
Wayne Rooney is back in the United line up and with in form Hernandez and Welback all fit for Ferguson's side he is presented with a welcomed head ache leading into this clash. More importantly for United it is their defence which has gone from strength to strength since these two side met earlier in the season, they have only conceded five goals in their last six outings.
Tottenham have been the first half masters and have only let in seven goals this season. People continue to wait for United's form to drop off however I think they found out the hard way last year they can't afford to drop form.
Halftime/fulltime double - DRAW/Manchester United $5.00
Let's multi the Sunday selections up for our banker multi today!
Arsenal or draw into halftime Draw fulltime Man united $
Saturday 12th January
QPR v Tottenham
An exciting weekend of premier league action kicks off at Loftus Road with QPR hosting Tottenham. The Spurs have won four and a draw in their past five games and have been able to collect some valuable point over the festive period. Emmanuel Adebayor will play his last game prior to heading off for the African cup of nations, his presence and Tottenham attacking prowess should be enough to see a victory here. I can see QPR getting on the board and Tottenham do finish games well so the overs are the play here.
Over 2.5 goals $1.68
Aston Villa v Southampton
A huge three points on offer for the winner of this clash as the struggling Villa host an improving Southampton who has pushed Arsenal and Stoke for draws in the past two meetings. Villa slumped to a 3-1 defeat of Bradford mid-week and the team who beat Liverpool less than a month ago have gone missing. Southampton will also take confidence from beating Villa earlier in the season 4-1. It is really hard to go out on a limb with this game as both sides don’t say back me, Villa will see this as an opportunity to get back in winners circle and I have a feeling Benteke can fire so I lean their way.
Aston Villa to win $2.50
Everton v Swansea
Everton are flying up the premiership table at the moment and sit fifth currently after only losing one of their past nine matches. Swansea are having no trouble finding the back of the net and with bargain star Michu back in their line-up they will pose a threat to the Everton defence. In 15 historical meetings between these two sides Swansea are yet to defeat Everton and have been on the back of 11 losses including earlier this season at home.
Halftime/fulltime double Everton/Everton $2.20
Fulham v Wigan
Fulham had been nothing short of deplorable until a 2-1 victory against West Ham last start in the premiership. They will however be buoyed by inclusions of some of their stars coming back from injury including Duff, Riise & Schwarzer. This being the case they are relying heavily of striker Dimitar Berbaov at the moment and will need to find some other options for scoring. At home against a Wigan side they haven’t lost to since 2006 with not much going right for them at the moment they will be too strong.
Fulham to win $1.90
Norwich v Newcastle
Newcastle on the road! That is the first alarm bell to ring for supporters here. The magpies won eight league games away from home last year however it has now been 18 performances since they last tasted success on the road. Norwich despite not winning of late have only gone down narrowly to teams like Chelsea and Man city and I suspect they will be looking forward to hosting a lesser quality side in this fixture. A 4-2 result occurred in the corresponding game last year and I expect something similar for the canaries.
Noriwch to win $2.05
Reading v West Brom
Reading are getting to the desperate stage of the season here and without a few successive wins they can start planning for life back in the championship. The singing on former Lisbon skipper Daniel Caricco on new years days will hopefully help lift the team. West Brom on the other hand were held to a 1-1 draw by lowly QPR in the FA cup and have lost their past two matches in the premiership. I am not expecting many goals here today and would be happy the back the unders.
Under 2.5 goals $1.87
Stoke v Chelsea
It would be nice to know which Chelsea team will turn up this weekend to face a gritty Stoke side. Chelsea suffered a humiliating loss to QPR and Swansea beat them at home 2-0 in a mid week capital one cup contest. In between that they have put some crushing results together and perhaps a road trip is exactly what they need to get away from the pressure of the home fans. Stoke’s form has tapered off after a great middle of the season and I think Chelsea can get the job done here.
Chelsea to win $1.88
Sunderland v West Ham
Sunderland have not won in three matches, with a 3-0 loss to Liverpool last week followed by a disappointing 2-2 draw with Championship side Bolton Wanderers in the FA Cup on the weekend. They will be desperate to turn around their disappointing home form which has seen them win just three of their past 14 Premier League games at the Stadium of Light against a West Ham side who have won only two of their previous 15 away games in the league. The return of Joe Cole to Upton Park against Manchester United was a huge success after his recent transfer from Liverpool and could provide the spark they need.
Double Chance - West Ham or Draw $1.60
Sunday 13th January
Manchester united v Liverpool
Two of the oldest rivals in football line up for premier clash 160 this weekend in what shapes as another thriller. Incredibly Liverpool trail united by 21 points on the league table which is an indication of the inconsistency of the side and not their ability. Daniel Sturridge will probably make
his league debut in a settled line up. United are still without Wayne Rooney however the question will be whether Liverpool can contain star striker Robin Van Persie who has been scoring goals whilst getting some valuable bench time as well over the past month. The united title juggernaut doesn’t look like halting here and suspect they will find a way to get a winner again late in the match.
Manchester United by 1 goal $3.65
Arsenal v Manchester City
Arsenal will be desperate for a win here after some mixed results including a 7-3 thumping of Newcastle and a 1-1 draw against Southampton the gunners are losing touch with the top 4 and critical champions league position. City are knocked out of all European fixtures and now can focus on running down cross town rivals. They will missed Yaya and Kolo Toure through African nations duties and will be without Aguero and Nasri as well. Historically these have been low scoring encounters and I lean towards a strong play towards the unders with some vital players missing.
Under 2.5 goals $2.00
The winners are grinners Banker Multi
Chelsea/Norwich/Fulham/Everton - $11.15
Manchester United by 1 goal/Correct score 0-0 Reading v West Brom - $40.15
West brom vs Fulham
On form Fulham are the worst team in the EPL at the moment. They are letting in easy goals but it was an improved attitude displayed in the 2-1 loss to Swansea last weekend. West Brom went down 2-0 to United but have been consistently able to defeat teams below them on the ladder.
West Brom by 1 goal $3.75
Manchester City vs Stoke
Stoke managed to keep their undefeated streak going after a three all draw against Sunderland after coming from two goals down. City will be keen to send a New Years message today at home.
Man city correct score 2-0 $6.00
Swansea vs Aston Villa
Aston villa are in all sorts of trouble after being pumped 15-0 in their last three appearances. Relegation is on the cards unless they turn it around quickly. Swansea are still without goal scorer Michu however should be too strong at home.
Swansea to win $1.61
Tottenham vs Reading
Tottenham are playing in bursts at the moment and when they are hot they can put plenty of goals in. Reading got a much needed result over Christmas but this isn't a game they will be expecting points. Reading will play for a 0-0 draw and make it tough so go the unders.
Total goals under 2.5 $2.30
West Ham vs Norwich
Norwich have been impressive on late and playing some attacking football. West Ham have plateaued and seem to be ambling toward a mid table finish after a disappointing loss to Reading. I like the away team to get a result here.
Norwich or draw $1.72
Wigan vs Manchester United
Wigan host the league leaders here and will be full of confidence after beating up on Villa last week. United just know how to get the job done but without Rooney and Ferguson just appearing to be recharging some of his players batteries through rotation I fancy Wigan could get a result here.
Southampton vs Arsenal
Arsenal have won four straight New Year's Day matches and Southampton haven't beaten the gunners since 2002. This is a banker, Arsenal need to get the three points here
Arsenal to win $1.80
Chelsea vs QPR
Chelsea are a team on the up at the moment and with a game in hand could catch man city shortly. QPR will lift for this clash as their is no love between these two sides. Perhaps the only value is to take the half time draw and watch Chelsea win from there.
Halftime/full time draw/Chelsea $3.75
New Year's Day banker!!
Arsenal to win/Norwich or draw/total goals under 2.5 Tott v Reading
First goal scorer Norwich Robert Snodgrass /// Wigan vs Man united DRAW
Sunderland v Tottenham
Confidence will be at an all-time high for Sunderland after defeating Man city last weekend they play host to another champions league hopeful in Tottenham first up on Saturday. Sunderland have only conceded 24 goals in 19 games. The spurs put four goals past Aston Villa in an impressive second half display. I think the Spurs can get the job done late.
Best bet – Halftime/Fulltime – Draw/Tottenham $4.50
Aston Villa v Wigan
Two hefty defeats has put the pressure back on Aston Villa coach Paul lambert who will see an opportunity against relegation battlers Wigan to put some breathing space between them and the chasing pack. Wigan are winless in six games and really need some points themselves before it’s too late. Results between these two sides are mixed with honours shared recently and with both teams defence being a real problem lets go both teams to score.
Best bet – Both teams to score $1.70
Fulham v Swansea
Fulham have been awful of late, only a lucky 2-1 win over Newcastle at home separates a long run of poor results to QPR, Liverpool and Southampton. Swansea are inconsistent at the moment however have put in some strong performances against good sides and in the corresponding fixture last season they won 3-0. The biggest question for Swansea will be over the fitness of gun striker Michu who’s in serious doubt for Saturday. If he plays they will win.
Best Bet – Swansea to win $3.30
Manchester Utd v West Brom
Somehow Manchester United seem to continue to win from when seemingly out of games. Three times they went behind against Newcastle on Boxing Day only to secure a winner in the 90th minute. West Brom have
been impressive of late and find themselves in 6th spot however they have never beaten united in the premier league. United hold a 10 wins and two draws record since 1992 including 17 goals for united in their last five meetings it will be an uphill task for the away side.
Best bet – Halftime/fulltime United/United $1.70
Norwich v Man City
A tricky clash looms for last year’s champions here, after a surprise loss last week and a late win against lowly reading before that Roberto Mancini’s side need to turn around their fortunes quickly before rivals United kick to far clear. The injury list is growing for City with Clichy, Kolarov and Nasri all unlikely. Norwich have been impressive at home and have only conceded nine goals in as many games to date. Last year in two meetings City defeated Norwich 6-1 and 5-1 however this side isn’t going as well.
Best bet – Draw $4.00
Reading v West Ham
Reading have a good opportunity to create some much-needed momentum when West Ham make their way to the Madejski Stadium on Saturday. The promoted outfit ended a seven-match losing streak with a goalless draw at home to Swansea on Boxing Day- the club's first clean sheet since returning to England's top flight. Striker Carlton Cole will be missing for West Ham and this really looks like being a low scoring dogfight.
Best Bet – Under 2.5 goals 1.95
Stoke v Southampton
Stoke have benefited from a soft draw of late which has seen them go through as undefeated in their last 10 outings. They have move into 8th position in the league on the back of the best defensive record in the league. Southampton are still without their captain Adam Lallana and have struggled against sides with good defence all season.
Best Bet – Correct score Stoke 1-0 $7.00
Arsenal v Newcastle
Newcastle travel to north London this week surely deflated after going so close to upsetting Manchester United last week. They have now lost seven of their past nine games and face a fresh Arsenal who’s game against West Ham was postponed on boxing day. Only one result here and goals will be in abundance.
Best bet – Halftime/Fulltime Arsenal/Arsenal $1.95
Everton v Chelsea
Generally when these two sides meet you can guarantee drama and goals! In Everton’s past 15 matches both teams have scored goals. Chelsea however has turned a corner under Benitez and now sit in outright third with sights set on the Manchester clubs. Chelsea have started each game well and have only conceded one first half goal in their last nine premier league games. Two teams in good form should ensure this is the match of the round with a 2-1 score line predicted.
Best bet - Both teams to score $1.72
QPR v Liverpool
Liverpool has suffered a downturn in form after a good period throughout the beginning of December. They will look at this fixture as one where they need to secure three points. QPR will be buoyed by their efforts in
beating Liverpool 3-2 late last season to escape relegation & will hope a similar result may follow here. Let’s put our eggs in the Luis Suarez basket today as he is due for a breakout game.
Best bet – Luis Suarez first goal scorer $5.00
Fulham v Swansea - Swansea Victory
Newcastle V Arsenal - halftime/fulltime Arsenal/Arsenal
Both teams to score Everton V Chelsea
Total = $9.65
Stoke to win 1-0
QPR/Liverpool - Suarez first goal
Total = $35-1
Everton vs. Wigan
Everton had previously drawn five of their last six but returned to the winners’ circle with
a 2-1 win at West Ham at the weekend. The Toffees will be without Darron Gibson who
was red carded in the 90th minute at Upton Park while Marouane Fellaini his second match
of a three match ban received against Stoke City. Wigan fell 1-0 at home to Arsenal at the
weekend to drop into the bottom three and have four losses in their last five matches.
Fulham vs. Southampton
Fulham have just won one in their last five in all competitions, and were beaten 4-0 at
Anfield by Liverpool on the weekend. The Cottagers were victorious in their last home
match though with a 2-1 win against Newcastle. Southampton came back down to earth
after a good run of form with a 1-0 home defeat to Sunderland and now sit on level points
with Wigan who are in the relegation zone.
Manchester United vs. Newcastle United
Newcastle have been in poor form but bounced back with a 1-0 home win against QPR,
while Manchester United had their chances against Swansea on Sunday but came away
from Wales with a 1-1 draw. United have won 7 of their 8 league home games this season
and have scored in each of their last 57 games at Old Trafford. They should have relative
ease getting to 58 against a leaky Newcastle defence.
Norwich vs. Chelsea
Norwich’s impressive run of form ended at West Brom on the weekend with a 2-1 loss while
Chelsea racked up a cricket score on Sunday against Aston Villa, winning 8-0 at the close
of play. The Canaries will be hoping to welcome back captain Grant Holt after he missed
the trip to the Midlands on Saturday, while Rafa Benitez has no fresh injury or suspension
headaches, but will still be without both John Terry and Ryan Bertrand.
QPR vs. West Brom
West Brom’s win against Norwich at the weekend brought to an end a streak of four
matches without a win, while QPR will be looking for just their second win of the season.
Rangers fell 1-0 at Newcastle on the weekend and were given the hairdryer treatment from
manager Harry Redknapp. The two teams met earlier this season at West Brom with the
Baggies taking a 3-2 win.
Reading vs. Swansea
Swansea were impressive in their 1-1 draw with Manchester United at the weekend, while
Reading were unfortunate to lose 1-0 at Manchester City in injury time. The fact remains
the Royals have only won just one match in the Premier League this season, and time is
running out for the team who won the Championship last season. Only once has a team
been bottom at Christmas and survived relegation.
Sunderland vs. Manchester City
Manchester City trails their neighbours by just four points at the top of the EPL after
United’s slip up at Swansea and City will be in a confident mood following Gareth Barry’s
late header against Reading at the weekend. Sunderland won their relegation six pointer
at Southampton which will also boost the morale of the team, but the champions are a
different proposition to newly promoted Southampton. In the corresponding fixture last
year Sunderland recorded a 1-0 victory thanks to a 95th minute winner.
Aston Villa vs. Tottenham
Villa went to Chelsea with high hopes after their 3-1 win at Anfield last week but they were
dashed with a demoralising 8-0 loss. Spurs were held to a scoreless draw with Stoke City and
will be hoping to bounce back and return to the top four. Spurs should welcome back Benoit
Assou-Ekotto from injury and Scott Parker could make his first start for the season. Spurs
have only lost 2 of their past 18 league games in December.
Stoke City vs. Liverpool
Stoke have picked up four wins and four draws from their past eight matches, and Liverpool
have recorded four wins from their past five in all competitions including an impressive
home win against Fulham at the weekend 4-0. Liverpool have won just two of their last
eight on the road in the league while Stoke are unbeaten in 15 at home.
Stoke or Draw
Odds = 7.23
Reading/Swansea Over 2.5 goals
Man United Half/Full Double
QPR/West Brom Draw
Odds = 34.73
Liverpool v Fulham
Fulham, with just one win in their past nine, are sliding alarmingly down the league. Liverpool, on the back of an awful home defeat to Aston Villa, are not exactly in rude health either.
It’s time for Luis Suarez to get back on the scoresheet; he was Liverpool’s best player last week in defeat, and could be the difference between these two teams in what is, let’s face it, the ultimate mid-table clash.
West ham v Everton
Everton have become the league’s ultimate draw specialists, with a remarkable eight in their past 11. They’ll miss talisman Marouane Fellaini, who was banned for three games after his, er, altercation with Ryan Shawcross last week, so their job against West Ham is a lot tougher.The Hammers, too, will miss their key man in Mohamed Diame, who is out for up to 12 weeks with a hamstring injury.
Tottenham v stoke
The competitions current favourite football stat – that Spurs would be top if every game lasted 80 minutes – forgets that, in any case, this is not looking a bad campaign at all for them. They’ll be wary of losing fourth spot, especially if it’s to Arsenal, but they should hold too many aces for Stoke this weekend. The Potters are as solid, but also as uninspiring, as ever. Jermain Defoe should score here.
Southhampton v Sunderland
A vital clash in the relegation stakes, with QPR starting to get the odd point, and Aston Villa unexpected winners over Liverpool last week, the bottom of the table is getting interesting. You can perm any three from seven, so this game may well be vital.
Saints have been defensively better lately, and are able to score. Sunderland, in typical Martin O’Neill style, are hard to break down. All the hallmarks of a draw, then.
Newcastle v QPR
Here’s a thing: victory for QPR would get them to within four points of the Magpies. True, they’d still be next to bottom of the league, but they’d be within touching distance of the likes of Southampton, Wigan, Sunderland and Newcastle.
It’s too early to say whether Harry Redknapp is working a miracle at Loftus Road, but I fancy he will get another result here
Wigan v Arsenal
The #Wengerout movement may have gathered steam in recent weeks, but – and this may come as a surprise to some people – Arsenal are not the worst team in the Premier League.
In fact, they’re fifth, two points off fourth. Wigan away isn’t easy, but the Gunners, buoyed by a Santi Cazorla-inspired win at hapless Reading on Monday, may well carry on their good work. Arsene’s job is safe, then. For now.
Chelsea v Aston villa
Suddenly, from being a team full of people that nobody had ever heard of, Aston Villa have become everyone’s second-favourite side. The answer lies in the youth of Paul Lambert’s team – in this age of multimillion-pound transfers, we admire clubs built around young players. I think Chelsea could be ripe for the picking here, their 3rd game in a week including long travels.
West brom v Norwich
The season’s two surprise packages face off in a fascinating fixture this weekend. West Brom may have slipped out of the heady heights of the Champions League places, but nothing should detract from the great start to the season they have enjoyed. Hard game to predict a result but west broms defensive structures should ensure. Low scoring game.
Man city v Reading
It’s one thing having a poor defence if you can score more goals than you let in. Current Premier League leaders Man Utd are a prime example. Reading, on the other hand, are not.
While they’re certainly capable of scoring goals, they are utterly incapable of stopping them from flying in at the wrong end. That was never more evident than earlier this week, when Arsenal destroyed them 5-2. It was a rout, but one in which the Royals still managed to bag a couple of goals of their own. A similar result should follow here
Swansea v man united
Man united are setting themselves up as the team to beat this season and consistently just get the job done. With both sides open to conceding easy goals just play the overs here
Over 3.5 goals Man U/Swansea
draw in Chelsea/Aston villa