This same set of fixtures was played less than a month ago, so it will be interesting to see how many teams can turn the tables on their opposition. Table topping Manchester United dropped points last week and have been joined on points by cross town rival Manchester City, but City have played twice more. Most of this weekend’s games look pretty clear cut, so I’m confident of a successful betting weekend.
Wolverhampton v Liverpool (2345 AEDT)
Liverpool are now 3 games without a win under King Kenny. They were lucky to escape with a draw in the Merseyside derby last weekend. Reds captain Steven Gerrard is still suspended, but I think his teammates had the hunger and fight last game and will be keen to roll up the sleeves again. They will need to be up for it because Mick McCarthy’s Wolves love a scrap as demonstrated by their victory over Liverpool at Anfield in December. Liverpool will be out to prove a point, and will get the points.
Andy’s Bet: Liverpool to win @ 2.40 (Betfair)
Arsenal v Wigan (0200 AEDT)
I love the way Arsenal are travelling right now. The gunners put away a determined Leeds side in the FA cup replay after dismantling West Ham at the weekend. Robin Van Persie and Cesc Fabregas didn’t start against Leeds and will be primed for this match. Wigan are in the drop zone and certainly won’t be climbing out this weekend.
Andy’s Bet: Arsenal to score 4 or more goals @ 3.50 (Sportsbet)
Andy’s Bet: Robin Van Persie to score first @ 3.50 (Sportsbet)
Blackpool v Sunderland (0200 AEDT)
I finally jumped on the Blackpool bandwagon last weekend, and they lost! I am going to slightly stick with them this weekend because Sunderland are a very poor travelling side. Steve Bruce’s black cats sold striker Darren Bent for a whopping 24 million quid to Aston Villa. I think Bent is a good player, but this is a seriously good bit of business by Sunderland as Gyan and Welbeck have both been finding the net anyway.
Andy’s Bet: Draw @ 3.40 (Betfair)
Andy’s Bet: 2-2 @ 12.00 (Sportsbet)
Everton v West Ham (0200 AEDT)
Everton put in a properly good performance last weekend, but didn’t get all 3 points against Liverpool. It has been a weird season for the Toffees who are still in the bottom half despite beating Tottenham, Man City and Liverpool as well as drawing with Man United, and Tottenham and Liverpool again. They shouldn’t have any trouble at home to bottom club West Ham. Everton are generally defensively orientated too, so the ‘win to nil’ odds of 2.40 are a steal!
Andy’s Bet: Everton to win to nil @ 2.40 (Centrebet)
Fulham v Stoke (0200 AEDT)
This is an interesting one. Fulham have drawn 11 of their 22 games this season, that is exactly half. They are 1 point above the relegation zone, so will be in a negative frame of mind. That will play into the hands of Stoke who will be happy to take a point on their travels after playing extra time in their midweek FA Cup replay. I expect this to be another draw for Fulham.
Andy’s Bet: Draw @ 3.25 (Multiple Sites)
Manchester United v Birmingham (0200 AEDT)
United will win. They will win easily and they will win to nil. The red devils are favourites for the league title and a home game against Birmingham is a must win if they wish to remain on top. United will be without right back Rafael for this game after he was sent off against Spurs. It will be interesting to see whether old timer Gary Neville gets another chance after he was woeful a few weeks ago against West Brom. Manchester United have been quiet in the transfer window so far, and surprisingly it is Birmingham who have made one of the big signings securing right winger David Bentley from Spurs.
Andy’s Bet: Manchester United to win to nil @ 1.80 (Sportsbet)
Andy’s Bet: Manchester United to win 4-0 @ 11.00 (Sportsbet)
Newcastle v Tottenham (0200 AEDT)
Newcastle were very impressive last weekend and would have beaten local rivals Sunderland but for a fortunate injury time leveller. Tottenham were less impressive in their play, but a draw with Manchester United was still a top result. Shola Ameobi performed well in the continued absence of big Andy Carroll and he will play a crucial role again for the magpies. Joey Barton has been in top form lately and looks to have finally resurrected his career, but I expect his midfield teammates to be overrun by Spurs. New signing Steven Piennar is in line to make his Tottenham debut.
Andy’s Bet: Tottenham to win @ 2.34 (Betfair)
Aston Villa v Manchester City (0430 AEDT)
This match is all about one player. Darren Bent. Aston Villa paid 24 million pounds for him during the week. That is a big investment for a team that is only out of relegation on goal difference. If Villa do go down, they will be in financial turmoil. They shouldn’t as their squad is too good, but they’re a long way from being safe. The Bent situation is an interesting one, he has performed best as the leader of an attack. He was very successful at Charlton, before being crowded out at Tottenham, and then successful at Sunderland until Gyan and Welbeck joined the club. At Villa he will share attacking duties with Gabby Agbonlahor and John Carew, so that wont suit him. As for this match, I expect Villa to get a draw with a Manchester City team fatigued after their midweek FA Cup replay win over Leicester.
Andy’s Bet: Draw @ 3.40 (Sportsbet)
Blackburn v West Brom (0300 AEDT)
A win for either of these sides will give them breathing space from the bottom 3. I’m going to be betting on Blackburn because they are strong at home and West Brom despise travelling. Another reason to back Blackburn is the return to Ewood Park of striker Roque Santa Cruz. The Paraguayan was a fans favourite in his first spell at the club netting 23 times in 57 appearances.
Andy’s Bet: Blackburn to win by 2 or more goals @ 4.65 (Luxbet)
Andy’s Bet: Roque Santa Cruz to score anytime @ 2.80 (Sportsbet)
Bolton v Chelsea (0700 AEDT)
Hmm. This is a tough one to read. Chelsea are slowly getting back to form, but the blues still have not won away in the league since October. That is staggering! Bolton, meanwhile, have only been beaten once at home all season. Those stats would suggest a Bolton win, but with Chelsea’s little recent resurgence, I am going to back the draw.
Andy’s Bet: Draw @ 3.95 (Betfair)
Sneaky European Multi
We again try to pick a winner from each of Europe’s top leagues. Last week we were oh so close. The first 5 legs all romped home leaving just Real Madrid to deliver us a hefty payout. The Spanish giants could only manage a 1-1 draw with bottom club Almeria and our multi was dashed. Not to worry, this weekend is another chance for European glory!
Andy’s Bet: Blackburn, Celtic, Roma, Bayern Munich, Valencia, Lens all to win @ 14.90 (Sportsbet)