After a barren month of Premier League activity in March, the world’s most exciting club competition is back to full power for April. Night owls be warned that daylight savings comes into effect this weekend. Check your local calendars to make sure you have the times right.
West Ham v Manchester United (2245 AEDT)
West Ham have endured a complete form reversal in recent matches as they attempt to become only the second team in the Premier League’s 19 year history to avoid relegation after being bottom at Christmas. Manchester United look forward to a busy April as they fight on three fronts, the EPL, the Champions League and the FA Cup. Fortunately for them striker Wayne Rooney was rested from England’s friendly with Ghana during midweek. He should be fresh and ready to fire for this one! The odds of 1.83 offered for the league leaders to beat the relegation strugglers are too good to pass up.
Andy’s Bet: Manchester United to win @ 1.83 (Betfair)
Birmingham v Bolton (0100 AEDT)
This is a vastly different proposition to the recent FA Cup meeting between these two sides at this venue. On that occasion Birmingham were happy to have one less competition to worry about and concentrate on Premier League survival. This time it is Bolton who will have the distraction of an upcoming FA Cup semi final and a comfortable mid table league position that requires little attention.
Andy’s Bet: Birmingham to win @ 2.68 (Betfair)
Everton v Aston Villa (0100 AEDT)
Everton have reached the magical 40 point mark, often quoted as the number of points needed to avoid relegation. Aston Villa are only on 33, a single point above the drop zone. Villa have more to play for and should earn a draw, and a point, against an Everton team without Marouane Fellaini, Louis Saha and potentially Tim Cahill.
Andy’s bet: Draw @ 3.75 (Betfair)
Newcastle v Wolverhampton (0100 AEDT)
Newcastle were awful in their last outing against Stoke a fortnight ago. They shipped four goals and struggled for long periods. They return to home comforts in front of the black and white masses at St James’ Park for this one. Leon Best has been ruled out with an ankle injury, leaving Shola Ameobi and Peter Lovenkrands to lead the line. Wolves are missing striker and top scorer Kevin Doyle who seriously injured his knee while playing for Ireland in an International friendly last Saturday. Doyle has been crucial to Wolves 4-5-1 formation and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake is likely to replace him, however Ebanks-Blake’s ability to effectively play the lone striker role is in doubt. Newcastle haven’t won a home game in their last four outings, they are overdue for three points, and Kevin Nolan is their most likely avenue to goal.
Andy’s Bet: Newcastle to win @ 2.00 (Betfair)
Andy’s Bet: Kevin Nolan to score anytime @ 3.10 (Sportsbet)
Stoke v Chelsea (0100 AEDT)
Both teams have an eye on upcoming glamour matches. Stoke have an FA Cup Semi Final soon, and Chelsea have Manchester United in the Champions League quarter finals with their squad in the best health of the season. Stoke are mighty difficult to break down at home, but Chelsea should have too much class when the ball is on the floor. John Terry and David Luiz are also be suited to dealing with Stoke’s aerial threat.
Andy’s Bet: Chelsea to win @ 1.73 (Betfair)
West Brom v Liverpool (0100 AEDT)
The two managers will want to win this game desperately. Roy Hodgson will have a point to prove after being sacked by the Reds earlier in the season, while his successor at Anfield, Kenny Dalglish, will be looking to confirm his position at Liverpool’s helm. Hodgson strangely seems to better suited to the smaller clubs, and, after miraculously guiding Fulham to safety a few seasons ago, he is now threatening to do the same at West Brom. The Baggies are unbeaten in five matches, but need to starting turning some of those draws into victories. Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll are looking to forge a dangerous front pairing for Liverpool. Carroll scored midweek for England and will only need one decent cross to find the net here.
Andy’s Bet: Liverpool to win @ 2.46 (Betfair)
Andy’s Bet: Andy Carroll to score first @ 6.00 (Sportsbet)
Wigan v Tottenham (0100 AEDT)
A win for bottom side Wigan and they will likely be out of the bottom three come the full time whistle. Plenty on the line for the Latics. Tottenham will have to put aside their excitement for the upcoming Champions League fixture with Real Madrid and concentrate on this assignment at the DW Stadium. I think both sides will go for it, so we’ll see plenty of goals. I’m not sure Spurs will be on their game enough to get the win, so I’ll be backing the draw.
Andy’s Bet: Draw @ 3.40 (Betfair)
Andy’s Bet: Over 3.5 goals @ 3.42 (Centrebet)
Arsenal v Blackburn (0230 AEST)
The International break couldn’t have arrived at a better time for the free-falling Arsenal. It has been well documented that the Premier League is now Arsene Wenger’s sides only chance of silverware this season. The good news for the Gunners is that they can now give it their full attention. They will be given a massive boost by the return of key men such as Cesc Fabregas, Theo Walcott, Alex Song and Abou Diaby. Blackburn are actually one of the few sides descending at a quicker rate than Arsenal. A comfortable league table position has turned into a precarious spot just one point above the drop zone. I wouldn’t mind seeing them go down, if only to dish out a bit of karma to their board for sacking Sam Allardyce when the team were doing just fine.
Andy’s Bet: Arsenal to win by 2 or more goals @ 1.73 (Sportsbet)
Andy’s Bet: Arsenal to be leading at half time and at full time @ 1.73 (Sportsbet)
Fulham v Blackpool (2230 AEST)
Blackpool remain a curious case and although you can guarantee an attacking approach, their results seem to occur at random. Because of this I am going to focus on Fulham. And for me, the stat that matters is Fulham’s home form. The Londeners have not lost on their Craven Cottage turf in the League since Boxing Day. They also have a mean defensive unit. Sum those two together and it equals a Fulham win to nil.
Andy’s Bet: Fulham to win to nil @ 2.88 (Centrebet)
Manchester City v Sunderland (0100 AEST)
Sunderland haven’t won in the Premier League for two months now. Until I see evidence of that trend ending, I will continue to back against them. Manchester City have conceded only 11 goals in 15 home matches this season. This means 1 or 2 goals are often all they need to get a victory. That should be no trouble here.
Andy’s Bet: Manchester City to win @ 1.53 (Betfair)
Sneaky European Multi
Andy’s Bet: Newcastle, Rangers, Parma, Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid and PSG all to win @ 9.30 (Sportsbet)