Betrescue’s Chief Sports Writer Chris Hutcheon takes his weekly look at all the major Premier League action in England.
According to bookmakers, festive cheer is set to be in short supply for Aston Villa on Sunday at the Emirates Stadium, where Arsenal are odds-on at 8/11 with Betdaq to collect a late Christmas present in the shape of a maximum haul from the pair’s televised showdown.
However, unless Martin O’Neill’s men overindulge a touch on the sherry trifle then they are unlikely to gift wrap a victory for the hosts and with a triumph at Old Trafford still fresh in their memory, the high-flying Villans look somewhat overpriced at 9/2 (bet365), especially as they ran out 2-0 winners in the corresponding fixture in North London last season.
Nevertheless, the Gunners have won seven of their eight matches on their own patch this term and so it’s hard to envisage a stuffing for them either; subsequently shrewd punters looking to replenish the coffers following a costly Christmas, might consider Victor Chandler’s 11/4 posted against the stalemate or Stan James’ 6/5 for the visitors to avoid defeat.
Villa tend to keep things tight on the road, where they have the Premiership’s meanest defence and with this in mind, Jaxx.com can expect plenty of cash for their 11/10 posted against a match total of fewer than three goals, while a 1-1 scoreline will also be popular at 7/1 (Sportingbet).
The Gunners’ eight home matches however, have averaged four goals each and so aiming high, above the 2.5 mark (4/6, Betfred), where the goal tally is concerned seems wise and moreover those speculating on a 2-2 stalemate could be rewarded for their bravery at odds of 16/1 with Boylesports.
Meanwhile, it seems a case of take-your-pick in the first scorer betting, where Arsenal Andrei Arshavin is rated at 5/1 (Stan James) and at the other end bet365 chalk 9/1 against a John Carew opener. The latter’s stature could trouble the hosts, for whom power isn’t their greatest asset and the Norwegian striker catches the eye at 3/1 (Ladbrokes) to notch at any stage.
Chelsea are wobbling at present and given the respective form of both teams, Birmingham will be confident of making Carlo Ancelotti’s men look like Christmas Turkeys as the pair face-off at St Andrews. Betfred nevertheless make the league leaders their 8/15 favourites, althought they may have to settle for a point; a result Victor Chandler quote at 3/1.
At 2/5 with Partybets, Manchester United should have no such trouble at Hull, despite suffering two defeats in their last three and patchy Liverpool also look a safe bet, at 3/10 courtesy of Betdaq, to get back to winning ways, especially if Mick McCarthy chooses to make wholesale changes to his Wolves team, as he did at Old Trafford recently.
Roberto Mancini is 4/9 (Partybets) to make a winning start at Eastlands as his new employers Manchester City tackle Stoke and a home win is also in the offing at Burnley, where Stan James price the Clarets at 11/8 to get the better of Bolton.
In the relegation six-pointer at Upton Park, West Ham and Portsmouth are 23/10 (Jaxx.com) to share the spoils and also 23/10 to be inseparable, this time with bet365, are Sunderland and Everton; who meet at the Stadium of Light. Finally, Sportingbet’s 13/10 for a Wigan success is the best bet at the DW Stadium, where Blackburn are the visitors but it’s hard to separate Fulham and Tottenham, so the draw is the stand out wager at Craven Cottage, at odds of 12/5 (Betdaq).
To compare all the weekend’s match odds, click here