Live on Skysports: Sat 12.45, Sun 13.30 & 16.00: Bolton face Tottenham on Saturday lunchtime and Liverpool take on Chelsea.
Liverpool’s mini-revival continued on Sunday as Maxi Rodriguez’s late goal at Bolton gave them a second straight Premiership win and although Roy Hodgson’s men are not yet playing with an air of fluency and confidence, the steel and battling qualities shown recently bode well for the visit of Chelsea.
The Anfield clash is nevertheless a huge test in terms of the Reds’ recovery and despite Liverpool’s improvement it’s the champions that are strong favourites for the points at 11/10 with William Hill. However, the Blues’ performance at Blackburn last weekend would have been punished by a more ruthless team and Hodgson’s charges will be encouraged by the fact that Rovers almost secured a draw at Ewood Park.
Liverpool therefore look somewhat overpriced at 3/1 with bet365 to clinch a maximum haul, the absence of former Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole to a hamstring injury notwithstanding, and bearing that in mind, bold punters will probably ensure that by kick-off time on Sunday , a second league defeat for the leaders commands significantly lower odds.
Of course, Carlo Ancelotti’s troops can’t be written off given that they have dropped only five points all season and subsequently the stalemate is a danger at 12/5 with Stan James, as is Partybets’ 11/2 for it to finish one-each. An inconclusive contest however, can be guarded against with , who rate the Reds at 7/4 in their ‘Draw No Bet’ market and alternatively there’s Coral’s 8/11 for the hosts to avoid defeat.
At Old Trafford, Manchester United can follow up their victory over Spurs by beating Wolves, who have suffered defeats in four of their five away matches. At 1/5 with Ladbrokes however, Sir Alex Ferguson’s men are hardly a money spinner and the handicaps fail to tempt given the visitors’ gritty performances of late. Paddy Power’s 4/5 for United to win ‘to nil’ is therefore as good as it gets here.
Similarly, Arsenal are just 2/7 (Totesport) to see off Newcastle but can’t be relied upon to beat the buoyant Magpies by at least two and match total of more than 3.5 goals at 5/4 with is the stand out bet at the Emirates Stadium.
Stuttering Man City (evens, Betdaq) don’t appeal at the Hawthorns where West Brom, who almost nicked a point at Bloomfield Road with only nine men, are quoted by Paddy Power at 8/11 to avoid defeat while the Baggies’ conquerors on Monday, Blackpool, could find rejuvenated Everton less forgiving. Their clash is 4/5 courtesy of Betfred to produce an away win.
Bolton’s lunchtime clash with Spurs is tough to call but as Tottenham tend to go behind in the game immediately following a Champions League outing, the Trotters are worth backing at 6/5 (bet365) to notch first at the Reebok Stadium.
Elsewhere, Totesport rate Fulham and Aston Villa at 23/10 to be inseparable and 888Sport quote them at 4/6 to produce fewer than 2.5 goals. Sunderland and Stoke are 9/4 with Betfred to play out a draw and fewer than three strikes (4/6, ) are likely at St Andrews as Birmingham host West Ham. Blackburn meanwhile, are 10/11 with Stan James to edge out Wigan.
Double on games at Sunderland and Birmingham to produce under 2.5 goals – 8/5 (Totesport)
Liverpool to beat Chelsea ‘Draw No Bet’ – 7/4 ()
Bolton to score first against Tottenham – 6/5 (bet365)