The departure of Cesc Fabregas, the impending transfer of Samir Nasri and the current lack of replacements means Arsenal have begun the season on the back foot somewhat and last week’s goalless encounter at Newcastle highlighted a worrying lack of cutting edge for the Gunners.
They’re nevertheless bet365’s 13/10 favourites as they host Liverpool, who themselves failed to make the flying start their fans were expecting, but the current state of affairs at the Emirates Stadium, added to by the suspension of Alex Song and Gervinho, means that Arsene Wenger’s men are simply too risky.
Despite the draw against Sunderland, Kenny Dalglish’s charges will be confident of capitalising on any Arsenal unrest and bold punters can back them at 23/10 () to collect maximum points in north London. However, after both teams shared the spoils a week ago, another stalemate at 12/5 (Betfred) stands out, alongside Boylesports’ 11/2 for it to finish one-each.
Stan James quote odds of 4/5 for both teams to get on the scorsheet but of the two, Liverpool might have the best of it, even if it is ultimately inconclusive. The Reds are 4/7 with Paddy Power, when benefiting from a goal start while Luis Suarez is 6.5 (11/2) via Betdaq to follow up his opener last Saturday by breaking the deadlock in this one.
Also held last weekend were Chelsea but Andre Villas-Boas is 1/3 (bet365) to grab his first victory as Blues boss as his team host an unfortunate West Brom side, tasked with facing last season’s top two in their opening couple of fixtures. A victory by a solitary goal for the Blues returns at 11/4 courtesy of Partybets while Villas-Boas’ troops are a 7/1 shot via Sportingbet to nick it 1-0.
Buoyed by Monday’s 4-0 triumph over Swansea, Manchester City are odds-on at 4/5 with Totesport to beat Bolton, who also opened with a 4-0 success, but Ladbrokes’ draw quote of 5/2 appeals at the Reebok Stadium. Champions Manchester United meanwhile, aren’t in action until Monday but at 4/6 (Boylesports) they can send Spurs home empty-handed.
Fresh from earning a creditable point at Anfield, Sunderland (evens, Betfred) have to be fancied to claim the north east bragging rights in the Tyne-Wear derby and home wins also look on the cards for Aston Villa, who Paddy Power price at 8/11 to overcome Blackburn, and Everton, rated by Stan James at 8/15 as they entertain QPR.
Finally, Skybet chalk 23/10 against a stalemate at Molineux, where Wolves and Fulham face-off, the same price is on offer with bet365 for a draw between Norwich and Stoke and Totesport’s 6/5 chances Swansea could edge out Wigan in the first Premiership match at the Liberty Stadium.