With leaders Manchester City inactive until they run out at Stamford Bridge on Monday night, the chasing pack have an opportunity to close the gap at the top of the table and hope that Chelsea can inflict a first defeat of the campaign on Roberto Mancini’s men.
Manchester United have most to gain from their neighbours’ inactivity, for 48 hours at least, though they’re best priced at 1/5 (Boylesports) to secure three points when hosting Wolves.
Mick McCarthy’s men beat United 2-1 when they met in February, but the champions are a different proposition at Old Trafford. Despite Wolves’ fine win against Sunderland last weekend, their 18/1 odds (Stan James) to claim back-to-back victories give an indication of how remote bookmakers consider such a likelihood to be.
Other than last term, in the pair’s previous 11 meetings, stretching back to February 1980, only one team had scored. Punters expecting that trend to resume can get 4/5 (Sportingbet) about just one of them scoring on Saturday, while Skybet post 10/11 against United winning to nil. Elsewhere, Partybets offer 15/2 about a 1-0 home success, while chalk 7/1 against a 2-0 United victory.
In-form Arsenal welcome Everton to the Emirates, a team they’ve beaten in six of their last eight meetings. No wonder the Blues are 6.0 (5/1) at Betdaq to register a win. The Gunners, who have won six of their last eight and suffered just one home defeat this term, are 4/7 (Betfred) to record another victory and 7/1 (Totesport) to repeat last season’s 2-1 success.
Stoke’s Peter Crouch scored twice for Spurs when the teams met last season and the sides renew acquaintances on Sunday when the 6’7” striker will be doing his utmost to notch at least one – for the Potters. He’s 6/1 with Paddy Power to score the game’s opening goal, but his former Spurs colleagues are attractively priced at 11/10 (Ladbrokes) to secure maximum points.
While Tottenham boast an away record bettered only by the two Manchester clubs, just one of their last seven meetings with Stoke have been settled by more than a single goal. Another close encounter is in prospect and Stoke’s 11/4 odds (bet365) to win cannot be dismissed, although Tottenham’s 13/2 (Betfred) to win 1-0 holds obvious appeal.
Liverpool and QPR have not met since 1996 and while the Reds have drawn five home matches to date, they’re one of only two top-flight sides undefeated at home. Punters expecting that trend to continue can get 4/11 (Skybet) against a home win, while another draw is offered at 15/4 by Partybets.
Martin O’Neill’s impending arrival at Sunderland on Sunday is likely to provide his new charges with a significant boost when they welcome Blackburn. Rovers are without an away victory and have conceded 19 goals in their last eight matches, so while three of the pair’s last five meetings have ended level, O’Neill should ensure his new employers register three points. Sunderland are even money (Sportingbet) to win.
Swansea (8/5, Boylesports), who host Fulham (15/8, Ladbrokes) at the Liberty Stadium, boast the Premier League’s best home defensive record, the basis for what should be a fourth home success. Meanwhile, Bolton (8/5, Totesport) have the Premier League’s worst home record, but five of their previous eight meetings with Villa (15/8, Stan James) have ended all square. Another draw is offered at 3.0 (2/1) by Betdaq.
Norwich and Newcastle also appear destined to play out a draw, (12/5, ) and while West Brom v Wigan is expected to be close, Wigan’s current form is abysmal. The Baggies are 8/11 (Paddy Power) to make things worse for Roberto Martinez’s side by securing three points and 6/1 (bet365) to win 1-0.
At the Bridge on Monday, Chelsea are 6/4 with Paddy Power to end Man City’s unbeaten run and AVB’s team are in the best position to do so while Man City are 2/1 outsiders.