Manchester United should draw level, temporarily at least, with neighbours City at the top of the table by beating struggling Bolton at Old Trafford, a result Ladbrokes price at 1/6 and Sir Alex Ferguson’s side are worth following in the handicaps where they’re 6/5 courtesy of bet365 to overhaul the Trotters’ two-goal start. Boylesports rank United as 13/2 chances to win 3-0 while Skybet go 9/1 for a comprehensive 4-0 defeat. Wayne Rooney is 11/4 to score first (Coral) and he is the same price at Betfred to net at least twice.
At Stamford Bridge, it’s hard to get excited about bet365’s 4/11 for Chelsea to beat Sunderland and indeed the Black Cats, rejuvenated under Martin O’Neill, could be worth considering at 4/1 with Boylesports to nick a point. That would be good news for Liverpool in the race for the top four, especially given that Skybet’s 4/9 chances look a home banker as they host Stoke.
At the bottom, Paddy Power offer 15/8 for Blackburn to ease their relegation worries with a home win against Fulham and elsewhere, Stan James chalk West Brom up at evens ahead of the visit of Norwich to the Hawthorns while Aston Villa and Everton are 23/10, also via Stan James, to be inseparable at Villa Park.
On Sunday, Mark Hughes takes charge of QPR for the first time as they visit Newcastle and bet365 quote the former Blackburn boss at 9/2 to make a winning start to life with Rangers, although BetVictor’s 14/5 for the spoils to be shared is arguably the best bet at St James’ Park.
Having rubber-stamped a short-term deal with his beloved Arsenal last week, it was almost inevitable that Thierry Henry would mark his return to the club by playing a crucial role in their FA Cup tie against Leeds. In the end, the Frenchman couldn’t have written the script better as he emerged from the bench to grab the winning goal twelve minutes from time.
Paddy Power rate Henry at 9/2 to follow up Monday’s typically cool finish with the opening goal for the Gunners at Swansea but with Arsene Wenger set to use the 34-year-old a touch more sparingly in the Premier League initially, Robin van Persie is unlikely to be deposed as Arsenal’s main striker and it’s the Dutch front man at 3/1 (Partybets) that looks more likely to open the scoring at the Liberty Stadium.
In terms of the points, Wenger’s charges are odds-on at 7/10 with Skybet to overcome the resilient Swans but as nobody has conceded fewer goals than Brendan Rodgers’ men on their own patch, it won’t be easy for Arsenal.
A 1-0 victory, replicating the result from September’s reverse fixture at the Emirates Stadium, stands out then at 6/1 via Betfred in a match that looks a banker at 10/11 (BetVictor) to produce fewer than three goals while it could take some time for the Gunners to break down the Swans, lending appeal to William Hill’s 7/2 for an away victory following a drawn first half.
On Monday, Manchester City are a safe bet at 4/11 (Paddy Power) to re-establish their three point lead by seeing off Wigan and Tottenham should also stay in the hunt, Boylesports’ quoting them at 3/10 to send Wolves home empty-handed on Saturday afternoon. Spurs and City meanwhile, double up at a tasty 8/11 via Blue Square.