Live on Skysports 2 & ESPN: Sat 12.45 & 17.30: Everton and Tottenham are 23/10 (Skybet) to share the spoils and Defoe is 5/2 to net.
Stuttering Tottenham are 15/8 (bet365) to suffer a third straight league defeat as they visit a solid-looking Everton and this could allow Arsenal to close the gap on their fellow North Londoners, the Gunners odds-on at 8/15 via Coral to overcome Newcastle at the Emirates Stadium on Monday.
Spurs, 13/8 with Stan James, may hand a start to midweek scorer Jermaine Defoe (also on target against Manchester United) and the striker is well priced at 5/2 with Sportingbet to find the net. Even if the diminutive striker is benched again, he is likely to be introduced and has looked dangerous in his last two apperances.
Everton, unbeaten in six league outings, are building up some home form and back to back wins against Manchester City and Chelsea stands them in good stead. It’s 5/6 that both teams score (Ladbrokes) while a draw looks to be the most sensible option, 23/10 with Skybet.
Despite their recent form being poor enough to cost Andre Villas-Boas his job, Chelsea are just 4/9 at Blue Square to send Stoke home from Stamford Bridge empty-handed and staying with the race for fourth, Liverpool now have a mountain to climb in that department after they went down to Arsenal last week and Sunderland look overpriced at 3/1 with Boylesports to make the Reds’ task even harder by edging them out at the Stadium of Light. Alternatively, Blue Square quote the Black Cats at 7/4 in their ‘Draw No Bet’ market.
At the bottom, Stan James’ 12/5 marked against QPR in their six-pointer at Bolton looks a little big and also at 12/5, this time via bet365, is a stalemate in the other huge relegation showdown, between Wolves and Blackburn at Molineux. Finally, at Villa Park, Coral make Aston Villa and Fulham 9/4 to be inseparable and on Sunday, Norwich look like a home banker at 5/6 (Stan James) as they entertain rock-bottom Wigan.
A glance at the Premier League table shows Manchester City to be two points clear at the top and Swansea down in 14th place, so it’s easy to see why Ladbrokes have installed the former as 4/7 favourites as the two teams face-off at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday.
However, only Manchester United and Norwich have beaten the Swans in their own backyard this season and subsequently Brendan Rodgers’ troops, who made the champions work very hard for their 1-0 victory, shouldn’t be written off entirely ahead of City’s visit.
Nevertheless, Skybet’s 6/1 chalked against a home win remains too risky against an opponent arriving on the back of six straight wins in all competitions and while Stan James’ 3/1 for it to end all square possesses a modicum of appeal, Roberto Mancini’s charges just about get the nod even though they are unlikely to have everything their own way.
Bet365 rate the league leaders at 5/2 to shade it by a one-goal margin and it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that they will follow the lead of title rivals United and grab the only goal in South Wales, an outcome Betfred offer at 6/1.
Elsewhere, it’s 10/3 with William Hill for City to emerge triumphant following a drawn first half, Partybets price Mancini’s men at 6/4 to win ‘to nil’ for the fifth league match in a row and despite it being a fixture that looks set to produce fewer than three goals (10/11, Boylesports), Mario Balotelli catches the eye at 9/2 courtesy of Paddy Power to break the deadlock.
Hoping to keep pace with their neighbours, Manchester United are BetVictor’s emphatic 2/7 favourites as they entertain West Brom and like City, Sir Alex Ferguson’s team, at 3/1 (BetVictor) could be set to prevail by one.