Chris Hutcheon previews the weekend action in England with particular focus on the Premier League. His five fold acca pays 25/1
Earlier this week, Manchester United were installed as Coral’s 1/8 favourites to claim the Premier League crown after neighbours and reigning league champions City collected a fortunate point against Liverpool on Sunday. There appears to be an inevitability about United’s surge to the title, though the record books suggest that Everton’s 1-0 win over them last August was no fluke.
The pair, who meet at Old Trafford on Sunday, have won two apiece of their last six duels, the other couple finishing all square. Nevertheless, with the benefit of home advantage, United are priced as BetVictor’s 13/20 jollies to secure a maximum haul this weekend, whereas Everton are Stan James’s 5/1 underdogs. Given Everton’s renowned tenaciousness, those odds look incredibly long, as does Skybet’s 10/3 for the match to end all square.
Yet under Sir Alex Ferguson, United have become tenacity personified. Their 7/1 price (bet365) to win 2-1 catches the eye, though for contrarians, BetVictor’s 20/1, posted about a 1-0 away win, is worthy of further consideration.
Van Persie and Rooney both appeal at 4/1 to break the deadlock with Bet365 and Betvictor respectively, while Marouane Fellaini, who proved to be such a handful when the teams met back in August, is 15/2 (William Hill) to follow up his winner in that contest by breaking the deadlock in this one. Alternatively, the powerful Belgian is 12/5 via Skybet to get on the scoresheet at any stage.
This week’s Premier League fixtures are the reverse from the season’s opening weekend when perhaps the biggest shock was West Brom’s 3-0 dismantling of Liverpool at the Hawthorns.
The Baggies are 17/2 (William Hill) to secure a league double over the Reds on Monday night. They recorded their first win at Anfield since April 1967 last term when none other that Peter Odemwingie secured a 1-0 win, but at 2/5 (Paddy Power) Liverpool are accurately priced to secure three points, while they’re 7/1 (Ladbrokes) to win 2-0.
Bookies do not envisage neither Chelsea nor Tottenham suffering anything other than minor problems when facing Wigan and Newcastle respectively.
The Latics have become Chelsea’s whipping boys over the past few seasons and at 11/8 (Skybet) to win without conceding, Chelsea look decent value.
Meanwhile, although Spurs lost 2-1 at St James’s Park on the first day of the new campaign, they’ve won their last three against the Magpies at White Hart Lane without conceding a goal. They’re 21/10 (bet365) to win without conceding and 7/10 (Paddy Power) to record three points.
Matters promise to be much tighter at Villa Park on Sunday where West Ham are the visitors. The pair’s last three meetings have been conclusive, but three of the previous five ended all square. Stan James posts 5/2 about the stalemate as BetVictor.com have 11/2 marked against it finishing 1-1.
Norwich go into their fixture against Fulham as Ladbrokes’ 6/4 favourites even though Fulham beat them 5-0 at Craven Cottage back in August. Both sides need the points, but as everyone knows, Fulham are a different team when they set foot outside of west London, hence the appeal of bet365’s 6/1 for City to register a 1-0 victory.
At St Mary’s. it’s difficult to see the Saints overhauling Manchester City, but they’re very capable of securing a point. Southampton are 6/1 (Coral) to win and William Hill offer the draw at 10/3, but there has been sustained support for Stan James’s 10/3 chalked against City emerging victorious following a drawn opening half.
An Adam Le Fondre equaliser gained Reading a home point against Stoke in August, but the Potters (10/11, Stan James) are a much stronger, more competent outfit at home and a win for Tony Pulis’s men looks likely.
Finally, Arsenal and Sunderland registered a third draw in their last five meetings at the Emirates in August and BetVictor.com rates the chances of both halves ending on level terms again on Saturday at 19/2. Sunderland are a massive 10/3 (Coral) to win, but bet365’s 10/1, posted about a goalless draw, has attracted steady support.
In the Championship, Middlesbrough’s strength at home lends appeal to Bet365’s 5/6 for them to get the better of Barnsley at the Riverside and fellow promotion-hopefuls Leicester, at 8/11 with William Hill, should have too much for Peterborough, whose porous defence makes the prolific Foxes front man Chris Wood a cracking first scorer bet at 7/2 (William Hill).
League One back-markers Hartlepool have looked more solid of late but should be no match for Betfred’s 4/9 chances Swindon, high-flying Brentford also look set for a home victory – they’re 4/6 via Coral to overcome Bury and Paddy Power rate Bournemouth at 3/10 to heap more misery on beleaguered Portsmouth. The same firm, quote Port Vale at 11/10 to defeat League Two strugglers Barnet and Coral chalk Chesterfield up at 4/5 as they entertain relegation-threatened Wimbledon.
Weekend Accumulator: Man Utd, Leicester, Middlesbrough, Swindon, Brentford, Port Vale – 14/1 (Betvictor)
Top Treble: Southampton v Man City draw, Bournemouth, Chesterfield – 9/1 (Stan James)
First scorer: Chris Wood (Leicester) – 7/2 (William Hill)
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