Premier League Preview

FaceBook on Wednesday, the pressure is really on to repeat those kind of numbers. Let’s see how I do.   Arsenal v Blackburn – Saturday 13.00 The GunnersRoversArsenal fans are not best pleased right now, a bore draw against Bolton and no progress in the transfer market has left them a little fed up, news that Jack Wilshere may miss the rest of the season won’t have lifted their mood. Facing Blackburn at home would seem to be the perfect remedy then, that is of course if they hadn’t lost 4-3 last time these two played each other in the league.  That, as they say, was then, and although Blackburn have improved since that game I don’t see Arsenal dropping points in this one, the best Blackburn can hope for is a draw but I fear that may be beyond them. Odds for an Arsenal win are predictably short at around 1.28 and I think by now everyone knows my general record for betting on Arsenal fixtures so this is a “no bet” game for me.   Norwich v Bolton – Saturday 15.00 The CanariesThe TrottersNorwich will be looking to repeat their 2-1 victory from earlier in the season but I think they are going to find this one tough. Bolton have improved recently and find themselves out of the relegation zone and a couple of points clear from their immediate rivals,  they are going to want to make that gap even wider and a win here would certainly help in that regard. The odds either way aren’t brilliantly appealing but there may be a little value in Norwich at 2.1 with a few bookies but it’s not for me . Under 2.5 on the other hand is at 2.17 with SBOBet and I’m going to place my first bet of the week there. I think this game will end up in a 1-1 draw but the under is my only bet on this one.   QPR v Wolves – Saturday 15.00 RangersWolvesThis is one of the easier games of the weekend for me to call, QPR have strengthened their side and look set to stick around for another season in the Premier League, the signings of Taiwo, Cissé and Zamora add a touch of class to a side that wasn’t too far off being strong enough to stick around as it is. Discontent rages at Wolves from the chariman to the fans and if they could find someone better, Mick McCarthy might find himself on his way out, would someone better want to go there though?  I’m not sure so I think Mick will be in a job until the end of the season. Home win for me and the odds aren’t too bad at 1.95 with William Hill so my second bet of the weekend will be placed there.   Stoke v Sunderland – Saturday 15.00 The PottersThe Black CatsStoke are going to have a tough game here against resurgent Sunderland, Martin O’Neills arrival has certainly sparked something up there and his Midas touch doesn’t seem to have been dulled by his time out of the game. James McClean looks a real find for the wings and Frazier Campbells return to fitness has led to a few goals with the two combining well. Stoke are a solid side and will provide Sunderland a stern test, this one is too close to call for me so I’m staying out of the betting but I wouldn’t be surprised to see this one end in a draw.   West Brom v Swansea – Saturday 15.00 The BaggiesThe SwansThis should be an entertaining game between two sides set up well by managers at different ends of their careers, for West Brom manager Roy Hodgson there is a chance he will be the next England manager, he certainly gets my vote, whilst Brendan Rodgers may be happy at Swansea for now, when a bigger club comes calling, as surely they will, it will be interesting to see if he can reproduce his flowing style of football at another club with bigger egos in the dressing room. This game though comes before all of that and it’s probably going to be my match of choice when I sit down on Saturday to get my weekly fix of Premier League action. It’s difficult to know where to go in the betting though, swansea will play nice football and could create a few chances but West Brom are nobodies fools and will be set-up to take advantage of any weaknesses wily Woy (sorry, couldn’t resist) has spotted. All of this, inevitably, leads me to draw the onclusion I should not be betting on this game, so I won’t. For the purposes of giving a prediction, I’ll say a draw but unless the Pro’s tell you that, I wouldn’t bet on it.   Wigan v Everton – Saturday 15.00 The LaticsThe school of scienceWigan are a side that don’t really seem to be convinced of their own ability, they have talented players in their side and a manager who is much admired for his style of football but belief in their ability to win games seems to be badly lacking. Against Tottenham last week they seemed content to knock the ball around nicely in the first half before sparking into life in the second and giving Tottenham a bit of a hard time for a while there. With more belief in themselves they could probably give Everton a run for their money here but right now all I can see is an Everton win so I’ll take the 2.2 on offer at BetFred and hope it ends up the way I think it will.   Manchester City v Fulham – Saturday 17.30 The CitizensFulham Mancini held his hands up and cried “Culpa mea” after the game against Everton, he better hope his players feel some responsibility as well as they look to be throwing away their bright start to the season right now, injuries to a smallish squad have been compounded by suspensions and international call ups and even with the Chilean David Pizarro joining in the transfer window, this side is looking a bit fragile in the mentality department and we could be witnessing the start of a slide that will cost them the title. They would do well to pick up points here as Fulham are an improving side under Martin Jol and the purchase of Pogrebnyak may be one of the buys of the season. If this was at Craven Cottage I’d be going for a draw but as it’s at the Etihad stadium, I’ll go for a win but I won’t be putting any of my money on it.   Newcastle Utd v Aston Villa – Sunday 13.30 The ToonThe VillainsVilla are a strange side aren’t they, this time last year they were bristling with pace and creativity down the flanks but the summer sales did for them and suddenly they look boring and one dimensional.  Robbie Keane briefly sparked a bit of life into them but he’ll be gone soon and they will be left with the likes of Emile Heskey and Darren Bent leading the line for them. Newcastle on the other hand are fun to follow, a strategy of buying good, under-rated, players at reasonable prices is paying off and we could be about to see the unveiling of the “double Demba” partnership. I’m looking forward to this game and can see Newcastle getting all three points, the 2.2 at Paddy Power looks positively generous in this case so I’m going to push the boat out and place my last bet of the weekend here.   Chelsea v Manchester United – Sunday 16.00 We’ll have a more in-depth look at this match in another article but we did have a chat with Lewis from SBR about this one so it’s only fair to show you the video from that so we’ll put it up on here as soon as it gets launched.     Let me know your selections in the comments box below.]]>