Norwich v West Ham, Saturday 12.45pm SS2
There’s not a lot between Norwich and West Ham on paper. Norwich will fancy their chances at Carrow Road but West Ham will be good enough and confident enough to get a result. Chris Hughton’s side may see West Ham as a scalp but Sam Allardyce will make sure the Hammers are hard to beat.
I’m not so sure Norwich have an abundance in goals in them even though Robert Snodgrass is a good signing, but he’s still bedding in.
West Ham got battered away at Swansea 3-0 but Sam will set his stall out to avoid that this time.
I don’t often predict draws but both teams will think they can win this so the best bet may be the score draw.
- Both teams to score at 4/6 with Paddy Power’s online betting is the bet for me.
Manchester United v Wigan, Saturday 3pm
Robin Van Persie might yet be passed fit but because it’s a thigh strain he mightn’t start.
Wigan’s record at Old Trafford is shocking and they have suffered two 5-0 defeats in the past few years there. United were unbeaten in the previous 14 clashes between the sides home and away before last season’s shock 1-0 win at the DW Stadium.
United have won both their games since losing to Everton 1-0 but they haven’t been impressive. Sir Alex Ferguson will want to keep a clean sheet because they’ve conceded four goals in those two wins.
If RVP doesn’t play and with Rooney missing it’s likely that Danny Welbeck and possibly Javier Hernandez will start up front. He’s been a bit off form recently and United should have plenty of possession. It should be a great game for him to come back into.
- I fancy United to score in both halves (8/11), to be winning at half-time/ full-time (8/11) and win to nil (11/10).
Sunderland v Liverpool, Saturday, 5.30pm ESPN
This is not the Liverpool of old for me. They’re still finding their way. They haven’t scored a goal from open play yet and that worries me and they look to be very short of firepower.
They’ve spent money on Fabio Borini and the jury’s still out on him while Luis Suarez isn’t a natural goalscorer and thrives on playing off someone else. Liverpool fans are going to have to be very, very patient with Brendan Rodgers before they see results starting to improve.
This is Sunderland’s first game at the Stadium of Light after the Reading clash was postponed two weeks ago.
Steven Fletcher has been a really good signing for the Black Cats and scored twice on his debut and is 7/1 to be first goalscorer here. I like Ireland’s James McLean and his ability to get into scoring positions. Have a look at him at 14/1 to be first goalscorer. He’s not the finished article but he’s a young lad who can score a goal and gets in good scoring positions.
For Liverpool their goals may come from set-pieces so check out the centre-backs. They will be a threat from corners and frees.
Reading v Tottenham, Sunday, 4pm SS1
A massive game for Tottenham. Until Andre Villas-Boas gets his first win there’s going to be huge pressure on the young Spurs boss.
He’s done some good business over the summer. He was left in an impossible position with Luka Modric who was going anyway. Rafael van der Vaart has gone too but he’s not that great a loss considering they’ve brought Moussa Dembele in from Fulham.
Spurs have signed Clint Dempsey, Gylfi Sigurdsson and French keeper Hugo Lloris is one of the top goalkeepers in the world.
Spurs fans need to be patient. Give him a chance. There 10 minutes away from having six points from their last two games but some sloppy defending has let them down.
Reading have a good young manager in Brian McDermott who’s done a fantastic job. He’s brought a few players in who’ve had Premier League appearance. He’s stolen Pavel Pogrebnyak from Fulham and brought in the like of Danny Guthrie, Nicky Shorey and Chris Gunter.
Tottenham are due a win though and must be ready to kick on now. They’ve great attacking options but maybe need a central midfielder to back it up.
It’s Spurs to win away for me at even money. And if you’re looking for goal scorers I’d fancy Jermaine Defoe at 11/2 to be the first goalscorer. He shoots more than other forward in the game. At bigger prices Gareth Bale (15/2), Gylfi Siggurdson (8/1) and Moussa Dembele (11/1) are worth a second look.
Everton v Newcastle, Monday, 8pm SS1
Delighted for my old club’s great start to the season. David Moyes will be disappointed that they lost to West Brom but they’re on fire at Goodison and I expect them to win this game.
The strikers Kevin Mirallas and Nikica Jelavic are playing well and scored on international duty last week. I like the way Marouane Fellaini plays off Jelavic and David Naismith was a good signing from Rangers. It’s probably the biggest and strongest squad they’ve had in a while. They could surprise a few and finish in the top four in the Premier League.
Newcastle are playing well and what Alan Pardew’s done has been remarkable. The Magpies had a good start with a home win against Spurs but have stuttered a bit since and Newcastle away are not the same proposition as Newcastle at home.
Aston Villa v Swansea, Saturday 3pm
I’ll go for a home win for the Villains at 11/8 who are due a win.
Fulham v WBA, Saturday 3pm
Steve Clarke’s got a great start for the Baggies but Fulham are decent and were unlucky to lose 3-2 to Manchester United. I think the Cottagers will just shade it at 10/11.
Stoke v Manchester City, Saturday 3pm
Some might suggest this is a potential banana skin but Manchester City are the real deal at 10/11 to win it. They have the tools to deal with the bombardment they’ll face and I actually fancy them to win to nil at 9/5.
Arsenal v Southampton, Saturday 3pm
The Saints have had the toughest fixture list at the start of a season that I can remember. And it’s not going to get any easier. Arsenal to win.
QPR v Chelsea, Saturday 3pm
There’s going to be a lot of tension at Loftus Road on Saturday after what happened last year. I don’t think QPR have quite settled yet and Chelsea are the better collective unit. Chelsea to take all three points.
Andy Gray’s bet of the weekend…
Andy Gray’s banker treble…
You can hear more of Andy Gray each day on TalkSport, as well as in Paddy Power shops.