Expert football pundit and analyst Andy Gray has joined Paddy Power to give his insight on Saturday’s crunch Premier League fixtures.
Andy Gray’s treble
Manchester City, Liverpool and Newcastle to win: 2/1
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Liverpool v Norwich, Setanta, 3.00pm
This wouldn’t be the first time that we’ve all fancied Liverpool to win a game at Anfield over the last few years and they haven’t. But Liverpool do look like they’re playing better and they have Daniel Sturridge and Fabio Borini in the squad so they have more options up front. This is an occasion when Brendan Rodgers might start with Luis Suarez and Sturridge as the time is right and Sturridge looks fit enough. Borini is only just back so might not start but I think that’s the trio Rodgers would like to pick ideally.
The changes Rodgers made last week at Old Trafford were important and they looked far more of a threat and a team with a little bit experience and a little more know-how. They tested United and United had to dig in. Sturridge had a great chance to get a second goal and things could have been very different. They were impressive in the second half and can take the positives. Rodgers just needs to find the right mix in the midfield and it seems that Lucas, Joe Allen and Steven Gerrard will be the three when fit. If the midfield three and the front three play regularly then Liverpool might start creeping up the table.
Suarez has a great record against Norwich. He loves to play them and always seems to score against them. He doesn’t get one goal but multiple goals. If you’re looking for a first goalscorer look at Suarez all day long at 12/5.
You can’t see past Liverpool. Norwich have had four defeats on the road and then drew 0-0 with Newcastle so they’re not showing us that they’ve got that fire in them. Liverpool should win without conceding and can win by two goals at 3/1.
Man City v Fulham, 3.00pm
This is a home banker. Fulham can make life difficult by trying to defend, upset and frustrate Manchester City and they could do a job. But City are too strong and too confident and they know they can’t afford to drop any points, especially at home. This is a comfortable City win at 1/4.
Newcastle v Reading, 3.00pm
Newcastle have a great opportunity to get a win against Reading. The Royals had a wonderful comeback against West Brom but for 82 minutes they were second best. West Brom played them off the pitch, hit the woodwork two or three times, had a goal disallowed, scored two others and they could have been out of sight. The tide has got to turn for Newcastle and they can shade this at 4/5.
Swansea v Stoke, 3.00pm
This recent run of games can take a lot out of Swansea. They haven’t got the biggest squad and they’re trying to rotate their players but there’s no doubt their minds will be on midweek’s home tie against Chelsea. They might not be at their best against Stoke and Stoke are tough to beat even away from the Britannia. This will be a low-scoring draw at 9/4 or maybe even a 0-0.
West Ham v QPR, 3.00pm
A tough one to call because Harry Redknapp would love to go to Upton Park and get a result. QPR got a battling 0-0 against Tottenham but West Ham need a performance. They were poor against Sunderland and Sam Allardyce will be demanding a better performance from his team to stop their little slide down the league. There’s nothing in this game but home advantage is key so West Ham can just nick it at 11/10.
Wigan v Sunderland, 3.00pm
This game isn’t going to be a goal-fest, it will be a war of attrition. There will be nothing going, you’ll have to work for everything and goals will be sparse. Wigan can beat Sunderland though at 6/5.
West Brom v Aston Villa, ESPN, 5.15pm
The Baggies have played well and battered Reading away from home for 82 minutes last week. If they bring that form into this game against an Aston Villa side lacking in confidence and belief then it will be a hard day for Paul Lambert. West Brom can win this at 3/4.