Liverpool v Arsenal, Saturday 12:45
Arsene Wenger will be telling his defenders one thing this week – show the world why I didn’t bid that extra pound in the summer transfer window for Luis Suarez.
The Gunners head to Anfield early Saturday afternoon to cement their position as genuine contenders and not perennial bottlers whose title challenge will collapse like a cheap bookshelf when the pressure is on.
The home side have only lost once at Anfield this season but are tight enough at 11/10 against a team that are eight points clear of them at the top of the table.
The Gunners have the ability to take three points back to London – even if Nicklas Bendtner has to appear to score for them – and they won this fixture 2-0 last season. I’ll take Arsenal to win at 12/5 in a game where Paddy Power is refunding the usual markets if Luis Suarez scores the last goal.
Recommended bet: Arsenal to win @ 12/5
Chelsea v Newcastle, Saturday, 3pm
Tears of joy, tears of sadness, what a week in Newcastle! First their star player Yoahn Cabaye leaves for France to play with Zlatan Ibrahimovic instead of Shola Ameobi. Then JFK has waddled off into the night after throwing a tantrum because his ‘kebab’ has legged it to France.
And that’s on top of a 3-0 home drubbing last weekend by their Mackem neighbours. At least Sunderland left the city with their heads held high (unlike the police horses last year) after securing bragging rights for the season.
However, Newcastle have been in good form in the big games and beat Manchester United at Old Trafford (who hasn’t), Spurs at White Hart Lane and Chelsea at St James’ Park.
The ring round Jose Mourinho’s head is glowing bright after their win at Manchester City on Monday and he has an impeccable home record with the Blues.
Pardew’s men will be rigid and will be working on their shape all week. I expect them to be tight on Saturday. After West Ham’s draw at Stamford Bridge last week, why can’t Newcastle come away with at least a point? Ameobi may even score.
Recommended bet: Newcastle and the draw @ 3/1 in the double result market.
Swansea City v Cardiff City, Saturday 5:30pm
A Monk has been put in charge of the football club but will that be enough to save Swansea’s season?
A baby-faced assassin is now in place at Cardiff and he will be hoping to let Vincent Tan dance in the stands. With many fresh faces including Zaha, Fabio and the wily fox Bellamy they can sniff out the three points this weekend.
Both sides are on a poor run of four defeats in their last six league games. But Cardiff’s January signings could make all the difference. With Swansea having failed to win nine of their last 10 matches in the Premier League they are there for the taking.
Recommended bet: Cardiff and the draw @ 1/1 in the double result market.