The Barclay’s Premier league action continues Saturday with seven interesting matches that we’ll preview here. All betting odds are taken from Bodog.
Newcastle United (13/10) vs. Everton (2/1)
Newcastle United will be without Gabriel Oberton who now has a toe infection. Oberton played well in the 3-1 win over Stoke City. Shola Ameobi will also be sidelined, while Cheick Tiote may make his return for NU.
Everton, meanwhile, has five players nursing injuries (Tim Cahill, Phil Neville, John Heitinga, Victor Anichebe, and Slyvain Distin) and it is questionable whether any of them will make their return, though Cahill and Distin are more likely than the other three. Cahill has made 199 premier league apperances for Everton, but his ankle injury will leave him at less than full strength, even if he does play. Moreover, Fellaini is suspended.
Everton has the best tackle success rate in the league with 81.5%, but Newcastle has five goal line clearances. It has been 37 games since Everton’s last 0-0 game and in the last four matches between these teams, there have been eight goals, with seven of them having come in the first half. Newcastle has yet to be beaten this season and that streak extends over 13 games.
Blackburn Rovers (13/2) vs. Chelsea (2/5)
Blackburn is a heavy underdog in this one, because of poor defense. Ryan Nelsen, Michael Salgado and Scott Dann are all out, as is midfielder Vince Grella. Junior Hoilett should be returning for Blackburn, after missing the match against Norwich last week, a game which ended in a draw.
Chelsea is healthy and John Terry, Frank Lampard, and Juan Mata are all expected to start in this match, as they rested the full game against Genk that occured in midweek. Chelsea has won 13 of the last 18 meetings between the teams, while scoring 38 goals (2.11 per game).
Blackburn has given up the same number of goals as Chelsea this year, but their scoring hasn’t been on the same level, and they haven’t blanked a team in their last nine Premier league matches, three of which they lost. Blackburn has won only 6 matches in 2011 and they have given up 12 goals at home this year, accounting for their second worst home record in the league.
Chelsea has the worst away play of any team in the top six, and they have only managed 7 points in 5 matches, while scoring barely over a goal a game, with 8 goals in total. Still, Blackburn hasn’t scored a goal in “crunch time” (last 10 mins of a match), and they have given up 5 in that crucial frame, helping to account for why they are such heavy underdogs in this match.
Liverpool (1/4) vs. Swansea City (10/1)
Liverpool will be without their captain Steven Garrard, because he is still having ankle issues. Due to this, Lucas and Charlie Adam will start in the middle. Centerback Jamie Carragher is still nursing a calf injury, but Agger and Skrtel will play and helped Liverpool blank their last opponent.
Swansea, the heavy underdogs in this one, will likely use the same lineup they have the last two games. They gave up only 1 point to the Wolves, and scored a nice victory at home against Bolton. Three-quarters of Swansea’s goals have come at the feet of Joe Allen, Scott Sinclair, and Danny Graham, and it bodes well for Swansea getting their first away point of the year, though the prospect still isn’t that good.
Liverpool has won 10 of the 20 matches between the teams in the Premier league, and six of the other 10 have been Swansea wins, while four finished in draw. Swansea lost 8-0 the last time these teams met in the FA cup and Swansea has yet to keep a clean sheet on the road this year, while Liverpool has yet to lose a game game this year, though they have drawn three of them, all in the last five games. They have the third best defensive record in the division, having given up only 10 goals in their last 10 matches.
Manchester United (2/9) vs. Sunderland (10/1)
Manchester United is still nursing some injuries, but it likely won’t matter against the heavily dogged Sunderland team. Anderson will likely miss the game, after he suffered an injury midweek, and Ryan Giggs and Tom Cleverley are both out, as well.
For Sunderland, Darren Fletcher is doubtful and Wayne Rooney should be starting again. Sunderland has less injuries to worry about than MU, but it’s not like it will matter. Titus Bramble and John O’Shea are unlikely to play, O’Shea due to injury, and Bramble has been suspended for off field problems.
MU had won 20 straight matches at home prior to losing to Manchester City a couple weeks ago and they haven’t lost any of their 18 games against Sunderland. If United wins, they will be the first team to reach 900 home points in the Premier league and Sunderland has won only 6 of their last 25 road games. They beat Bolton 2-0 two weeks ago, for their first road win since May. The last victory against MU came in 1997, a year in which they also beat Arsenal and Chelsea.
Arsenal (2/5) vs. West Brom (7/1)
Arsenal has won 3 of the last 5 matches between the teams, but the last ended in a 2-2 draw.
West Brom’s Luis Suarez has proven to be among the best in the premier league at penalty kicks and Charlie Adam and Andy Carroll have propelled West Brom within one point after their third away victory.
Arsenal’s central defender Thomas Vermaelen is still finding his way with his fellow defenders, and Robin van Persie has become one of the most undealable, unleasable players for Arsenal.
Aston Villa (4/5) vs. Norwich City (7/2)
AV has won 2 of their last 5 matches, with two of the other three games ending in draw, and the other being a loss to West Brom. AV has 12 points and sit at 9th in the Premier league.
Norwich City tied Blackburn 3-3 as a Grant Holt penalty kick capped a great comeback. Norwich City has 13 points and rank 8th, one spot ahead of AV in the standings.
QPR (9/1) vs. Manchester City (1/3)
QPR will be bringing back Danny Gabbidion, who alongside Anton Ferdinand will bring strength to the QPR defense. Against MC, they will need it. Jay Bothroyd and Heidar Helguson will start up front most likely.
For MC, Stefan Savic will likely start in place of the suspended Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott will start along side of him for MC’s defense. Lescott looked great against Villarreal. Silva is nursing a back injury, and may spend extended time on the bench.
The last meeting between these two teams was a 3-0 win by MC. The last Premier league meeting between the teams, though, was in 1996, and MC won 2-0. QPR has not lost at home in their last four matches, and their opening day loss to Bolton is their only home loss still.
MC has scored 20 goals in their five matches in Premier league this year, while QPR has scored fewer goals at home than any other team in Premier league. MC is 11 points better so far in the league this year than they did at this point last season.
Having previewed the seven games set for Saturday, you may feel inclined to back one of the heavy favorites. With Bodog offering a 10% bonus on deposits and a great hassle-free cashout system, they make an excellent sportsbook for all of your soccer betting needs.