Week 5 in the Premiership concludes on Sunday with three games, including 4 of the EPL’s top clubs. We will review each match and give out our top picks for each match up.
Liverpool (13th) at Manchester United (3rd) – Old Trafford – 8:30 AM ET – Liverpool continued the disappointing start to their season last weekend, managing only a scoreless draw against Birmingham City. Their difficulties on offense have persisted, with the team managing to score only 2 goals through their first four matches. The problems in the scoring department have been due in large part to the continued struggles of striker Fernando Torres, who cannot seem to recover his scoring touch. This is compounded by the injury to Dirk Kuyt, who will miss Sunday’s match as he continues to recover from his shoulder injury. As bad as things have been for Liverpool, they won’t get any easier this weekend when they head into Old Trafford. Manchester United have been dealing with their own issues, mainly the inconsistent performances of star Wayne Rooney, who has been plagued by both on-the-field and off-the-field issues. However, Manchester United may have received an unexpected push in the right direction this past week after the gruesome injury to midfielder Luis Antonio Valencia. Manager Sir Alex Ferguson has used this as a way to rally the team. This, along with the fact that they are playing at home, should give them the edge over a still-struggling Liverpool side.
Bodog is giving a ½ point in this match up. Definitely take the inspired Manchester United at home in this one at -½.
Manchester City (8th) at Wigan Athletic FC (17th) – DW Stadium – 10:00 AM ET – Despite the high hopes heading into the season, Manchester City seems to have quickly reverted to its notoriously inconsistent form. Aside from a 3-0 victory over Liverpool (a win that, given Liverpool’s struggles, seems to grow less and less impressive by the week) they have managed to score only 1 other goal. As I noted heading into the season, Manchester City’s biggest obstacle would be team chemistry, and they have still not been able to get it right. This is what has hurt them against teams like Sunderland and Blackburn, who don’t have nearly the talent of Manchester City but know how to play as a unit. While it’s doubtful Manchester City will have fixed this problem out by Sunday, they are in luck, as they will be going up against one of the weaker sides in the Premiership. Even playing at home, Wigan Athletic simply does not have the talent to keep up with Manchester City. It would an absolute early-season disaster for Manchester City if they were to lose this game, so this is absolutely an early-season must win for the team. On sheer talent alone, they should be able to take advantage of the porous Wigan defense that allowed 11 goals through four games. This should stave off the critics for at least one more weak.
Bodog is giving ½ a point in this. Take Manchester City at -½ on road.
Blackpool (4th) at Chelsea (1st) – Stamford Bridge – 11:00 AM ET – Blackpool will be looking to continue their improbable run in the EPL this Sunday when they head into Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea. The Seasiders have begun their first-ever season in the EPL with a 2-1-1 record, results that are shocking to even the most loyal Blackpool fans. Make no mistake: Blackpool has played extremely well and absolutely deserves the 7 points they have earned. However, they will be walking into a whole other level of competition this weekend. Blackpool’s record really tells the whole tale. While they have won 2 and drawn one against Wigan, Newcastle, and Fulham, they were absolutely demolished by Arsenal 6-0. While they are willing to battle, they simply do not have the talent to match the likes of Chelsea. The Blues have looked flawless in every area, and are coming off of yet another easy victory, this one against MSK Zilina to open their UEFA Champions League campaign. They have outscored their opponents 17-1 through their first four EPL games, and this weekend should be no different. While Blackpool have been inspirational and seem to have a legitimate shot at remaining in the EPL past this season, this weekend will probably turn out to be a vicious reminder of how far they still have to go.
Chelsea has looked unstoppable this season, and until someone proves otherwise, keep taking Chelsea and the points. Check out Bodog and take Chelsea at -2½. Also, take a look at Bodog for the over/under at 3½. With Chelsea playing at home, take the over in this match.