After midweek matches for the Carling Cup tournament that produced some shocking results, the English Premier League gets back under way on Saturday. Several teams, including some of the EPL’s premier clubs, will be looking to redeem themselves following bad and potentially devastating Carling Cup results. With so many teams suddenly desperate for a win, this weekend will be especially important and will lead to several crucial early season games. We’ll take a look at all the match ups and give out the best picks for each. All odds shown have been taken from Bodog.
Chelsea (1st) at Manchester City (4th) – City of Manchester Stadium – 7:45 AM ET – After suffering a mid-week Carling Cup loss to Newcastle United, Chelsea will be looking to get back to the absolute tear they have been on to start the season. Manchester City didn’t fare any better with a mid-week loss to West Brom. While Chelsea has begun their season as expected, Manchester City has continued to lack consistency. They are playing at home, so this could be the week they finally love up to expectations. However, until someone proves that Chelsea is beatable and Manchester City proves it can consistently compete, Chelsea is the favorite in this one.
The over/under in this one is at 2½. With the offenses in this one, definitely take the over.
Blackburn Rovers (14th) at Blackpool (9th) – Bloomfield Road – 10:00 AM ET – After 5 games, Blackpool finds itself it the top half of the Premiership standings. Although still early in the season, Blackpool seems to be establishing a pattern with its performances. Although they have been soundly beaten by the EPL’s top clubs, they have performed well against those clubs in the middle of the pack. This form should continue this weekend when they host Blackburn. The Rovers have struggles to maintain early leads, but they have a great opportunity to find some consistency this week.
The best value in this match up is on Blackburn and the draw. Take the draw in this one at +230 along with Blackburn at -½.
Wigan Athletic FC (18th) at Birmingham City (13th) – St. Andrews Ground – 10:00 AM ET – Although Birmingham City has struggled this season, they will enter their match this weekend against one of the few clubs in the EPL that they are actually expected to beat. Birmingham’s biggest problem has been on the defensive end, but they shouldn’t face too much of challenge against Wigan. Although both teams have struggled, Birmingham has been slightly more consistent. Especially playing at home, they should be end the weekend with their second win of the season.
Take Birmingham in this one at -½. The over/under also has good value. Take the over 2½ at +115.
Everton (19th) at Fulham (7th) – Craven Cottage – 10:00 AM ET – Everton will travel to Craven Cottage this weekend still looking for their first victory of the season. Fulham, on the other hand, will be looking to continue their undefeated streak, having earned at least a point in each of their matches this season. Everton is yet to find consistency in any area of their squad, and will be hard-pressed to do so on Saturday on the road. Fulham has been the better squad this season, and should be favored at home this weekend.
Although Everton should win this one, the even pick is not offering enough value. Instead take a look at the over/under. The best value is on +115 on over -2½.
Tottenham Hotspur (5th) at West Ham United (20th) – Boleyn Ground – 10:00 AM ET – Tottenham was thoroughly dominated in their mid-week match up against Arsenal and will be looking to rebound on Saturday. They shouldn’t have too much trouble accomplishing this against bottom-of-the-table West Ham. Although Tottenham will be on the road and still without star striker Jermain Defoe, they should still be able to control the pace of the match and leave Boleyn Ground with a win.
Take Tottenham in this one at +½, along with the over 2½.
Sunderland (11th) at Liverpool (16th) – Anfield – 10:00 AM ET – Liverpool will be looking to get a season back on track that seems like more and more of a lost cause with each passing week. After having to come from behind to draw against lowly League Two’s Northampton Town in the Carling Cup, Liverpool still lost in a shootout in a result that Liverpool forward Milan Jovanovic called a “catastrophe”. Liverpool has only one win this season, and is desperate to get their season going in a positive direction. Although they have continued to struggle, they simply have too much talent, and you have to assume that they will eventually play better. They will have a golden opportunity this weekend at home.
Although Liverpool should win this weekend, the -1 is not offering enough value. The best value in this one is the over, with the total currently at 2½.
West Bromwich Albion (10th) at Arsenal (2nd) – Emirates Stadium – 10:00 AM ET – In what should be one of the easiest matches to call this weekend, Arsenal will be home on Saturday as they host West Brom. Arsenal is one of the few teams who performed as expected in the Carling Cup’s mid-week matches, dominating Tottenham in a 4-1 victory. West Brom has gotten off to a decent start this season, but should be no match for the Gunners, especially on the road. Arsenal cannot afford to drop any points a they try to keep pace with Chelsea, so expect them to control this match up and earn their fourth victory of the season.
Although it should be close, Arsenal at -2 is offering decent value at +110. Also, take a look at the under 3½.