After a week off while players were away with their respective national teams, the English Premier League gets back under way with a 3-day schedule of games. We’ll preview all the matches and give out our free picks for each. All odds shown are taken from Bodog.
West Ham United (20th) at Wolverhampton Wanderers (19th) / 10:00 AM ET / Molineux
Despite their records, this match should be an interesting one. Both teams are desperate for points and are heading into one of the few games they are both expecting to win this season. Although neither team had high expectations heading into this season, they definitely expected to do better than being at the absolute bottom of the EPL table. Both teams are currently at 5 points, with Wolverhampton being ahead due to goal differential. West Ham has been playing much better over their last 3 games, while Wolverhampton has lost 4 straight.
Take West Ham on the road, which is getting good value at +½. The draw also has good value at +230.
Tottenham Hotspur (5th) at Fulham (10th) / 10:00 AM ET / Craven Cottage
Despite remaining undefeated after 7 games, Fulham has earned only 9 points after managing only 1 win and 6 draws. Fulham has yet to lose largely due to the fact that they have faced one of the weakest schedules in the Premiership up to this point. That will change on Saturday when they face Tottenham. Despite injuries, Hotspur have managed to maintain good form. This should continue this weekend, when they should hand Fulham their first loss.
The point spread on this one is an even pick, so the best value is on the moneyline. Take Tottenham here at +135.
Stoke City (7th) at Bolton (12th) / 10:00 AM ET / Reebok Stadium
Stoke City will be looking to continue its surprising run this season on the road against Bolton. Their success this season has been based on good performances against the EPL’s weaker sides, which includes Bolton. Despite Bolton playing better as of late, they have struggled defensively. This will hurt them against a Stoke side that hasn’t been held scoreless in over a month.
Take Stoke City in this one at +½. Neither team is particularly strong defensively, so the over
Wigan Athletic FC (14th) at Newcastle United (15th) / 10:00 AM ET / St. James’ Park
After being one win away from a top-5 spot in the EPL just a few weeks ago, Newcastle has lost 2 straight and has dropped dramatically in the standings. The team has continued to struggle defensively, allowing at least 2 goals in 3 of their last 4 games. Wigan has been decent defensively, but has struggled to score consistently enough to turn draws into wins. With Newcastle desperate to earn points before it’s too late and playing at home, take Newcastle in this one.
The best value here is Newcastle at -½. With both teams bringing inconsistent offenses in, the under 2½ also has good value.
West Bromwich Albion (6th) at Manchester United (3rd) / 10:00 AM ET / Old Trafford
After a shockingly bad performance in their last game, Manchester United heads into a weekend where they have to earn 3 points in order to keep pace with Chelsea. While the Man. U. offense has lived up to expectations, the defense has been atrocious, allowing 7 goals in three games prior to their scoreless draw against Sunderland. They are heading into a suddenly dangerous match against surprising West Brom, a team that has scored 8 goals over their last 4 games.
West Brom at + 1½ has solid value. Also, with the terrible defense Manchester has been playing as of late and the pace at which both clubs have been scoring, the over 3 is a solid play.
Birmingham City (16th) at Arsenal (4th) / 10:00 AM ET / Emirates Stadium
Although Arsenal continues to struggle against the elite teams of the Premiership, including a 2-0 loss to Chelsea 2 weeks ago, they always dominate against every other team. This pattern should continue on Saturday against Birmingham City, a team that’s managed only 3 goals in their last 5 games. Another injury to Jean Beausejour certainly won’t help their cause. Arsenal will be especially inspired to earn the win after a loss in their last match, so expect the Gunners to win this one going away.
Take Arsenal here at -1½, along with the over 3 total.
Chelsea (1st) at Aston Villa (8th) / 12:30 PM ET / Villa Park
Although Aston Villa has performed well so far this season, they have been unable to solidify their defense and haven’t earned a clean sheet since August. They will have to wait at least another week, as they have no real chance of holding off the Chelsea juggernaut this weekend. The Blues did recently get the bad news that midfielder Yossi Benayoun will be out for at least 6 months with an Achilles injury, but they have more than enough talent to make up for his absence. Chelsea should easily dominate in this one.
Take Chelsea at -½ in this match, along with the over 2½.