Week 7 of the Premiership concludes on Sunday with three games scheduled, including one of the biggest match-ups of the early season. We’ll preview each match and give out our free picks for each. All English Premier League odds shown are taken from Bodog.
Newcastle United (10th) at Manchester City (4th) / City of Manchester Stadium / 8:30 AM ET
After some early season inconsistency, Manchester City may have finally found its rhythm. In its biggest match of the season, the team defeated Chelsea last weekend. The most impressive element of the win was the fact that they managed to hold Chelsea scoreless. They seem to finally be developing consistency on the defensive end. If their high-priced attack can find the same consistency, they will become a true contender. They will have a golden opportunity for this on Sunday against inconsistent Newcastle United. Newcastle has both struggled to score and has had trouble defending, which should play into both of Manchester City’s strengths. If City can win this one, they will have won three in a row and will keep pace with the three teams ahead of them in the standings. They will also be especially inspired playing in front of their home crowd for the second week in a row. The team is coming off of one of its most important wins in recent years, and that momentum should carry over into Sunday.
Take Manchester City in this one at -1, along with the over 2½.
Blackpool (15th) at Liverpool (16th) / Anfield / 10:00 AM ET
Liverpool’s season continues to quickly become a lost cause as they continue to produce bad performances, each one contributing to the growing disappointment and embarrassment for the team. The team seems to be regressing rather than returning the championship form they are expected to maintain. Fernando Torres has continued to struggle, and each passing game makes his participation in the World Cup over the summer look more and more like a bad idea. He struggled with injuries much of last season, but continued to play over the summer rather than take time off to fully recover. Without any break in the near future, his struggles will likely continue. Liverpool also shipped out midfield presence Javier Mascherano, further weaking the team. However, they still plenty of talent, so they should still have enough to earn a win over recently promoted Blackpool. Although Blackpool is competitive, they lack the individual talent. Liverpool has to win this weekend. If they lose to Blackpool on Sunday, their season will essentially be over, and huge changes both in the front office and on the field will be soon to follow.
Liverpool just has too much talent, and I feel they have to break out of this funk they’re in at some point. With Blackpool coming into Anfield this Sunday, now seems as good a chance to get back on track as they’re going to get. Take Liverpool in this one at -1½.
Arsenal (3rd) at Chelsea (1st) / Stamford Bridge / 11:00 AM ET
The highlight of Week 7 will be the final game of the weekend. Although Chelsea suffered its first loss and was held scoreless for the first time this season, this was by the minimal score of 1-0 and on the road and against Manchester City, one of the few teams expected to challenge Chelsea for the championship this season. Arsenal, on the other hand, produced one of the unexpected and disappointing losses they have become notorious for giving up every season. In recent years, they seem to produce at least a few of these performances every year, and last weekend seems to have been one of those. This is a huge match as both teams are in the top 3 in the Premiership standings and neither can afford to leave points on the field. Arsenal cannot afford a second bad performance in a row, and they need to win on Sunday, but they are facing a Chelsea side that has had both the most devastating offense and the stingiest defense so far this season. Unfortunately for Arsenal, this match will mark the return of Didier Drogba for Chelsea, while they will be without key players, specifically Cesc Fabregas. This will be the difference in the match.
Although it will be close, Arsenal won’t be at 100%. Expect Chelsea to take advantage of this. Take Chelsea in this one at home at -½.