The Premier League is back this weekend following the midweek Carling Cup games, and the pick of the games undoubtedly comes from the Emirates.
Whoever wins between Arsenal and Liverpool will be top of the league at the hallowed ‘’10 game’’ stage. In 3 of the last 4 seasons, the side top of the league at this stage went on to be Champions. (the exception being Chelsea, topped the table in November 2010 but went on to finish 2nd).
Liverpool have a poor record against Arsenal having won just 1 of the last 13 league meetings between the two sides, which is replicated in their price of 9/4.
What Liverpool do have in their favour though is the most potent strike force in the league. Suarez and Sturridge have scored 12 goals between them in the last 5 league games they’ve started together. Suarez, who has 11 goals in his last 11 league games, is 5/1 to score first, and Sturridge, who has 14 in his last 13 league games, is available at 6/1. However, the 6/1 available for both strikers to score anytime is extremely tempting based on their exceptional form of late. Hills also offer 4/1 for Suarez to score in a Liverpool victory, which has occurred in 3 of the Uruguayans 4 league starts this season.
One thing we will be expecting on Saturday evening is goals. There’s been at least two goals in 18 of the last 19 meetings between the two sides, with 15 of the last 19 games being a winner on the ‘’Both Teams to Score’’ coupon, which is why it’s as short as 1/2. There’s also been over 2 goals scored in 5 of Liverpool’s last 6 games, and that offers better value at 4/6.
Much was made, particularly in the early part of the season, of Liverpool not being as successful in the second half of games as they have been the first. It’s true, Rodgers’ side tend to start very brightly, and they’ve been in front at the break in 10 of their last 11 league games, which Liverpool to be winning at half time at 14/5 a very tempting bet. You can get an even better 5/1 on Liverpool to be winning at the interval and at full time.
Mesut Ozil has been one of the stars of the season having slotted straight into the Arsenal side and showing the sort of form that persuaded Arsene Wenger to finally part with some cash. You get the feeling if Arsenal are going to claim 3 points, they’ll need a big game from Ozil, and it’s 9/2 for the German to score in an Arsenal win.
Ramsey has also had an impressive start for Arsenal having scored 5 Premiership goals already, and the 10/3 available on him to score anytime looks generous.
Bet of the game – Liverpool to be winning at Half Time: 14/5
Best of the rest:
The weekends early kick off comes from the Sports Direct Arena where Newcastle entertain Chelsea. Newcastle’s form hasn’t been great of late, and they’ve won just 2 of their last 10 homes games. The magpies have also failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last 6 league games.
Chelsea, in contrast, will be flying after their last minute win against Man City last weekend, and having disposed of Arsenal very comfortably in the Carling Cup this week. Mourinho’s men have a strong squad and the Carling Cup game at the Emirates just 3 days ago shouldn’t create a problem as they have an exceptional record following midweek games, having won 8 and drawn 2 of their last 10 weekend matches that followed a midweek fixture.
Newcastle were better against Man city in the cup than they have been in recent weeks, but Chelsea should still prove too strong.
Martin Jol’s struggling Fulham side host David Moyes’ somewhat struggling Man Utd on Saturday. Jol’s position was hardly made any better having been knocked out of the Carling Cup by Championship side Leicester in midweek and he is now 13/8 fav to be the next Premiership manager to lose his job.
Wayne Rooney has 4 goals in his last 6 league games and is starting to find some real form for United, so the 7/4 on offer for him to score in a United victory looks decent value, especially as he has a better record this season than Van Persie, who hasn’t scored away from home since the opening day of the season. Rooney also scored the only goal of the game in this fixture last season.
Man City face Norwich at home on Saturday. Pellegrini’s men needed extra time to see off Newcastle in midweek after being largely second best for most of the 90 minutes.
Not expecting much of a hangover from that game though as Pellegrini made the most of his large squad and rang the changes.
City have now scored in 54 consecutive home league games, a run that stretches back to December 2010, and Norwich wont fancy their chances of ending that run having kept just one clean sheet in their last 12 away league games.
Norwich also had real problems scoring goals last year where they had a goal difference of -17, and that trend has continued this year despite the signings of Hooper, Van Wolfswinkel and Elmander, Norwich have scored just 6 goals in 9 league games this season.
Aguero will be back in the side and look to build on his 6 league goals already this season. He is available at 9/4 to net first. Yaya Toure has also started very well this season, scoring on average every two games. It’s 2/1 for him to score in a City victory. But I like the handicap for this one, and City -2 is available at 6/4.
Treble of the weekend:
City -2 @ 6/4
Both teams to score & Chelsea to win @ 12/5
Rooney to score and Utd to win @ 7/4
Pays over 22/1
*All prices available at williamhill.co.uk