QPR (15/8) v Stoke (15/8)
QPR were unable to resist Manchester United’s expensive new purchases but they should be far more competitive against a Stoke side that has made a stuttering start to the season despite their fantastic win against Manchester City. That said, they were unlucky not to get at least a point against Leicester and have had the form of their home defeat to Aston Villa well and truly franked, with the Villains now lying second after four games. This should be a tight game, and while under 2.5 is too short to back at 4/7, the draw makes appeal with both sides failing to really find the cutting edge their signings in the summer suggested.
Advice: 1 pt draw (9/4 general)
Aston Villa (4/1) v Arsenal (17/20)
Arsenal are still yet to find anything like their best form and had their vulnerabilities exposed against the top sides yet against with a painful defeat at Dortmund in midweek. Aston Villa may not boast the same quality that the Germans did but their vastly improved defending upon last year – they have let in just one goal in four games – could cause the Gunners significant problems. With Mezut Ozil offering nothing (and also being played out wide) and Aaron Ramsey having failed to regain the incredible form he showed at the end of last season, they have struggled in attack for long periods and could find this Villa back four as hard to break down as Liverpool did last weekend. Fabian Delph and Gabby Abgonlahor have given Aston Villa plenty of quality so far this season and a win is not beyond them, although Arsenal did show considerable improvement against Manchester City and could escape with a draw here. This looks a game best left, although the home side could offer value on the handicap.
Advice: No bet.
Burnley (8/5) v Sunderland (11/5)
Burnley were expected by many to be the whipping boys of the Premier League but barring an opening day defeat to Chelsea when they were brushed aside they have defied most expectations with strong showings against Manchester United, Swansea, and Crystal Palace. The worry is that they are yet to score a goal in any of those games but they should be able to prove an extremely tough task for Sunderland to break down and they can take at least a point from today’s trip.
Advice: 1 pt draw (23/10 general)
Newcastle (5/4) v Hull (11/4)
Newcastle are the Premier League’s crisis club with Alan Pardew complaining about the ‘mass hysteria’ which surrounds St James’s Park and Hull look too big to tip him closer to the edge. Steve Bruce’s side bought extremely well at the end of the transfer window and their adjustments to the side seemed to work excellent with Mohamed Diame and Abel Hernandes scoring on debut against West Ham while they can also count upon Hatem Ben Arfa to provide considerable creativity in midfield. Football is full of examples of renency bias being disproven, but Newcastle have won just 5 times since New Year’s day and Hull have also won on their last 3 visits to St James Park, and they showed plenty of incisiveness against West Ham while also performing creditably against an in form Aston Villa side. They look too big to take all three points.
Advice: 1 pt Hull (11/4 Bet Victor), 3 pts Hull +1 (8/11 Bet365)
Swansea (13/8) v Southampton (2)
Both of these sides have started the season in fine style and look difficult to separate in the markets after excellent displays last week. Swansea were unlucky not to get into the break ahead against Chelsea, and while Southampton were given most of their goals by an appalling Newcastle performance, they were convincing winners against West Ham the week before and unlucky to lose at Liverpool on the opening weekend. The best way to go could be goals here, but there have been just five goals scored in the four Barclays Premier League meetings between Southampton and Swansea City and there may be better bets elsewhere.
Advice: No bet.
West Ham (4) v Liverpool (5/6)
Liverpool showed their class in a 3-0 win at Tottenham after a showing against Manchester City which was not reflected by the scoreline n and followed a dreadful performance against a resolute Aston Villa with a carbon copy of that showing against Ludogrets in midweek. Their trip against West ham is sure to prove another difficult assignment, with Sam Allardayce’s side having shown more in an attacking sense than at any point this season against Hull on Monday. Enner Valencia in particular shone in that game and the arrival of Alex Song on a free transfer from Barcelona should reap rich rewards for a game such at this; It should be remembered that the smart capture of Mauro Zarate has also bedded in well. If they play in the same vein again today, then Liverpool could find that they get more of the opportunities that they thrive upon – like those that came at White Hart Lane – which would be a great help for a side that still boasts huge reserves of natural talent, and it may be that the best way to get involved in this game is goals. Liverpool are still prone to some defensive mistakes while a more attacking West Ham approach should help them create chances with more ease.
Advice: 1 pt Over 2.5 goals (7/10 Bet Victor)