Tottenham v Wolverhampton
9-1 win, 1-1 draw, 2-0 defeat and a 2-2 draw. Spurs are wonderfully inconsistent but they are due another big win and Wolves are just the side to let that happen. Mick McCarthyâ€™s side have been have suffered several big defeats this season and if Jermaine Defoe finds where he left his shooting boots they could be in trouble. Another game with the potential to turn ugly and Redknappâ€™s side have shown they can rack up the goals against weaker sides. Palacios is a loss but the return of Modric is a massive plus. If he starts pulling the strings then weâ€™ll see a big home win and maybe even a Defoe hat-trick.
Paddy Power: Jermain Defoe to score a hat-trick – 15/2
Stoke v Wigan
Both managers were unhappy after the performances their teams put up last week but while Roberto Martinez threatened his players with the chop, Tony Pulis was more karate chop. The question is whoâ€™s angry reaction will have the more positive effect on their respective team? Whether Pulis and Beattie really have sorted out their differences we donâ€™t know but the striker, if fit, is likely to start against Wigan and with a little of fire in his belly he could show why he was once considered and England striker. He scored in this fixture last season and if he starts heâ€™s worth taking on at 6/1 to score first. The stats point to a narrow home win and with Pulis prepared to go allÂ Steven Seagal on his playersâ€™ asses I fancy Stoke to react more positively to last weekâ€™s disappointment.
Paddy Power: Stoke to win 1-0 – 5/1
Birmingham v West Ham
Things are starting to look worrying at Upton Park. The Hammers havenâ€™t kept a clean sheet since their 0-0 draw with Blackburn back in August and the manner of their defeat against United last week will have been a blow to morale. The defence, or lack thereof, is the major worry and once they concede one they look theyâ€™re going to concede a hatful. On a more positive note West Ham have conceded fewer goals away from home an theyâ€™re facing a side whoâ€™ve managed a paltry five home goals this season. On a less positive note though, Birmingham are unbeaten in six, winning four of those, and Alec McLeish is satisfied enough with his striking options that heâ€™s declined the opportunity to be speculatively linked to move for Ruud Van Nistlerooy. Itâ€™s hard not to go for the home win here but West Ham should at least avoid another spanking.
Paddy Power: Christian Benitez to score 2 goals or more – 12/1
Bolton v Man City
Have City finally started to gel or did their players just manage to get their act together because they were playing Chelsea? Iâ€™m not convinced that Mark Hughes is a big club manager and thereâ€™s no guarantee that their last win will set City off on a winning run. I never like writing about Bolton, a legacy of the Sam Allardyce days, so Iâ€™m keeping this brief. Manchester City should win and by a landslide but I donâ€™t think they will and, sticking my neck out somewhat, Iâ€™m having a cheeky bet on the draw at 5/2.
Paddy Power: Manchester City to win 3-1 – 12/1
Burnley v Fulham
Five home wins for Burnley, just the one away win for Fulham. Should be a no brainer this one, except that Owen Coyleâ€™s side are without a win in four, losing their last two, albeit away from home. Fulham have been beaten only once in domestic competitions since the start of October and with one of the better defences in the league, Roy Hodgsonâ€™s side are more than capable of getting a result from this one. Bobby Zamora may not be going to South Africa but if heâ€™s as fired up as he was last week then he can at least keep the fantasy alive for another week. He and Dempsey have looked threatening of late and both are worth taking on in the goalscorer markets. Burnley are a confident side at home and will create chances of their own. I have a sneaking feeling Fulham will go home with all three points but both sides are evenly priced for a reason and a score draw is the most likely outcome.
Paddy Power: Burnley to win 2-1 – 8/1
Chelsea v Everton
Everton showed plenty of fight last week but Spurs should have been out of sight by half time. Chelsea wonâ€™t be so profligate in front of goal and following three disappointing results theyâ€™ll be eager to get back to winning ways. Drogba is still the man to be backing in the goalscoring markets but there may be more than one Chelsea name on the scoresheet this Saturday. Cahillâ€™s suspension wonâ€™t help David Moyes but while I donâ€™t expect the Toffees to just roll over and let Chelsea have their way, they may not be able to do a whole lot against a team which has won seven from seven at home, conceding just one goal. Anything other than a comfortable home win will be a big shock and Chelsea -1 goal at 4/6 is well worth backing.
Paddy Power: Everton to draw 1-1 with Chelsea – 9/1
Hull v Blackburn
Objectivity goes out the window when Allardyce is involved so Iâ€™ll be hoping for a Hull win. Luckily enough Blackburn have been awful away from home so I should get my wish. Bad news for Hull is the loss of Jimmy Bullard, while Rovers will be without their own midfield inspiration with David Dunn, who I met at the Matthew Macklin fight last week, unlikely to be involved. A home win but I wouldnâ€™t put my house on it.
Paddy Power: Blackburn to win 1-0 – 7/1
Sunderland v Portsmouth
Steve Bruce will be glad to be back at the Stadium of Light after losing two on the road. Sunderland havenâ€™t exactly been impressive in their most recent home games but they have been picking up points and should be expected to continue that trend against a Portsmouth side which canâ€™t but be effected by the rumoured threat of going in to administration and the issues with their pay. Avram Grant is fighting a losing battle and though Pompey are coming off win their faint hopes will take another blow with defeat to Sunderland. This one could get ugly if the home side score early and if youâ€™re feeling really adventurous, Sunderland -2 goals is 13/2 for a cheeky bet.
Paddy Power:Â Sunderland to win 3-1 – 13/1
ManÂ United v Aston Villa
Fergie will be purring with self-satisfaction as his patchwork team keeps on getting the results. The defending champions have been doing it all season without playing anywhere near as well as they are capable, which must be worrying for everyone around them. Luck and the timidity of their opponents has played a big part in this and if Aston Villa have a real go at Old Trafford then they could cause a mini-upset. The return of Vidic will be key as Unitedâ€™s cobbled together backline is certain to be tested by Villaâ€™s dynamic attack. Martin Oâ€™Neillâ€™s side have been scoring freely and are solid at the back and the 13/2 on them to win is a massive price considering the line-up Ferguson will be forced to put out. Iâ€™ll be going for the away win but in the full awareness that Iâ€™ll be backing against a side which is defying its current injury crisis. Youâ€™ll have to take your own chances.
Paddy Power: Manchester United to win 3-0 – 9/1
Liverpool v Arsenal
There were actually some positives to be taken from Liverpoolâ€™s defeat midweek. Aquilani showed some nice touches and got a valuable 75 minutes under his belt, Torres returned and looked sharp and Dossena increased his market value with a decent showing out wide. Despite it being an essentially meaningless game it was still a defeat and there have been little sign of that corner being turned at Anfield. Maybe playing against Arsenal will spark them in to life.
The Gunners have struggled against their biggest rivals this season and though they are capable of passing Liverpool off the pitch, the home side will hold an edge in the physical battle. The lack of height has been bemoaned by the Arsenal players of late and without at least one big man theyâ€™re going to struggle to take advantage of Liverpoolâ€™s biggest defensive weakness this season.
Iâ€™m going for a home win and Rafa to say something about this being the start of the rest of Liverpoolâ€™s season. Torres should start and on the evidence of his midweek cameo heâ€™s going to cause Arsenalâ€™s backline plenty of problems. Heâ€™s 9/2 to score first for a reason.
Paddy Power: Liverpool to win 1-0 – 7/1
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