The big game this weekend sees Chelsea play host to Liverpool on Sunday (4pm KO, Live on Sky Sports 1), and the stats suggest that the Merseysiders are a bit of value at 4.5 to emerge victorious.
Chelsea v Liverpool
The Reds have won this fixture in two of the past three seasons and were also involved in a bizarre 4-4 draw – in which Chelsea bagged a last-minute equaliser – in the Champions League during that period.
They come into the game of a disappointing 0-0 draw with Swansea, but are now on a long run without getting beat and have allowed the opponents they have faced so far this season fewer shots on target against them than any other team in the Premier League.
Chelsea have also failed to score in five of their last seven Premier League games against Liverpool and three of the last four at the Bridge.
They have also tried to take on both Manchester United and Arsenal at their own game and failed, losing 3-1 at Old Trafford and 5-3 at home to the Gunners.
Some of their defending against Arsenal was a far cry from those title-winning Mourinho days and they will need to tighten up with a certain Luis Suarez in town.
The Uruguayan was back in the headlines for the wrong reasons this week but he bagged four while away on international duty last weekend and is the sort of player capable terrorising and exploiting the Chelsea back line.
He is an 8.5 chance with Paddy Power to net the opener, and that looks a fair price given his form so far this season. The 3.4 available for him to score anytime in the 90 minutes also makes plenty of appeal.
Given that there have been just nine goals scored in the last eight Premier League meetings between the two sides at Stamford Bridge there could be some value in playing the correct score market.
Liverpool to win by a single goals is my idea of the outcome, and a 1-0 victory for Kenny Dalglish’s man looks a massive price at 15 with Paddy Power.
Also see a more in-depth preview of Chelsea v Liverpool.
Swansea v Manchester United
Manchester United face a tough way trip to Swansea, and although bookmakers make them 1.53 shots to secure another three points I don’t think it will quite as straightforward as the odds suggest.
Swansea have conceded just one goal on home soil this season, fewer than any other Premier League team on their own ground, and are now on an unbeaten run of 13 (won 9, drawn four).
They comfortably beat Stoke and Bolton and their last game saw them grind out a 0-0 draw with Liverpool.
Their opponents are now unbeaten in their last six PL away games – winning three and drawing three – and Sir Alex Ferguson’s side has kept a clean sheet in their last four games in all competitions.
What is slightly worrying is that they have only scored one goal in four of their last five games in the league, however it doesn’t matter how many you score as long as you win and I am sure Sir Alex would be happy with another 1-0 victory at the Liberty Stadium.
I think that could well be the outcome and at 7 with bet365 and Betfred it makes plenty of appeal.
Given that I have already suggested that this will be a tight game a wager on under 2.5 goals also looks worth an interest.
You can get even money (2) with bet365, Betfred and Paddy Power and that looks decent value as it’s odds on with a couple of firms.
Norwich City v Arsenal
Arsenal are a team on a roll, and look the best bet of the weekend at 1.7 to beat Norwich at Carrow Road on Saturday (12.45pm KO, Live on Sky Sports 2) and continue their march up the table.
The last three Premier League meetings between the two sides have seen the Gunners score at least four times and concede one goal on each occasion.
The Canaries have also won none of their last 11 matches at home in all competitions against Arsene Wenger’s men – drawing 7 and losing 4.
That makes Arsenal look great value at 1.7 with Paddy Power to bag all three points, particularly as they have won their last three games in the league impressive style and have a striker in Robin van Persie who is too hot to handle
The Dutchman has now scored 29 goals in 28 Premier League matches in 2011, and those that have backed him in the first and anytime goal scorer markets this season are in clover
It’s not hard to think that he will once again be instrumental in what should be a comfortable victory for the Gunners, and the 5 on offer with Betfred about him netting the opener looks incredible value as does the 2.1 on offer with the same firm about him scoring any time during the 90 minutes.
I think Arsenal will win this with a bit to spare, so in the correct score markets I am going to suggest split stakes on 4-0 and 4-1.
Betfred go 29 about 4-0, while Boylesports offer 26 about 4-1.