Premier League betting previews and odds: Wednesday 21 March 2012
There are four Premier League matches being played on Wednesday night and all of them are intriguing games which will have a big say on the issues at the top and bottom of the Premier League.
Manchester City v Chelsea
The headline act is the match between Manchester City and Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium, where Roberto Mancini’s team will look to cut the gap at the top of the Premier League to a point.
The law of averages suggests that City will drop points at home before the season is out, although they have just five games left at Eastlands to claim a unique 100% home record which still might not be enough to see them land the title.
Despite this ‘Played 14, Won 14’ statistic, you can get odds of 19/20 (Bet Victor free bets) about Manchester City beating Chelsea and this seems like a big price when you consider that John Terry is missing in defence for the Blues.
The west London side don’t seem anywhere near as watertight when they are missing their captain at the back and this could be a match which sees Carlos Tevez form part of the attack in the second half, something which will be quite a sight.
Not that City have particularly missed the Argentine considering his compatriot has been chipping in with goals all season and Sergio Aguero will be confident of firing his team to victory, with the £38 million man having scored a brace against Sporting last Thursday.
He is a standout 5/1 (Blue Square) to score the first goal of the game, with the enigmatic Mario Balotelli set to also play in attack and it was the Italian who broke the deadlock in the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge.
Even so, Chelsea ended up coming from behind to win that game and Roberto Di Matteo’s side will travel north feeling pretty confident of getting something from the game, having recently booked their place in the Champions League quarter finals.
Ladbrokes offer an eye-catching 7/2 about the visitors, with the manager having to decide whether to play Didier Drogba, Fernando Torres or both in the Chelsea attack.
Tottenham Hotspur v Stoke City
It has been a strange few days for the Tottenham players, who left White Hart Lane on Saturday evening fearing the worst for their fellow professional Fabrice Muamba who collapsed on the pitch during Spurs’ FA Cup clash with Bolton.
It appears as though the young midfielder is making a slow recovery from his cardiac arrest and Harry Redknapp must now rally his troops for an important match against Stoke City as the north London side look to finish the season strongly and land a place in next season’s Champions League.
It remains to be seen whether the 65-year-old will still be in charge next term or instead take on the England job, although it would be a shame to see Tottenham miss out on a top four place and they are 4/9 (Paddy Power £100 free bets) to beat the Potters and stay ahead of Arsenal and Chelsea.
Spurs have struggled for wins in the past seven games, winning just two of these matches and one of them was an FA Cup replay against Stevenage, although they have been playing reasonably well and Gareth Bale will be looking to make it 15 for the season on Wednesday night.
The Welshman scored a peach against Stoke last season and can be backed at 6/1 (Ladbrokes bookmaker) to score the first of this game, with Tony Pulis’ team really struggling on the road at the moment.
14th place will be a disappointing finish in the Premier League considering it is the team’s fourth consecutive season in the top flight, although there has been no disgrace with slender defeats to Chelsea and Liverpool recently and Stoke are 8/1 (Betfred) to put the cat amongst the pigeons with a win in this game.
Everton v Arsenal
Everton are enjoying another successful season under David Moyes. While the Toffees are unlikely to win any silverware, the fact that they are in the top half of the table based on the transfer budget and wage bill means that the club’s Scottish manager deserves enormous credit.
Everton’s only defeat in the past defeat in the last 11 games came at Anfield last week and they will go into Wednesday’s contest against the Gunners full of belief considering they have beaten Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham at Goodison Park in 2012.
It actually beggars belief that the Merseyside club are 21/10 (Bet Victor free bets) to win this match considering their recent strong home form, even if they were unable to see off Sunderland in the FA Cup on Saturday.
Nevertheless, Tim Cahill managed to find the net during the 1-1 draw and the Australian is a stand-out 9/1 to score the first goal of the game, while recent signing Nikica Jelavic is a 7/1 chance (Unibet) and has looked a menace for the Toffees in recent weeks.
Arsenal might have enjoyed four consecutive wins, although three of these victories have come at the Emirates and the one away trip saw the Gunners get a mauling at Anfield before somehow winning the game 2-1.
Equally, the 2-1 win over Newcastle saw Arsene Wenger’s team score a late winner and it’s tough to make a case for an away win at odds of 7/5 (William Hill free £25 bet) even if the visitors have one of the best strikers in the world plying his trade for them.
Robin Van Persie continues to score at a fast rate of knots and can be backed at 4/1 (Coral) to score the first goal of the game, although Everton don’t concede too many times at home and can successfully shackle the Dutch master.
QPR v Liverpool
On Saturday 19 November, Queens Park Rangers won 3-2 at the Britannia Stadium and the Super Hoops looked as though they were finding their feet at Premier League level, with the result coming shortly after a 1-0 defeat of Chelsea and a spirited performance when losing 3-2 at home to Manchester City.
However, it was a cruel winter for the west London club who collected just two points from their subsequent eight Premier League matches and Neil Warnock was given his marching orders, although Mark Hughes has failed to turn things round despite being given money to spend in January.
Ill-discipline and misfortune means that QPR are sitting 18th in the table and the next four games include matches against Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United.
The bookies are happy to take on Rangers with odds of 4/1 (Boylesports free bets) about a win for the home team, although they did play pretty well when recently drawing 1-1 with Everton and could easily have sneaked a home victory.
Liverpool do arrive with their tails up after a 3-0 win in the Merseyside derby and the Reds can start planning a trip to Wembley after beating Stoke in the FA Cup on Sunday.
Not that Kenny Dalglish will be thinking too much about the semi-final when there’s the small matter of a top four place at stake, with the visitors available at 17/20 (Bet Victor bookmaker) to win at Loftus Road and leave Rangers a step closer to the relegation zone.