The big match on Sunday takes place at St James’ Park where Newcastle United will be fired up for their match against Manchester United, with the Magpies having won this fixture last season 3-0 and the Red Devils looking defensively frail at the moment.
Southampton v Fulham 13:30
The bottom line is that Southampton have lost five of their opening six matches and the only saving grace is that their solitary win was a 4-1 thrashing of Aston Villa and that several other games were against top-class opposition.
According to the bookmakers, Nigel Adkins doesn’t have a lot of time to get things right at St Mary’s and this is the sort of fixture that the Saints will have pinpointed as three-point material, especially as the Cottagers have something of a reputation for being a weak team on the road.
The home side are available at 9/5 (Paddy Power free bets) to claim their second consecutive home win and rise several places up the table, with Rickie Lambert set to spearhead the attack again after bagging a brace against the Villans.
Lambert is the latest player to be linked with an England call-up and is on offer at 6/1 to score first in this match, although it was Gaston Ramirez that broke the deadlock at Goodison Park last week and he looks an attractive bet at 9/1.
Martin Jol will have been bemused by Bobby Zamora’s midweek comments that many Fulham players don’t particularly like the Dutchman, although a victory in this game would mean a healthy return of 12 points from 7 matches played for the west London club.
Betfred go 7/4 about the visitors winning at St Mary’s and that man Dimitar Berbatov should add a touch of class for Fulham in attack, with the draw possibly the best bet at 12/5.
Liverpool v Stoke City 15:00
Charlie Adam, Peter Crouch and Michael Owen will all return to their old stomping ground on Sunday, with the trio looking to help new club Stoke City achieve a result at Anfield and a draw for the Potters certainly isn’t out of the question.
Tony Pulis’ men traditionally fare well against Liverpool and they weren’t too far away from claiming a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge, while they have already held Manchester City and Arsenal to draws this season. Stoke can be backed at 17/5 (BetVictor) to land a point and 7/1 to collect all three.
Crouch has certainly enjoyed an excellent start to the season and punters might consider availing themselves of the 11/1 (bet365 £200 free bets) that he scores first against a Liverpool team who don’t seem capable of keeping clean sheets at the moment.
A much-changed Reds team were beaten 3-2 at home to Udinese on Thursday and Brendan Rodgers might be starting to realise that his team lack confidence at Anfield where they are expected to win regularly, with Stoke looking to stifle Liverpool at every turn on Sunday.
Even so, that 5-2 win at Norwich City illustrates that this is a team that can cause lots of damage and the Merseyside team will be a popular accumulator pick at 1/2 especially with Luis Suarez in excellent form after scoring a hat-trick against the Canaries.
Suarez is 4/1 to score the first goal of this particular match and 16/1 to score three goals again, with Raheem Sterling, Steven Gerrard and Nuri Sahin all likely to return to the starting line-up.
Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa 15:00
Andre Villas-Boas once again selected a strong team for the Europa League on Thursday and Tottenham somehow managed to snatch a draw from the jaws of victory, something which will frustrate the Spurs manager considering a similar side were able to win 3-2 at Old Trafford last weekend.
Due to two games being played in a week, there is a danger of fatigue setting in for Sunday’s encounter although the bookies aren’t taking a risk with their quotes about the north London side and the 1/2 has vanished to be replaced by a best price 4/9 (bet365 £200 free bets) which will still be a popular order of the day.
Gareth Bale was the star man during that 3-2 win against Manchester United and William Hill go 7/1 about the Welshman breaking the deadlock against an Aston Villa side that were beaten 4-1 at Southampton in their last Premier League away match and could be vulnerable against a team that have enjoyed three straight wins.
Paul Lambert clearly has his work cut out at Villa Park considering that the transfer budget is similarly sized to the one the Scot had at Carrow Road, although his team played reasonably well when drawing 1-1 with West Brom last weekend.
The visitors are likely to be well organised for this match and a draw would be a point gained for a young side who will rely on Darren Bent to provide a cutting edge after the striker came off the bench to score against the Baggies.
Newcastle United v Manchester United 16:00
Sir Alex Ferguson saw his team come from a goal down to beat Cluj on Tuesday night, although Manchester United once again looked shaky in defence and the absence of Nemanja Vidic could be exposed on Tyneside for what looks like a pulsating encounter.
Newcastle thrashed the Red Devils 3-0 last season and Alan Pardew will be confident his team can deliver the goods again, with bet365 offering an eye-catching 16/5 that the Toon Army are celebrating come the final whistle.
It’s hard to understand why such a big price is being offered about the home side who have two wins and a draw from their opening three matches. They also have one of the most in-form strikers in the Premier League and Demba Ba scored a peach in this fixture last season with odds of 8/1 that the Senegal striker scores first.
Naturally, United have the most potent strikeforce around with Wayne Rooney having recovered from injury to partner Robin van Persie and that is possibly why the bookies are scared to take on the visitors, although Stan James are close to offering even money with their quote of 20/21.
Van Persie is a 9/2 chance to score the first goal of this match, while Rooney is 11/2 and there could be a few goals in this game if United’s 3-2 home reverse against Tottenham is any barometer.
Over 2.5 Goals is a 4/5 poke with Blue Square and the Red Devils have been involved in several high-scoring matches already this term, with a 3-2 win available at 28/1 although Newcastle do look the side to back at the prices.
Even if you don’t want to brave the Win-Draw-Win market, there is the chance to back the Magpies at odds of 2/1 on the Draw No Bet.