Premier League news, odds and free bets: Sat 29 September

There are eight Premier League matches on Saturday and the weekend should start with a bang at lunchtime when Arsenal host Chelsea at the Emirates. This is always a hotly-contested London derby and both teams are aiming to land the title this term after finishing way off the pace last term

Meanwhile, Everton will be looking to continue their strong start at home to Southampton, while Liverpool are still searching for a first Premier League win although the bookies make the Reds favourites to win at Carrow Road, with Norwich also winless so far this season.

There’s another big match on Saturday evening when Manchester United host Tottenham Hotspur, with Andre Villas-Boas’ team having secured recent wins against Reading and QPR to rise up the table. Sir Alex Ferguson will hope that his team’s performance improves after that fortunate 2-1 win at Anfield.

Arsenal v Chelsea 12:45
Table-toppers Chelsea face their toughest match yet, with the Blues having taken 13 points from their five opening games against Wigan, Reading, Newcastle, QPR and Stoke City. This is a much sterner test for Roberto Di Matteo’s team, with the Italian having to consider that his side have a Champions League match against FC Nordsjaelland on Tuesday.

Chelsea can be backed at 14/5 (BetVictor free bets) to land all three points at the Emirates and it seems a reasonable price considering they have come out of the traps flying, even if Atletico Madrid taught them a football lesson in the Super Cup while Juventus were able to match them recently at Stamford Bridge.

Frank Lampard is expected to return for the match, with the manager likely to leave out Oscar for this London derby which is a great opportunity for Arsenal to build on that 1-1 draw at Manchester City which continues to illustrate that the Gunners might yet be dark horses for the title this season.

After successive goalless draws against Sunderland and Stoke, Arsene Wenger’s side have come to life and they are a best price 5/4 (Stan James) to collect three valuable points which will move Arsenal to within a point of Chelsea after six matches played.

Gervinho is enjoying a new lease of life after being converted from a winger to a striker by Wenger and the Ivory Coast forward is a 7/1 chance to score first, while the dangerous Santi Cazorla is a 10/1 chance to break the deadlock. The Arsenal defence has been very strong this season and there’s a chance they could churn out a 1-0 win although No Goalscorer also looks attractive at 21/2.

Everton v Southampton 15:00
Can Everton finish in the top four of the Premier League this season? Probably not, although they have started very strongly and last weekend’s 3-0 victory at Swansea City was a real statement of intent against a team that had previously come out of the traps flying.

The Toffees have 10 points on the board from five matches, with the bookies making them a best price 4/9 (Paddy Power) to claim victory against a Southampton team that have been leaking goals since the season began, although Nigel Adkins’ side did thrash Aston Villa 4-1 last weekend.

The Saints now have the tricky task of stopping Everton at Goodison Park, with the Toffees outplaying Newcastle in their last home game before inexplicably allowing their opponents to draw level on two occasions. This match could mark the return of Nikica Jelavic from a knee injury and the Croatian looks a good bet at 4/1 to score first.

Victor Anichebe is a 6/1 poke and has stepped in very well for the Merseyside club in Jelavic’s absence although there have been plenty of other star performers including Leighton Baines, Steven Pienaar and Marouane Fellaini.

Southampton will be looking to contain their opponents in the opening exchanges and then attempt to exploit Everton on the break, with bookies prepare to lay 15/2 about the visitors and they at least have an in-form striker thanks to the prolific Rickie Lambert.

Fulham v Manchester City 15:00
Both teams have nine points from their opening five games, although the bookies reckon that the away side are far more likely to claim three points at Craven Cottage than Fulham, despite the fact that Martin Jol’s team have two wins on the board and eight goals to show from games against West Brom and Norwich.

Naturally, City are a different proposition although the Cottagers’ 2-1 win at Wigan last Saturday means that they are looking for a third straight win and some will love the 7/2 (bet365 £200 free bets) on offer about a home victory, especially with Dimitar Berbatov adding an element of unpredictability to the Fulham attack.

The Bulgarian might have been surplus to requirements at Old Trafford although he has the chance to embark on a successful career in west London and Stan James offer a stand-out 9/1 that he nets first against City, with the same bookmaker offering stand-out First Goalscorer odds on many players.

Manchester City have not convinced so far this season, having clawed a win against Southampton before scraping a point at Liverpool and a draw was the most they deserved against Arsenal on Sunday. Roberto Mancini’s side play Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday night and that might lead to an interesting team selection in this game.

The visitors are 5/6 with Coral to land the spoils, with City having drawn both their opening away games, although Sergio Aguero is back in the fold following his early season injury and the Argentine is the 6/1 favourite to score first in this match while compatriot Carlos Tevez is the same price.

Norwich v Liverpool 15:00
It’s impossible to see anything other than a season of struggle for Norwich City, with the Canaries having taken just three points from their opening five games and scoring goals is becoming a problem for Chris Hughton’s team.

City have managed to find the net on just two occasions although they have a chance to set the record straight on Saturday against a Liverpool side who are a point worse off after five games played, although Brendan Rodgers’ side should be near the top of the Premier League based on their performances.

It’s the reason why the Reds are a best price 5/6 (Blue Square) to win at Carrow Road and one can imagine a comfortable win for the Merseyside team in this fixture, just as they did last season when triumphing 3-0 thanks to a Luis Suarez hat-trick.

Suarez is a best price 5/1 to break the deadlock again in east Anglia and he’s been looking sharp for Liverpool this season, having come close to scoring against Manchester United and the Uruguayan was unfortunate not to win a penalty.

Norwich are a top price 4/1 (Coral bookmaker) to claim an important win against opponents that are likely to be missing Daniel Agger who incurred an injury against United, although the best could be a draw (11/4) considering the Canaries have been keeping things tight at home without threatening on too many occasions.

Steve Morison was selected in attack last time out although we might see Grant Holt leading the line against a Liverpool side that have failed to keep a clean sheet in their first five matches, although some will instead prefer the 2/1 about the Reds leading at half-time and full-time.

Reading v Newcastle United 15:00
Is this the match where Reading secure their first Premier League win since returning to the top flight in the summer? The Royals are rooted to the bottom after four games played although there’s little cause for alarm considering Chelsea and Tottenham have been two of the opponents, with the latest defeat being a 1-0 loss at West Brom.

Brian McDermott will have certainly identified this match as an ideal opportunity to secure three points against a Newcastle side that were beaten at Stamford Bridge and should really have been defeated at Everton before scraping a 2-2 draw.

Reading are a best price 2/1 with Sky Bet to claim victory and the manager took few chances with team selection for Wednesday’s League Cup match at QPR which saw the majority of first-team players rested ahead of this showdown.

Pavel Pogrebnyak was signed in the summer and the Russian is 15/2 to score first in this match although Adam Le Fondre was the forward that played the full ninety against the Baggies and could be the man to find the scoring touch against the Magpies.

Alan Pardew saw his team edge matters against Norwich last weekend and he will now be hoping to see Newcastle secure their first away win of the season, with the bookies making the north-east side marginal favourites to claim the three points.

Demba Ba is currently outperforming his Senegal strike partner Papiss Cisse although Stan James are offering 6/1 about both players on the First Goalscorer list and one suspects we will see the visitors create plenty of chances thanks to the guile of Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye.

Stoke City v Swansea City 15:00
The Potters have enjoyed a decent start to the season and four points from their opening five matches does not tell the full story, considering that Stoke have been up against Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City.

The Potters were just five minutes away from landing a point at Stamford Bridge to go along with their other draws against Premier League title rivals, with Tony Pulis now looking for his team to build on these promising performances and generate three points at a bouncing Britannia Stadium.

It appears to be a good time to be facing a Swansea City team who score a combined eight goals against QPR and West Ham before conceding a combined seven goals against Sunderland, Aston Villa and Everton. The honeymoon is over for Michael Laudrup and a visit to Stoke isn’t the ideal fixture to have.

The Potters are a best price 10/11 to win the game although they can’t be regarded as bankers considering they are without a victory this season, even if Peter Crouch is scoring plenty of goals and the striker is a 6/1 chance to score first in this game.

Charlie Adam is another former Liverpool player in the team and the Scot will look to pull the strings in midfield while Michael Owen is another ex-Anfield recruit who will be looking to take his chance with another appearance off the bench likely.

Swansea are a 7/2 chance to win at the Brit, with Michu clearly a key player for the Welsh side and the Spaniard has scored three times for his team already this season. Four of Swansea’s five games have featured three goals or more this season and odds-against quotes about this happening again looks like a value bet.

Sunderland v Wigan 15:00
Bet365 have lifted their head above the parapet by offering 21/20 about Sunderland winning Saturday’s match, with virtually every other firm making the Black Cats an odds-on chance to claim victory, something that would be the first of this Premier League season.

Remarkably, Sunderland have drawn all four of their games to date, although three of these have been on the road and included a trip to Arsenal on the opening day of the season. Martin O’Neill’s side came within a whisker of snatching three points at Upton Park last weekend and will feel they can prove too strong for the Latics.

Tuesday’s win at MK Dons in the League Cup was managed despite the red card for Lee Cattermole, with Steven Fletcher looking to continue his fine scoring run and the Scot is a 9/2 chance to score the first goal of this contest against a team that have four points on the board from their first five matches.

Wigan are as big as 3/1 to win at the Stadium of Light in a week where Roberto Martinez has been charged by the FA for comments made after his team’s drubbing at Old Trafford, although the Spaniard will be confident that his team can subject Sunderland to yet another draw.

The visitors produced a fine performance to win 4-1 at West Ham in the League Cup on Tuesday night, with Mauro Boselli bagging a brace and he could be involved from the start in this match. Arouna Kone has been the danger man so far with two goals to date.

Manchester United v Tottenham 17:30
The Red Devils are Premier League title favourites after accruing four straight wins although their performances have not been convincing this season, with the latest victory at Anfield scarcely deserved after Sir Alex Ferguson’s team struggled to break down the ten men of Liverpool.

However, United have learnt to win ugly under Ferguson and are more than capable of squeezing another three points against Tottenham with bet365 going 4/7 about the Manchester club continuing their title charge with victory against a Spurs side that don’t tend to get anything at Old Trafford.

Wayne Rooney returned from injury to line up against Newcastle in the League Cup on Wednesday night and might well partner Robin van Persie for this contest, with Ferguson having named a strong team for the visit of the Magpies.

Rooney is 11/2 to score the first goal of the game with Van Persie a best price 4/1 and he has managed five goals for the Red Devils since completing that big money move from Arsenal, although Tottenham will be in confident spirits for this match.

Andre Villas-Boas’ side started sluggishly with a defeat at Newcastle followed by consecutive home draws against West Brom and Norwich, although wins against Reading and QPR make the situation a good deal healthier and his team will attack United on Saturday night.

Perhaps this is a good time to be playing this fixture considering David de Gea can’t hold down a regular spot between the sticks, while Nemanja Vidic once again has injury problem and there’s no sign of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones at this stage of the season.

In Jermain Defoe, Tottenham have an in-form striker of their own and Spurs can be backed at 21/4 to win the game, something that seems a chunky price based on the fact that Aaron Lennon, Gareth Bale and Gylfi Sigurdsson will prove to be a menace for the home defence.

Defoe is deservedly commanding a first-team place at White Hart Lane which has been a long time coming and he’s 9/1 to send his team in front against a United defence that continues to look out of sorts.

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