Everton’s unbeaten home record might be severely tested when they entertain Chelsea at Goodison Park, while it’s hard to predict what will happen when an unconvincing Liverpool team visit Loftus Road to face a QPR side with just one win to their name this season.
Everton v Chelsea 13.30
Everton fans might have feared the worst after Marouane Fellaini was handed a three-match ban for his headbutt on Ryan Shawcross, although the Toffees have claimed wins against West Ham and Wigan to keep their charge for a top four place going.
However, perhaps the loss of the Belgian will be more keenly felt against an in-form Chelsea team that are now starting to respond to Rafael Benitez’s tactics, having thrashed Aston Villa 8-0 before a more pragmatic 1-0 win at Norwich.
The Blues take to the road again this weekend and can be backed at odds of 8/5 (William Hill free bets) to claim victory at Goodison Park, with Chelsea still hoping to challenge the Manchester clubs for the Premier League title even if the gap could stand at 14 points going into this game.
Benitez will be hoping to get more out of Fernando Torres and the early signs are that the striker is going to deliver for his compatriot, with the former Liverpool man looking to silence the home supporters with a virtuoso performance and BetVictor go 13/2 that he finds the net first in this match.
As for Everton, they are unbeaten at home this season although they generally lose a handful of matches in front of their own fans every term and the bookies are happy to offer 2/1 (Stan James bookmaker) about a home win in this game.
Perhaps the teams will play out a hard-fought draw although it’s worth noting that Everton can’t buy a clean sheet at the moment, with Juan Mata among those looking to punish any profligacy in defence.
QPR v Liverpool 16.00
Queens Park Rangers might have won just one Premier League match all season, although it’s highly debatable whether Liverpool should be odds-on to win at Loftus Road.
The Reds have mainly struggled on the road this term, with Brendan Rodgers’ team collecting just two wins from nine away games which leaves them sitting in mid-table and the manager will have been disappointed by the way the defence crumbled against Stoke on Boxing Day.
That 3-1 defeat puts a big dent into any aspirations the Merseyside club had of finishing in a top four position this term, although they can be backed at even money to return to winning ways in west London and they will be up against a team that sit bottom of the table.
Even so, Harry Redknapp has earned a point per game since replacing Mark Hughes and will feel this is a golden chance to close the gap on Wigan and Southampton near the foot of the league, with the manager about to make a number of changes to this QPR squad in the hope of remaining in the division.
Rangers are 16/5 (Boylesports bookmaker) to win the contest and were somewhat unfortunate with refereeing decisions when losing against West Brom on Boxing Day. Redknapp will hope that the team can produce the sort of performance that had them beating Fulham recently.
We all know about the talent of Adel Taarabt, although former Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse could be the man who produces the goods in this game, with the Frenchman capable of helping his team out of trouble.