Just four matches into the new Premier League season and the table is already starting to take on a familiar look, with both Manchester clubs up there. However, no sign of Tottenham’s challenge just yet as they lie in 10th place, in contrast to near rivals Arsenal who sit proudly in third. Not as proud as Chelsea though, as Roberto di Matteo’s outfit lead the way with 10pts.
Down at the bottom, new boys Southampton have yet to earn a point, Reading have just the one, while QPR are also in the relegation zone with two points. The big surprise is the team just above them on goal difference; yes Liverpool, currently enduring their worst start for a century.
With that in mind, the one thing you would not want is to play one of the top four next, but come Sunday, Brendan Rogers will get his first feel of what it is like to experience a Liverpool-Manchester United derby as the two sides go head to head. The build up to the game has been overshadowed by off-field events, and so let us hope that the minority of mindless morons keep their mouths shut and let every other decent citizen enjoy the football. On recent form, unless Liverpool rediscover their scoring touch, the best they can hope for is a draw, and that will not be enough to see them begin to climb back up the table.
Super Sunday continues as Manchester City, fresh from a narrow defeat to Real Madrid at the Bernabeu, concentrate on the task in hand of retaining the Premier League title. Their form has not been anything special so far, and will be tested to the limit by a resurgent Arsenal side that has played some delightful football of late. Tottenham have made a mediocre start to say the least, and will view the visit of QPR as a chance to make a statement, while Newcastle, who were rather fortunate to grab a point at Everton on Monday, should make home advantage pay against Norwich.
Before all of that, there are six matches on Saturday, with the Swansea-Everton game being a 12.45pm kick-off. Everton have a proud tradition against the Welsh side, having never lost in 15 meetings, and despite losing striker Nikica Jelovic for a fortnight, have enough firepower to inflict some damage on the home defence. Chelsea will also bid to ensure that their record of never having lost to Stoke in the Premier League remains intact. In fact the hosts have won each of the last five meetings, and as tough as Tony Pulis’s side is to break down, there should be only one outcome here as the Blues bid to keep hold of top place in the table.
Poor old Southampton just cannot buy a point at present, and now entertain Aston Villa. Had this match been at the start of the season, Saints would probably have won, but Villa beat Swansea well enough last week, and that confidence-booster will stand the Midlands side in good stead. Elsewhere on Saturday, West Ham will have looked at the tape of Sunderland’s fortunate draw at home to Liverpool, and no doubt reached a conclusion that here is three points waiting to be taken, while West Brom will view the visit of Reading as a chance to bounce back after the loss at Fulham. The Cottagers themselves meanwhile travel to Wigan where they have secured a point in five of the last six visits.
Premiership Football Odds
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