This weekend’s Premier League fixture list has been almost halved as a result of running concurrently with the FA Cup quarter-finals, but there are still truffles to be found in the mud that is a difficult top-flight coupon comprising of relegation six-pointers, mid-table battles and… Liverpool vs. Tottenham where the North Londoners look great value to take something tangible away from Anfield on Sunday afternoon.
The red-hot Spurs are unbeaten in twelve league games since a last-gasp defeat to Everton in December, but they look set for happier memories from this particular trip to Merseyside. Liverpool aren’t in bad nick either it must be said, buoyed by top-scorer Luis ‘Marmite’ Suarez’s weighty goal contributions, and Phillipe Coutinho looks a player too.
However the Reds have yet to beat any of the teams above them on the current table in nine attempts this season and it will make for curious viewing to see what provisions are made to prevent man of the moment Gareth Bale from continuing his ceaseless run of destruction.
Back to today, and with Wigan on cup duty Reading and Aston Villa fans will know that one of their teams will be out of the relegation zone come 5pm today. This writer is opting for Villa, who were good value for a point against Man City on Monday night and would have got one if it wasn’t for a pesky schoolkid’s error from Ciaran Clark. Moment of madness notwithstanding, Clark and co acquitted themselves well on Monday, they just lacked the requisite teeth to make imprints on the best defence in the land.
Reading, though, have conceded over twice as many goals as Man City and are starting to ship points – and goals at an alarming rate at just the wrong time. Eight goals let in and no points from their last three league matches and in addition Jason Roberts ruled out for the rest of the season and the attack badly missing the physical threat of the suspended Pavel Pogrebnyak. Christian Benteke and Andreas Weimann have punished better defences and can inflict more pain today at the Madejeski.
As someone who revels in the accolade of having successfully being able to predict precisely none of QPR’s fixtures correctly this season, I can say with no degree of confidence whatsoever that the Hoops are worth backing to follow up their impressive victory against Southampton last weekend by winning to nil at Loftus Road for the first time this season.
Sunderland’s switch to 4-4-2 since the purchase of Danny Graham has not done the Mackems any discernible favours, and the resurgent (for now) Hoops can leave Martin O’Neill’s boys looking over their shoulders come tonight. Two things, meanwhile, look set in stone to occur at Carrow Road this afternoon when Southampton rock up to play Norwich.
First, the away team will score. Second, the marvellous Rickie Lambert will notch against the faltering Canaries.
PREMIER LEAGUE TOP FIVE BETS
1) Tottenham +0.5 (Asian Handicap) 11/10 188BET
2) Aston Villa to beat Reading 21/10 CORAL
3) QPR to beat Sunderland to nil 3/1 CORAL
4) Norwich vs Southampton Away team to score first 6/5 BETFRED
5) Norwich vs Southampton Rickie Lambert to score anytime 2/1 STAN JAMES
Written by Emelie Okeke
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