Villa value for Goodison raid
Dave Tickner and Ben Coley preview Saturday's action in the Barclays Premier League.
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Aston Villa are good value to add to injury-hit Everton's midweek woes, according to Dave, who also likes the look of Spurs.
Meanwhile, Ben has a 19/2 selection in the relegation six-pointer between Cardiff and Norwich.
Here's their match-by-match guide to the action:
- 1pt Villa to beat Everton (draw no bet) at 5/1 (General) - Everton's vulnerability to the counter-attacking style Villa will adopt highlighted in the week
- 1pt Christian Benteke first goalscorer in Everton v Villa at 19/2 (bwin) - scored in his last three, opened scoring in this fixture last term
- 2pts Tottenham to beat Hull at 11/10 (BetVictor) - Spurs have won their last five on the road, and all eight away games against teams outside top six
- 1pt no goalscorer in Cardiff v Norwich at 19/2 (BetVictor) - neither impresses in the final third and with plenty at store this could be tense, tight and low on goals
- 1pt Sunderland to beat Newcastle at 10/3 (General) - Black Cats in better recent form than their local rivals, who have lost key men
Newcastle v Sunderland (1245 GMT)
It's a brave man who backs Newcastle at odds-on here. They've lost their best player Yohan Cabaye to PSG, Loic Remy is suspended, and their football is not what it was earlier in the campaign. They have failed to score in four of their last five games. The exception was a 3-1 win over West Ham; their goalscorers that day? Cabaye and Remy. Sunderland have won the last two Tyne-Wear derbies, losing just one of the last six. And they currently sit sixth in the Premier League form table having won three and drawn two of their last six games while also progressing in both cups. They are unbeaten in five away league games, while the 2-1 Capital One Cup defeat to Manchester United had a happy ending. Sunderland appeal at evens in the win-draw double-chance market and 9/4 draw no bet, but let's be greedy and back the visitors to win outright at 10/3.
Verdict: Newcastle 0 Sunderland 1 (DT)
Newcastle have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last six Barclays Premier League games at St James' Park and have lost the last two without scoring.
Fabio Borini has scored in each of his two Barclays Premier League appearances against Newcastle United (38 minutes of action in total).
There have been five red cards shown in the last seven Premier League meetings between Newcastle and Sunderland.
West Ham v Swansea (1245)
West Ham will be looking to back up Wednesday's heroic goalless draw at Stamford Bridge - the Hammers emerged with a point after soaking up 39 Chelsea shots and mustering just one of their own - with a home victory against a Swansea side breathing easier after a win over Fulham but still firmly in the relegation equation. That midweek win was the Swans' first in nine games. Here's a stat to encourage home backers: West Ham have picked up 14 Premier League points this season in nine games against opponents from London or Wales, and just five points from 14 matches against those from anywhere else. This one's an unsurprisingly tight one with the layers; if pushed, the Hammers look the bet at 2/1.
Verdict: West Ham 1 Swansea 0 (DT)
In West Ham's last nine Barclays Premier League games at the Boleyn Ground, they have conceded exactly three goals (six times) or kept a clean sheet (three times).
Swansea have won none of their last five Barclays Premier League away games (L3 D2), scoring just two goals in that run.
Sam Allardyce's side have won just one of their last 10 Premier League home games (W1 D3 L6).
West Ham have won eight and lost none of the last 10 times they have hosted Swansea in all competitions.
Cardiff v Norwich (1500)
Cardiff manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer enjoyed his return to Old Trafford on Tuesday, but it's back to business here for this important clash with Norwich. Solskjaer said that the lack of an instinctive goalscorer was his side's problem in midweek but whether the signing of Kenwyne Jones provides a solution remains to be seen. However, he should work nicely with the in-form Fraizer Campbell and in that sense it's a piece of business which could help Cardiff climb off the foot of the Premier League table in time. Norwich played out a 0-0 draw with Newcastle at Carrow Road and that's a perfectly reasonable result, one which further underlines their strengths and weaknesses. Chris Hughton's side are hard to break down unless you happen to be Liverpool or Manchester City, but rely too heavily on Gary Hooper for goals. Robert Snodgrass and Leroy Fer are the only other consistent threats for the Canaries and unless summer signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel finds form soon, they're going to continue to struggle to take chances. Hooper hit the woodwork on Tuesday night and is again worth considering to be the first Norwich scorer at 100/30. He's now done so in five of his 15 starts this season and the only thing putting me off is the fact that Norwich are the second-worst scorers in the division away from home, which suggests chances will be few and far between. Indeed, combine that fact with Cardiff's failure to score in five of their 11 home games and the 19/2 about no goalscorer looks the way to go in what could be a tight, scrappy affair.
Verdict: Cardiff 0 Norwich 0 (BC)
Cardiff have won just one of their last six Barclays Premier League home games (W1 D2 L3).
Norwich have won just one of their last eight Premier League away games (W1 D2 L5).
Eight of Norwich's last nine league games have seen fewer than three goals scored.
Two of Norwich's three league games in February last season ended 0-0.
Everton v Aston Villa (1500)
Everton look vulnerable here. They were torn apart by city rivals Liverpool on Tuesday night and, while it was only their third league defeat of the season, the frequency and ease with which they were carved apart on the counter-attack must be a concern for Toffees fans, as will be the addition of Romelu Lukaku to a shocking injury list that already includes Coleman, Distin, Traore, Gibson, Kone, Deulofeu and Oviedo. Johnny Heitinga also appears to be on his way out of the club to leave defensive options stretched desperately thin. Villa drew 3-3 at Goodison Park on this same weekend last season; Everton bossed possession but were caught on the break by Christian Benteke and Gabby Agbonlahor to trail 3-1 before a late Marouane Fellaini brace pinched a draw. Villa showed their renewed goal threat in Wednesday's 4-3 derby win over West Brom, have been impressive enough away from home - winning four and drawing four of their 11 Premier League trips - and just look overpriced at 7/1 to spring a surprise here. But with Everton's home form meriting respect, perhaps it's wise to take out an insurance policy and back the still hefty 5/1 draw-no-bet about the visitors. There also seems no reason to turn down bwin's 19/2 about Benteke opening the scoring. After a long barren run he's scored in his last three and needed under two minutes to land this bet in last season's fixture. Factor in Everton's striker shortage, and it looks sound business at a nice price.
Verdict: Everton 1 Aston Villa 2 (DT)
Villa have suffered just seven defeats in their last 25 Premier League away games (W9 D9 L7).
Aston Villa have lost none of the last seven Premier League visits to Goodison Park (W2 D5) but the last four in a row have been draws.
Gabriel Agbonlahor has scored seven Premier League goals against Everton, more than he has managed against any other opponent in the competition.
Leon Osman has scored six Premier League goals against Aston Villa, more than he has managed against any other opponent in the competition.
Fulham v Southampton (1500)
It's not often that you'll have been able to look at Fulham and see an equal amount of victories home and away, and that tells you something about how they've struggled at Craven Cottage this season. Having managed seven, 10, eight, 11 and 11 home wins in the last five seasons, working backwards, this time around they've just three with only eight games to go and unless they add at least another couple the Championship awaits. The visit of Southampton provides them with a reasonable opportunity to take care of one of those required victories even if they were outplayed in losing the reverse fixture 2-0. Mauricio Pochettino's side played superbly in the first half of their 2-2 draw with Arsenal and it's clear that they're one of the better sides in the division going forward, but they do offer chances for their opponents at the other end. With that in mind the 5/6 quoted about over 2.5 goals looks a very solid bet while upwards of 2/1 about four or more should also be considered. Saints are capable on the road and will take advantage if this is another Fulham off day, but prices around the 6/5 mark reflect that fact and if I had to I'd chance Fulham from the match market at upwards of 2/1. The other bet to consider is Steve Sidwell finding the net, either first at 18/1 or at any time at 6/1. Sidwell has scored in Fulham's last three home games and six times in total in the league, having played a part in every game. He's 7/1 to score Fulham's first goal which allows for Southampton taking the lead, which is perfectly possible. All in all I'm just about prepared to suggest that his recent hot run is likely to end sooner rather than later and will avoid this trappy fixture from a betting perspective.
Verdict: Fulham 2 Southampton 2 (BC)
Fulham have won just three of their last 15 Barclays Premier League games at Craven Cottage (W3 D1 L11).
Southampton have won just one of their last eight Premier League away games (W1 D4 L3).
Under Rene Meulensteen, Fulham have shipped 26 goals in 10 games, more than they conceded under Martin Jol this season in 13 games (24).
Southampton's last two games have ended 2-2; only one team in Premier League history (Liverpool in September 2002) has drawn three successive matches 2-2.
Hull v Tottenham (1500)
There seems little reason to overcomplicate this. Tottenham are odds-against here despite winning their last five Premier League away games, and eight of 11 on the road in all. Only at sides Arsenal, Manchester City and Everton have Spurs failed to pick up maximum points on their travels this season. That's eight wins from eight games at trips to teams outside the top six this season. Spurs have been far more consistent away from home than at White Hart Lane and should be confident of bouncing back from Wednesday night's home thrashing against Manchester City. Hull, meanwhile, have lost five of their last six in the Premier League and since putting six goals past Fulham have failed to find the net in four subsequent defeats.
Verdict: Hull 0 Tottenham 2 (DT)
Only one of the last six meetings between Hull and Spurs in all competitions has ended as a home win (three away wins, two draws).
Tottenham have won their last five Barclays Premier League away matches, their best run since 1960.
Spurs have scored at least once in every Premier League game under Tim Sherwood.
Stoke v Manchester United (1500)
With Stoke horribly out of form and Manchester United boosted by 'the Mata effect', plenty will make the visitors key components of their weekend acca. It's understandable; even when in apparent crisis, United have won six of their last eight in the Premier League - a run marred only by defeats to top-five sides Spurs and Chelsea - while Stoke have lost five and won none of their last six. But four of those six games have been on the road for Stoke, who have still lost only twice at the Britannia in the league this season. The Potters led 2-1 at Old Trafford before late goals from Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez took the points, and the visitors look plenty short enough to swerve at no bigger than 8/13.
Verdict: Stoke 1 Manchester United 2 (DT)
Defeat against Liverpool last time out ended a run of seven home games without defeat in the Barclays Premier League for the Potters (W3 D4).
Robin van Persie has scored nine goals in eight Barclays Premier League matches against Stoke City.
Defeat to Chelsea ended a run of seven games on the road without defeat for Manchester United in the league (W5 D2).
Javier Hernandez has scored five goals in seven Premier League games against Stoke.
- The game at West Ham is being televised live in the UK on BT Sport.