Gunners can down Liverpool
Dave Tickner is expecting Arsenal to beat Liverpool in Wednesday night's televised Premier League clash.
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There are six games in all on Wednesday with plenty at stake at both ends of the table. Resurgent Reading take on Chelsea, and we like the chances of in-form Royals striker Adam Le Fondre adding to his goals tally in that one.
Everton are looking to get their top-four bid back on track after successive goalless draws, while at Carrow Road Norwich and Tottenham look to bounce back from weekend FA Cup shocks.
Leaders Manchester United host Southampton, while there's a London derby at Craven Cottage as Fulham take on West Ham.
Arsenal v Liverpool (1945 GMT)
Arsenal look overpriced here at almost 6/4. Their struggles have been overstated, as has Liverpool's recent upturn - which in any case came to a crashing halt at Oldham on Sunday. Brendan Rodgers' side are still without a Premier League victory over a top-half side this season, and they have been beaten already at Spurs and Manchester United, with draws at Everton and Chelsea. They have registered some eye-catching wins recently, but this trip marks a real step up in class from the likes of Sunderland, QPR and Norwich. There were mitigating factors for the Gunners' recent defeats to Manchester City and Chelsea and some of their football in last week's 5-1 demolition of West Ham was sublime. Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski - and, for that matter, Luis Suarez given Arsenal's current propensity for conceding goals - make appeal at prices around the 2/1 mark in the anytime scorer market, but there seems no reason to overcomplicate matters here given the price available for the Gunners. Home win the call.
Verdict: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 1 (DT)
Everton v West Brom (1945)
Both these sides have hit sticky patches of late but the rot seems to have set in deeper in the Midlands with the Baggies now withut a win in their last six. They've conceded 11 times in that run which should give Everton plenty of hope after failing to net in their last two league games. After back-to-back goalless draws, the Toffees returned to winning ways at Bolton at the weekend and should have too much for a visiting side with several injury doubts, including Shane Long, who was so dangerous during their good start to the campaign, one which saw them win the reverse fixture 2-0. However, on recent form Everton look worthy favourites, albeit slightly short ones at 8/13. A better way of getting with them would appear to be in the goalscorer markets. Victor Anichebe is the man who catches the eye here for he's impressed on his limited chances this season. He's scored five times and against Southampton last Monday he made a real difference when he came on as a substitute. Anichebe has a good record against these opponents with three career goals, including his first ever in a blue shirt back in 2006. Last season he scored in both league games and should be high on confidence. You may want to wait for the line-ups but with Kevin Mirallas injured again and Nikica Jelavic struggling for goals, Anichebe looks likely to start. He's 23/10 to net at any time.
Verdict: Everton 2 West Brom 1 (AS)
Norwich v Tottenham (1945)
Both sides head to Carrow Road on Wednesday looking to bounce back from weekend FA Cup giantkillings after Norwich were beaten at home by non-league Luton and Spurs went down 2-1 at Championship side Leeds. With Emmanuel Adebayor away at the Africa Cup of Nations and Jermain Defoe carrying an injury, Spurs' lack of striking options has been exposed. Even before Sunday's defeat, Spurs' form had flatlined rather with successive league draws after a run of nine wins in 11 games. Norwich, meanwhile, have won only once since December 15 - and that came at Peterborough. This looks a tricky one to call, and going low on goals may be the best route to profit. Since conceding two late goals at Everton, Spurs have given up just three goals in seven league games as Hugo Lloris firmly establishes himself as first choice between the sticks, while Norwich - who earned a 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane earlier in the season - have often kept things tight against the division's big guns at Carrow Road. They beat Manchester United and Arsenal 1-0, and went down by the same scoreline to Chelsea (although it should be noted they also came off second-best in seven-goal affairs against Liverpool and Manchester City). Odds-against quotes for under 2.5 goals look fair, as does anything above 3/1 on under 1.5.
Verdict: Norwich 0 Tottenham 1 (DT)
Fulham v West Ham (2000)
Fulham have won one of their last seven league games; West Ham have won one of their last eight. Neither side appears to be in imminent danger of relegation but will know continuation of the current formline for much longer will lead to nervous glances downwards. This is the sort of game Fulham need to be winning against a West Ham side without a win on the road since November 11 and six defeats from seven since then. But it's impossible to construct a case for the hosts at no bigger than 5/4 and this looks like a match best left alone.
Verdict: Fulham 1 West Ham 1 (DT)
Had United come up against a side in decent form (as Southampton are) earlier in the season, you may well have looked for a way of getting with the visitors, perhaps in the handicaps. Their defence was having plenty of problems and their attack was often getting them out of a sticky situation. That was summed up by the stat concerning the number of times they had won after falling behind. Significantly, though, that's happened just once in United's last 12 games in all competitions. In the league they've won nine of the last 11, the other two being drawn, and now look more ruthless. The early signs for Southampton under Mauricio Pochettino were good and they were a tad unfortunate not to beat Everton last time out. As under Nigel Adkins, they knocked the ball around confidently and it's hard to see them going to Old Trafford and not at least having a go. However, that could play into the hosts' hands. In their last 11 games, United have scored four thrice, three twice and two three times. Still, the prices about such repeats are far from mouthwatering. We'll leave this one alone.
Verdict: Manchester United 3 Southampton 1 (AS)
Reading v Chelsea (2000)
I'm not quite sure why the team with three wins in their last eight are 1/2 to win away at a team who have won five of their last six. Chelsea obviously make no appeal at the price but it's hard too to make too strong a case for the hosts who have lost all five of their games so far against the current top four this season. Happily, though, there's value elsewhere as Adam Le Fondre continues to be overlooked by the layers despite netting five goals in his last four games and six in his last seven despite often having to step off the bench to find the target. He's already scored against Manchester United, Arsenal and Everton and takes spot-kicks. Even if he starts on the bench he looks worth backing in the anytime goalscorer market, while his super-sub status means a small play in the last goalscorer market could also pay off. He's achieved that feat four times this season and in two of his last four - only an injury-time strike from Pavel Pogrebnyak against West Brom stopped him making it three out of four.
Verdict: Reading 1 Chelsea 3 (DT)
- The match at Arsenal is being televised live in the UK on Sky Sports.