Expert football pundit and analyst Andy Gray has joined Paddy Power to give his insight on the best of the weekend’s Premier League action.
Andy Gray’s weekend treble:
Arsenal (4/7), Swansea (17/20), Wigan (7/5)
Sunderland v Chelsea, Live Saturday, Setanta, 3pm
Chelsea played well on Wednesday night winning 6-1 against FC Nordsjaelland but they weren’t playing a very strong side. Attack-wise Chelsea can harm you but if you get at them they are vulnerable.
The Blues have a lot of match winners in their side while Sunderland can’t buy a goal. Chelsea have a great chance to get Rafa Benitez his first Premier League win as the Blues’ new manager and their first win in seven league games. We’ll find out if Fernando Torres has turned a corner too under Benitez and I hope Chelsea win or else the Manchester clubs will have the league to themselves.
Manchester City v Manchester United, Live Sky Sports 1, Sunday, 1.30pm
Everyone’s really looking forward to this but neither of these two teams are at their best at the moment. Both teams are capable of scoring but United have conceded 21 goals already this season. People will be thinking that this could be one of those high-scoring derby games and it’s very difficult to call. There’s nothing between them but I just think City will shade it with home advantage and their unbeaten 37-game unbeaten run at home.
I think both teams will score at 1/2 and City can shade it 2-1 at 15/2 with Paddy Power. I’d love to see Roberto Mancini starting with Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez up front and if he does I’d have Aguero to get the first goal of the game at 11/2.
Whoever wins it though it’s still far too early to say that this will be the defining moment in the league and settle the title race. Neither looks better than the other but I think City have better quality in the depth of their squad to help them in the title race. I think they’ll be the team to beat.
If Robin Van Persie scores at anytime, we will refund all losing First/last goalscorer, correct score & scorecast singles on the match.
West Ham v Liverpool, Live Sky Sports 1, Sunday 4pm
The Hammers had a great result against Chelsea last week and their fans will expect them to do that every week. I fancy West Ham to win this especially as Liverpool are missing Luis Surez up front and he’s their main man in front of goal with 10 Premier League strikes.
Steven Gerrard is back and Lucas Leiva should also play after his comeback last week. That will give the Reds stability but will it give them goals? I don’t think so.
I think West Ham will win this 1-0 at 7/1 and maybe Kevin Nolan at 8/1 to get it with the Scorecast paying 40/1.
Fulham v Newcastle United, Monday, Live Sky Sports 1, 8pm
I like what Martin Jol is doing at Fulham and the Magpies were a little fortunate to beat Wigan 3-0 last Monday. Fulham lost two massive players in Clint Dempsey and Moussa Dembele and they were always going to be hard to replace.
The Cottagers are tough to beat on their own patch and Newcastle aren’t playing well enough to have two away wins on the trot so it’s Fulham for me.
Dimitar Berbatov is due a goal at 6/5 to be the anytime goalscorer and he’s one likely to be on the scoresheet in a 2-0 win at 17/2 for Fulham.
Swansea v Norwich, Saturday, 3pm
Norwich are on a fantastic run but it will have to end sometime and I think Swansea will win on Saturday afternoon.
Southampton v Reading, Saturday, 3pm
Both promoted clubs will fancy their chances here but I think home advantage will sway it for the Saints.
Arsenal v West Brom, Saturday, 3pm
The Gunners are desperate for a win and West Brom have lost their last two. It’s an Arsenal win for me.
Aston Villa v Stoke, Saturday, 3pm
At the risk of repeating myself I’m going to go for a home win for Paul Lambert’s side. Stoke had a great result last week away to West Brom but I don’t think they’ll do the Midlands double.
Wigan v QPR, Saturday, 3pm
Harry Redknapp hasn’t discovered the magic formula yet and there are no easy away games in the Premier League so I think Roberto Martinez’s side will just shade it.
Everton v Spurs, Sunday, 3pm
This is a hard one to call and if my predictions come true it’s going to be a good weekend for the home sides. I’ve huge respect for what Tottenham are doing but my head says that Everton will shade it. I’ll go for the Toffees.