- Chris Sobey
Plenty of Premier League action this weekend with six games on Saturday, including the traditional lunchtime kick-off at 12.45 pm between the Hammers and the Blackcats and the tea-time kick off between the Baggies and Crystal Palace at 5.30pm. Super Sunday was lined up to be a real cracker with four top class games, but the Merseyside derby and Newcastle against Man City games have now been postponed due to the Capital One cup final.
However, we are still left with Manchester United against Arsenal at Old Trafford and Spurs against Swansea at White Hart Lane on Sunday. This of course brings the title race in to play again as the Gunners and Spurs are joint second in the table only two points behind leaders Leicester.
Leicester have a favourable and very winnable home fixture against Norwich on Saturday, which definitely gives them the advantage as they’ve got no Cup distractions, have had had plenty of time to rest and train hard and they could be the ones to benefit this weekend if Arsenal and Spurs experience any European hangovers.
The lunchtime kick off between West Ham and Sunderland on Saturday should go the Hammers way and there could be goals, as over three quarters of the Blackcats league away games this season ended with more than 2 goals scored in the match.
Chelsea face an interesting trip to Saint Mary’s tomorrow as they are winless against them in their last three league encounters and lost this season’s reverse fixture 3-1. However, that was during the Mourinho gate period and it’s safe to say the result can now be discounted, as under new Manager Hiddink they’ve only lost one of 13 matches and look much more like the Chelsea of old.
Chelsea are on an unbeaten run of ten matches in the league and Southampton six. After a tough first half of the season Saints manager Koemans has slowly been turning things round and they’ve won their last four at home in the league, which included wins against good sides like thrashing Arsenal 4-0, a comfortable 2-0 win against an in form Watford side and last time out beating the Hammers 1-0.
Both of last season’s league fixtures ended 1-1 and it’s safe to say we can expect another tight one today as the Saints have not conceded 1 goal in their last six in the league. Another Draw or possibly playing the under goals market could be the best option for this match.
However, with Chelsea looking like they 're a totally different team under new manager Hiddink and there attacking players firing again I’m not that confident as the Blues are more than capable of winning this comfortably if they play at their optimum.
Elsewhere on Saturday Stoke look like a safe bet at home against Villa and should be able to cover the handicap giving up a goal start as their attacking threat is far more potent this season whereas Villa’s has been almost none existent. Or, at a better price the Stoke to Win and Over 2.5 Goals Match Double may appeal and should also return a profit.