EPL Betting Preview – November 17/18

November 16th, 2012 | Posted by in 2012/2013 EPL Season

EPL for the weekend beginning November 17 has some interesting games no bigger than Arsenal and Tottenham on Saturday. Below we have Sportingbet Australia EPL betting preview of some of these big games this weekend including Arsenal and Tottenham and Queens Park Rangers v Southampton.

Arsenal vs Tottenham
QPR vs Southampton
Reading vs Everton
Liverpool vs Wigan
West Brom vs Chelsea

Newcastle vs Swansea
Man City vs Aston Villa
Norwich vs Man Utd
Fulham vs Sunderland
West Ham vs Stoke

Saturday 17th November 2012 – Arsenal and Tottenham –  Emirates Stadium

In sharp contrast to many of world football’s high-profile derbies, recent clashes between North London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have regularly delivered on the entertainment front, with 46 goals hitting the back of the net in the last ten meetings.

And that trend looks set to continue in Saturday’s showdown at the Emirates given that the Gunners have kept only one clean sheet since mid-September, while Spurs have managed just one league shut-out all season.

Home advantage will probably be enough to earn Arsenal slight favouritism, although a run of just one win in seven games in all competitions is hardly the kind of form to fill their would-be backers with any great confidence.

Boss Arsene Wenger has started to look every bit as exhausted and exasperated as he did for most of last season and little wonder, given that the Gunners have now made their worst start to a campaign since 1982.

Their stuttering form has also tested the patience of the Emirates faithful, most of whom would probably accept the club incurring a little bit of debt in order to secure their first trophy for seven long years.

And was it just a coincidence that the famous banner proclaiming “In Arsene We Trust” was missing from the stands for last weekend’s game against Fulham?

Missing a stoppage time penalty in that game just about summed up the way the Gunners are travelling at the moment and it will be interesting to see how Wenger reacts in terms of his team selection for derby day.

Thomas Vermaelen will presumably retain his spot at the heart of the defence despite his shaky recent form, but Wenger may consider dropping Petr Mertesacker whose lack of pace could be exploited by Tottenham’s lively attacking trio of Jermain Defoe, Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale.

Olivier Giroud’s two-goal haul against the Cottagers last time out should ensure that he gets another chance to impress up front, Kieran Gibbs could return from his thigh injury despite being ruled out of midweek England duties and Gervinho’s ankle problem may have eased enough to allow him to secure a place on the bench.

Jack Wilshere, meanwhile, is set return from suspension to boost Wenger’s midfield options and Theo Walcott should be fit enough to start, even if he won’t be deployed in the centre-forward role that is reportedly where Chelsea have promised to play him if he agrees to move to Stamford Bridge in January.

As for Spurs, they are also in the midst of a sticky patch having won just two in seven and the White Hart Lane jury still seems to be out on manager Andre Villas-Boas.

A derby victory would doubtless send the former Chelsea man’s popularity rating soaring, however and having won three of their five away games to date this term, Spurs won’t be fazed by the prospect of making the short trip across North London.

In terms of injury news, Aaron Lennon should be available despite dropping out of the England squad for Wednesday’s trip to Sweden, but Moussa Dembele is still battling a hip problem and Tottenham will certainly miss the Belgian’s muscular midfield presence against an Arsenal side widely perceived to be a little soft-centred.

Emanuel Adebayor may be forced to settle for a place on the bench with Defoe expected to replace him in the run-on side, but the Togolese striker will doubtless still find a way to infuriate the home fans for whom he has become such a figure of hate in recent years.

And Brad Friedel is again set to start between the posts ahead of big-money buy Hugo Lloris, a situation that will surely come to a head sooner rather than later with the French international clearly not happy at having to play second fiddle to the veteran American.

At a tactical level, Arsenal will doubtless dominate the possession stats as they invariably do, but Spurs will be happy enough to let the Gunners play their pretty passing patterns in non-threatening areas and then use their pace to hit them on the break.

Defensively, meanwhile, Spurs will surely look to drop a little deeper after Sergio Aguero ruthlessly exploited their high backline during last weekend’s 2-1 defeat at Manchester City.

This eagerly-anticipated derby clash should get the EPL weekend off to a cracking start and it’s worth backing the 168th meeting between these two old foes to end in a high-scoring draw.

Prediction: Arsenal 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur

Queens Park Rangers v Southampton – Loftus Road

As many eyes will be focused upon the respective dugouts as on the pitch when Queens Park Rangers host Southampton on Saturday in what is rather cruelly being billed as the sack-race derby.

Should either side lose at Loftus Road, Mark Hughes or Nigel Adkins look all but certain to be sent packing, adding another layer of drama to what is already shaping up as a season-defining game for both the R’s and Saints.

The EPL’s bottom two have managed just one win between them from their eleven league games to date and along with Reading, are in serious danger of finding themselves set adrift in the bottom three even at this relatively early stage of the season.

In fairness, Southampton have more of an excuse for their lowly position having secured back-to-back promotions in the last two seasons, the second of which possibly took the club hierarchy a little by surprise.

Adkins was handed a decent transfer kitty over the summer and probably should have invested more of it in quality defensive and goalkeeping reinforcements rather than midfielders and strikers, but overall, the club would undoubtedly have been in a better position to adapt to the top flight if they had been promoted next year rather than last.

As it stands, they have leaked a catastrophic 29 goals, a statistic that has completely undermined some fine performances from the likes of Adam Lallana, Gaston Ramirez and Rickie Lambert in attack.

The fact that he has overseen those two consecutive promotions has undoubtedly earned Adkins some extra time in which to try and revive Saints’ flagging fortunes, but the owners also have to balance their faith in the manager with the fact that an immediate and significant improvement is required if a swift return to the Championship is to be avoided.

The issue facing QPR’s wealthy owners is a similar one, the main difference being that their squad is a significantly stronger, more expensively-assembled one which really shouldn’t be propping up the rest of the league.

Hughes has trotted out various excuses, including a perceived lack of luck and poor refereeing decisions, but the bottom line is that he has failed to get the most out of his player group and should the Welshman’s stint at Loftus Road end this week, he may well face a long wait for another managerial opportunity at this level.

In terms of his team selection for Saturday’s crunch clash, Hughes is set to have to make do without midfield enforcer Stephane Mbia who is suspended, full-back Fabio who has a hamstring problem and skipper Ji-Sung Park who is nursing a knee injury.

On a more positive note, the hosts do have some additional attacking firepower to call upon as they come up against the division’s worst defence, with Bobby Zamora and Shaun Wright-Phillips both pressing for starts after warming the bench during last weekend’s defeat at Stoke.

The visitors, meanwhile, did not appear to pick up any fresh injuries as they laboured to a 1-1 draw with Swansea last time out and could welcome defender Frazer Richardson back into the squad following his recovery from a groin problem.

The two sides last met in West London back in 2008 when Rangers ran out 4-1 winners in a Championship clash and although they might not find the going quite as comfortable this time around, they should be able to take advantage of Saints’ porous defence to claim that elusive first league win and keep their manager in a job for at least another week.

Prediction: Queens Park Rangers 2-1 Southampton

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