EPL Betting Preview – November 24/25

November 22nd, 2012 | Posted by in 2012/2013 EPL Season

This weekend we have a full round of EPL matches with some interesting games on offer no bigger than Chelsea and Man City. Below we have Sportingbet Australia EPL betting preview of some of these big games this weekend including
Swansea vs Liverpool and Chelsea and Manchester City. Click below on the game for this weekend’s EPL Betting odds from leading UK and European bookmakers.

Sunderland vs West Brom
Stoke vs Fulham
Wigan vs Reading
Everton vs Norwich
Man Utd vs QPR
Aston Villa vs Arsenal
Swansea vs Liverpool
Southampton vs Newcastle
Tottenham vs West Ham
Chelsea vs Man City

Sunday 25th November 2012 Swansea City v Liverpool – Liberty Stadium

In years gone by, fixtures between Swansea City and Liverpool were inevitably dominated by the shadow of John Toshack, the man who served both clubs with such distinction in the 1970s and 1980s.

Now, of course, it’s all about Brendan Rodgers who led the Swans back to the top flight for the first time since that Toshack era before moving to Anfield to try and revive the fortunes of the Reds.

And Sunday’s clash at the Liberty Stadium will also be an emotional one for Joe Allen who followed his former manager to Merseyside at the end of last season.

Hailing from nearby Carmarthen, the 22-year-old midfielder played a key role in driving the Welsh club into the Premier League, a fact the home fans will hopefully bear in mind when deciding what sort of reception to afford their former hero upon his return.

Not that Rodgers will be focusing too much upon the emotional aspects of the game.

He knows that his side desperately need to maintain their run of seven league games unbeaten if they are to force their way back into the top ten and in doing so, persuade the club’s American owners to dip into their pockets in January to finance the signing of a quality striker whose goals may just put the Reds in with a chance of securing Europa League, or even Champions League football next season.

Chelsea’s Daniel Sturridge is reportedly the man at the top of Rodgers’ wanted list, but if his performance last weekend is anything to go by, Newcastle’s Demba Ba, Klaas Jan Huntelaar of Schalke or even Celtic’s Gary Hooper would look like better options.

As it stands, Sunday’s visitors will just have to hope and pray that Luis Suarez can remain fit and maintain the irresistible form that has seen him score six goals in the last five games to take his tally for the season to 13.

The Uruguayan was outstanding yet again in last week’s 3-0 win over Wigan and Reds fans would also have been encouraged by the performance of Jose Enrique who looked far more effective in a wide midfield role than he generally does in his more accustomed position of full-back.

With Steven Gerrard pushed further forward to support Suarez and Raheem Sterling continuing to shine on the wing, Rodgers’ side looked lively in attack and will back themselves to get some change out of a Swansea defence that hasn’t kept a clean sheet since late August.

In terms of early injury news ahead of the trip to South Wales, the visitors don’t appear to have any fresh concerns and could be boosted in the next couple of weeks by the return of key midfielder Lucas Leiva. The Brazilian international is close to making a full recovery from his thigh injury and scheduled to play for the club’s under-21 side on Friday.

As for Swansea, they also enjoyed the taste of victory last week, downing Newcastle at St James’ Park and climbing back into the top ten in the process.

That game on Tyneside saw the Swans eschew their usual possession-rich style in favour of sitting deep and striking quickly on the break and although they will undoubtedly revert to their traditional Barcelona-esque approach against Liverpool, it will be interesting to see if boss Michael Laudrup tweaks his tactics again in future away games.

Following in the footsteps of Roberto Martinez and Rodgers was never likely to be easy for the Dane, but a run of just two defeats in nine games has largely silenced the rumours suggesting that he had alienated various members of the playing group and on current evidence, the men in white look a decent chance to match or even better last season’s 11th–place finish.

Record-signing Pablo Hernandez is starting to find his feet after a slow start to his City career and will doubtless trouble a Liverpool defence that has looked anything but watertight this season, fellow-Spaniard Michu will be full of confidence having bagged his eighth goal of the campaign last weekend and look for Leon Britton to go toe-to-toe with his former midfield partner Allen in the completed-passes stakes.

Injury-wise, meanwhile, long-term absentees Michel Vorm and Neil Taylor remain sidelined, but rangy midfielder Ki Sung-Yong and defender Chico could come back into Laudrup’s selection considerations.

Everton are the only side to have won a league game at the Liberty this term and although Liverpool have been on a decent run, it’s hard to see them emulating their Merseyside rivals.

The Swans to nick it.

Prediction: Swansea City 2-1 Liverpool

Chelsea v Manchester City – Stamford Bridge

Along with daytime temperatures rising and the evenings getting lighter, another sure-fire sign that we are well and truly into November is that Chelsea have slipped into crisis mode.

A haul of only two points from their last four league games, allied to Tuesday night’s potentially decisive Champions League defeat at the hands of Juventus, prompted club owner Roman Abramovich to bring Roberto Di Matteo’s eight-month tenure at Stamford Bridge to an end.

Rafael Benitez was swiftly named as Di Matteo’s interim successor until the end of the season and the Spaniard is certainly a man with a point to prove having polarised opinion during his stint with Liverpool and lasted just six months in his most recent role at Inter Milan.

With Pep Guardiola still strongly tipped to take charge of the European champions when he ends his self-imposed football sabbatical next year, however, the new Chelsea boss may be well advised to keep an office removals company on speed-dial.

And such a temporary appointment is hardly likely to ease the chronic instability that continues to engulf the club.

Fortunately for Benitez, if his arrival can galvanise the Blues into picking up a positive result against Manchester City this weekend, the fixtures computer has handed the West Londoners a pretty kind run of games between now and the end of the year.

Fulham, West Ham, Sunderland, Southampton, Aston Villa, Norwich and Everton provide Chelsea’s upcoming league opposition and all represent extremely winnable games, even if Everton have proved something of a surprise packet so far this term.

Benitez should therefore be able to bed himself in while his new side continue to pick up regular wins and Blues fans will be hoping that he can transform Fernando Torres back into the goalscoring machine that he became when working under his compatriot at Anfield.

As it stands, the misfiring striker has scored just once in his last seven appearances but is still expected to start against City as his likely replacement, Daniel Sturridge, was every bit as wasteful in front of goal when brought on as a substitute against West Brom.

Benitez will presumably restore both Ashley Cole and Branislav Ivanovic to his starting back four, but faces tougher decisions in terms of his midfield options.

The inclusion or otherwise of Frank Lampard in the run-on side will offer a clear indication of the England man’s future at the Bridge and it will be very interesting to see if the new coach is bold enough to start midfield trio Eden Hazard, Oscar and Juan Mata despite the fact that by neglecting their defensive responsibilities, they will leave the Blues extremely vulnerable to a side of City’s counter-attacking capabilities.

Roberto Mancini, meanwhile, will doubtless have plenty of sympathy for his former Azzurri team-mate Di Matteo given that he has operated in the same pressure-cooker atmosphere since taking the reins at City almost three years ago.

His side have of course struggled to come to terms with the Champions League and duly crashed out at the group stage again in midweek, but they remain unbeaten in the league and made short work of Aston Villa last weekend to move to the top of the table.

With only long-term injury absentees Jack Rodwell and Micah Richards currently unavailable, Mancini has a myriad of selection options at his disposal, even if he still seems unclear on how best to deploy those world class resources most effectively.

Mario Balotelli didn’t even make the bench for the Villa game, fuelling speculation that he could be heading for AC Milan or Paris St Germain in January and it is anyone’s guess as to whether he will return to the fold this weekend.

If the feisty frontman does move on to Serie A or Ligue 1, City may well follow up their reported interest in Luis Suarez, a player with a similar penchant for causing controversy, but a far better record of finding the net.

The return to competitive action of David Silva, meanwhile, is a huge boost for the visitors and the prospect of the Spaniard and Samir Nasri going head-to-head in a dribble-off with Oscar and Hazard is just one of the sub-plots that will make this game an unmissable one for the neutral.

With just one win in their last 14 visits, the Bridge does not harbour too many happy memories for the City fans who will head south in their thousands on Sunday.

But with plenty of momentum behind them and Chelsea in a state of flux, they are a great chance to improve that record by securing a victory that could have major long-term implications for both clubs.

Prediction: Chelsea 1-2 Manchester City

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