EPL Betting Preview – November 3/4 2012

November 2nd, 2012 | Posted by in 2012/2013 EPL Season

EPL football action for the weekend beginning  Nov 3 with a couple of big games on Saturday including Manchester United and Arsenal as well as West Ham and Manchester City. Below we have Sportingbet Australia EPL betting preview of some of these big games this weekend including Everton and Liverpool aswell as Chelsea and Manchester United. Click below on the game for this weekend’s EPL Betting odds from leading UK and European bookmakers.

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

Saturday 3rd November 2012 – Manchester United v Arsenal – Old Trafford

It’s not easy to know what to make of Manchester United’s performance in last Sunday’s tumultuous clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Amidst the red cards, diving controversy and allegations of racism on the part of match official Mark Clattenburg, the Red Devils produced an improved overall performance but still failed to answer a number of key questions.

Although disposing with the narrow midfield diamond gave them a far better balance in that area, the Rio Ferdinand – Jonny Evans combination at centre-back again looked far from watertight, goalkeeper David de Gea mixed several superb saves with some very suspect handling and Eden Hazard continued to twist Patrice Evra in knots even when Chelsea were reduced to nine men.

In short, United remain unconvincing at a number of different levels and yet that vital victory at Stamford Bridge has reduced Chelsea’s lead at the top of the table to just one point.

Little wonder then, that boss Sir Alex Ferguson allowed himself a rare grin when the final whistle sounded.

But will he still be smiling this weekend when his side take on another of their title rivals, Arsenal?

If the Gunners’ low-key display against rock-bottom QPR last time out is anything to go by, the answer is likely to be a firm yes.

Despite the welcome return of long-term injury absentees Jack Wilshere and Bacary Sagna, the North Londoners made heavy weather of putting their capital rivals away, Mikel Arteta eventually grabbing the winner from an off-side position with just six minutes left.

And that disjointed performance continued a trend that must be troubling boss Arsene Wenger privately even if he remains bullishly optimistic in public.

A touch fortunate to win at West Ham at the start of the month, the Gunners were then beaten by lowly Norwich before slumping to a 2-0 Champions League defeat at home to Schalke.

Following Saturday’s trip to Old Trafford, Wenger’s men face the return tie against Schalke ahead of derby clashes with Fulham and Spurs, so it’s not as if they have any easy fixtures in which to try and rediscover their mojo.

They remain far and away the top flight’s leading side in possession percentage and pass success rate, but in terms of the stats that really matter, they find themselves sixth in the table, already seven points adrift of leaders Chelsea.

And it’s a sad indictment of the mood among their fans that the outcome of last week’s club annual general meeting was more closely scrutinised than the display against QPR.

The Arsenal balance sheet may still look healthy, but coming as it does in the wake of seven long, trophy-less years and repeated ticket price increases, the news that several directors have awarded themselves enormous pay rises hasn’t gone down too well with the Emirates faithful.

On the injury front, meanwhile, Abou Diaby is still nursing a thigh injury and won’t feature, while Gervinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kieran Gibbs will all have to undergo late tests in order to prove their fitness.

United will also be without several key figures this weekend, including defensive trio Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Nemanja Vidic who remain on the long-term absentee list, but Javier Hernandez is pressing for start after coming off the bench to bag the winner at Stamford Bridge and veterans Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs will also come into Ferguson’s selection considerations.

Portuguese midfielder Nani, however, seems unlikely to feature after being singled out for blame by Ferguson in the wake of United’s midweek Capital One Cup defeat at the hands of Chelsea.

The Gunners won’t need reminding that last season’s corresponding ended in an 8-2 humiliation, with United completing the double at the Emirates later in the campaign and indeed Wenger’s men have won just once in their last eight visits to Old Trafford.

Despite both sides’ shortcomings, this should be an entertaining clash and while Arsenal may well be easier on the eye stylistically, the hosts should take the points.

Prediction: Manchester United 2-1 Arsenal

Saturday 3rd November 2012 – West Ham United v Manchester City – Upton Park

Last week’s disappointing defeat at Wigan aside, this season has so far gone a lot better than many West Ham United fans thought it might.

Currently ninth in the table having won four and drawn two of their nine games, the Hammers have already done enough to suggest that an immediate return to the Championship can be avoided.

And they will relish the prospect of making life difficult for Manchester City when they arrive at Upton Park on Saturday.

Despite winning their last four league games on the bounce, the reigning champions are clearly not quite firing on all cylinders and the men in claret and blue may just fancy their chances of causing a boilover.

In order to maintain that sense of optimism, however, the home side would be advised not to consult the record books which show that City have lost on only one of their last six visits to Upton Park in all competitions and remain unbeaten on their domestic travels this season.

The Hammers face Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester United between now and the start of December, a tough run that boss Sam Allardyce has acknowledged will reveal a truer picture of just how well his charges have adjusted to life back in the top flight. But most of the early signs have been encouraging.

Andy Carroll has looked sharp since returning from injury, even if the goals haven’t exactly flowed for the on-loan Liverpool man, skipper Kevin Nolan continues to lead by example from midfield, scoring four times already this term and Matt Jarvis has shown flashes of his huge potential down the flank.

Defensively, the Londoners continue to look a little vulnerable, especially against pace, but they should receive a boost in that area this week with Matt Taylor expected to recover from the calf strain that ruled him out of last week’s trip to Wigan.

As for City, they laboured to a 1-0 win over Swansea last time out, having seen their Champions League dreams all but shattered by Ajax four days earlier.

Club skipper Vincent Kompany has rejected talk of the club being in crisis and coach Roberto Mancini has asked for patience from the fans, but perhaps the Italian should take some of his own advice and show a bit more faith in both his tactics and personnel.

He still doesn’t seem to know which players form the best combinations in key positions and it is no secret that several of his charges find his habit of changing formations several times per game unsettling and counter-productive.

One of those who has spoken out on the subject, Micah Richards, is set to spend up to four months on the sidelines after picking up a serious knee injury in the win over Swansea, while the likes of Maicon, Javi Garcia, David Silva and Jack Rodwell are also out of contention.

Pablo Zabaleta, however, could recover from his hamstring strain in time to feature at full-back, Joleon Lescott will be hoping to reclaim his centre-back berth from Matija Nastasic and Mario Balotelli will also be pressing for a promotion from the bench.

Edin Dzeko, meanwhile, is set to be asked to reprise his super-sub role despite his growing and understandable frustration at being kept out of the starting eleven.

Just like United, Chelsea and Arsenal, City certainly have their flaws, but the quality of their attacking options should prove enough for them to overcome what is sure to be a gutsy challenge from the Hammers.

Prediction: West Ham United 1-3 Manchester City

 

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