EPL Betting Preview – Week 3 2012/2013

September 1st, 2012 | Posted by in 2012/2013 EPL Season

Big weekend of EPL action this weekend for Week 3 of the 2012/2013. Big games include Liverpool v Arsenal  and West Brom v Everton. Below we have Sportingbet Australia EPL betting preview of some of these big games this weekend. Click below on the game for this weekend’s EPL Betting odds from leading UK and European bookmakers.

West Ham vs Fulham
West Brom vs Everton
Swansea vs Sunderland
Wigan vs Stoke
Tottenham vs Norwich
Man City vs QPR

Liverpool vs Arsenal
Newcastle vs Aston Villa
Southampton vs Man Utd

Saturday 1st September 2012
Swansea City v Sunderland – Liberty Stadium

Second-season syndrome? What second-season syndrome?
That is the defiant message being fired back by Swansea City fans to those of us who tipped them to find life in the top flight significantly tougher this term.
And while it is of course still far too early to draw any truly meaningful conclusions on how the campaign will ultimately pan out for Michael Laudrup’s side, they could hardly have made a brighter start.
Having dismantled QPR 5-0 at Loftus Road on the opening day, the Swans were almost as ruthless in their 3-0 demolition of West Ham last weekend and will therefore have more than a little swagger in their step on Saturday when they welcome Sunderland to the Liberty Stadium.
It was always going to be a tough ask for anyone, even a man of Laudrup’s impeccable football pedigree, to follow in the footsteps of Brendan Rodgers and Roberto Martinez, but thus far the Dane looks every inch a worthy successor.
Even without Joe Allen patrolling central midfield, the Swans continue to leave their opponents chasing shadows with their short passing game, they still pass out from the back regardless of the pressure applied to them and in new signing Michu, they look to have acquired a player more than capable of sharing the goalscoring burden with Danny Graham.
With Wayne Routledge and Nathan Dyer providing the pace and trickery in wide areas and Jonathan de Guzman offering some additional guile in the middle, the Welsh side possess the kind of mobile attacking threat that will trouble every side in the division.
But it is the diminutive Leon Britton who holds it all together.
The 29-year-old’s uncanny ability to retain and rotate possession can often go unnoticed, but he is the pivot in this Swans side, the man who dictates the tempo and pulls the strings and his continuing omission from an England set-up crying out for a player who can both keep and move the ball effectively remains a complete mystery.
Swansea, however, don’t have a great deal of strength in depth and Laudrup has been quick to point out the need for them to cash in on their flying start as bleaker times could still lie ahead.
Yet even the imminent departure of Scott Sinclair to Manchester City has not dampened the mood among the Liberty faithful and if Laudrup can re-invest some of the $10 million fee the Swans are set to receive for the former Chelsea man in another quality new recruit such as Pablo Hernandez of Valencia or Marvin Emnes of Middlesbrough, most would regard it as a good bit of business.
As for Sunderland, they have been among the top flight’s biggest spenders this week, forking out a combined fee of around $30 million to sign Steven Fletcher and Adam Johnson from Wolves and Manchester City respectively. The general reaction to the Fletcher deal has been that the Black Cats have paid over the odds for the Scottish international, but he did score an impressive 12 goals for a woeful Wolves side last term and if he can produce a similar or better return for the Wearside club this season, that sizeable fee will start to look like a canny investment.
Johnson, meanwhile, clearly has an abundance of natural talent and although questions were raised regarding his commitment levels during his time at City, Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill is renowned as one of the game’s best man-managers and if he can bring the best out of the enigmatic winger, the Stadium of Light could have a new hero to worship.
With James McClean operating down one flank and Johnson down the other, Stephane Sessegnon pushing on from midfield and Louis Saha, Fraizer Campbell and Conor Wickham all vying to partner Fletcher up front, Sunderland finally look to have the firepower needed to improve upon their miserable record of having scored only three goals scored in their last eight Premier League outings.
Fletcher and Johnson may well come straight into the starting line-up having debuted for their new club against Morecambe in the Capital One Cup in midweek, but otherwise O’Neill is likely to keep faith with the side that ground out a creditable 0-0 draw at Arsenal on the opening day.
Last season’s corresponding fixture ended in a goalless stalemate and although there should more goals this time around, backing another draw looks like a decent bet.

Prediction: Swansea City 2-2 Sunderland

Tottenham Hotspur v Norwich City – White Hart Lane

Tottenham Hotspur fans could be forgiven for writing to club chairman Daniel Levy to remind him that the Premier League season actually starts midway through August and not after the transfer window slams shut at the end of the month.
For yet again, Spurs have opted to carry out most of their significant squad re-shaping with the new campaign already a couple of games old, games that have yielded two fairly disappointing results.
A defeat at Newcastle and a home draw with West Brom may not seem too disastrous at this early stage, but when you bear in mind that Spurs missed out on a Champions League berth by a single point last term, it becomes clear that while leaving most of the club’s transfer business until late August can ensure some rewarding deals, it can also prove very costly in other ways.
As it stands, Andre Villas Boas’ preparations for Saturday’s home clash with Norwich City will inevitably have been pretty disjointed and that is something the former Chelsea boss could have done without ahead of a game that must be won if the early grumbles of discontent among the White Hart Lane faithful are not to rapidly increase in volume.
Those fans will have been delighted to see Mousa Dembele arrive from Fulham following his superb performances for the Cottagers in the opening games of the season, while the prevailing emotion surrounding Luka Modric’s departure from the Lane was one of relief given that the Croatian was clearly determined to engineer a move away and that the fee of around $50 million paid for him by Real Madrid was arguably a touch above the odds.
Unfortunately, however, the club have emerged with far less credit regarding their treatment of both Michael Dawson and Jermain Defoe.
Dawson was bizarrely made captain following Ledley King’s enforced retirement, only to then be told that he was likely to be sold to QPR, while Levy and Villas Boas also seem happy for Defoe to head for pastures new despite the club’s dearth of top-class striker options and the fact that the England man has scored more than a goal every other game in both of his spells in North London.
To add to the confusion, Spurs have also tabled a hefty bid for French international goalkeeper Hugo Lloris despite the fact that they already have three senior ‘keepers on their books in the form of Brad Friedel, Carlo Cudicini and Heurelho Gomes, along with a talented youngster in David Button.
It is increasingly hard to understand why most, if not all, of these issues are still being resolved with the season a fortnight old and further questions will surely be asked of the club’s hierarchy if another disappointing result is recorded this weekend.
Norwich, meanwhile, appear to have less drama going on behind the scenes, but on the field they have yet to really find their feet this term.
Chris Hughton’s first competitive game in charge ended in a humiliating 5-0 rout at Fulham and although they had the better of last weekend’s 1-1 draw with QPR, the early evidence suggests that the Canaries could find themselves struggling to avoid the drop this season.
The East Anglians wrapped up most of their transfer business more than a month ago, with goalkeeper Mark Bunn likely to be their only late signing following his arrival for an undisclosed fee from Blackburn earlier this week.
Unfortunately for City, summer recruit Steven Whittaker is still nursing an ankle ligament injury and will not debut for his new club in the foreseeable future and the former Rangers man has already been joined on the sidelines by fellow-new boy Jacob Butterfield, along with winger Elliott Ward.
Having three players of that quality unavailable is a major blow for Hughton whose squad is among the thinnest in the top flight and with the Canaries set to face Newcastle, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool in consecutive weeks from mid-September, the club’s immediate prospects don’t look especially encouraging.
Those fans heading down to the capital from Norfolk, however, can take at least some solace from the fact that they won at White Hart Lane last season and indeed have lost there only once in their last four visits.
Even with Tottenham seemingly in a self-inflicted and completely avoidable state of flux, this looks like a tough assignment for Norwich and it’s hard to foresee them avoiding another damaging defeat.

Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Norwich City

Sunday 2nd September 2012
Liverpool v Arsenal – Anfield

Liverpool and Arsenal may both have recorded draws last weekend, but the fallout from the two results could hardly have been more different.
The Reds received a standing ovation despite conceding two terribly sloppy goals as they claimed a point against reigning champions Manchester City at Anfield, while muted booing emanated from the away end at the Britannia Stadium following the Gunners’ insomnia-curing goalless stalemate with Stoke.
And 24 hours after Brendan Rodgers praised his Liverpool side for what he described as a brave and spirited performance, a downbeat Arsene Wenger was again admitting that the North Londoners are still struggling to fill the cavernous void left by Robin van Persie.
The scene is thus set for what should be an absorbing contest between these two top- four hopefuls at Anfield on Sunday, with the likely presence of Nuri Sahin in the home squad promising to add an extra hint of spice.
The hugely-talented Turkish international midfielder had looked poised to move to Arsenal before it apparently dawned on Real Madrid that loaning a player of such quality to one of their potential Champions League rivals wasn’t the best of ideas.
In stepped Liverpool and now the man who rose to prominence in the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund will be keen to announce himself to the Premier League by gunning down the very side he reportedly came within hours of joining.
The 23-year-old is likely to be eased in off the bench, although the Reds will have to make at least one change in midfield as the luckless Lucas Leiva is set to be sidelined for anything up to three months after picking up a thigh injury in the draw with City.
Martin Skrtel, meanwhile, is expected to retain his starting place despite a poor display last weekend, with fellow-defender Sebastian Coates again likely to get the nod ahead of Jamie Carragher and promising young winger Raheem Sterling continuing to keep Stewart Downing cooling his heels on the bench.
As for Arsenal, they have plenty of money to spend following the recent sales of van Persie and Alex Song and have been strongly linked with Newcastle’s dynamic midfield duo of Cheick Tiote and Yohan Cabaye and Barcelona’s Dutch international Ibrahim Afellay. At the time of writing, however, none of these reported targets had arrived at the Emirates, leaving most Arsenal fans wondering whether their existing squad really is strong enough to even match last season’s fourth-place finish.
While Santi Cazorla has been a shining light in midfield, fellow-new arrivals Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski have yet to impress as the Gunners have chalked up two hugely disappointing goalless draws to set the alarm bells ringing among a fan base desperate to see the barren seven-year spell without silverware come to an end.
At least Theo Walcott has agreed to stay at the Emirates for the time being, following suggestions that he might be poised to fly the coop, but having reportedly pulled out all the stops to lure Mousa Dembele away from Fulham, Wenger will have been particularly disappointed by the Belgian international’s decision to instead join arch-rivals Spurs.
Testing times then for the men in red and white and the mood around the Emirates has not been helped by a lengthy injury list that includes Jack Wilshere, Bacary Sagna, Tomas Rosicky and Emmanuel Frimpong.
Defender Laurent Koscielny is also set to miss the trip to Anfield as he continues to nurse a calf strain, but the club’s medical staff are hopeful that goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny will pull up fit in time to reclaim the gloves from Vito Mannone.
Although Arsenal won at Anfield last term and Liverpool then returned the favour by picking up the points at the Emirates, the predominant result in this fixture in recent years has been the draw, with seven of the last thirteen clashes ending with the spoils being shared.
It’s likely to be a similarly nip and tuck affair on Sunday and it would come as no surprise if another honours even result was chalked up.

Prediction: Liverpool 1-1 Arsenal

Southampton v Manchester United – St Marys Stadium

Ironically, the build-up to Manchester United’s trip to Southampton on Sunday has been dominated by a man who won’t even be involved at St Marys.
And that man is of course Wayne Rooney.
Dropped to the bench for last week’s game against Fulham, when he did take to the field, the England man again looked out of sorts and somewhat uninterested before picking up the thigh gash that is expected to keep him out of action for up to a month.
Most of the UK tabloid press then ran stories claiming that Rooney could be heading for the Old Trafford exit door for a transfer fee of around $75 million, although little mention was made as to which clubs might be interested in parting with that amount of cash to secure the services of the 26-year-old.
Realistically, only the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Chelsea and perhaps Paris St Germain could possibly afford a fee of that size and with the player himself going public in the last 24 hours to claim he has no intention of leaving United, it is all starting to smack of a media beat-up.
Rooney’s starting place is no longer an automatic one following the arrival of Shinji Kagawa and Robin van Persie, he was poor for England at Euro 2012 and his body language since then hasn’t been especially positive, but he did score 38 goals in all competitions for United last season and while clearly not averse to playing the odd mind game with him, United boss Sir Alex Ferguson seems unlikely to move the former Everton man on before next summer at the earliest.
In terms of the rest of United’s squad, Rio Ferdinand is closing in on a return from his groin injury and could feature in the back four against the Saints as the visitors try to tighten up the makeshift rearguard that failed to impress against either Everton or Fulham.
Chris Smalling and Phil Jones remain sidelined, but Jonny Evans is fit and available and could get the nod to partner Nemanja Vidic at the heart of the defence should Ferguson opt not to throw Ferdinand straight back into the fray.
David de Gea is expected to retain his place in goal despite another shaky display last weekend and Paul Scholes may get the nod in central midfield ahead of Anderson.
Southampton, meanwhile, have played some decent football in their opening two games but have still suffered two defeats and are quickly discovering just how unforgiving life in the top flight can be.
In last weekend’s home clash with Wigan they dominated possession for long periods and carved out a series of fine goalscoring opportunities, but they failed to take them and were duly punished by the more streetwise and clinical Latics.
Fortunately for the Saints, they have a bright, pro-active manager in the form of Nigel Adkins who will leave no stone unturned in his bid to inject a little more nous into what is a talented, if largely youthful squad.
In comparison to some of their Premier League rivals, the Hampshire club have been relatively quiet on the transfer front this week, although they did beat off stiff competition from a host of top European sides to snap up Emmanuel Mayuka.
The Zambian international striker rattled in 32 goals for Swiss side Young Boys Berne last term and at just 21 has the potential to make a real impact on the top flight provided he can adapt quickly to the rigours of English football.
Mayuka is set to come straight into the Saints squad for the visit of United, possibly at the expense of Guly Do Prado who was arrested earlier in the week and charged with drink driving.
Adkins is otherwise expected to faith with the majority of the side that lost to Wigan, but as a man with a keen interest in sports psychology, may choose not to inform his charges that the Saints have managed to win only two of the last 17 meetings between the two sides.
Southampton are sufficiently lively going forward to trouble a shaky United defence, just as Fulham did last weekend, but the Red Devils showed in that game that they have enough attacking muscle to dig themselves out of trouble and they should get home with something to spare on the south coast.

Prediction: Southampton 1-3 Manchester United

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