6th June 2020



9th January 2015

It's a full League programme after last week's protracted FA Cup ties and that's a welcome return for the Prem.

With so many new managers about it will be interesting to see if the likes of West Brom's Tony Pulis, and Crystal Palace's Alan Prdew can translate FA Cup success to the league. Newcastle don't have that luxury after losing to Leicester City and word on the street is that owner Mike Ashley will not go with John Carver long-term.

The last thing the Toon need is a trip to Chelsea and despite inflicting the Blue's only league defeat of the season not many fancy them for the double. Newcastle are as big as 18s in the odd place and 16/1 is freely available.

Chelsea re 1/5 shots and we can't see anything but a home win. The game offers little for the punter.

A more interesting contest is the match between Chelsea's nearest pursuers - Manchester City who travel to Everton. Toffees boss, Roberto Martinez is under big pressure and a last gasp equaliser at least kept his side in the FA Cup on Tuesday. City have had extra days to recover from their game against Sheff Weds and such is their current form - even at 10/3 we can't fancy Everton.

City have a mixed recent record winning just two and losing four of the last six visits but with just one away defeat so far this season. City also have better news on the injury front.

City captain Vincent Kompany is available after overcoming a hamstring problem.

Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko are also in the squad after a month out with knee and calf injuries respectively.

Yaya Toure is unavailable, having flown to Equatorial Guinea to play in the Africa Cup of Nations.

For the home team Leighton Baines is fit for Everton after missing Tuesday's FA Cup tie against West Ham with a minor injury suffered on New Year's Day.

Antolin Alcaraz returns from suspension but Sylvain Distin has a groin problem and joins a lengthy injury list.
Everton need a win from somehwere but we'd rather take City.

The acas will be plentiful this weekend with Liverpool around evens to win at Sunderland. But given the Reds have only won four and lost five of their nine away trips the draw again looks favourite for the Black Cats who have already drawn 11 games this season! At 13/5 it is a vlaue price. Liverpool have yet to draw on the road.

Tony Pulis fans will want to be on West Brom at evens, especially given the level of Hull's injury crisis. But the Baggies still have some way to go to prove they have turned a corner and you can ignore Hull's FA Cup exit at Arsenal when they played a total second string.

At the prices backing Hull/Draw on the double result is the best way forwards at 10/11.

Villa also look too big at 11/4 against Leicester who despite a couple of improved results still prop up the table. Villa still need to find more goals but Leicester find clean sheets almost impossible and backing the bottom club at short odds is no recipe to success.

Burnley, despite some very good results are finding winning hard. QPR can get something from the game at Turf Moor and the draw at 12/5 appeals.

The Swansea v West Ham game looks hard to call as both teams are quite capable on their day. Slight preferrence is for the Hammers if the propsective sale of Wilfried Bony has an impact. Swanseas top scorer misses the game anyway as does Ki Sung-Yueng, as they are both away on international duty.

Jonjo Shelvey is banned and Jefferson Montero is still out with a hamstring injury, but new signings Nelson Oliveira and Matt Grimes are available.

West Ham striker Diafra Sakho is ruled out with the back injury which forced him to miss the Africa Cup of Nations.

Cheikhou Kouyate is away with Senegal, but Alex Song is available after retiring from international football. Come to think of it West Ham are a bet at 12/5.

Joe Ross