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Premier League 3pm Kick-Offs: Massive day in relegation dogfight

Laudrup's side showed no signs of a cup hangover when beating Newcastle last week.

"West Brom have lost all three of their Barclays Premier League matches against the Swans"

Back Swansea (Draw No Bet) @ 2.3611/8

Using Opta as his guide, Jaymes Monte has picked out his best stats-related bets from a weekend of huge games at the bottom of the Premier League table...

Norwich 2.526/4 v Southampton 3.185/40; The Draw 3.45n/a
Norwich's last-gasp 2-1 win over Everton a couple of weeks ago has afforded them a bit of breathing space in the increasingly compact battle to avoid relegation. It was Chris Hughton's men's only victory in 11 Premier League matches and their only league triumph this calendar year.

Southampton, meanwhile, were sucked back into the mire with defeat at home to QPR last weekend and what had looked like a promising start under Mauricio Pochettino now reads as one win in six since he controversially joined the club.

Both teams have scored in the last six meetings between Norwich and Southampton in the Barclays Premier League and those six games have seen a total of 27 goals, an average of 4.5 per game. Most significant, however, is the 1-1 draw between the teams earlier this season.

Best Bet: Back Both Teams to Score @ 1.75/7


QPR 2.3211/8 v Sunderland 3.55/2; The Draw 3.412/5
QPR pulled themselves back into contention for survival with the aforementioned 2-1 win over Southampton last weekend. But must put together a string of results in order to turn a glimmer of hope into something more tangible.

They'll need to overcome a harrowing statistic if they are to make it back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time since 1995, however. Sunderland are unbeaten in 11 league games against QPR, winning seven, drawing four and not losing to them since April 1991.

Regardless of the Black Cats' record against Rangers, I don't agree that a single win away to Southampton should result in Harry Redknapp's men being quite so short for this one.

Best Bet: Lay QPR to win @ 2.3211/8


Reading 2.486/4 v Aston Villa 3.185/40; The Draw 3.55/2
Another relegation six-pointer takes place at the Madejski this weekend where two teams separated by just one point and both entrenched in the relegation zone meet.

Reading have lost four of their five Barclays Premier League games against Aston Villa, including their meeting at Villa Park earlier this season.

Regardless, I wouldn't be confident siding with either side in the Match Odds here, so we'll plump for a bet in the goals market instead. Villa have conceded 17 goals in their last five Premier League away games, making the Over 2.5 an obvious selection at the odds.

Best Bet: Back Over 2.5 goals @ 1.9210/11


West Brom 2.47/5 v Swansea 3.259/4; The Draw 3.45n/a
Swansea showed no signs of a hangover from their League Cup win when they beat Newcastle 1-0 at the Liberty Stadium last week, and look good value to make it back-to-back league victories here.

West Brom have lost all three of their Barclays Premier League matches against the Swans, while Michael Laudrup's team have thrown away only two points from winning positions this season, fewer than any other side. So if they take the lead, then we can be confident that they'll hold out for the points.

Best Bet: Back Swansea (Draw No Bet) @ 2.3611/8


Newcastle 1.9310/11 v Stoke 4.84/1; The Draw 3.613/5
Stoke have lost six of their last eight league games and Newcastle have conceded exactly two goals in their last four Premier League home games. So the omens are good for Alan Pardew's men

Perhaps surprisingly, six of the seven Premier League games between Newcastle and Stoke have gone over 2.5 goals, as have each of the Tyneside club's last four home league games. Making odds-against prices for this one to follow suit particularly appealing.

Best Bet: Back Over 2.5 goals @ 2.26/5


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08 March 2013

Opta

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