Premier League 3pm Kick-Offs: Citizens to maul hapless Tigers

Expect Sergio Aguero and co to win big against Hull
Expect Sergio Aguero and co to win big against Hull

Both Chelsea and Manchester City feature in this week's 3pm kick-offs preview, and our man Mike Norman believes the title chasers are set to record straightforward wins against their out-of-form opponents...

"But for Steve Bruce's men it's now four straight defeats - all without scoring - and just two wins recorded since early October (17 games played in that time)."

Back Man City -2 to @ 11/8 to beat Hull

Aston Villa 11/112.0 v Chelsea 4/111.36; The Draw 9/25.3

When you've just gone six Premier League games without scoring a single goal like Villa have, the last team you want to be playing is the side five points clear at the top of the table who boast one of the meanest defences in the country.

Chelsea do give you a chance of scoring however when they are on their travels - they have failed to keep a clean sheet in five of their last seven away league and cup games, and they did of course concede five to Tottenham and four to Bradford recently.

But let's be honest, if anyone makes a serious case for Villa winning this game then they are one of two things - A Villa fan, or deluded.

Diego Costa is suspended and Cesc Fabregas could still be missing through injury, but Chelsea have enough in their armoury - including new £23m signing Juan Cuadrado - to condemn Villa to yet another defeat. I'm not sure about the Chelsea Win to Nil however, so instead I'll play the Blues in the -1 market.

Recommended Bet
Back Chelsea -1 to Win @ 11/102.1

Leicester 7/52.44 v Crystal Palace 12/53.4; The Draw 12/53.4

Leicester have definitely turned the corner since that dreadful run where they took just two points from a possible 39. Unfortunately for Nigel Pearson, two of their most recent four victories have come in the FA Cup - you can rest assured he'd happily swap cup wins for Premier League points right now.

The Foxes sit bottom of the table, three points from safety, despite taking seven points from the last 15 available to them. Deadline Day signing and experienced top-flight defender Robert Huth will miss Saturday's game however, and the hunch is that improving Crystal Palace will be a tough nut to crack.

The Eagles were one of the busiest clubs in the January Transfer Window, adding some decent players to their squad including the likes of Jordon Mutch, Shola Ameobi, and Yaya Sanogo, and you just sense that Alan Pardew's men are the side with momentum right now.

True, they lost at home to Everton last week in a game that they just couldn't get going but prior to that they'd won four on the spin for their new boss, including excellent wins over Southampton and Tottenham, and I just fancy them to take all three points from the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

Recommended Bet
Back Crystal Palace to Win @ 12/53.4

Man City 1/51.2 v Hull 19/120.0; The Draw 7/18.2

If you could be described as deluded for making a case for Villa beating Chelsea then you must be from another planet if you predict a Hull win in this encounter.

True, Man City haven't been bomb proof on home soil this season, but the reason we can't make a case for Hull here is because the Tigers are in such dreadful form themselves. At least when the Citizens were losing at home to Arsenal and Middlesbrough recently their opponents were in some sort of form.

But for Steve Bruce's men it's now four straight defeats - all without scoring - and just two wins recorded since early October (17 games played in that time).

As I've already said, Manuel Pellegrini's men haven't been terrific at home this season but with Sergio Aguero back in their side I fully expect them to record a straightforward win and will take a punt on them giving Saturday's visitors a two-goal start.

Recommended Bet
Back Man City -2 to Win @ 11/8

QPR 4/14.8 v Southampton 10/111.9; The Draw 11/43.7

Putting the Harry Redknapp saga aside, QPR are in desperate trouble and the pressure to win at Loftus Road - because of their dreadful away form - is being cranked up as each game arrives.

Rangers' next five home games are against Southampton this Saturday, then Arsenal, Tottenham, Everton, and Chelsea. One thing is for certain if they want to avoid the drop, they're going to have to perform a minor miracle by winning at least three of those games, or they are going to have to start winning away from home.

QPR have now lost four on the spin in all competitions and they haven't won a single game from their last seven outings, four of which were on home soil. They are in big trouble.

Southampton appear to go on these long unbeaten runs before their form completely switches around and they go on a run of winless games, so QPR might take some comfort from the fact that the Saints have lost their last two and might be on one of those mini 'out-of-form' runs.

Certainly it was disappointing to see Ronald Koeman's men lose back-to-back home games to Palace and Swansea recently, and with quite a few key players still missing - plus Ryan Bertrand suspended - this could be the time to oppose them.

Yes, I've said QPR are in big trouble, but if they are ever going to give their season a spark then this might just be the game to provide it. And we all know what happens in the game that immediately follows a manager leaving don't we?

Recommended Bet
Back QPR to Win @ 4/14.8

Swansea 10/111.93 v Sunderland 4/14.8; The Draw 3.55

Sunderland threw egg all over my face last week when I opposed them at home to Burnley, scoring twice in a comfortable victory.

Undoubtedly Jermain Defoe will strengthen the Black Cats attack - it's virtually impossible for him not to do - but talk of him being the best signing of the January Transfer Window is a little premature, for me. If Sunderland survive and Defoe gets into double figures then fair enough.

I simply can't make a case for Gus Poyet's men winning this game. Last week's win was only their fourth league win of the campaign and the only other side they've defeated on the road apart from in a derby game was an out-of-form (at the time) Crystal Palace.

Swansea put a few shocking defeats well and truly behind them with a superb win at Southampton last weekend, and at the Liberty Stadium they are generally reliable, especially against the bottom half clubs - they've already tasted victory at home to Burnley, West Brom, Everton, Leicester, QPR, and Villa in that particularly category of game.

Add in the fact that the Swans have also beaten the likes of Arsenal on home soil, then I don't see a Sunderland side that generally struggle both to win and to score goals posing Garry Monk's men too many problems.

Recommended Bet
Back Swansea to Win @ 10/111.93

Premier League 2014/15 Season P/L

Staked: 134 pts
Returned: 139.38 pts
P/L: + 5.38 pts

*based on 1pt each bet, 2pts best bet

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