Premier League 3pm Kick-Offs: Citizens to win in an entertaining clash

Will Man City (and Aguero) score enough to get a win over Swansea?
Will Man City (and Aguero) score enough to get a win over Swansea?

With five of Saturday's six Premier League 3pm kick-offs having the home team trading at odds-on to win can Mike Norman offer up some slightly better-price options in his regular look at the non-televised encounters?

"So if like me you can see Swansea getting on the scoresheet then let's repeat the wager in the Chelsea game - back a home win and at least three goals to be scored."

Recommended Bet
Back Man City/Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.8810/11


Chelsea 1.241/4 v West Brom 17.5; The Draw 7.06/1

It's hard to pick fault with Chelsea and they ought to record another win, but this column has been stung a few times by backing the Blues to win without conceding so I'm reluctant to go down that route again.

The Baggies were in decent goalscoring form prior to their 0-2 loss at home to Newcastle a fortnight ago, while Chelsea have conceded against the likes of Crystal Palace, Shrewsbury, QPR, and Maribor in the last month so it's hard to be confident about both teams not getting on the scoresheet in this game.

But for a wager I'm not going to concern myself with whether Chelsea will concede or not, and instead will back them to win in a game containing at least three goals.

All of the Blues' last five victories have come virtue of this method, and the only time they won in the Premier League since August in a game that didn't witness at least three goals was when they beat Arsenal 2-0 in early October.

Ideally the Baggies will get on the scoresheet, but Jose Mourinho's pacesetters will claim the three points.

Recommended Bet
Back Chelsea/Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.910/11


Everton 1.865/6 v West Ham 4.84/1; The Draw 3.8514/5

Everton have an excellent recent record against West Ham, winning eight and drawing four of their last 12 meetings in the Premier League, Opta tell us. Though I'm not so sure that they've met each other in those dozen games when Everton were mid-table and the Hammers were flying high in the top four.

Despite failing to score against Aston Villa a fortnight ago West Ham were largely dominant, and but for an excellent goalkeeping display from Brad Guzan Sam Allardyce's men would have won comfortably.

The Hammers are a side in decent form and they are playing with confidence, with Stewart Downing particularly impressing in a midfield role. Gareth Barry will be missing for Everton on Saturday, and I'm expecting that to be a huge loss.

I haven't been convinced by Everton this term - though obviously when Ross Barkley plays regularly again I expect them to improve - and I can see West Ham nicking this. But I'll play it a little more cautiously and lay the Toffees to win, that way I get the draw and the away win on my side in a game that I'm struggling to call in all honesty.

Recommended Bet
Lay Everton @ 1.8810/11


Leicester 2.1211/10 v Sunderland 4.03/1; The Draw 3.55/2

Leicester are really struggling to recapture the form that saw them make a great start to the season, including that 5-3 win over Manchester United, and they now sit bottom of the current form table having taken just one point from a possible 18.

Nigel Pearson's men failed to score a single goal in all of their last five defeats and that has to be of major concern ahead of the visit of Sunderland. It seems that early-season adrenaline has vanished into thin air and we're now seeing the Foxes for what they are - a poor side, just like their promoted friends Burnley and QPR.

I'm sure they'll have a few more moments before the season is out, but I can't see them having another five or six game run where they take 10-12 points, and I'm afraid they're set for a relegation battle.

But so too are Sunderland. The Black Cats are a poor side who appear over reliant on Steven Fletcher and Connor Whickham. Their two league wins this season have produced six goals, five of which were scored by their strike partnership. You have to worry about Gus Poyet's men when those two underpeform.

So what we have here is a clash between two poor outfits, one of which is struggling to find the back of the net, the other always capable of serving up a goalless game. It's a tough one to call but I won't be surprised at all if it finishes 0-0, but will play the safer Under 1.5 Goals option instead.

Recommended Bet
Back Under 1.5 Goals @ 3.711/4


Man City 1.412/5 v Swansea 9.08/1; The Draw 5.49/2

It's at this point last season that Manchester City commenced a great run of league form, and boy do they need something similar now.

Chelsea are clear in the table, they are a stronger side than this time 12 months ago, and Man City are very much weaker (not replacing Alvaro Negredo in addition to Eden Dzeko's poor form has been a significant factor). It's going to take a big effort for Manuel Pellegrini's men to become serious contenders. They need to start winning, and they need to start winning regularly.

Vincent Kompany should return for the visit of Swansea, though David Silva is still absent through injury and although I expect City to win this one, I don't envisage an easy ride.

Garry Monk's men will have received a huge lift when they came from behind late on to beat Arsenal before the international break, and they've also been to Stamford Bridge this term and scored twice - albeit in defeat - as well as beating Manchester United at Old Trafford.

So if like me you can see Swansea getting on the scoresheet then let's repeat the wager in the Chelsea game - back a home win and at least three goals to be scored.

Recommended Bet
Back Man City/Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.8810/11


Newcastle 1.865/6 v QPR 5.04/1; The Draw 3.814/5

There isn't much to say about this game - Newcastle are in fine form while QPR are a very poor side away from home. In fact, Alan Pardew's men look banker material here, and I'm not sure many people would have expected us to be saying that a few months ago.

But the reality is that Newcastle have won five league and cup games on the spin including excellent victories at Tottenham and Man City, while QPR's best form has been at Loftus Road.

Away from home Harry Redknapp's men have played six, lost six, scored two, conceded 15. Their away record doesn't offer any encouragement whatsoever.

Adding further confidence in a home win is that Opta stat that tells us Newcastle have won five and drawn one of their last six Premier League meetings with QPR. And on a slightly quirkier note, Pardew's men had a 100% win record in the month of November in 2013. In 2014 they have so far played two, won two.

Recommended Bet
Back Newcastle to Win @ 1.865/6


Stoke 1.728/11 v Burnley 6.05/1; The Draw 3.953/1

I imagine there will be a lot of four-fold accumulators this Saturday afternoon consisting of Chelsea, Man City, Newcastle, and Stoke, and it's not difficult to envisage them all winning - the acca pays approximately 5.04/1 by the way, not a bad price at all for four teams who look really good on paper.

The Potters are up to ninth following their 1-2 win at White Hart Lane a fortnight ago. A top half position is by no means a surprise, but what is slightly surprising is the fact that Mark Hughes' men have struggled at the Britannia Stadium this term.

Two wins from five isn't a bad return but when you consider they've lost at home to Aston Villa and Leicester then there has to be some concern there.

Stoke have a great opportunity to get back to winning ways in front of their home fans on Saturday when bottom-of-the-table Burnley visit. The Clarets got their first win of the season before the international break but it came against an out of form Hull side and they are still very opposable.

Hughes' men have scored exactly two in each of their last three games against Southampton, West Ham, and Spurs, and if they can do something similar now they are facing arguably a much weaker team, then they ought to take all three points.

Recommended Bet
Back Stoke to Win @ 1.728/11


Premier League 2014/15 Season P/L

Staked: 57 pts
Returned: 56.14 pts
P/L: - 0.86 pts

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

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