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Chelsea, Stoke and West Ham to thrill in Premier League Saturday scuffles

Holly Thackeray | March 4, 2016

There is plenty of intrigue surrounding the Premier League’s Saturday 3pm kick-offs, as potential and perhaps surprise top four contenders Stoke City and West Ham United are both in action, with the Hammers just one point away from Manchester City, who also star on the afternoon stage.

There are six dust-ups ripe for a dabble, so read on for our top tips, as Chelsea welcome the Potters, Everton host the Hammers, Man City meet Aston Villa, Newcastle United battle Bournemouth, Southampton square-up to Sunderland and Norwich City travel to Swansea City…

Chelsea v Stoke City

  • Premier League
  • Saturday, March 5th
  • Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
  • Stamford Bridge, west London

Potters purple patch to test Chelsea

Having put together a rampant run of three wins in a row, Stoke now sit superbly seventh but just five points from a top four slot, which makes them 6/1 with Coral to complete a league double over Chelsea this term.

Stoke City v Newcastle United - Barclays Premier League - Britannia Stadium

However, those trio of triumphs came against several sides suffering relegation threat, and the Blues will prove a much sterner battle at Stamford Bridge. Guus Hiddink’s guys (perhaps short as odds-on 1/2 favourites) do have a a tendency to draw under their Dutch coach, with six in all competitions since he took over.

So, with the capital club having only just edged Southampton and Norwich recently, there are excellent odds of 3/1 for a splitting of spoils, with goal heroes Marko Arnautovic (11/4 to bag against the Blues anytime again) and Xherdan Shaqiri (7/1) in superb form.

Meanwhile, for the hosts, Brazilian prodigy Kenedy got off to a flying start at Carrow Road, and is 8/1 to open scoring again, with Diego Costa 7/2 for the final say.

Everton v West Ham United

  • Premier League
  • Saturday, March 5th
  • Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
  • Goodison Park, Liverpool

Hammers show hits Merseyside

This encounter will be the sixth time these two teams have met over the last two terms, so expect tight margins. Both are in fine form, but it was Slaven Bilic’s boys that caused a stir midweek, as they took three points from Tottenham.

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The east London game-raisers are therefore fantastic value at 15/4 for a victory on the road, or even tastier at 15/2 to win with both teams scoring, as all of those previous six wrangles have seen goals on both sides.

Key to the Hammers’ high-pressing are energetic duo Emmanuel Emenike and Michail Antonio (7/2 anytime for his third in as many games), while menacing marksman Romelu Lukaku (3/1 for the first) found the net against the Irons earlier this term, so is the best shout for Everton.

Manchester City v Aston Villa

  • Premier League
  • Saturday, March 5th
  • Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
  • Etihad Stadium, Manchester

City to shake off slump versus Villans

Man City’s season seems to have derailed despite their recent Capital One Cup celebrations, as Manuel Pellegrini’s men have claimed just one win in normal time from their past six fixtures.

The Citizens squad can get back on track at the Etihad, however, and are odds-on 2/9 favourites to be heroes against the rock-bottom Villans.

Aston Villa v Manchester City - Emirates FA Cup - Fourth Round - Villa Park

City last smashed four past the Birmingham-based club in their FA Cup fray and are 12/5 to notch as many or more again, with striking starlet Kelechi Iheanacho undoubtedly eager to follow up his Villa Park hat-trick heroics with a goal anytime at 10/11, with Sergio Aguero also incredible value at 5/2 to draw first blood, or 2/1 for a brace or better.

Newcastle United v Bournemouth

  • Premier League
  • Saturday, March 5th
  • Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
  • St James’ Park, Newcastle

Can Cherries beat travel sickness?

It is certainly a long trek for Bournemouth, who must face hosts Newcastle in the Northeast. How crucial will this clash prove to be, then, with the Magpies mired in the relegation zone as the Cherries keep clawing further away?

AFC Bournemouth's Benik Afobe celebrates scoring their second goal of the game during the Barclays Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London.

The troubled Tyneside team will be hopeful of repeating the reverse, when they ran out 1-0 winners at Dean Court, thanks to Ayoze Perez (7/1 to find the net last) magic. Though, battling Bournemouth will be buoyed by their own south coast derby delights, with frontman Benik Afobe also back in-form after bagging the second against Southampton.

So, the Cherries appear a much more tempting pick at 13/8 to take away the spoils, than a Newcastle team (17/10) with one win from five.

Southampton v Sunderland

  • Premier League
  • Saturday, March 5th
  • Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
  • St Mary’s, Southampton

Black Cats can banish St Mary’s ghost

Last time Sunderland made the long trip to Southampton, they came away with red faces after the Saints struck eight times. So, while the Black Cats may not feel like reliving that road rout, this may be their best chance to pinch a point against Ronald Koeman and co (with a fantastic 14/5 price for a draw).

Sunderland v Crystal Palace - Barclays Premier League - Stadium of Light

Southampton are struggling, while Sunderland have shown they have spirit after fighting back through a late Fabio Borini (7/2 to chip in anytime again) goal to end evenly with Crystal Palace. Despite the drubbing of last season, Saints’ strikes have dried up of late, so why not plump for a double chance of Sunderland or draw at 6/4.

Swansea City v Norwich City

  • Premier League
  • Saturday, March 5th
  • Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
  • Liberty Stadium, Swansea

Swans to soar after sinking Gunners

Last but not least, the Swans take centre stage following their surprise midweek win over Arsenal. Swansea are evens to make it back-to-back triumphs, against a Norwich outfit on a dire run of eight league games without a victory.

Swansea City's (left-right) Gylfi Sigurdsson, Jack Cork and Jordi Amat celebrate at the final whistle

The Canaries will not make it easy for their opponents, but have not kept a clean sheet for over a month. Nathan Redmond (11/2 to be on target anytime) was last to find the net for the guests, but Swansea have all their team chipping in with goals of late, including new striker signing Alberto Paloschi (5/1 to fire in first) and midfield schemer Gylfi Sigurdsson (7/4 in the anytime market).

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