Fantastic three Chelsea, Arsenal, Everton aiming for successive wins
Premier League big guns Chelsea, Arsenal and Everton are all in action in these thrilling 3pm Saturday kick-offs. Jose Mourinho’s unbeaten men could yet come unstuck in a west London derby against QPR, whilst elsewhere in the capital Arsene Wenger prepares to battle Burnley. Further north, the Toffees take on Swansea City at Goodison Park.
Chelsea v QPR
Table toppers Chelsea will see this round of fixtures as an ideal opportunity to make up for mistakes made last time out. The Blues missed the chance to steam eight points ahead of title rivals Manchester City, but will be aiming to get back to winning ways in a west London derby against QPR.
History suggests this encounter will be tight, with two wins apiece and a draw in the last five clashes between these capital clubs.
Mourinho’s men have been a winning machine this season, however, and remain unbeaten in all competitions. Having conceded just four times in seven games at impenetrable Stamford Bridge, the Blues are odds-on at 3/4 to win to nil.
Formidable forward and joint Premier League top scorer Diego Costa could be fit to face Harry Redknapp’s Hoops, and is available at 5/2 to net last against a struggling side that have leaked 18 league goals so far.
If further precautions are taken with Costa, however, Didier Drogba has proven he is still more than capable of leading the line, striking twice in his last two outings, which makes him 3/1 to fire home first again.
QPR, meanwhile, are outsiders at 16/1 to claim a surprise scalp after stealing a 1-0 win last time these two teams met, but will be without the option of suspended centre back Rio Ferdinand, as they look to climb out of the relegation zone. Two-goal hero Charlie Austin was on target in the Hoops’ crucial win against Aston Villa, and is 33/1 to bag a brace or better at Stamford Bridge.
Arsenal v Burnley
Whilst Chelsea look to consolidate their position, rivals Arsenal will have their eye on crashing the top four.
The Gunners have taken a while to warm up this season and are still not firing on all cylinders. A victory boost against Sunderland last time out saw Alexis Sanchez score twice to add to his league tally of five, and the Chile star is 10/3 to open the floodgates.
Arsene Wenger may have to reshuffle his pack yet again, as the north Londoners face more injury woe. In a boost for Burnley, who are still without a win in all competitions this term, Jack Wilshere is likely to be sidelined. Kieran Gibbs is also a doubt, but considering their inability to kill a game, the Clarets are still rank outsiders at 11/1 to punish Arsenal.
As the Gunners have won their last three home games against Burnley they are odds-on favourites at 2/7 to triumph over a team that have conceded 12 goals in their past four league outings.
Everton v Swansea City
Visiting side Swansea (4/1 to win) are also facing fitness problems, with Gylfi Sigurdsson (5/1 to grab a goal anytime after striking against Everton last term) racing to be ready for the trip to Goodison. The Iceland star has provided seven assists in nine league games, and his promising partnership with forward threat Wilfred Bony has seen the Swans recover some of their early season form.
Bony has netted four in his last three league outings, and is available at an excellent 7/4 to net anytime against an Everton defence that has haemorrhaged 17 goals in nine games this season.
History, however, is firmly on the Toffees’ side. Roberto Martinez’s men are odds-on favourites at 8/11 to claim the win after doing a league double over the Swans last campaign, whilst the Welsh club have tasted victory over Everton just once in history.
There should certainly be thrills in this encounter, with 12 goals notched up in these two teams’ last three encounters. Toffees frontmen Romelu Lukaku and Samuel Eto’o have both been on target lately, and are 4/1 and 6/1 to bag a brace or better respectively.