Premier League Preview

Everton v Manchester City Saturday, 3.00pm

The home side are finally seeing their injury woes come to an end, John Heitinga returns after missing two games with a hamstring problem – leaving just Louis Saha and Marouane Fellaini as Everton’s only senior players missing through injury.

With the FA Cup final just round the corner Manchester City are sweating on striker Carlos Tevez who  has started his comeback from a hamstring injury but is unlikely to feature today. Midfield player Nigel de Jong is expected to return after a hip problem and Micah Richards is back in the squad after missing six weeks out with a hamstring injury.

Seven of Everton’s 11 recent home fixtures have had over 2.5 goals and they have scored at least two goals themselves in seven of their last eight, plus six of Everton’ past eight home matches against top-six sides since 2009/10 have had over 2.5 goals. Man City have won six of their 14 away fixtures and eight of the games have had  over 2.5 goals – All factors that make the odds of evens for over 2.5 goals an attractive proposition.

 

Stoke v Arsenal Sunday, 2.05pm

Stoke defender Andy Wilkinson is expected to recover from his dead leg which led to him be substituted during last weekend’s draw at Blackpool, other than that Tony Pulis has no other fresh injury concerns.

Arsenal are missing their captain Cesc Fabregas and this season’s star man Samir Nasri is missing with a hamstring injury. Defenders Gael Clichy and Johan Djourou are both rated as doubtful but one bit of good news is that Thomas Vermaelen has fully recovered from his Achilles injury.

Stoke have drawn the first half of six of their past 11 home matches and they have also been level at the break in eight of their past nine games hosting Big Four opposition. Arsenal have been tied at the interval in eight of their 14 away fixtures against middle-third sides since 2009/10. This makes 17/5 for the game to be all square at half-time with Arsenal ending up winners as an attractive bet.

The best odds on an away win is 8/11, whilst Stoke are 4s to pull off a shock.

 

Manchester United v Chelsea Sunday, 4.10pm

 

This is being billed as the title decider, in March Chelsea trailed their rivals by 15 points, a win on Saturday will put them level on points with United.

Wayne Rooney, Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs are all expected to return to the Manchester United line-up. Darren Fletcher has recovered from a virus and Patrice Evra to be fit despite having a minor knock.

Chelsea have a clean bill of health for Sunday’s crucial trip to Old Trafford with Carlo Ancelotti having to decide whether to continue with Fernando Torres or recall Nicolas Anelka.

Ten of Man Utd’s 17 home matches this season have had more than 2.5 goals as have all of their seven when they have conceded (four +3.5 goals). Six of their eight of their games hosting fellow Big Four sides since 2008/09 have had +2.5 goals as have four of their last six against Chelsea.

With so much at stake this game will be tight with the Red Devils at 7/5 and Chelsea at 9/4, goals could be hard to come this time making 4/6 for under 2.5 goals the most likely option or if you think it may end up a little more open 11/10 on over 2.5.

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