As we get closer to the packed festive period, every team will be wanting to get as many points on the board before the games pile up, so we look to Aston Villa v Arsenal, Southampton v Newcastle United and Chelsea v Manchester City to provide the goals they need in their attempts to fire up the table, or in City’s case, stay at the top.
Thank God for second halves. Both games at St James’ Park and Craven Cottage last weekend were scoreless at the break, but surges in the second 45 minutes saw our 4/1 treble come up trumps.
If you think that we can make it two in a row, then by all means place the free £20 bet you receive for signing up with bwin on this threesome and give yourself a chance of walking away with just shy of £90.
Over 2.5 goals in Aston Villa v Arsenal @ 13/20
After watching on with glee as the North London derby lived up to its reputation of providing enough goals to make a defence coach tear his hair out (that is not a joke at Steve Bould’s expense), I am going to back the Gunners to be involved in another goalfest (well, at least three) in the evening kick-off at Villa Park.
Arsene Wenger’s men bagged five last week, while Aston Villa conceded the same number against Manchester City, but that is not to assume this will be a one-sided affair.
Arsenal are more than capable of conceding, averaging just over one against in Premier League games this season, while Villa struck twice and looked a constant danger in their previous home game against Manchester United.
There is a history of goals in this fixture, with all six clashes between the two since January 2010 featuring three goals or more, and I’m almost certain this Saturday will bring up number seven.
Over 2.5 goals in Southampton v Newcastle United @ 31/50
Demba Ba scored a meaningless consolation late on for the Geordies last week against Swansea. Well, it wasn’t meaningless for me as it was the third goal of the game and against a Saints defence that has leaked a shocking 30 goals already this season, a predator like Ba will be in his element.
The Saints have the leakiest back line in the Premier League by quite a distance, having conceded seven more than bottom-placed QPR, but they remain pretty handy at the other end of the pitch.
Nigel Adkins’ side have bagged 18 goals, more than any other team in the bottom half, and may well carry on with their ‘attack is the best form of defence’ mentality in this one.
Nine of Southampton’s 12 matches this season have featured over 2.5 goals and this punter believes Sunday will see another one served up.
Over 2.5 goals in Chelsea v Manchester City @ 13/20
What a dull week it’s been at Stamford Bridge. Lose to West Brom, lose to Juventus, sack popular manager, hire unpopular manager, and then everything from Clattenburg/Mikel-gate. The Blues’ press office must be knackered.
So hands up, how many people thought Rafa Benitez would be managing Chelsea by the time the City game came around? Put your hand down, you liar.
The former Liverpool and Valencia boss will have to win over the home fans and will be hoping he can do that with a win over the champions, who will be pleased that all the stories in London have taken some of the focus away from their midweek Champions League exit.
Roberto Mancini will think he can take advantage of the upheaval at Chelsea on Sunday and with neither side being particularly solid at the back in recent times, expect goals in this huge clash.
That’ll do it for this week, now let the goals begin!
Follow David on Twitter @whichdave