Following a mixed bag of performances from Arsenal, Everton and Manchester City in midweek, I am backing the trio to pick up Premier League wins on home soil this weekend against Stoke City, Aston Villa and Liverpool respectively.
Games between Arsenal and Stoke almost always favour the home side, the champions are capable of beating anybody at the Etihad, while Villa, with all due respect, aren’t really capable of beating anyone, anywhere at the moment.
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Arsenal to beat Stoke @ 21/50
Stoke have a brilliant record against Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal at the Britannia Stadium having lost just once there since gaining promotion in 2008 and winning three of the last five. In London, though, it is a totally different story.
The Potters haven’t won at Arsenal since August 1981, losing every single tie since then. That’s a total of ten consecutive defeats at Highbury and the Emirates, including a 3-1 defeat last season.
And while Stoke currently occupy tenth place in the Premier League, they would topple four places to 14th if the league was based only on away results. In fact, Tony Pulis’ men have won just one solitary game away from home this season, drawing six and losing five.
The Gunners have won four of their last six at home and after overturning a two-goal deficit against Liverpool on Wednesday to claim a draw, they should make that six from seven on Saturday.
Everton to beat Aston Villa @ 7/20
Aston Villa have the worst away defensive record in the league having conceded more goals than any other team (28) and consequently have incurred the worst goal difference (-17) in the division.
Paul Lambert’s side continued their woeful form with a defeat to Newcastle on Tuesday and are still without a league win in 2013.
Everton, on the other hand, have lost only one game at Goodison Park all season and will have the advantage of knowing they comfortably defeated the Villans at Villa Park earlier in the season.
They beat West Brom 2-1 at home in midweek and it’s almost impossible to imagine Villa taking anything from this one.
Man City to beat Liverpool @ 17/20
While Liverpool continue to roll back the years every time they face Man City at Anfield, they find their recent decline is often rammed down their throats when they visit the Etihad Stadium on league business.
The Reds have gone down without a fight on both of their last two visits there in the Premier League, losing 3-0 on both occasions.
In fairness to Brendan Rodgers’ side, though, there aren’t many teams who fare much better at the Etihad, with City having lost just one league game there since December 2010.
They won 18 out of 19 on home soil last season and have won nine out of 12 so far this season.
Liverpool’s away record is the definition of mediocre having drawn five, lost four and won three, and they showed their defensive deficiencies with their collapse against Arsenal in midweek.
They obviously pose a substantial goal threat with Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, but City will be itching to get back on track after their goalless draw with QPR and should have too much class for the Reds.