This week’s Home Heroes banker treble relies heavily on Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United and Chelsea maintaining their excellent records against this weekend’s opponents. QPR have only won once at White Hart Lane since 1975, Norwich City haven’t come out on top on Tyneside for14 years, Stoke City haven’t beaten the Blues at Stamford Bridge since 1974.
With such poor records historically combined with slow starts this season, this week’s Home Heroes practically writes itself.
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Tottenham to beat QPR @ 9/20
Queen’s Park Rangers finished last season with the worst away record in the Premier League, winning just three times on their travels in the whole of the campaign and amassing just 11 points. This meant that they lost 14 times away from home – three times more than Blackburn, three times more than Bolton and four times more than Wolves.
Mark Hughes’ side have failed to improve much this season either, remaining winless in their opening four games, and on Sunday they travel to a ground where they have only won once in nearly 33 years.
With Andy Johnson ruled out with a long-term injury, it will make it even more difficult for the Rs to add to their already-paltry total of two Premier League goals this season, and with all that in mind defeat here looks inevitable.
Spurs, for their part, have yet to set the world on fire under Andre Villas Boas, but their 3-1 win at Reading last weekend could be seen as a statement of intent and they should be able to follow that up with a comfortable three points in this one.
Newcastle to beat Norwich at 7/10
Chris Hughton takes his Canaries side back to the ground where he cut his managerial teeth, but the odds suggest a difficult afternoon in store for the visitors.
Norwich haven’t beaten Newcastle in the North East since 1988, losing four and drawing one of the five meetings since then.
Despite a good 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane in their last away outing the Canaries still have some way to go to restore faith in their ability on the road following a horrible 5-0 defeat at Fulham on the opening day of the season.
Newcastle, on the other hand, are strong at home. They have only lost once at the Sports Direct Arena since December last year – a 2-0 defeat to champions Man City in May – and have won two and drawn one of their three home matches so far this season.
With Demba Ba looking sharp up front the Magpies should soar far too high for the Canaries here.
Chelsea to beat Stoke @ 9/25
Stoke are winless in their last ten encounters with Chelsea, having lost eight and drawn two since their last win in a League Cup replay in 1995. You have to go back even further, to 1975, to find the last time the Potters beat the Blues in the league, and even further again, to 1974, to find the last time they won at Stamford Bridge.
Since they returned to the Premier League in 2008, Tony Pulis’ side have managed only three goals against Chelsea in nine games – an average of one every three matches – and have scored only once at the Bridge.
Defensively, they have shipped 19 goals to the Blues in the same era and so all the stats really are stacked against them.
Di Matteo’s side are top of the Premier League after four games and have only been beaten on their own patch once in the whole of 2012. Another home win in this one really should be a ‘gimme’.
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