Last week, our Playing Away column left us feeling worse than Ryan Giggs that afternoon when his brother came home unexpectedly, with only one of our selections coming in – Tottenham Hotspur winning at Southampton. To be fair, our other choices – West Ham to win at Wigan and Sunderland to go to Stoke and pick up three points – were outside chances and if we learned one thing from last week, it is never to back Martin O’Neill’s side again.
But this week, we are not taking too many chances with our picks and we fancy Chelsea, Manchester City and Newcastle United to pick up three points and the champions of Europe, the Premier League holders and, er, the 1969 Fairs Cup winners can go to Swansea, West Ham and Liverpool respectively and claim the spoils.
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Newcastle to beat Liverpool @ 5/1
Alan Pardew is another one who knows all about Playing Away and his Newcastle side are a scarcely believable 5/1 to go to Anfield and prolong Liverpool’s home misery.
The Toon haven’t yet hit the heights of last season, but they remain a superior side to the Reds and they are more than capable of taking advantage of the Merseysiders’ woes at Anfield.
Brendan Rodgers has been unable to reverse Liverpool’s fortunes at home, where they won just six of their 19 league games last season under Kenny Dalglish. The ex-Reading boss has won just two of his nine home games in charge and the midweek defeat to Swansea was abject.
Newcastle have better players and even if their record at Anfield is terrible, all bad things must come to an end at some point and at 5/1, the Toon can make it end on Sunday.
Chelsea to beat Swansea @ 3/4
Swansea got a good result in midweek, beating Liverpool 3-1 at Anfield in the Milk Cup, but they could be brought back down to earth when Chelsea visit the Liberty Stadium.
That win is the highlight of Michael Laudrup’s stint as manager so far – a tenure that has been inconsistent – and it would be no surprise to see the Blues go to Wales and pick up the points.
Last weekend’s home reverse against Manchester United was Chelsea’s first league loss of the season, but they remain top of the league and the way they responded in Wednesday’s re-match, winning 5-4 in a cracking game, shows it shouldn’t affect them too much.
Roberto Di Matteo’s side have taken ten points from 12 on the road and they can get another three against the Swans on Saturday.
Manchester City to beat West Ham United @ 13/20
West Ham have had a good start to the season, but the fixture list has been extremely kind and the run of difficult matches they are about to embark upon could begin with a defeat to Manchester City on Saturday.
The Hammers have done well against the teams they should be beating and have taken 14 points from their nine games to give themselves a great platform for survival.
But their home defeat to Arsenal suggested they will struggle against the Premier League’s better teams – a category that City undoubtedly fall into – and the champions can make light work of the Irons.
City are still unbeaten, just a point off the top of the table and have more than enough to beat a West Ham side who lack genuine quality.