If you’re anything like me and you like Playing Away at the weekend, then you’ll be looking at some of the prices chalked up on the Premier League fixture list and you’ll no doubt be thinking Everton, Aston Villa and Sunderland look a bit on the big side to go to Swansea City, Southampton and West Ham United respectively and pick up all three points.
Well, you’d be right to think that. You’d also be right to think that if you registered with bwin today you would receive a free £20 bet which, if used to place on a treble featuring the Toffees, the Villans and the Black Cats, would return you £463.40.
So without further ado, here is why you should do exactly that…
Everton to beat Swansea @ 27/20
Swansea host Everton in the Saturday lunchtime kick off with both sides boasting remarkably similar records, but it could be the Merseysiders who claim the points at the Liberty Stadium.
Both the Swans and the Toffees won their first two league games and have since lost 2-0 on the road and drawn 2-2 on their own patch to go into this fixture with seven points.
It represents a good start for both managers: Michael Laudrup as he settles into his new job, and David Moyes because he seems to be avoiding Everton’s usual early season calamity.
And I think it will be Moyes’ Boys celebrating come the end of 90 minutes. Swansea have enjoyed a good start, but matches against Queens Park Rangers, West Ham, Sunderland and Aston Villa are not the most taxing they will face. Everton have been extremely impressive against top opposition in the form of Manchester United and Newcastle, who they were desperately unlucky not to beat, as well as dispatching Aston Villa on their travels.
Swansea may be unbeaten in five games in south Wales, but their three wins came against two sides now in the Championship (Blackburn and Wolves) and one that has just returned from it (West Ham) and I think Everton can claim the points, just as they did in both fixtures last season.
Aston Villa to beat Southampton @ 19/10
Poor old Nigel Adkins must be wondering if it was worth getting back into the Premier League, and his misery may be extended when Aston Villa go to St Mary’s on Saturday.
Adkins’ Southampton side are yet to pick up a point since their return to the top flight, and even if games against Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal represents a nightmare start, there have been worrying signs that the Saints just aren’t up to it at this level.
The 6-1 thrashing at the Emirates last weekend was concerning, but the 2-0 home defeat to Wigan a few weeks ago was the most alarming result and it looks like being a swift return to the Championship unless something drastically changes.
Villa have hardly been world beaters, but after two awful defeats to open the season the Villans have been much better in their last two games, taking four points from matches against Newcastle and Swansea to give Paul Lambert grounds for optimism.
And at 19/10, they are the pick against a Saints team who just cannot defend. Adkins’ team didn’t even shut out Stevenage in the Capital One Cup, and a reinvigorated Villa can extend their pointless run.
Sunderland to beat West Ham United @ 12/5
Sunderland may be without a win in the Premier League so far this season, but I think that can change when the Black Cats travel to Upton Park to face West Ham United on Saturday afternoon.
In terms of points, West Ham have made by far the better start, taking seven points from four games compared to the Wearsiders’ three from three, but I am refusing to get carried away with the Hammers just yet and I think Martin O’Neill’s side can end a long run without a win in east London.
The Irons have won both their home games so far, but Aston Villa are in transition and Fulham are notoriously poor travellers and bigger tests await for Sam Allardyce’s team. Big Sam saw his team fail to win 12 of their 23 home games in the Championship, with the tactics employed by the former Bolton boss largely responsible and West Ham remain vulnerable to teams who sit back and hit on the break.
Enter Sunderland, who do just that and are well suited to playing at Upton Park. Strong at set pieces and direct on the counter, the Black Cats are just the sort of team West Ham struggled to beat last term. I think it could be a case of deja vu for Allardyce, and at 12/5 Sunderland are a good price to pick up their first win.
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