PREMIER LEAGUE PICKS – 9th NOVEMBER
With the top sides playing midweek European fixtures, there are only a handful of Premier League games to choose from on Saturday. Nevertheless, there are still a couple of bets I look the look of. Here they are:
ASTON VILLA V CARDIFF
Fresh from Sunday’s historic win over arch rivals Swansea, Cardiff travel to Villa Park hoping to pick up their second away triumph of the season.
That victory in the south Wales derby means that the visitors head into Saturday’s fixture sitting in a comfortable 12th position. Had they lost to Swansea, the pressure would be on Malky Mackay to get a result at Villa Park but now his side can play with a little more freedom and even a point would keep them well on track in their bid for Premier League survival.
In the match with Swansea, we learnt a few things about Cardiff. Firstly, they will fight for every ball and not throw the towel in. Secondly, they can be dangerous from set-pieces. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, they are still lacking technical ability in certain areas of the park and may expect to be on the back foot for a lot of this match at Villa Park.
Cardiff’s last away match at Norwich was a prime example of them being outplayed throughout and if it were not for the Canaries dire form in front of goal then it would have been a comfortable home win. If Aston Villa can dominate in a similar fashion then you’d have to fancy Lambert’s side to take all three points.
Villa’s talisman, Christian Benteke, should be back to full fitness and if he is presented with a chance then you’d expect him to take it. Meanwhile the home side do have other players capable of chipping in with a goal and ultimately you would not envisage them being as wasteful as Norwich were two weeks ago.
With his side sitting just three points above the relegation zone, Lambert will be desperate for a win here. Villa have only registered a single victory at home this season but their fixtures have been incredibly difficult with Liverpool, Newcastle, Manchester City, Spurs and Everton being the five teams to have made the visit to Villa Park so far.
Cardiff are an opposition that they’ll have pencilled in as a potential victory and I think they will get the three points. Home win.
BET TIP: Aston Villa win @Evens with Bet365.
SIDE BET: Christian Benteke to score @5/4 with Bet365.
NORWICH V WEST HAM.
Christ Hughton will be desperate to erase the nightmare of last weekend’s humiliation at the Etihad and three points this weekend will go a long way to repairing the damage.
However, his Norwich side are sat precariously in 18th place and must prepare for a long uphill struggle as they fight to retain their top-flight status. With just six goals in ten games, the Canaries have the joint worst scoring return in the league and could find it difficult against a West Ham side that have already kept an impressive six clean sheets.
Neither injury hit Gary Hooper or record signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel have found top gear yet and it is imperative that at least one of the trouble pairing finds his form soon. Otherwise Norwich will be plying their trade in the Championship next season.
Surprisingly, West Ham have performed better on the road than at Upton Park this season. Usually, the Hammers are formidable at home and diabolical away but this term has seen a complete role reversal and it is on their travels that Allardyce’s men have impressed.
Perhaps it is an upshot of the hotly debated 4-6-0 that West Ham have deployed in the absence of Andy Carroll. At the Boleyn Ground it hasn’t brought much joy but on the road it has worked a little better and that is possibly due to the fact that home sides feel required to attack, thus leaving space for the Hammers counter-attacking philosophy to operate at its best.
I’d love to tip West Ham to win this but their lack of goals makes me a little nervy. They will be without the influential Winston Reid for this one but hopefully Norwich won’t be able to capitalise. At the other end, the home defence is bound to be a little shaky following the 7-0 defeat at City and the Hammers should be able to grab a rare goal or two.
I fancy the away win, but a draw wouldn’t be a huge surprise.
BET TIP: West Ham DNB @11/10 with Bet Victor.