The West London Derby promises to be an interesting affair especially after Chelsea’s recent results. Both teams have points to prove, and try to avoid the defeat at all costs, the only problem being that Chelsea is on the first place in the table, while Queen’s Park Rangers are on the 19th, which is a sure relegation zone.
Chelsea retain the first place by remaining unbeaten so far in Premier League, but they will not take any pride in the 1-1 draw against Manchester United. The good news is that both Diego Costa and Ramires are fit for the Saturday game, which gives them another boost for being the obvious favorites to win outright. The Blues will remember the last time they played against QPR and the visitors won. To avoid that Jose Mourinho will most likely send in the best he has at his disposal, though if they could shake the Costa dependence they would realize there are other options to score.
QPR have only two wins in nine matches, the most recent one against Aston Villa, and are struggling since coming back to the top tier. Kranjcar and Vargas are two of the players who can keep up with the biggest Premier League names. Kranjcar is also very good with shooting from distance while Vargas does not need further introduction as everyone remembers his antics with Chile during the World Cup.
Chelsea are unbeaten in 14 competitive matches, while QPR lost all their away fixtures up to this point. Bet365 gives the Blues 1.16 odds for an outright win, QPR has 15.00 for an upset and a draw has 7.00 odds. The Blues for both halves with 1.50 odds, over 2.5 goals with 1.47 odds and Chelsea with a -2 handicap has 2.25 odds. Costa to score anytime has 1.57 odds, Drogba 1.72 and Hazard 2.25 odd. We are betting 8 units on Chelsea to win both halves at 2.10 odds from Bet365.
Chelsea London: Team’s Formation
Queens Park Rangers: Team’s Formation
End prediction for the match:
Chelsea to score in both halves
We did a change of bet several hours before the match because it just looked like there was going to be hell to pay during this match, or how the majority of the press stated “Arsenal’s dreams for the title met the Reds”. The initial bet was for the second half to be the one with most goals, yet we changed it to over 2.5 goals with odds from William Hill and we won. Guessing the hunch paid off, right?
Four of the six goals the match had, were scored in the first 20 minutes, a surprisingly good side of Liverpool stunned Arsenal who weren’t able to fight back in the remaining 70 minutes of play. Per Mertesacker took a tactical foul on Luis Suarez, and Steven Gerrard did not hesitate to curl almost a perfect ball for Skrtel, who made it 1-0 for the hosts after barely 45 minutes from the start of the match.
Arteta and Wilshere were unable to stop any of Liverpool’s attacks, and Skrtel was able to net a second goal from a header on the 10th minute. Just barely 2 minutes later Daniel Sturridge could have made it 3-0, but missed. Then Suarez barely missed a goal from 35 meters, and even Toure made up for the mistakes against West Bromwich.
The third, well deserved goal came on the 17th minute, when Sterling finished off a chance created from Ozil’s inability to clear the ball. To his credit, Szczesny managed to block Flanagan, and some way Arsenal managed to take back some of the control of the match, but it did them little to no good. Sterling made it 5-0 in the second half, and Arsenal scored the goal of honour after a penalty given away by Steven’s Gerrard foul. It was Liverpool’s day after all, as they continue their quest towards Champions League, and we continue winning with odds from William Hill.
Result: +7,35 units, bet won
Liverpool will try and get past the defensive mistake that cost them the three points in the match against West Bromwich. Admirably enough, Kolo Toure took full responsibility for the mistake and it should be interesting to witness whether he can redeem himself in front of Arsenal. The hosts were aiming for an automatic Champions League qualification, which looks even further now, even though their home record speaks volumes about their strength.
Nine of their last 10 games at Anfield saw them scoring at least 2 goals, which is highly expected this Saturday, especially since their lineups would be rather predictable as both teams are plagued by injuries. Liverpool will be missing out on Daniel Agger, Glen Johnson, Jose Enrique and Sakho, while Steven Gerrard is thought to start in, behind Coutinho and Henderson.
Premier League leaders, Arsenal, visit Liverpool in a bid to extend their lead at the top of the table. The Gunners have a good record against Liverpool, stretching to 6 matches without defeat at Anfield Road. Arsene Wenger’s team will be without injured Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey, while Mathieu Flamini continues to serve his 4 match ban. However, the return of Jack Wilshere is a huge boost to North London side, as they will be looking to control the game from the get go.
The bookies see Liverpool as slight favorites to win, but Arsenal possess all the necessary weapons, to prove them wrong and claim the victory. The gunners are scoring goals for fun, and shouldn’t have troubles finding the net. The match will be won or lost in defense, where the solid partnership of Mertesacker and Koscienly will have to contain Luiz Suarez and Daniel Sturridge.
Arsenal are usually slow starters and play their best football in the second half; that’s why we’ve decided to go with 7 units on over 2.5 goals, which is priced 2.05 at William Hill.
Liverpool: Team’s Formation
Arsenal London: Team’s Formation
End prediction for the match:
over 2.5 goals at 2.05, odds from William Hill
While we were thinking that Liverpool would continue their winning strike, we were proven wrong and lost our bet with Ladbrokes placed on Sturridge to score and Liverpool to win. The player in question did score, but Liverpool could neither hold on to that score, nor take advantage of the great forward abilities they possess. Should Liverpool have won at West Bromwich, they would have had a four points advantage over Everton, and thus buy themselves some peace over potentially missing out on Champions League.
When Sturridge scored from a close range, it was actually Liverpool’s first shot on target and they capitalized on it. They shots by Coutinho, Suarez and Sterling followed, but the score remained unchanged, that is until Anichebe scored on the 67th minute. That is going to be the official version of it, because the goal was mostly due to a monumental failure from Toure. Yes, he’s young and he’s still learning, but maybe football 101 should have let him know that a defender never plays with the ball so close to his team’s goal line.
Even though West Bromwich looked like the more determined side in the second half, it was Liverpool who was pressing for more, and if goals weren’t scored was because Ben Foster has some amazing saves and reflexes. Same should be mentioned about Mignolet, who made a good save from Brunt’s free kick, so he should not be blamed for that equalizer, because Toure is not Daniel Agger yet.
Result: bet lost with odds from Ladbrokes
Liverpool is riding on a wave after that 4-0 win over Everton where their defensive problems weren’t as prominent as before. Ladbrokes has the odds ready for Liverpool’s next away game against West Bromwich Albion, same team that narrowly lost against Aston Villa. West Bromwich’s new manager is still looking for three points ever since he took charge of the team, but it doesn’t look likely they can do much damage as their main man, Stephane Sessegnon will be out of the field for at least another month.
West Bromwich might not be able to count on Nikolas Anelka, who might be out because of a knee injury. It doesn’t look too bright of a prospect for this match as in the last 13 games they only won once, against Newcastle, which was also the only match where they managed to keep a clean sheet. Right now they are three points above relegation zone. Their negative goal difference is due to the fact that they have conceded 33 goals in 23 match days.
Liverpool is the overall favorite to win this match, and win it without many problems, as they have several players who could put their name up on the scoring sheet, and per match they can score at least two goals. And like previously mentioned, they also concede with ease, but that doesn’t mean that they will let go that easily of the three points. On their injury list you will find the same names as before, so hopefully it stays that way as they have big matches ahead of them.
A draw for this match is at 3.75, while over 2.5 goals goes for 1.55, almost the same odds as for Liverpool to score the first goal. For this match we are going to go with 7 units for the wincast market, which states for Daniel Sturridge to score and Liverpool to win, with odds from Ladbrokes.
West Bromwich: Team’s Formation
Liverpool: Team’s Formation
End prediction for the match:
Daniel Sturridge to score and Liverpool to win, with 2.88, odds from Ladbrokes
The bet we placed on Liverpool to win didn’t pay off, though Betfair gave generous odds of 2.06 for that to happen. We were right on one thing though, both team scored, but the match from Saturday, January 18th ended in a draw. And who would be better suited to save Liverpool from a defeat than the captain? Steven Gerrard scored from the white spot on the 53 minute to level up the scoring table.
As a whole this match was rather odd from the very beginning, be it only because Aston Villa was more dynamic in their actions, and pushed Liverpool to lose some points, knowing they couldn’t afford that. It was 2-0 for the visitors half way through the first half, thanks to Andreas Weimann and Christian Benteke, and Liverpool cut the distance after Daniel Sturridge scored during the last seconds before the end of the first half.
Liverpool’s defense was bordering on being really bad, but thankfully their midfield and forwards were in far better shape. They kept pushing Aston Villa to come forward and make mistakes, which they kind of did, considering Guzan may have…or not pushed Suarez to fall inside the box, and a penalty was given to Liverpool.
Aston Villa disputed the decision, many agreed with them, but whether the penalty for that Suarez action was right does not change what happened. After Steven Gerrard scored, Liverpool looked even more confident in the midfield and had their fair chances to score, but neither did. Towards the end of injury time both Suarez and Henderson had their shots saved by Bradley Guzan.
A draw might not have been among the popular betting markets with Betfair, but even Brendan Rodgers admitted that it was a good won point, because his team wasn’t good at all.
Result: bet lost with odds from Betfair
Southhampton vs. Liverpool
Friday, March 16th 2013, 12:45 CET
Liverpool will start its Saturday match on the St. Mary’s Stadium with great morale, fresh from a win against Tottenham. They were with their back against the wall, and couldn’t afford to even think about a loss or even a draw. Even if Red’s players lacked an apparent cohesion in the midfield, Steven Gerard’s late penalty brought a victory for the team and helped Liverpool move up to the 6th place, just 2 points short of reaching Arsenal and securing a place for the European League qualifiers.
Southampton, on the other hand, are looking more secure in avoiding the bottom three teams and, considering the last game between these two was almost eight years ago, a game which the Saints won, I think they are ready and capable to win something from this game.
Statistics show that both teams are fairly equal in the clean sheets department, with Southampton at 30% in their last 20 games and Liverpool with 20%. The results in the last ten matches are a bit different: Liverpool won 5 matches, lost 3, and 2 ended up in a draw. Southampton won just 2 matches, 4 were lost, and the other 4 ended up in a draw.
One very interesting fact is that many bookmakers are stating Liverpool has more chances to score first, and Luis Suarez to be the one to either close the game or give an equalizer. Other good news for the Reds is that Pepe Reina is back on the team after a long injury, so that should give them a boost of confidence, with him on the field they seem more sure in their attack schemes.
Southampton must do everything to at least get a point out of this game considering they have to play against Chelsea next and they are motivated too, because Steven Davis and Danny Fox resumed training, making their defense tough to break through.
While I don’t think Liverpool has enough games left in Premier League to fight for a Champions League place, I do believe they have what it takes and then some more to take those 3 points from the Saints, so I bet 6 units on Liverpool at 1.88 at Betfair.
Liverpool to win at 1.88.