Premier League Preview: AVB seeking redemption

 

There is plenty at stake this weekend in the Premier League, with Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas kick-starting the action by welcoming former club Chelsea to White Hart Lane in the Saturday lunch-time kick-off.

The Portuguese tactician endured an overall miserable time at Stamford Bridge, with his tenure ending prematurely after mixed results and discontent within the squad. However, since his move to their London rivals, he has steadily begun to repair the damage and re-establish himself.

Spurs have won their last four consecutive league games, propelling them up the table to 5th place, level with Everton in fourth. They haven’t lost since the opening day of the season, and with the triumph at Old Trafford last month, Villas-Boas will be keen to conquer another title contender.

Chelsea remain unbeaten so far this season, notching up six wins and a draw, and the Blues’ were in great form a fortnight ago, inflicting a 4-1 defeat on struggling Norwich. Roberto Di Matteo’s men have the joint second best scoring record, while also boasting the best defence in the league thus far.

Their last visit to White Hart Lane saw them enjoy a 5-1 FA Cup win over their city rivals, but generally meetings between the two are close encounters. In the last five league meetings, there have been three draws and a win apiece for the two clubs.

The home side are slight favourites at 2.50, with Chelsea at 2.70 and the draw available at 3.30. In form strikers Jermain Defoe and Fernando Torres are at 2.30 and 2.25 respectively to be first goal-scorer.

Elsewhere on Saturday, both Manchester clubs are in action as they look to cut the gap at the top while Liverpool and Arsenal also go in search of victory.

Manchester United host Stoke at Old Trafford knowing that a win coupled with Chelsea dropping points could see them close the current four point gap. Sir Alex Ferguson’s men bounced back from their defeat to Spurs with victory at Newcastle, and will hope to defeat a Stoke side who have won just once so far this season.

Manchester United – 1.25 | Draw – 5.50 | Stoke 11.00

City rivals Manchester City are in a similar position, and they will be looking to extend a run against West Brom which has seen them go undefeated against the Baggies in the league since 2008. Roberto Mancini’s side are the only other team aside from Chelsea who remain unbeaten.

West Bromwich Albion – 4.75 | Draw – 3.50 | Manchester City – 1.72

Arsenal enjoyed the Saturday evening kick-off last weekend with a 3-1 win at West Ham, largely thanks to a sensational performance from Santi Cazorla. The Gunners will be hoping the Spaniard is ready to fire again this weekend as they travel to Norwich, who have yet to win this season and have lost their last three.

Norwich – 5.75 | Draw – 4.25 | Arsenal 1.50

Sunday sees the Tyne-Wear derby take place at the Stadium of Light, where Sunderland host Newcastle United. Martin O’Neill’s men are two points behind their bitter rivals, and haven’t enjoyed recent meetings. They have failed to win any of the last five clashes, with their last win coming in October 2008.

Sunderland – 2.50 | Draw 3.20 | Newcastle 2.75

 

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19/10/2012 - posted by
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