Premier League Preview: United aim to conquer the Bridge

After a mixed week in Europe, the Premier League contingent return to domestic matters with some key clashes ahead. The pick of the weekend’s action takes place at Stamford Bridge where top-of-the-table Chelsea host second placed Manchester United hoping to extend their four point lead.

Aston Villa v Norwich

However, it all starts in the lunchtime kick-off at Villa Park, where Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert hosts former club Norwich in what is already a key game for both clubs. Villa looked to have turned a corner under their new manager, but recent results have seen them slide back down the table to 17th place. The away support at Villa Park are likely to give Lambert a hostile reception after his departure in the summer, but he will be fully focused on a crucial three points which would take them above their opponents.

| Aston Villa – 1.90 | Draw – 3.30 | Norwich 4.00 |

Arsenal v QPR

Coming off the back of consecutive defeats after their home defeat to Schalke on Wednesday night, Arsenal will want to get back on track when they take on QPR at the Emirates. The Gunners fell to a 1-0 loss at Norwich last weekend, and were equally uninspiring in mid-week. Their city rivals are worse off, sat at the bottom of the table without a win this season. Arsene Wenger’s men are now ten points behind league leaders Chelsea, and know they must win on Saturday to have any chance of closing the gap.

| Arsenal – 1.35 | Draw – 5.00 | QPR – 7.50 |

Manchester City v Swansea

Manchester City will be watching events at Stamford Bridge with a close eye, but will want to ensure their job is done when they host Swansea on Saturday evening. Roberto Mancini continues to struggle in Europe after seeing his side fall to a 3-1 defeat at Ajax, but will hope to close the gap at the top this weekend. City have won their last three league games on the bounce and are still unbeaten this season. The Swans meanwhile, ended a run of five games without a win last weekend with victory over Wigan.

| Manchester City – 1.22 | Draw – 6.00 | Swansea – 11.00 |

Everton v Liverpool

Everton currently run the rule over Merseyside, after enjoying a strong start to the season they sit in 4th place and six points above their city rivals. The Toffees’ are unbeaten in five, with two wins and a draw at home thus far this season. In contrast, Liverpool recorded just their second win of the season last weekend but do go into the derby unbeaten in three. The Reds’ have enjoyed the better of these meetings in recent times, winning the last three in all competitions, with their last loss coming at Goodison Park in October 2010.

| Everton – 2.60 | Draw – 3.25 | Liverpool – 2.60 |

Chelsea v Manchester United

Chelsea welcome Manchester United to Stamford Bridge on Sunday hoping to continue their fine start to the season. Roberto Di Matteo has successfully guided them to seven wins and a draw so far, boasting the second most prolific strikeforce and best defence in the Premier League. However, they did fall to defeat in mid-week Champions League action to Ukrainian side Shakhtar.

The Red Devils’ were unconvincing in their win over Braga, but can rely on Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney to spearhead their attack. Javier Hernandez staked his claim for a starting spot after bagging two goals on Tuesday night, as United hope to cut the four point gap. In the last five meetings with Chelsea, Sir Alex Ferguson’s side have four wins and a draw in all competitions and will fondly remember the incredible comeback at the Bridge last season. Trailing 3-0 heading into the final half hour, United stormed back to make it 3-3 with two penalties from Rooney. Can they defeat their rivals?

| Chelsea – 2.30 | Draw – 3.25 | Manchester United – 3.00 |


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26/10/2012 - posted by
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