Premier League Preview: Fergie’s boys lead the way

With Robin Van Persie guiding them to victory against the Dutchman’s old club Arsenal last weekend, Manchester United moved to the top of the Premier League table after both Chelsea and Manchester City were held to draws. Sir Alex Ferguson’s men will hope to continue their charge when they visit Aston Villa while the chasing duo face difficult home clashes.

Manchester United have now won their last four consecutive league games, winning eight of their ten games so far this season, and scoring a league high of 26 goals. They travel to Aston Villa on Saturday evening with an incredible record having enjoyed many great results against the Villans, with their last defeat at Villa Park coming back in 1995. United have won four of the last five meetings and will be confident of continuing that run with Van Persie leading the line as well as the goal-scoring charts with eight goals.

In contrast, Villa have been struggling so far this season but will be buoyed by their win at Sunderland last weekend, with Gabby Agbonlahor netting a confidence boosting winner. Paul Lambert’s side have been particular woeful at home, winning just once in front of the Villa Park faithful and with such a dire record against their opponents in recent years, the former Norwich boss will at least hope for a spirited display.

| Aston Villa – 6.00 | Draw – 4.00 | Manchester United – 1.50 |

 

Manchester City lost ground in the title race after being held at Upton Park against West Ham last Saturday. Roberto Mancini’s men were also held in mid-week by Ajax, leaving their hopes of advancing to the knock-out stages of the Champions League hanging by a thread. They will be keen to get back to winning ways when Tottenham visit the Etihad, and will take confidence from winning the last three meetings between the two sides.

Tottenham have already claimed the scalp of one Manchester club so far this season, defeating Manchester United at Old Trafford in a 3-2 win. However, they did fall to an unlikely home defeat to Wigan last weekend, a game which saw Andre Villas-Boas’ decision to replace Jermain Defoe for Emmanuel Adebayor roundly booed by the White Hart Lane crowd. Spurs remain sixth in the table, joining fourth placed Everton on 17 points and know a win would take them to within two points of their opponents.

| Manchester City – 1.60 | Draw – 3.75 | Tottenham – 5.50 |

 

Chelsea were held to a 1-1 draw with Swansea last weekend, thus surrendering top spot in the league to Manchester United. They will hope to immediately bounce back from that disappointment with a win against old rivals Liverpool. Brendan Rodgers’ side are unbeaten in their last five, but have just two wins so far this season. However, they have won on their last three visits to Stamford Bridge, twice in the League and also in the League Cup semi-final meeting last year.

Roberto Di Matteo has seen his side falter in recent weeks, and will want to get back to the form and football they produced in the opening weeks of the season. Former Liverpool striker Fernando Torres comes up against his old club again, but despite struggling to find the net in recent weeks he continues to lead the goal-scoring charts for Chelsea along with his countryman Juan Mata.

| Chelsea – 1.90 | Draw – 3.50 | Liverpool – 3.80 |

 

Arsenal have had an up-and-down few weeks. Following defeats to Norwich and Schalke, the Gunners then secured consecutive victories including that thrilling 7-5 Cup win against Reading, before losing to Manchester United and throwing a two goal lead away at Schalke. They hope to gain some consistency starting with the home clash against London rivals Fulham. However, they are without a win in the last three meetings with the Cottagers, but do have two wins from their four home games this season.

Fulham are unbeaten in their last four league games but have just one win away from home so far this season. That stat could not be more relevant when considering previous encounters with Arsenal, with Fulham failing to ever win away at either Highbury or the Emirates in 23 attempts. With both sides locked on 15 points, Martin Jol will be keen to end that barren run and climb the table.

|Arsenal – 1.50 | Draw – 4.00 | Fulham – 6.00 |

 

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07/11/2012 - posted by
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