Real Madrid vs Manchester United Preview

Wednesday evening’s game at the Bernebau sees nine time European Champions Real Madrid take on Manchester United, aiming to clinch a fourth title.

The host’s go in to the game in the back of their 4-1 win over Sevilla, though they remain sixteen points behind leaders Barcelona with fifteen games to go. Former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso looks set to be fit enough to feature after missing Saturday’s victory. Continue reading “Real Madrid vs Manchester United Preview”

Chelsea vs Wigan Preview

Saturday afternoon’s game at Stamford Bridge sees third place Chelsea host third from bottom Wigan Athletic.

The hosts are without a win in four games, and go in to the weekend on the back of a 3-2 defeat to Newcastle United. Rafa Benitez’s men had lead with just over twenty minutes left to play, but a double from Moussa Sissoko handed all three points to the Toon Army.

Eden Hazard returns after completing a three match ban, though John Terry is out with a knee injury and Petr Cech is doubtful after breaking a finger. Demba Ba is likely to play with a face mask to protect his broken nose.

Ba is favourite to open the scoring at 5.0 (4/1) with Bet Victor while Frank Lampard, who netted England’s winner in their friendly with Brazil on Wednesday evening is 6.5 (11/2) with the same firm.

Chelsea are odds on favourites to take the three points at a best price of 1.36 (4/11), with Wigan a 10.0 (9/1) chance with Stan James. The draw is widely available at 5.5 (9/2).

The visitors have won just once in twelve league games, with last weekend’s draw with Southampton leaving them two points from safety.

Arouna Kone will have his fitness monitored ahead of the game, having recently returned from the Africa Cup of Nations, while Antonlin Alcaraz is still recovering from a groin injury. Captain Gary Caldwell is likely to miss out with a hip problem.

Kone is 12.0 (11/1) with a number of bookmakers to grab the first goal of the game, while you can back former Chelsea man Franco Di Santo at 13.0 (12/1).

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Sunderland vs. Arsenal Preview

Sunderland welcome Arsenal to the Stadium of Light on Saturday afternoon, looking to improve on a record which has seen the beat Arsene Wenger’s men just once in the last eighteen meetings.

The Black Cats go in to the game on the back on a 2-1 defeat to Reading, a result which saw the slip to twelfth position. However, victory here could see them climb in to the top half of the table.

Winger James McCLean looks unlikely to feature after injuring his ankle on international duty with the Republic of Ireland. Lee Catermole is also unlikely to play, though Carlos Cuellar could return after recovering from a hamstring problem.
Steven Fletcher is widely available at 8.5 (15/2) to open the scoring, whilst you can back recent signing Danny Graham to net first on his home debut at 10.0 (9/1) with Bet 365.

The hosts are 4.5 (7/2) with Bet 365 to get the victory, with Arsenal odds on favourites with Paddy Power offering the best price of 1.95 (19/20). The draw is 3.7 (27/10) woth Bet Victor.

Arsenal, who currently lie in sixth position, recorded a narrow victory against Stoke City last time out; a result which left them four points behind the Champions League qualification places.

The Gunners face a defensive selection headache, with Laurent Koscielny looking set to join captain Thomas Vermaelen on the side-lines.

Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott and Francis Coquelin should all be fit, though Gervinho is likely to miss out despite returning from the Africa Cup of Nations.

Walcott is favourite to open the scoring at 7.0 (6/1) with Bet Victor, with Olivier Giroud a 7.5 (13/2) shot with the same firm.

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Chelsea vs. Southampton Preview

Wednesday evening’s game at Stamford Bridge sees third place Chelsea host a Southampton side looking to create distance between themselves and the bottom three.

The hosts go in to the game on the back of an impressive 4-0 victory at Stoke City on Saturday; however they remain seven points behind second place Manchester City, and a further seven behind leaders Manchester United.

John Terry is available after making his comeback from injury as a substitute at the weekend, while Gary Cahill could also feature, having missed Saturday’s win to attend the birth of his son. Demba Ba is set to continue upfront, and is favourite to open the scoring at odds of 4.0 (3/1), whilst Frank Lampard, who has four goals in his last five league games is a 7.0 (6/1) shot.

Chelsea are odds on for the victory, and are 1.25 (1/4) with most firms, with Southampton as highly priced as the 15.0 (14/1) offered by Bet 365, and the draw 6.5 (11/2) with the same firm.

The visitors are currently just two points above the relegation zone, but have lost just twice in their last eleven league games, winning at Aston Villa last time out.

Highly rated left-back Luke Shaw has a gashed knee and is likely to join Adam Lallana, Jose Fonte on the side-lines, whilst Emmanuel Mayuka is away at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Top scorer Rickie Lambert made it nine for the season with the winner at the weekend, and is 13.0 (12/1) to get the first goal of the game, whilst former Chelsea youth player Jack Cork is 17.0 (16/1) to score at any time.

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Arsenal vs. Swansea Preview

The Emirates Stadium is the setting for Wednesday evening’s FA Cup third round replay between Arsenal and Swansea. The Gunners go in to the game on the back of their 2-0 defeat by Manchester City at the weekend, a result that leaves them 21 points behind leaders Manchester United in the Premier League.

With a tough tie against Bayern Munich in the Champions League next month, Arsene Wenger will surely see this competition as his best chance to end an eight year trophy drought.

Laurent Koscielny and Mikel Arteta will miss the game through suspension and injury respectively, though Abou Diaby could feature having returned from injury at the weekend. Top scorer Theo Walcott is favourite to open the scoring, and is widely available at 5.0 (4/1), whilst Lukas Podolski, who scored when the sides met ten days ago is a 6.5 (11/2) shot.

The hosts are 1.55 (11/20) for the victory, with Swansea as highly priced as 6.5 (11/2). You can odds of 4.5 (7/2) for the game to go to extra time

The visitors, who are favourites to reach the League Cup final having beaten Chelsea a week ago, extended their unbeaten run to seven games with a 0-0 draw at Everton on Saturday, and have no fresh injury worries ahead of the trip to North London.

Michu scored both goals in his sides 2-0 league victory at the Emirates last month, and 9.0 (8/1) to get the first of the game, whilst Danny Graham is available at 11.0 (10/1)

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Manchester United vs. West Ham United Preview

Manchester United welcome West Ham United to Old Trafford on Wednesday evening in their FA Cup third round replay.

Sir Alex Ferguson is set to select Wayne Rooney, who has not featured since damaging his knee during training on Christmas Day, whilst Nani is also available for the first time in fifteen games. Nemanja Vidic should shake off a minor head injury in time to play, though Ashley Young will miss out.

Robin Van Persie scored his twenty-first of the season with the opener in Sunday’s 2-1 victory over Liverpool, and is favourite to open the scoring at a best price of 3.5 (7/2). The hosts are odds on to win the game in ninety minutes at 1.33 (1/3) with most firms, while Bet Victor offer the best price of 10.5 (19/2) for the away win. The draw is available at 6.25 (21/4).

The Hammers go in to the game on the back of their disappointing 3-0 defeat to Sunderland on Saturday afternoon, and now have just two wins in their last eleven games.

James Collins injured his hamstring last time out, and joins George McCartney, Joey O’Brien, Mark Noble, Mohammed Diame, Andy Carroll and Mark Noble on the side-lines. Joe Cole was impressive when the two sides met at Upton Park eleven days ago, and is 23.0 (22/1) with Bet 365 to get the first goal of the game, whilst his namesake Carlton is available at 15.0 (14/1) with a variety of firms.

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