Saturday 22nd November
15.00 Manchester City v Swansea
It will be interesting to see what, if any, effect the international break will have had on City’s recent fortunes. Will a week away from the malaise of Manchester help revive their spirits? Although they are looking for their third straight home win (in EPL matches), a more dispassionate evaluation of their current form doesn’t read too well. They have one win and three losses in their last five matches in all competitions. The last of that set was a fortunate late draw away to QPR in the previous round.
Swansea are on a roll recently and are coming off the back of an excellent win against Arsenal. Shorn of handful of first-team players, they came from a goal down against the Gunners to overhaul them in the league standings, a position that leaves them just three points behind City, which effectively makes this game a six-pointer. It’s difficult to imagine that a stuttering City have gotten their act together to such a degree that the price of 17/2 from Boylesports for a Swansea win isn’t one of the juiciest to be found this weekend.
15.00 Newcastle v QPR
If you were to be told, just 3 weeks ago, that Newcastle would win their next five games, you’d generously think that the imparter of such an insight might need a good lie down for themselves and yet here they are, level on points with Manchester United. Quite the turn around. All the oddly mute Alan Pardew supporters are now out in full voice, singing his praises from on high. It all feels very Roman, it feels like something has to give. Maybe an immense bursting of the Newcastle bubble just when they feel most confident.
They will feel that they have the measure of lowly QPR and with momentum on their side, who could deny them? As has been flagged a few times, this QPR team are a darn sight better than their recent results would seem to suggest. Charlie Austin located his fabled shooting boots and has scored in each of their last three outings. He’ll need to keep that form up as the Newcastle defence was last breached nearly a month ago. Like Newcastle, QPR are playing with far more confidence and effectiveness than earlier in the season. This column fancies a QPR win and, with luck, a comic Newcastle explosion. Boylesports are offering a rather enticing 15/4 for the QPR win.
17.30 Arsenal v Manchester United
This match could be hilarious. These teams puts one in the mind of two former beauties of the silver screen. One, with success still fresh in the memory opines the lack of recent accolades and so, in a vain attempt to remain relevant, goes under the knife and emerges with a brave smile but little class and reeks of desperation. The other draws pride from the distant past, sneers at the unseemly rabble as they flash their eyes at the young & the beautiful and strolls around town with a haughty air, all the time unaware that her dress is hitched high, frayed underwear on show to the world. In an attempt to add even more comedy value, Wenger is subtly hinting that top, top striker Oliver Giroud may be fit enough to take part. Ohh, the mind games.
There can be little doubt about the collective pants-wetting being presently experienced by United defenders such as…. Are they all injured now? Arsenal are favourites so United believers may like the look of 5/2 from Betvictor for the away victory. A draw is probably most likely and Boylesports has the best price for that outcome at 13/5.