Arsenal v Wigan – These two teams are the complete opposite in their league position. Wigan are 3rd from bottom, doing the best they can to avoid relegation, whereas Arsenal are 3rd from the top, hoping they can win the league for the first time since 2004. Wigan have caused Arsenal problems in their most recent encounters, as they defeated them 3-2 towards the end of last season, before drawing 2-2 just before the new year this season. At home though, Arsenal will fancy their chance and are strong favourites for this one (1/5). Should be a comfortable victory for Arsenal, so I’d fancy them to get 3 or 4, which will boost the odds too, with Van Persie to score first (11/4).
My recommendation; Arsenal 4-1 Wigan (14/1)
Manchester United v Birmingham – Manchester United dropped 2 points in the reverse fixture which wasn’t too long ago, but they will be looking to get all three points here. Birmingham haven’t beaten Manchester United in the Premier League, nor have they achieved a draw at Old Trafford. Birmingham have a stern defence, but Manchester United should win by a couple, with their fantastic home form. I’d back Nani to get the first goal, with odds at 5/1.
My recommendation; Manchester United 2-0 Birmingham (5/1)
Aston Villa v Manchester City – This was a one sided affair at Eastlands when the clubs met in December, but this match is expected to be a lot closer. Manchester City have been in fine form away from home lately, and will be confident of winning this fixture (1/1). Aston Villa are currently having a poor season, and finding themselves in the relegation scrap, but new signings Darren Bent and Jean Makoun may help Villa’s cause for a victory here. Darren Bent was purchased from Sunderland for £18 million, and is 7/1 to score first, although Tevez at 7/2 is the more likely option. This game could go either way, so I predict a 2-1 score line for the home side.
My recommendation; Aston Villa 2-1 Manchester City (11/1)
Wolves v Liverpool – Wolves recorded a famous 1-0 victory in the reverse fixture, a game which nearly finalised the sacking of Roy Hodgson. With Kenny Daglish now in charge, they may give Wolves a tougher match, although he has yet to win in his first three matches. Wolves have performed better against the bigger sides, so they will fancy their chances on home turf. Liverpool will still miss Steven Gerrard, but still believe they have a good enough team to win here. I can’t see any favourites for the first goal scorer here, so I’d recommend Stephen Hunt (14/1) in a score draw.
My recommendation; Wolves 1-1 Liverpool (11/2)