Is there a changing of the guard in the Premier League? Has the power shifted from Manchester to North London? Arsenal sit first and their neighbor Tottenham Hotspur is currently second. If last weekend's Manchester Derby was any indication, then the red half of Manchester is in for a long season.
Early days yet, but the North London clubs are in the thick of it this weekend with a pair of tough matches on Saturday's agenda.Subplot alert
: Spurs host Chelsea and it will be student v master as Andre Villas-Boas welcomes former ally Jose Mourinho to White Hart Lane.
We talk to Aron Black at Bet365
to find where action is on some of the hotter fixtures.
Tottenham v Chelsea (+170, +230, +188)Why bet Tottenham:
When you go out and transform your club in a summer, it generally takes some time for the new faces to adapt. We've seen flashes of the new Spurs players firing on all cylinders. And those flashes have been magical. Especially Christian Eriksen who has fit right in behind the striker and given Spurs a dynamic playmaker. Winger Erik Lamela hasn't had a start yet, but he came on and supplied the assist on Paulinho's game winner one week ago at Cardiff.Key players out/doubtful:
Etienne Capoue, Aaron Lennon, Younes Kaboul, Emmanuel AdebayorWhy bet Chelsea:
The Blues put an end to some drab performances with a 2-0 win at home against Fulham last week. Chelsea has been erratic from the beginning of the season, but this IS still Chelsea. The striker position must be sorted with an established starter, but Demba Ba, Samuel Eto'o and Fernando Torres have been poor to start the season.Key players out/doubtful:
Marco van Ginkel2012-13 fixture result:
Tottenham 2, Chelsea 4Key betting note:
The previous three competitive games between these clubs have yielded a total of 16 goals (5.3 per game).Where the action is:
"Prices see this match as evenly balanced, and that is fair enough. The action is seeing more on the away team getting the 3 points, but all outcomes are being backed in this one, and many are also backing the over 2.5 goals at +108."
Aston Villa v Manchester City (+550, +320, -175)
Why bet Villa:
Sigh. It was such a good start for Paul Lambert and his Villains. They beat Arsenal to start the season. Christian Benteke was picking up right where his season left off, seemingly scoring at will. That has disappeared, however, as Villa has lost three of four and Benteke will be out for around six weeks.Key players out/doubtful:
Christian Benteke, Jores Okore, Charles N'ZogbiaWhy bet City:
Why NOT bet City, really? The Citizens dominated rival United last week in a massive statement game. Villa is one of the worst teams on their home pitch and City has scored the most goals in the league thus far. They'll be flying high after dismantling Moyes' men and will look to keep momentum rolling.Key players out/doubtful:
2012-13 fixture result:
Villa 0, City 1Key betting note:
City has won six of its last seven Premier League matches against Villa.Fulham v Cardiff (+110, +240, +290)Why bet Fulham:
After a dreadful opening five games to the Premier League season, the Cottagers might find a rallying points after a 2-1 win over Everton in the Capital One Cup. Even more, Dimitar Berbatov scored in that midweek game and he is the player Fulham needs most to perform at a top level.Key players out/doubtful:
Ashkan Dejagah, Maarten Stekelenburg, Matthew Briggs
Why bet Cardiff:
The Bluebirds were hard-luck losers against Tottenham last weekend, with Spurs stealing the game towards the end of time added on. Cardiff can be a stingy defensive unit, but the side will need a creative spark to get results. Away to Fulham would be a great place to find that fire going forward.Key players out/doubtful:
Andreas Cornelius2012-13 fixture result:
N/AKey betting note:
Fulham has just one point their previous six home games.Hull v West Ham (+135, +225, +240)Why bet Hull:
The Tigers are currently 11th in the League with seven points (like Man United) and are coming off a huge comeback win at Newcastle. They are the top promoted club in the league after the first five games.Key players out/doubtful:
Maynor Figueroa, Paul McShane, Robert Koren, James ChesterWhy bet West Ham:
The Hammers have fared better away from Upton Park as they've picked up a pair of draws in their two matches on the road and have just one win their first three home games. They have been great defensively in those away matches as the side has yet to concede a goal.Key players out/doubtful:
Andy Carroll, Alou Diarra, Guy Demel2012-13 fixture result:
N/AKey betting note:
Hull is third in the league with a 15.6 percent conversion rate of chances in front of goal.
Manchester United v West Brom (-333, +475, +1100)Why bet Manchester United:
Because for David Moyes and the Red Devils, any other result is just not imaginable. The thrashing they suffered at the hands of Man City is one thing, but to leave points on the table at home to West Brom is another. United have just five losses at Old Trafford in the past three seasons.
Key players out/doubtful:
Darren Fletcher, RafaelWhy bet West Brom:
The Baggies will be confident after they dismantled Sunderland 3-0 last weekend and chased Paolo Di Canio out of town. The new acquisitions are getting used to one another as Stéphane Sessegnon scored the opener against his old club last week and strikers Nicolas Anelka and Victor Anichebe got playing time.Key players out/doubtful:
Zoltán Gera, Ben Foster, George Thorne2012-13 fixture result:
United 2, West Brom 0Key betting note:
United have netted at least two goals in their last 11 matches against West Brom in all competitions.
Southampton v Crystal Palace (-222, +350, +750)Why bet Southampton:
A massive win away to Liverpool will have spirits high in the Saints' locker room. As players adjust to the tactics and style implemented by manager Mauricio Pochettino, we could be seeing this season's Cinderella club.Key players out/doubtful:
N/AWhy bet Palace:
Well, they do have three points from their first five matches and are above Sunderland. So there's that. But they must get points here or they'll find themselves in the basement very soon. After this fixture, Palace is away to Liverpool, home to Fulham and home to Arsenal. So it doesn't get much easier.Key players out/doubtful:
Patrick McCarthy, Glenn Murray, Yannick Bolasie, Jack Hunt, Jonathan Williams, Jonathan Parr2012-13 fixture result:
N/AKey betting note:
There has been just five goals in Southampton's league matches this season - fewest in the league.Swansea v Arsenal (+220, +240, +138)Why bet Swansea:
After a less-than-stellar start to the season, the Swans have two wins and a draw in their last three. Michael Laudrup and his side like to jump out to big leads and have scored the two quickest goals in the Premier League thus far this season.Key players out/doubtful:
N/AWhy bet Arsenal:
No club is hotter in the League and no club is hotter away from home. The Gunners haven't missed a beat since losing to Villa on opening day and have won 11-straight games away from the Emirates in all competitions. Arsenal might have a long injury list, but as long as Mesut Ozil is on the pitch, he can make the worst of reserves look like the second coming of Ian Wright.Key players out/doubtful:
Theo Walcott, Mikel Arteta, Abou Diaby, Yaya Sanogo, Lukas Podolski, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain2012-13 fixture result:
Swansea 0, Arsenal 2Key betting note:
The Gunners are the only side to score in each of the Premier League games this season.Where the action is:
"The match prices see most siding with the streak to continue by backing the Gunners at +138, but this price has been drifting with the home team seeing their price drop from +240 to +220. It’s a hard game to call, but the most popular play is understandable with many backing over 2.5 goals at -133. The Gunners have been scoring well, namely in the form of Aaron Ramsey who sees backing at +260 to score at anytime, given his great start to the season."