Round 16 of the Barclays Premier League features a pair of marquee matchups, one of which is the Tottenham-Liverpool fixture Sunday. Sautrday, however, sees league leaders Arsenal heading to Manchester to take on the Citizens at the Etihad Stadium.
We talk to Aron Black of Bet365 about the action coming in some of Saturday's hottest fixtures.
Manchester City v Arsenal (-120, +290, +350)
Why bet Manchester City: City is THE best side at home this season, posting the only perfect record on home soil. The Citizens are so dominant at home, that they've outscored opponents 29-2 en route to securing all 21 points at the Etihad. Plus, if City can extend its home dominance, three points puts them within striking distance of first-place Arsenal in the table.
Key players out/doubtful: Stevan Jovetic, Matija Nastasic
Why bet Arsenal: The Gunners are the best road club in the Premier League, notching 16 points from a possible 21. The North Londoners have been the best club in the league this season and a road win at City will go a long way in their quest for their first title since 2003-04.
Key players out/doubtful: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lukas Podolski, Bacary Sagna
2012-13 fixture result: Manchester City 1, Arsenal 1
Key betting note: City has played over the 2.5 goal total in six of its seven home matches this season.
Where the action is: "A price that will not last. Man City have lost twice at the Etihad Stadium in the last 55 games, and won 49. The ability for them to almost score at will at home, and the defending that is normally present, its hard to justify -120 about a team with so many stats on their side. Action is all over Man City and understandably, not that Arsenal don’t see support, but I would suggest waiting to back Arsenal until Saturday for those looking to. Sergio Aguero leads the markets for First Goalscorer and To Score Anytime at +350 and -110, with Alvaro Negredo at +500 and +130."
Newcastle United v Southampton (+150, +240, +200)
Why bet Newcastle: The Magpies have become a contender for European spots in the Premier League table. Coming off a 1-0 win at Old Trafford against Man United, Newcastle will look to take down another top-half club Saturday. The club has won five of their last six games and three-straight at St. James' Park.
Key players out/doubtful: Mathieu Debuchy, Yohan Cabaye
Why bet Southampton: At one point not too long ago, the Saints were the talk of the league and Mauricio Pochettino was the "hot" manager in the league. That chatter has cooled off of late as the Saints have lost three of four, but are coming off a very good home draw against Man City. Pablo Osvaldo scored a stunner to even the score and the staunch defense took care of the rest. This is still a quality side which will be eager to build on the momentum from last week's solid performance.
Key players out/doubtful: Morgan Schneiderlin, Victor Wanyama, Nathaniel Clyne, Artur Boruc
2012-13 fixture result: Newcastle 4, Southampton 2
Key betting note: Newcastle has defeated Southampton in the past six meetings at St. James' Park (all competitions).
Where the action is: "Newcastle have been very much Jekyll and Hyde all season, and given how the Saints have been recently, it's hard to call on either side for real consistency in recent matches. The home price at +150 is another that will probably shorten, it’s the most popular play on the FT result, with both the Draw and Southampton seeing almost equal amounts. Given the nature of the Saints road tactics, the 2.5 Total Goals market sees the Under favored at -118, but the action is all on the over 2.5 at -105."
Cardiff v West Brom (+163, +240, +188)
Why bet Cardiff: The Bluebirds have gone loss, draw, loss, draw, loss in their last five matches and will desperately look for a full three points with the struggling Baggies in town. The team is healthy and should be able to field a strong XI in an attempt to distance themselves from the danger zone.
Key players out/doubtful: N/A
Why bet West Brom: A three-game losing skid has West Brom in the midst of a mini-crisis. The Baggies were punching above their weight in the early part of the season but have fallen back to earth recently. This is a fixture with both clubs desperate for points, so it could cater to a more wide-open game with each going for goals.
Key players out/doubtful: George Thorne
2012-13 fixture result: N/A
Key betting note: Cardiff has not managed a goal in five of its last seven matches.
Chelsea v Crystal Palace (-500, +650, +1600)
Why bet Chelsea: First, the Blues don't lose at Stamford Bridge under Jose Mourinho. Second, they are playing Crystal Palace. Third, the Blues will be playing with a chip on their shoulder after last week's loss to Stoke.
Key players out/doubtful: Marco van Ginkel
Why bet Crystal Palace: The Eagles are a seemingly different side since Tony Pulis took over. They are riding back-to-back wins into Saturday's fixture and will do everything they can to crawl out of 19th place.
Key players out/doubtful: Adlène Guédioura, Patrick McCarthy, Glenn Murray
2012-13 fixture result: N/A
Key betting note: Palace has lost six of its seven away games this season.
Everton v Fulham (-250, +400, +800)
Why bet Everton: The Toffees are rolling. Everton hasn't lost since Oct. 5 - its only loss on the season. They are coming off a draw against Arsenal at the Emirates and have proven game in, game out, that the club can hang with anybody in the League.
Key players out/doubtful: Leighton Baines, James McCarthy, Arouna Koné, Darron Gibson
Why bet Fulham: Fulham (finally) posted a win last time out, defeating Aston Villa 2-0 and will look to parlay some of that momentum into another solid performance under René Meulensteen. This isn't a side that reeks of relegation, so expect them to get out of the relegation zone in the very near future.
Key players out/doubtful: Hugo Rodallega, Brede Hangeland, Matthew Briggs
2012-13 fixture result: Everton 1, Fulham 0
Key betting note: Everton has defeated Fulham in the last 10 meetings at Goodison Park (all competitions).
West Ham v Sunderland (+105, +250, +300)
Why bet West Ham: There is nowhere to go but up for the Hammers, who were trounced 4-1 by Luis Suarez and Liverpool last time out. They've lost four of their last five and their usually-stingy defending has been exposed in recent matches. Ravel Morrison and Joe Cole are poised to get the start here, which should inject some life into an otherwise flat side moving forward.
Key players out/doubtful: Kevin Nolan, Stewart Downing, Andy Carroll, Mladen Petric, Winston Reid
Why bet Sunderland: The Black Cats still toil at the bottom of the table, but the improvement is obvious under Gus Poyet. They have lost two straight, but played well enough to potentially win either - especially last week's game against Tottenham.
Key players out/doubtful: Keiren Westwood, Carlos Cuéllar
2012-13 fixture result: West Ham 1, Sunderland 1
Key betting note: The Black Cats haven't netted a goal in their previous five matches away from home.
Hull City v Stoke (+130, +225, +260)
Why bet Hull City: The Tigers are actually one of the better home sides in the league and three points against Stoke - one of the worst away clubs - will be the imperative for Steve Bruce and his side.
Key players out/doubtful: Stephen Quinn, Sone Aluko, Joe Dudgeon
Why bet Stoke: The Potters have just four points from seven away matches this season, but are coming off an incredible 3-2 victory over Chelsea. Oussama Assaidi's sensational game-winning goal could fuel a turning point for the Potters, who would desperately love to climb back into the top half of the table.
Key players out/doubtful: Robert Huth, Jonathan Walters
2012-13 fixture result: N/A
Key betting note: The Potters have allowed at least three goals in their last three matches away from home.