Coleman looks a diamond bet

Ian Ogg and Andy Schooler preview Saturday's six games in the Barclays Premier League.

Last Updated: 29/08/13 at 16:26 Post Comment

Seamus Coleman: A big price to find the net against Cardiff

Seamus Coleman: A big price to find the net against Cardiff

Manchester City v Hull City (1245 BST)

Manchester City may have slipped up away at Cardiff City but it's unthinkable that the same fate will befall Manuel Pellegrini's men at the Etihad off the back of that reverse. In fact, City haven't lost successive Premier League games since October 30 2010. Most observers will expect it to be a case of damage limitation for the Tigers and it's hard to argue against that viewpoint with the clubs polar opposites in terms of wealth and expectation. Hull supporters will be hopeful that their solid away form in the Championship (see below) will stand them in good stead but surely even their most ardent fan will struggle to envisage them leaving Manchester with anything but their pride and even that isn't guaranteed to be intact. Hull have made a solid start to the season with a respectable 2-0 defeat at Chelsea followed by important 1-0 wins over Norwich and Leyton Orient and their relative solidity suggests that they may not be overwhelmed in the lunchtime kick-off. The defensive frailties of Joe Hart and his back four will also have given Steve Bruce plenty of food for thought and his men will no doubt have been put through their set piece paces on the training ground this week. However, City clearly have the firepower to romp to victory and the 3-0 and 4-0 correct score prices of up to 7/1 and 11/1 will make some appeal but backing City to win to nil at home proved to be a real money spinner last season and shades of odds-on about that eventuality looks the way to go with too much being made of their problems at the back.

Verdict: Manchester City 3 Hull City 0 (IO)

Opta stats:

Edin Dzeko has attempted more shots than any other player in the Barclays Premier League so far this season (10).

Man City have scored in each of their last 51 home league matches - the longest current run of its kind.

Watford (39) were the only team to win more points on the road in the Championship last season than Hull City (36).


Cardiff City v Everton (1500)

The value here lies with Seamus Coleman, who is definitely overpriced at 12/1 to find the net. The full-back has been storming forward in Everton's opening three games and is far from averse to cutting in and getting shots off. The fact that he stole into the box on the opening day to net from a rebound at Norwich shows how much licence he's been given to join in the attack. He also went close on several occasions against West Brom last weekend. In short, the Irish international should not be on offer at 12/1. The problem plenty of you will have is not being convinced by Everton's ability to deliver a result and score goals, particularly against a side full of confidence after last week's win over Manchester City. I'm getting towards cliché territory but Cardiff City Stadium is likely to be a tough place to go this season - indeed the Welshmen only lost twice at home in their Championship-winning campaign. Everton, meanwhile, have not won away in the league since January 2 and two league draws so far have been pretty disappointing, although they have looked the better side in both matches. With this in mind, Cardiff make some appeal at 11/8 in the draw-no-bet market but I'm happy to stick with Coleman on my betting slip at a tasty price.

Verdict: Cardiff City 2 Everton 2 (AS)

Opta stats:

Roberto Martinez has won just one of his last 10 games as a manager in the Barclays Premier League (W1 D5 L4).

Only Manchester City (66.5%) have averaged more possession in the Premier League so far this season than Everton (64.7%).

Cardiff won 51 points at home in the Championship last season, losing just two of 23 games (W15 D6).


Newcastle United v Fulham (1500)

Remarkably, given their appalling record on their travels, Fulham have won two successive away games in the Barclays Premier League - they haven't won three in a row since May 2008. Their supporters will be buoyed by the fact that they have won 11 of their 22 Premier League meetings with Newcastle while the goings-on at the North East giants continue to amuse almost everyone bar the Toon Army. Alan Pardew expects to have Yohann Cabaye back in the side for this encounter while he's working hard to strengthen his options up front with Demba Ba and Bafetimbi Gomis those rumoured to be in the mix. They clearly need to strengthen and could do with enjoying a decent run of form to quiet the chatter that has surrounded the club for so long now; their fifth place finish in 2011/12 is a fast diminishing memory. They do, however, remain a force at home and won nine times last season while Fulham were hardly convincing in beating Sunderland in the first game of this campaign and their defeat of Swansea on the final day of the last campaign is neither here nor there. Newcastle at odds against will tempt some in, and rightly so, but this is a game that we can resist.

Verdict: Newcastle United 2 Fulham 0 (IO)

Opta stats:

Newcastle have had only one shot on target so far this season; fewer than any other Barclays Premier League side.

The home side have won each of the last five Premier League meetings between Newcastle and Fulham.

Hatem Ben Arfa has scored in both of his two Premier League appearances against Fulham. The Whites are one of two teams (along with Bolton) that Ben Arfa has netted more than once against in the competition.


Norwich City v Southampton (1500)

An intriguing fixture between two sides that were separated by just three points last season and whose two Premier League encounters ended in stalemates with the teams fighting out a goalless draw at Carrow Road in March. None of that really marries with bookmakers' expectations for the sides which sees Norwich priced at just 3/1 in the relegation market whereas the higher profile Saints are 18/1. The Saints won just three games on the road last season, drawing seven, whereas Carrow Road proved to be something of a fortress with Norwich losing just four games. All of which suggests that the value lies with the home side who can be backed at 21/10 to claim the three points or at 11/10 draw no bet. Southampton have spent big this summer and they look to have spent wisely with Pablo Osvaldo looking sure to entertain while Victor Wanyama will strengthen their midfield. Those factors clearly - and understandably - have influenced the prices and the expectations but I'm far from convinced that there is - as yet - sufficient evidence that the Saints are a vastly superior side to the one that finished below Norwich last season. It's not as if Chris Hughton hasn't strengthened and a major overhaul of his squad has added some much needed firepower to his squad and a number of those players enjoyed a run out against Bury. They're tempting but probably not quite tempting enough in a game where the draw might be the likeliest outcome.

Verdict: Norwich City 1 Southampton 1 (IO)

Opta stats:

Southampton have conceded just two goals in their last six away games in the Barclays Premier League.

Four of the last six Premier League meetings between Norwich and Southampton have ended as draws.

Pablo Osvaldo netted more goals away (14) than at home (13) in his two seasons at Roma in Serie A.


West Ham United v Stoke City (1500)

West Ham took four points from their encounters with the Potters last season and, again, in 2010/11 where they also clashed in both domestic Cup competitions. The visitors are in a period of transition as they adjust to the demands of a new manager whereas the Hammers are building on some solid foundations laid by Sam Allardyce. They've built from the back and their record at the Boleyn (three clean sheets in the last four) - coupled with the Potters' dismal away form - point to a low scoring encounter but that isn't news to anyone and the prices reflect that. Allardyce made wholesale changes for their Cup game so his 'first XI' will be well rested ahead of this encounter but Andy Carroll is still missing and they do look a little light in his absence with the manager keen to bring another striker in before the window closes. The layers, though, continue to underestimate them as quotes of even money indicate while a tempting alternative is Ladbrokes 14/5 about West Ham to win by one goal, a wager that would have collected in three of their eight Premier League encounters.

Verdict: West Ham United 1 Stoke City 0 (IO)

Opta stats:

Stoke City have won just one of their last 12 Barclays Premier League away games (W1 D4 L7).Last season's 2-1 win for West Ham over QPR was the first time in seven clashes that Sam Allardyce has enjoyed a Premier League victory over Mark Hughes. Allardyce had lost four of the previous six (D2).

Since the beginning of last season, West Ham and Stoke have both been involved in six 0-0 draws; joint highs in the Premier League. However, there has never been a 0-0 draw between these two teams in the Premier League.


Crystal Palace v Sunderland (1730)

It's been a desperate start for Crystal Palace with not even the Capital One Cup providing any respite for their beleaguered supporters. An underwhelming summer in the transfer market had the Eagles chalked up as favourites to make an immediate return to the Championship and they've done nothing to suggest those quotes were inaccurate. Sunderland, however, are hardly banker material and they nearly came unstuck against MK Dons as Paolo di Canio seemingly ignored his own programme notes to make half a dozen changes. Ian Holloway does manage to motivate his teams, however, and Palace are unlikely to be lacking for effort and they showed up well for long periods against both Tottenham and Stoke. While the sale of Wilfried Zaha may have been inevitable the loss of last season's top scorer Glenn Murray to injury was a cruel blow to a club with limited resources. Quite whether Sunderland's modest Premier League record in London (two wins, two draws and seven defeats in 11 visits) is relevant in this instance is dubious but they are hardly a reliable betting proposition as Di Canio seeks to mould 'his' team in his first full season in charge. It's feasible to make a case for all three outcomes but, for those wanting an interest, perhaps the 10/11 about both teams to score is the best option as this will be a game that both sides will feel they can win.

Verdict: Crystal Palace 1 Sunderland 1 (IO)

Opta stats:

The Black Cats have lost six of their last eight league matches away from home in the Premier League (D1 W1).

The Eagles have lost just three of their last 25 home matches in league competition (W13 D9 L3 - including playoffs).

Marouane Chamakh has scored just one goal in his last six hours and 23 minutes of Premier League football, but this came last weekend against Stoke City.

  • Manchester City v Hull is live in the UK on BT Sport while Crystal Palace v Sunderland is on Sky Sports 1 HD


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