There is a midweek English Premier League round because of the English FA Cup taking centre stage next weekend and the best of the bets is Sunderland to beat travel-sick Queens Park Rangers at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday.
Sunderland has been a goal scorer shy of being a half-decent English Premier League team this season. Sunderland has lost only eight of its 24 English Premier League matches, which is fewer than any side ranked below ninth on the ladder. Twenty-two English Premier League goals scored – a tally that only Aston Villa, Hull and Leicester – have failed to equal or better is the primary reason why Sunderland is stuck in yet another relegation battle. But Sunderland’s English Premier League fortunes may have changed after signing veteran striker Jermain Defoe from Toronto. Defoe has popped up with a couple of English Premier League goals already and he will be licking his lips at the prospect of taking on the porous Queens Park Rangers defensive unit.
Everyone knows that Queens Park Rangers has lost each of its 11 English Premier League away games but what has made less news is the fact that the Hoops have leaked a division-high 43 goals, keeping four clean sheets in its 24 matches. One can almost guarantee that Sunderland will find the back of the Queens Park Rangers net at least once in their English Premier League relegation six-pointer. One is not so sure that Queens Park Rangers, shorn of its leading marksman, Charlie Austin, will breach Sunderland’s back line.
Several bookmakers, including Bet365, Boylesports and Bwin, are offering odds of -105 that Sunderland consigns Queens Park Rangers to its 12th English Premier League road loss. Odds of almost even money about Queens Park Rangers losing away from home to a fellow English Premier League team are too big to ignore, particularly in light of the Hoops being without a manager following Harry Redknapp’s decision to quit on medical grounds. Of course, Queens Park Rangers being odds on to be relegated from the English Premier League had nothing to do with Redknapp jumping ship.
Arsenal ought to be unbeaten at home in the English Premier League – Manchester United’s 2-1 away over the Gunners was akin to daylight robbery – so one is not afraid of backing Arsene Wenger’s team to beat bottom-of-the-ladder Leicester at the Emirates Stadium, also in Tuesday’s batch of games.
Leicester’s English Premier League membership is hanging by a thread following its 0-1 home loss to a Crystal Palace side that earned three points without its two best players, Yannick Bolasie and Mile Jedinak. Leicester manager Nigel Pearson lost his cool on the sideline – not for the first time, either – and it may only be a matter of time before the Foxes decide that they require a change of coach.
It seems a lot longer than five months ago when Leicester drew 1-1 with Arsenal in their English Premier League encounter at the King Power Stadium. Leicester has failed to win 17 of its last 19 English Premier League matches and the Foxes have conceded at least two goals in seven of their last eight top-flight games. Arsenal should exorcise its English Premier League derby loss to Tottenham with a convincing home victory over its doomed opponent. Back Arsenal at odds of -333 with numerous bookmakers, including Coral and Ladbrokes, to accrue three English Premier League points at the expense of Leicester.
Boring it may be but Chelsea looks like another English Premier League home banker. Chelsea is trading at odds of -286 with Winner to get the better of an Everton team that played out a dire 0-0 draw with Liverpool last time out.
Chelsea spanked Everton 6-3 at Goodison Park in the English Premier League season’s infancy and, while Diego Costa will miss Wednesday fixture and Cesc Fabregas is rated doubtful, the Blues have far too much quality in their ranks for an Everton side that has several unavailable regular starters.
With regards to English Premier League exotics, it is very difficult to get away from the match between Hull and Aston Villa going under two and a half goals at odds of -189 with BetVictor and Ladbrokes. Hull’s 24 English Premier League games have had an average of 2.29 goals and 14 of those matches have gone under two and a half goals. Aston Villa’s 24 English Premier League games have had an average of 1.83 goals and 16 of those matches have gone under two and a half goals. One suspects that Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert will set up the Villans to play for a point since the pressure is on Hull to go for the win given the state of the English Premier League ladder and the game’s venue.
Chelsea to beat Everton
11th February 19:45 GMT
Where to Bet: Winner
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