Back the champs to chin Chelsea with Rooney off the reins
FIXTURES Sat 4 Feb 1pm Arsenal v Blackburn Rovers 3pm Norwich City v Bolton Wanderers, Queens Park Rangers v Wolverhampton Wanderers, Stoke City v Sunderland, West Bromwich Albion v Swansea City, Wigan Athletic v Everton 5.30pm Manchester City v Fulham Sun 5 Feb 1.30pm Newcastle United v Aston Villa 4pm Chelsea v Manchester United Mon 6 Feb 8pm Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur
After a bonus midweek serving, the Premier League is back again this weekend with a full helping of fixtures. ThereÃ¢ÂÂs plenty of interesting matches available to tempt tipsters, including the most super of Super Sundays with Manchester United travelling to Stamford Bridge to face Andre Villas-BoasÃ¢ÂÂ Chelsea.
Despite their rather patchy recent form, Chelsea are slight favourites with William Hill to overturn their 3-1 defeat at Old Trafford earlier in the season. Their 6/5 odds offer little value, so perhaps United at 15/8 might be more profitable, especially given their 2-1 win over Arsenal last time they were in the capital.
Wayne Rooney is likely to be restored to the line-up after missing UnitedÃ¢ÂÂs FA Cup fourth round tie at Anfield and heÃ¢ÂÂs rated at 6/1 to open the scoring on Sunday. With Didier Drogba still on international duty with Ivory Coast, Fernando Torres is running out of time to stake a claim to be ChelseaÃ¢ÂÂs main man and despite being in the middle of the worst goal drought of his career, heÃ¢ÂÂs 2/1 to score at any time in this encounter.
Similarly difficult to call is Monday night's Champions League showdown at Anfield. Tottenham might just have played their way back into title contention but a win at Liverpool will go some way towards their primary target of a return to EuropeÃ¢ÂÂs premier competition.
Harry RedknappÃ¢ÂÂs men are 15/8 to complete a double over Kenny DalglishÃ¢ÂÂs charges, with new signing Louis Saha 9/1 to open his account with the first goal of the game. Liverpool will welcome Luis Suarez back to the fold and itÃ¢ÂÂd be typical of a man no stranger to headlines to stamp his name all over this fixture. Suarez is 11/2 to score first and 6/4 to score at any time.
Elsewhere, Manchester City will be hoping to get back to winning ways at the fortress Etihad Stadium where they still boast a 100% winning record. TheyÃ¢ÂÂre rated at an unsurprisingly stingy 2/7 to record a win over Martin JolÃ¢ÂÂs Fulham, who are 7/1 to record a famous first win AB (after Bobby). ZamoraÃ¢ÂÂs replacement Pavel Pogrebnyak is 11/1 to open the scoring and 4/1 to score at any point Ã¢ÂÂ perhaps an ambitious punter might look at a Pogrebnyak-inspired away win double to really fill pockets on Saturday evening.
In the weekendÃ¢ÂÂs other fixtures, on Saturday lunchtime Arsenal are heavy favourites at 2/7 to avenge their September defeat at Blackburn. Wolves boss Mick McCarthy knows that a defeat at QPR will heap the pressure on him Ã¢ÂÂ not that the bookies have any sympathy, making the Rs 10/11 favourites to inflict a third successive defeat on the Midlanders.
Everton are 11/10 favourites to record a second successive win and leave Wigan rooted to the foot of the league, whereas Swansea can be backed for an intriguing-looking 2/1 to pick up all three points away at West Brom, though caution is advised due to the Swans' poor away form.
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