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Dublin: 13°C Monday 17 May 2021

Premier League previews: Who will win today's games and why* claims no responsibility for any bets that may be made in light of this advice.

Games kick-off at 3pm unless stated otherwise.

The game: Man United v Arsenal (12.45pm kick-off)

(Arsene Wenger and Alex Ferguson meet for the umpteenth time this afternoon – Barrington Coombs/EMPICS Sport)

TV: Sky Sports 2.

Betting: 8/11 (home), 13/5 (draw), 4/1 away)

QUESTIONS REMAIN OVER United’s defence, having conceded seven goals in their last two games, but the same can be said for Arsenal, who are coming off the back of an incredible League Cup win over Reading in the week.

Both sides also contain no shortage of attacking prowess, as recent results attest, which means you should expect an absolute cracker of a game at Old Trafford this afternoon.

United, however, have looked particularly formidable at home, so expect them to ultimately triumph.

Arsenal, meanwhile, have been unconvincing at times – the 1-0 loss to Norwich being a prime example. Nonetheless, Arsene Wenger’s men have a tendency to come good having been written off, so expect this to be no walkover for United.

Injuries: Man United – Chris Smalling. Arsenal – Gervinho, Wojciech Szczesny.

Doubtful: Arsenal – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The verdict: United win.

The game: Fulham v Everton

(Dimitar Berbatov has been in fine form for Fulham of late – Joe Giddens/EMPICS Sport)

Betting: 13/8 (home), 23/10 (draw), 13/8 (away).

Both sides have exceeded expectations with their fine starts to the season.

Everton arguably possess the slightly better team on paper and showed great character to come back against Liverpool last week.

Fulham have been less impressive of late, and will have been disappointed to have let a late lead slip against Reading.

David Moyes’ men have a good record against the Londoners, but are playing away from home, and have to cope with an in-form Dimitar Berbatov, so a draw looks to be the most likely outcome.

Injuries: Fulham – Simon Davies, Mickael Tavares. Everton – Darron Gibson.

Doubtful: Everton – Kevin Mirallas.

The verdict: Draw.

The game: Norwich v Stoke

(Wes Hoolahan received a rare Ireland call-up earlier in the week – Stephen Pond/EMPICS Sport)

Betting: 8/5 (home), 9/4 (draw), 7/4 (away)

Norwich are starting to improve under Chris Hughton, after a woeful start, with Irish international Wes Hoolahan key to their renaissance.

Stoke, meanwhile, given that they can now be considered a solid Premier League outfit, will perhaps be a little disappointed that they have only managed to acquire nine points so far this season.

Norwich played the ball around nicely against Villa last week, and will probably enjoy the majority of possession again this time around.

Yet the visitors’ superior Premier League experience and innate resolve should be enough to ensure they emerge from this encounter with at least a point.

Injuries: Norwich – Harry Kane. Stoke – Marc Wilson.

Doubtful: Norwich – Russell Martin.

The verdict: Draw.

The game: Sunderland v Aston Villa

(Martin O’Neill will be hoping his side can overcome their tendency to draw too many games – Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire/Press Association Images)

Betting: 11/10 (home), 9/4 (draw), 13/5 (away).

Both these sides seem to be struggling for confidence at the moment.

Sunderland have looked solid enough at the back this year, but have struggled for goals down the other end, despite Steven Fletcher’s incredibly prolific form.

Villa at least put in an improved performance against Norwich last week, but were eventually undone, largely as a result of Joe Bennet’s early red card in the second half.

Consequently, the Villains are currently just above the relegation zone in 17th, and desperately need a win at the Stadium of Light today.

Expect Sunderland’s reputation as draw specialists to continue (six of their nine Premier League games this season have ended in draws), as both sides struggle for form.

Doubtful: Sunderland – Titus Bramble. Aston Villa – Chris Herd and Ciaran Clark.

Suspended: Aston Villa – Karim El Ahmadi.

The verdict: Draw

The game: Swansea v Chelsea

(Chelsea’s Juan Mata has arguably been the Player of the Season so far – Sang Tan/AP/Press Association Images)

Betting: 16/5 (home), 13/5 (draw), 17/20 (away).

Swansea will consider it as good a time as any to face Chelsea, with the visitors undoubtedly still reeling from last week’s home loss to Man United.

The hosts’ football may not be as flowing as last season, with their integral playmaker Joe Allen among those to have departed in the summer, but they have maintained a level of respectability with their subsequent performances, as they currently sit in 11th position.

Chelsea, though, with the likes of Mata and Hazard still impressing in spite of that loss last weekend, should ultimately have too much quality for the plucky Welsh outfit.

So expect a relatively comfortable victory for Roberto Di Matteo’s men come this afternoon’s final whistle.

Injuries: Swansea –  Michel Vorm

Doubtful: Swansea – Chico Flores. Chelsea – Juan Mata and David Luiz.

Suspended: Chelsea – John Terry

The verdict: Chelsea win.

The game: Tottenham v Wigan

(Emmanuel Adebayor is available once again for Spurs – Joe Giddens /EMPICS Sport)

Betting: 1/2 (home), 3/1 (draw), 6/1 (away).

TV: Setanta Ireland.

Tottenham have been anything but convincing of late, losing to Norwich in the League Cup, and being fortunate to beat Southampton following a backs-to-the-wall final few minutes last Sunday.

They at least have Emanuel Adebayor back fit again, and are currently holding one of the four coveted Champions League spots ahead of rivals Arsenal.

Wigan, though, notched an impressive win against West Ham recently, so expect them to significantly test the home side.

Nonetheless, Tottenham have the better players at their disposal, therefore anything other than a home win appears unlikely, provided Spurs play to their potential.

Injuries: Tottenham – Mousa Dembele. Wigan – Antolin Alcaraz and Albert Crusat

Doubtful: Tottenham – Jake Livermore. Wigan – Ryo Miyaichi.

The verdict: Home win.

The game: West Ham v Man City (5.30pm)

(Andy Carroll is likely to be West Ham’s chief attacking threat today – Daniel Hambury/PA Archive/Press Association Images)

Betting: 15/4 (home), 11/4 (draw), 8/11 (away).


This looks like being a tricky fixture for Man City.

Rumours have been circulating about boss Roberto Mancini’s future, and it’s no surprise, given his side’s underwhelming start this year, both domestically and in Europe.

West Ham have played their best football at home this season, and Andy Carroll, in particular, has the capability to bully the opposition defence.

But if Tevez et al are firing on all cylinders, Man City should easily have enough quality to overcome their London-based opponents.

Consequently, it’s fixtures like this one where the Premier League champions must dispel lingering doubts about their level of cohesion and team spirit.

Injured: West Ham – Guy Demel, Matt Taylor, Ricardo Vaz Te and Jack Collison. Man City – Micah Richards.

Verdict: Man City win.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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