A busy weekend in the Premier League with four games taking place on Saturday and five on Sunday.
Reading v Southampton
The recently-appointed Reading (12/5) manager Nigel Adkins takes on his former club Southampton (13/10) and he will be keen to dent the chances of Southampton in their bid to avoid relegation. Reading look headed for relegation, being seven points adrift at the bottom, but Southampton are currently four points clear of 18th place. Reading have lost six successive league games and are really not fit for this division whereas Southampton have done well with home wins over Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea. I think Southampton are a much better team and the players will be motivated to do well against their old manager.
Norwich v Swansea
Norwich (17/10) have won just one of their last 14 Premier League matches and are only four points clear of the relegation zone. They have however proved tough to beat with six draws in them 14 and they are unbeaten in their last five home games. Swansea (2/1) have lost four of their last five league games and seem to have slightly gone off the boil since they won the Capital One Cup. I think this game will be very tight but I just can’t back Norwich given their inability to score goals on a regular basis. The best option looks to be the draw at 5/2.
Stoke v Aston Villa
Stoke (23/20) have failed to score in 14 matches and have won just one of their last 12 league matches. They are bang out of form and are facing a Aston Villa (3/1) side fighting for Premier League survival. Villa have a poor defence but Stoke simply don’t have the strikers to trouble even the Villa defence – Stoke have the worst scoring record in the Premier League. Christian Benteke has scored nine goals in his last 11 Premier League appearances and he can fire Villa to a vital win.
West Brom v Arsenal
The Gunners (Evens) have won five of their last six Premier League matches and look to be finishing the season strongly as they bid to qualify for the Champions League. West Brom (10/3) have won just two of the 13 meetings between the sides in the Premier League. Steve Clarke’s side will finish the season in mid-table and may not be as hungry for this game as Arsenal.
Southampton to win @ 13/10, 2 pts
Norwich v Swansea – Draw @ 5/2, 1 pt
Aston Villa to win @ 3/1, 1 pt
Aston Villa – Draw No Bet @ 13/8, 3 pts
Arsenal to win @ Evens, 2 pts