by Tom Allen
The Premier League season was just getting going before the international
break and it makes a welcome return this weekend after a fortnight's absence.
It is Chelsea that sit top of the standings after three matches, boasting the
English top flight's only perfect record, but they face a stern test at Loftus
Road on Saturday and I wouldn't be rushing to back the leaders at odds on versus
Queens Park Rangers.
It should be much easier for those sides leading the chase however including
for both Manchester clubs and while United are no value to get the better of
Wigan at Old Trafford, best price of around 1/4 to secure three points, the
champions are worth siding with at Stoke.
Manchester City have made a more than satisfactory start to the defence of
their trophy, winning twice and drawing 2-2 at Anfield to date, despite not
hitting the heights of the previous campaign but they could be about to turn it
up a notch and I see them having little trouble at The Britannia.
Having conceded five goals en route to their seven points, more than any
other team in the top half of the table, City will want to bag their first clean
sheet of the season and they have every chance of doing so against shot-shy
It's been three fairly respectable opening draws for Tony Pullis' team,
taking a point from each of Reading, Arsenal and Wigan, but the gulf in class is
enormous and free-scoring City should have no problems finding a breakthrough.
Including their 3-2 success over Chelsea in the Community Shield at Villa
Park, the champions have found the net 11 times in just four matches and they
finished last season with a flourish on their travels too having previously
struggled to kill-off stubborn opponents.
Comfortable away wins at Norwich, Wolves and Newcastle helped seal the title
last spring and striker Sergio Aguero could make a surprise return to the City
matchday squad following injury to further bolster their attacking options.
Despite potentially having one eye on Tuesday's massive clash with Real
Madrid in the Champions League, William Hill's 3/4 about City prevailing appeals
and I think they should be no bigger than around the 3/5 mark.
It's the best wager of the latest round of fixtures which look particularly
tricky from a betting perspective.
2pts Back Manchester City (vs. Stoke) @ 3/4 (William