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Thursday, 8th November 2012
There's just the three live Premier League games this weekend and first up it's Aston Villa v Manchester United on Saturday evening. Villa look like they're going in a more positive direction now after they were left floundering and looking absolutely 'out with the washing' earlier on in the season. You know if Villa had a bad manager this year then they could get relegated but Paul Lambert is certainly not that and they should be fine.
This is a good game for them this weekend because there will be a big crowd, they’ve got nothing to lose and they're capable of nicking a goal. Obviously Man United left it a bit late in beating Braga 3-1 in the Champions League on Wednesday but I always felt they would have enough out there and I think they will be too good for Villa on Saturday as well. I'm going to go for United to win 2-1, which is 15/2 with Ladbrokes, and that tip probably shows how far Villa have come in recent weeks because earlier on in the season I would have gone 3-0.
Next up is Man City v Tottenham on Sunday lunchtime and I've got to say I'm not a big fan of either of these team's managers. Each time they've had to make a big decision, on quite a few occasions they seem to have got it wrong. Tottenham have looked a little bit too negative at times and Andre Villas-Boas just doesn't seem to 'get' the 'Tottenham way' yet. It's a bit like at West Ham where they don't mind getting beat if they're playing with some style and having a go but it's all too negative at Spurs with one up front, particularly as they've got some good players there.
It's not been good enough from Man City either as it's all very well beating teams in the Premiership but surely after the money they’ve spent Europe is the real test and so far they have failed miserably in that department. Even though they've spent vast amounts of money in the transfer market you still get the feeling they've got two or three players who are past their best and need to move on.
They've continued Roberto Mancini’s nightmare record as a manager in Europe and he's got a squad there that should be thinking about winning the Champions League not struggling to get out of their group. Because of the reasons I’ve just given this weekend's league match is a tough one to call but I'm going for the 15/2 on offer with Ladbrokes for City to just nick it 1-0.
Finally, it's Chelsea v Liverpool on Sunday afternoon and Liverpool are a team that are evolving. It's very much a 'bits and pieces' squad Brendan Rodgers has got there and they're caught between two stalls in the way they want to play and the way they are capable of playing. I watched Chelsea in their 1-1 draw at Swansea last weekend and there's no doubt that they're not the impregnable force they once were. There are one or two areas where teams will fancy they can get at them and when Chelsea have been at their best in years gone by that hasn't always been the case.
It will be an interesting game on Sunday as the two teams play with different styles and different systems, so it should be a tactical and intriguing affair to watch. I'll go 2-1 Chelsea here though and that is available at 15/2 with Bet365.
Steve Claridge's Weekend Premier League Tips
Tip #1: Aston Villa v Man Utd (10th Nov 2012) - Match Bet: Man United win @ odds of 8/15 with Ladbrokes.com. Correct Score: 2-1 to Man United @ odds of 15/2 with Ladbrokes.
Tip #2: Man City v Tottenham (11th Nov 2012) - Match Bet: Man City win @ odds of 8/13 with Ladbrokes. Correct Score: 1-0 to Man City @ odds of 15/2 with Ladbrokes.
Tip #3: Chelsea v Liverpool (11th Nov 2012). Match Bet: Chelsea win @ evens with Bet365. Correct score: 2-1 to Chelsea @ odds of 15/2 with Bet365.
Steve's Weekly Treble: Coventry to beat Scunthorpe (10/11); Yeovil to beat Hartlepool (5/6); York to beat AFC Wimbledon (5/6). A treble with PaddyPower.com returns a touch under 11/2.
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