Another weekly preview and another Premier League manager departs. Crystal Palace went down 4-1 at home to flailing Fulham on Monday night and by Wednesday Ian Holloway had left his job as manager of the Eagles.
It was one of those unsatisfying “mutual consent” affairs although the latest reports suggest Holloway quit more than having been pushed, citing exhaustion and burnout after four seasons of tumult with Blackpool then Palace. Tony Pulls looks set to replace him and is even money with Coral.
Oh well, no doubt Palace will be fine without Holloway: up next, league leaders Arsenal. Arsenal were naive in midweek, losing 2-1 at home to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League but they can bounce back here with BetVictor’s 2/5 a price worth taking given the exceptional away form the Gunners have exhibited recently.
Manchester United did better in Europe, winning 1-0 at home to Real Sociedad but they played well and it should have been three or four. A home game against Stoke gives them a chance to build momentum and with Wayne Rooney looking imperious they should get the win. Rooney’s stats for Man United are 202 goals in 412 appearances and taking that and his current form into account, 6/5 with Bet365 is a great price for him to score at anytime.
The biggest action of the weekend is on Sunday, with Sunderland hosting Newcastle and Man City travelling to Chelsea. Five of the last 10 Tyne-Wear derbies have ended 1-1 and whilst Newcastle could well nick it we fancy the draw there at 12/5 with BetVictor.
The Chelsea game could be crucial in the title race and given the relative records of the teams home and away – City being poor on the road, Chelsea very strong at home – 29/20, again with BetVictor, looks a tasty price for the home win.
Oh and one other bet: Everton to beat Villa 6-0 at 350/1 with Bet365. (I’m an Everton fan, I can dream can’t I?)