Aston Villa vs. Chelsea
Roberto di Matteo has clearly got into the habit of picking specific teams for certain games and this appears to be a more sensible option than selecting the eleven biggest available personalities. Villas-Boas attempted a similar strategy but lacked the finesse in communicating his gameplan, particularly to those whom he had left out of proceedings. Villa have struggled to win at home this season as a record of one victory from the last eight attempts testifies. They remain without influential personnel throughout the team, including Darren Bent who was instrumental in the 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge at Christmas. Evenso, Chelsea don’t have an impressive record at Villa Park in recent times but there is the feeling that they will not get a better opportunity to set the record straight. Some added insurance is available by backing Chelsea in the draw no bet market just in case there remains a hangover from their epic performance on Tuesday night in Lisbon.
Recommended bet: Back Chelsea, draw no bet.
QPR vs. Arsenal
It is virtually impossible to predict how QPR will perform in any particular game at present and their apparent indiscipline isn’t helping their cause. Having looked set for defeat against Liverpool, they rallied and pulled off a 749-1 shock comeback but they followed up that effort by reverting to type by being soundly beaten and losing a man at Sunderland. In contrast, Arsenal have metamorphisised into the most consistent outfit in the division. Their implosion in Milan now looks like a blip but that came at a time when confidence was low and the poor playing surface served as a ready made excuse. Theo Walcott appears to have gained in confidence since the emergence of Oxlade-Chamberlain and now stands as one of the team’s most productive players. Obviously Arsenal’s fullbacks took time to bed back in but now they look a more balanced unit at the back and no longer look like a team that was ready to concede a goal from every attack. Arsenal are now performing in the manner of genuine top four outfit and are deserved favourites to take the three points. There could be a high card count in this contest. More players are red carded playing against Arsenal than any other team in the division. QPR’s discipline, as already mentioned, has become poor in recent outings. This added to the fact that on average one of Van Persie, Song or Koscielny sees yellow during a game leads to a probability that the referee will be busy.
Back Arsenal to win.
Back Over 3.5 cards.