Connect in the back of the net

The weekend begins at White Hart Lane where a rejuvenated Newcastle aim to maintain their recent revival against a Tottenham side aiming to usurp Chelsea into third place in the Premier League, at least for a few hours.

Gareth Bale has been in talismanic form for club and country in the last few weeks, and in guiding his side to favouritism for a Champions League place, the flying Welshman himself has been backed into second-favourite for the personal accolade of PFA Player of the Year, behind only Robin van Persie in the betting.

Going six points ahead of fifth-placed Everton a day before the Blues travel to Old Trafford is a huge incentive for Andre Vilas-Boas’ men to beat the Geordies today, but the Lilywhites may have to settle for a draw in this lunchtime fixture.

Newcastle have been boosted by their new French influx, in particular Moussa Sissoko who was the hero of the hour in defeating Chelsea in memorable fashion last weekend, but in addition Yoan Gouffran has impressed and Cheik Tiote is now back from the African Cup of Nations to add further bite to a revamped midfield.

Furthermore, despite Newcastle’s well-documented lack of points on their travels this season, they have held their own at the big venues.

They led three times at Old Trafford on Boxing Day before succumbing to a 92-minute winner, were also at 3-3 with Arsenal at the Emirates only to be blitzed in the final throes, and they have picked up a pair of Mersey draws at Goodison and Anfield.

Southampton are the only outfit outside of the top seven to have scored more away goals than Newcastle this season, and the French connection can flourish once again at a Spurs side set to be devoid of a recognised centre-forward in their starting line-up.

QPR have been on a solid run of decent results, picking up the odd point and clean sheet here and there, but that run looks set to be halted at the Liberty Stadium by Swansea today.

The Swans did lose for the first time in eight matches against West Ham last weekend, but they have shown character allied with quality all season and Michu and co can oblige against the Premier League basement boys at an attractive price.

The Hammers can back up their aforementioned win over Swansea by gaining a valuable three points away to Aston Villa on Sunday afternoon. Sam Allardyce’s men have flattered to decieve at times, especially away from Upton Park, but with Andy Carroll back in their ranks and experienced campaigners such as Carlton Cole and Kevin Nolan available, the East End side have the weapons available to bludgeon the Midlands strugglers into submission.

I’m on form at the moment with scorer bets so let’s side with Luis Suarez - with Daniel Sturridge’s fitness in the balance - to claim the opener on Monday night. Lastly, over 2.5 goals looks a banker bet for this evening’s clash between Southampton and Manchester City.



1) Tottenham vs. Newcastle Draw 11/4
2) Swansea to beat QPR 8/11
3) West Ham to beat Aston Villa 15/8
4) Liverpool vs. West Brom Luis Suarez First Goalscorer 10/3
5) Southampton vs. Manchester City Over 2.5 Goals 8/11


Written by Emelie Okeke

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