Bet on this Weekend’s Sport
Goodison Park is the scene for the first Merseyside derby of the season with the red half of the city already dreaming of a first Premiership title following an excellent start to the season. They will be looking to overhaul current leaders Arsenal, who will want to continue their recent goal spree when they welcome Hull to the Emirates on Saturday. Two sides looking to break into the top four meet at Fratton Park on Sunday when Spurs visit Portsmouth, although the top four is a distant dream to Spurs at the moment as they are bottom of the Premiership. In the final Premiership game of the weekend Manchester City travel the short distance to Wigan as they look to put recent their cup woes behind them and continue their good start to the league at the JJB stadium on Sunday.
Everton v Liverpool, Saturday, Sky Sports 1, 12:45pm
Although it may no longer be the “friendly derby” of days gone by, the Merseyside derby still has a special atmosphere compared to other derby’s across the country. It still splits families down the middle between Red and Blue, and there is still mixing of fans in the stands, something unheard of in any other derby. The atmosphere has always been white hot, however, and that will no doubt be the situation when the two sides of Liverpool meet for the 208th time on Saturday afternoon. Last season’s corresponding fixture at Goodison was a fiery affair with both Tony Hibbert and Phil Neville both being sent off for Everton, and Dirk Kuyt lucky not to follow them following a horrific two footed tackle on Neville. Liverpool won 2-1 thanks to Kuyt penalty; a decision which infuriated Everton fans denied a spot kick after Jamie Carragher wrestled Joleon Lescott to the floor.
Arsenal v Hull City, Saturday, Setanta Sports 1, 5:30pm
Hull will be hopeful of continuing their impressive start to the season when they take their unbeaten away record to North London on Saturday tea time. They will face a Arsenal side defending a 100% home record, and who have scored 21 goals in their last six games. That included six in midweek against Sheff Utd when Arsene Wenger decided to introduce some exciting new youngster. Nineteen year old Mexican Carlos Vela led the way with a hat trick, and he was supported by 16 year old Jack Wilshere and Nicklas Bendtner. Wilshire scored his first senior goal while Bendtner, a relative old head at 20, also got in on the act with two goals. Hull have made an impressive start to their Premiership life, losing only one of their opening six games. Last weeks 2-2 draw with Everton actually came as a disappointment for the Tigers, as they had been leading the game 2-0 with twenty minutes to go. Michael Turner and a Phil Neville own goal put them in a commanding position, but two quick fire goals form Cahill and Leon Osman salvaged a point for the Toffees.
Portsmouth v Tottenham Hotspur, Sunday, Sky Sports 1, 1:30pm
Portsmouth entertain Tottenham at Fratton Park on Sunday as they search for their first Premier League win since August. Defence is the main area Pompey will be focusing on in the build up to this game, having shipped 10 goals in their last two games. Six of those came in their last Premiership outing at Manchester City, although up until Robinho’s goal on 57 minutes that put City 3-0 up, the game was finely poised. However in the final 30 minutes Portsmouth capitulated under constant City pressure, and were grateful for the final whistle. Tottenham have endured a tough start to the new season, although recent cup results may have restored some much needed confidence. 2-1 wins in both the UEFA and Carling Cup in the last week has lifted some of the gloom surrounding White Hart Lane, and they will look to re-start their Premiership campaign on the back of those wins.
Wigan Athletic v Manchester City, Sunday, Sky Sports 1, 4:00pm
Wigan were one of the few Premiership sides to come through their midweek Carling Cup games comfortable, as they strolled to a 4-1 win over Ipswich at Portman Road. There seems to be a new found sense of confidence among Steve Bruce’s side as they have started the new campaign well, with just one defeat so far. Since a defeat to Chelsea in the second week of the season they have recorded some big wins over Hull and Notts. County in the Cup, as well as some hard fought draws to Sunderland and Spurs. They face an Manchester City side still coming to terms to being dumped out of the Carling Cup this week by Brighton. After drawing 1-1 in the 90 minutes, and 2-2 after extra time, they were eventually beaten 5-3 on penalties. City had been looking to seal the win in 90 minutes thanks to Gelson Fernandes 64th minute strike, but Glenn Murray equalised a minute from time to force the extra thirty minutes. The League One side then took the lead five minutes into extra time and looked to be heading for victory themselves until Steven Ireland, temporarily, spared City’s blushes in the 107th minute. They will be looking to bounce back here and continue their good start to the league.