Loic Remy could prove an inspired signing for QPR, especially if they manage to back him up with one or two more of similar quality. He is very good with his head (scored the most headed goals in Ligue 1 last season) and is a natural goal scorer. If he can adapt quickly and barring injury he will make a mockery of the 8/11 odds about him scoring 5 or more goals before this season ends.
It will be interesting over the next few weeks to see what effect the African Cup of Nations will have, for instance you would think that Yaya Toure would be a huge loss for Manchester City, but it turns out they fared better last year without him than they did with him in a points per game scale.
For your own information, these are Premier League Players involved in that African Cup of Nations:
Here are some bets that we like the look of this weekend
Chelsea v Arsenal
You would imagine that Chelsea should be the bet here, given Arsenal’s obvious frailties, but when you look at it closely it becomes less certain. Chelsea’s home record this season under Rafa Benitez and his predecessor has not been terrific, highlighted by Wednesday’s collapse against Southampton. They have a 45.5% win rate at home compared to 64% away from the bridge.
Arsenal will miss Arteta, and are very inconsistent, but 7/2 about an away win looks generous. The Gunners have only lost twice on their travels this season and barring any madness similar to last weekend, they should give Chelsea a game. Arsenal beat Chelsea 5-3 last season in the same fixture. I’m going to play it a bit safe:
Arsenal Double Chance 21/20 (2.05) +105
Man City v Fulham
Anything other than a home win would be astonishing, and the odds reflect that. Martin Jol is the new favourite to lose his job, and on their current form you can understand why.
(Nigel Adkin’s surprise dismissal just illustrates why it is never a good idea to get involved in the managerial sack race market.)
Manchester City have never failed to score at home this season, and have kept a clean sheet in 45% of those games. Fulham have failed to score in nearly 40% of their away games.
It’s only a matter of time before Joe Hart rediscovers top form and he might not even need to be against a struggling Fulham side. Fulham are an attractive side at times when they have the ball, however they are not so good without. So my bet will rely on City not allowing Fulham time and possession, which on paper seems the most likely, to me anyway.
Man City to win to nil 6/5 (2.20) +120
Newcastle v Reading
A game which no doubt will be dubbed as a six pointer, will most likely see the return of Yohan Cabaye to Newcastle’s starting line-up, which could make all the difference. Taylor and Ameobi are also returning after injury and suspension, all of which leads me to think Newcastle are worth a go for the home win.
Reading have made a few signings, but none of them are earth shattering and appear to have been made with an eye on the possibility of playing in the championship next season.
I can’t see any reason as to why Reading should break their duck away from home.
Newcastle win 4/5 (1.80) -125
I like to put 1 or 2 speculative efforts on my bet slip each week for small stakes, they rarely come off but they are good fun. This week:
Vidic anytime goal scorer 12/1 (13.0) +1200
Sebastian Larsson and Sunderland in a score win double 16/1 (17.0) +1600