The week ahead throws up plenty of interesting Premier League clashes involving teams competing for mid-table slots this season, which is significant because it means they are fixtures in which both sides will fancy their chances of success.
The competitive nature of this year's league dictates that it has become difficult to confidently predict who will win any encounter. As a result, there are good odds to be had if you get things right.
|Manchester City||1-1||Everton||Saturday||12.45||BT Sport|
|Sunderland||1-3||Manchester United||Saturday||17.30||Sky Sports|
The same applies for goalscorers, particularly this weekend when there is high potential for both teams in these matchups to score. Below, we take a look at some of the danger men likely to trouble defences.
Andreas Weimann (ASTON VILLA vs. Hull City, 15/8 to score anytime)
Austrian striker Weimann got his Premier League account off the mark last weekend with a winning goal for his side against Manchester City and will be well-placed to add to that total in what should be an open contest against Hull.
Both sides will feel they have a good chance of collecting three points and, in turn, that should encourage attacking football. With Christian Benteke still sidelined, there is every chance Weimann will reprise his central role.
I wonder how long Weimann is going to be at villa for, great little player!— Brad Collard (@BradCollard) September 29, 2013
While Weimann has not been a prolific scorer, it is important to note that he has got more shots away than any Villa player this season (14). Playing centrally, this willingness to shoot should see him take aim from better positions, while his pace will worry Hull's defence.
At nearly 2/1, his odds are kind for a striker facing a newly promoted side—regardless of Hull's bright start to the campaign.
Marco Arnautovic (STOKE vs. Fulham, 12/5 to score anytime)
Stoke travel to a Fulham team desperately out of form on Saturday and will be keen to pile more misery on Martin Jol's downtrodden side at this early stage of the season. Fulham, who concede more shots than any team in the league, look bereft of ideas at present.
While Mark Hughes' men will be disappointed at their defeat to Norwich this past weekend, there have been plenty of positives to take from the opening weeks of the season.
One such positive has been the start of Arnautovic, who has looked dangerous in his brief career in England thus far. The Austrian has been keen to shoot on goal—attempting seven shots thus far—and has a reasonable scoring record from his time in the Bundesliga.
Fulham's beleaguered side would be an attractive opponent against whom to open his Premier League account and, at odds of 12/5, Arnautovic looks like good value as an anytime scorer.
Michu (SWANSEA vs. Southampton, 15/8 to score anytime)
Given his goalscoring record since arriving in the Premier League, it is a surprise to see Michu at such reasonable odds against a non-top-four side.
Will Michu score at Southampton?
Southampton have only conceded two goals this campaign, leading to the generous odds on the Spaniard to score. But, given that Swansea are one of the division's few sides capable of taking on Southampton in the possession stakes, it will be an intriguing encounter to watch.
Michu is in good form in front of goal, with five strikes to his name across all competitions thus far. If his colleagues can take away some of Southampton's advantage in possession, there is every chance they will create opportunities.
With an impressive 18 shots to his name this campaign, Michu has not been shy in trying his luck, and that is unlikely to change at St Mary's Stadium this weekend.
Loic Remy (NEWCASTLE vs. Cardiff, 7/4 to score anytime)
French striker Loic Remy has scored goals aplenty since arriving in the Premier League in January, despite playing for a QPR side that was struggling against an almost inevitable relegation for much of that period.
Remy has since got his Newcastle career off to a blistering start with two goals against Hull and, with great quality when finishing off either foot, will be a real menace for Cardiff.
The Bluebirds have started well in the Premier League, but will hope to clamp down on openness in defence that has seen opposition sides afforded an average of 17 shots per game. Against the likes of Remy, such generosity will be punished.
Again, both sides should go looking for a win in this encounter and, in turn, the hope must be that it will open the game up for both teams to register on the scoreboard.
All statistics via Whoscored, odds courtesy of Boyle Sports.