Latest QPR v Hull, Stoke v Aston Villa, West Brom v Sunderland odds, plus latest betting news and free bets to pick up from Paddy Power.
Queens Park Rangers vs. Hull City
Queens Park Rangers welcome Hull City to Loftus Road, in their first game back in the Premier League.
Harry Redknapp has managed to convince Rio Ferdinand to join the club, following his release from Manchester United.
Ferdinand’s partnership with Steven Caulker will go a long way to determining QPR’s fait this season.
Hull City’s Europa League commitments will have an effect on their season, after reaching last year’s FA Cup final.
The departure of Shane Long to Southampton is a blow, especially if Steve Bruce fails to find a replacement of the same quality.
Mauricio Isla will have to wait to make his R’s debut after joining on a season long loan deal from Juventus.
Loic Remy’s move to Liverpool fell through and may be named on the substitutes bench, despite a preference to leave.
Nikica Jelavic will play alongside Sone Aluko up front, whom has had an excellent pre-season for the Tigers.
Robbie Brady’s first Premier League season was hampered by injury and the former Manchester United will be looking to feature more this time around.
QPR (3-4-1-2): Green, Caulker, Ferdinand, Dunne, Simpson, Faurlin, Barton, Wright-Phillips, Mutch, Austin, Hoilett Hull (3-4-1-2): McGregor, Chester, Davies, Bruce, Elmohamady, Livermore, Huddlestone, Brady, Snodgrass, Jelavic, Aluko
Stoke City vs. Aston Villa
Stoke City will be looking for a repeat showing of last season, when Mark Hughes guided them to their best Premier League finish.
Aston Villa flirted with relegation, however managed to survive, although they are expected to struggle again this time around.
Hughes has added well over the summer without spending big, with Bojan Krkic, Mame Biram Diouf, Steve Sidwell and Phil Bardsley all impressive deals.
Joe Cole and Philippe Senderos have joined Villa Park, along with Aly Cissokho, who has arrived after a loan spell with Liverpool.
The majority of Stoke City’s summer signings will start from the off on Saturday, including Bojan who has enjoyed pre-season at the Britannia.
Robert Huth struggled for fitness last campaign and he once again may miss out, with Marc Wilson set to partner Ryan Shawcross.
Paul Lambert looks set to give Alan Hutton, Charles N’Zogbia and Darren Bent second chances, despite all close to leaving the club.
Christian Benteke hasn’t recovered from the injury that ended his World Cup hopes, meaning Gabriel Agbonlahor will lead the line.
Stoke (4-2-3-1): Begovic, Bardsley, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters, N’Zonzi, Sidwell, Bojan, Ireland, Arnautovic, Diouf Aston Villa (4-4-2): Guzan, Hutton, Senderos, Vlaar, Cissokho, N’Zogbia, Delph, Westwood, Richardson, Agbonlahor, Bent
Sunderland vs. West Brom
Both Sunderland and West Brom came close to going down last season, however had enough and survived with a game to go.
In Gus Poyet’s first full season in charge of Sunderland, the Black Cats will be hopeful that they will avoid another fight against the drop.
West Brom’s appointment of Alan Irvine came as a shock to many, although the former Preston man succeeds Pepe Mel.
Irvine managed to convince Joleon Lescott to join West Brom on a free transfer, following his release from Manchester City.
Team news Sunderland’s big summer signing in Jack Rodwell is likely to make his debut from the off, partnering Lee Cattermole in the midfield.
Connor Wickham’s future has been in doubt, however Poyet looks set to keep a hold of the youngster, who helped keep Sunderland in the league last season.
West Brom will give debuts to Andre Wisdom and Craig Gardner, although record signing Ideye Brown unlikely to feature.
Lescott has been ruled out through injury, whilst Claudio Yacob may not start with his future still undecided.
Sunderland (4-2-3-1): Mannone, Vergini, O’Shea, Brown, Van Aanholt, Cattermole, Rodwell, Johnson, Gomez, Wickham, Fletcher West Brom (4-2-3-1): Foster, Wisdom, Dawson, Olsson, Pocognoli, Mulumbu, Baird, Dorrans, Gardner, Brunt, Berahino
Aston Villa and Swansea go head to head for Chelsea youngster
Aston Villa or Premiership new boys Swansea City are now favourites to land Chelsea FC youngster Josh McEachran on loan in January.
Chelsea are desperate to get McEachran, who turns 19 next March, some valuable experience on the pitch, something he has not been able to do at Stamford Bridge. Both Villa and Swansea are preapred to bring the youngster to their respective clubs under the proviso that he will need to be involved in first team matters.
McEachran has already been touted as one of England’s best up and coming central midfielders and is yet to play anywhere else apart from his childhood club.
The 18 year old is likely to be loaned out to one of the two Premiership sides despite being linked with a move to a few Championship sides over the last few months, and will remain at either club until the end of the season.
Villa are currently lacking experience in the midfield area so quite where McEchran will be able to fit in remains somewhat of a mystery. Swansea City on the other hand would welcome his quality and with the Welsh side having close ties with the West London side – manager Brendan Rodgers being a previous Chelsea youth team manager – it could be assumed that Swansea would be favourites.
Aston Villa v Leeds Live Stream from the Championship as Playoff Hunt Continues
Two former Premier League heavyweights meet at Villa Park tonight as Aston Villa take on Leeds Utd with the Championship title race really hotting up.
The Festive football is coming thick and fast and with both these sides having realistic ambitions of a return to the top flight we could be in for a pulsating encounter.
Steve Bruce has come in as manager of the Midlands club and really turned things around, with the Villa now moving up to ninth spot in the Championship following a 2-1 win over Burton in their previous match.
Villa Park has become something of a fortress in recent weeks, with the side still unbeaten at home and gunning for their sixth home win on the bounce as the side really puts the afterburners on in their hunt for promotion to the Premier League.
Its been a dramatic turnaround for the Midlands outfit following a dismal run of form under the management of Italian Roberto Di Matteo and the side now look like serious contenders for at least a Championship playoff place as we approach the new year.
Garry Monk has similarly turned things around at Leeds, with the Yorkshire side now in fifth spot in the Championship and hunting an automatic promotion spot. The Lilywhites have improved dramatically and now sit handsomely in the division following eight wins out of their last ten games.
Both these sides will be desperate not to lose and its looking more and more like a pivotal match even as we approach 2017. It can’t be underestimated the work Steve Bruce has done at Villa Park and the 23/10 offers considerable appeal.
Leeds Utd will be looking to continue their fine away form and the 3/1 on them taking all three poinits back to Yorkshire also looks more than a touch of value.
It make be better however to plump for the draw at 5/2, with both sides eager not to lose.
Aston Villa vs Burton – Team News, Live Stream from Villa Park as Steve Bruce Resurgence Continues
There are plenty of things for Villa fans to smile about at the moment with the side turning the corner somewhat following the arrival of Steve Bruce to the Midlands Club.
Following a difficult period under the leadership of Roberto Di Matteo, the ex Hull man was brought in and has transformed the side to one which now has eyes on automatic promotion back to the Premier League.
With only two defeats in their last eight games, the side has risen to ninth in the table and there is now genuine optimism around the club that they can indeed push for a return back to the top flight.
A win last Sunday against QPR really boosted confidence, the winner coming from striker Jon Kodjia.
For a striker it’s important to score regularly. I hadn’t scored for three games but I did at QPR and that obviously made me happy and helped the team.
“I’m happy, the players are happy, the gaffer is happy – it was a good day.
“Against Norwich we had a bad game. The team did not play well, the whole team.
“But this weekend we were better and we won.
“Newcastle and Brighton are doing well and lots of teams at the top end of the table are going on winning runs and hopefully we can do the same.
The same cannot be said for Burton, who find themselves already in the midst of a relegation battle at the foot of the Championship, and things look pretty bleak as we approach the Christmas period.
Burton currently have the second worst away record in the division, having not won any of their last 11 trips on the road. The home win is suprisingly available at 8/11, which looks a tasty price considering Burton’s aformentioned away form and the recent home form of the Villa.
Steve Bruce’s side now look a tough outfit to break down and have won their last four matches at Villa Park on the bounce.
Its difficult not to get involved at that price and we’re confident that Steve Bruce’s side can conjure up another home win, which will surely push them into serious contenders for a playoff spot as we approach the New Year.
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