Betting preview: Liverpool v Arsenal, Real Madrid v Barcelona, Manchester United v Southampton, Reading v Chelsea

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Updated: January 30, 2013

Tonight’s midweek action sees Arsenal hosting Liverpool and Man United facing Southampton along with a host of other thrillers.

Arsenal and Liverpool may not be competing for the title this season but there is still an intense rivalry between the sides and tonight’s meeting at Emirates Stadium promises to be a thriller as the fight for UEFA Champions League football intensifies.

Match Betting

5/4

Arsenal

5/2

Draw

11/5

Liverpool

Team News
Arsenal

Mikel Arteta is said to be making good progress from a calf injury and may be back in contention, though the Spaniard is unlikely to be rushed back into action.

Gervinho is on international duty, elsewhere Wenger could have a fully fit squad to choose from, with Walcott, Cazorla and Wilshere all having been rested from the start at the weekend.

Diaby is likely to get the nod as a slightly stronger defensive option than Aaron Ramsey in the midfield, while the form of Olivier Giroud should keep Walcott out wide.

Liverpool
Reina, Enrique and Johnson should all be back in contention to start the game at the Emirates.
Captain Steven Gerrard will also return to the starting line-up.

To Note
There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Liverpool’s last 8 games in the Premier League. 4/6

Arsenal have seen under 2.5 goals in 6 of their last 7 home matches against Liverpool in all competitions. 11/10

Prediction and Betting advice
The two teams are always closely matched. The home side are in reach of a European spot and want to grasp it. They will feel they have the beating of an embarrassed Liverpool squad after they were bet at the weekend by Oldham. Rogers side will have something to prove and a 1-1 draw could be the likely outcome of this encounter.

Advised Bets
Draw 5/2
Luis Suarez to score first and match end as a draw 33/1

Southampton V Man Utd

2/9

Man United

11/2

Draw

12/1

Southampton

Mauricio Pochettino looks to continue his steady start to his Southampton reign following the goalless draw at home to Everton but an even sterner test awaits at Old Trafford in midweek.

Manchester United conceded a last-gasp equaliser to Spurs in their most recent Premier League outing and Fergusons side will be set on returning to winning ways, having seen Manchester City squander the chance to cut their lead at the summit to two points as they drew 0-0 with bottom club Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday night.

Team News
Southampton

Captain Adam Lallana could be back after a two-month lay-off to return on the left. Guly Do Prado looks set to miss the tie with a knee injury he picked up against Everton.

Man Utd
United look to be back to near full strengths with van Persie set to return.  Vidic and Ferdinand could also both start at the expense of Jones and Smalling.

Prediction and Betting Advice
Southampton who have held both Arsenal and Chelsea to draws this month, could find the strength of Fergusons side to much tonight.

Man Utd to win 3-0   7/1
Van Persie to score and United to win 4/5

Reading V Chelsea

11/2

Reading

7/2

Draw

1/2

Chelsea

Chelsea will look to get back to winning ways when they visit struggling Reading at the Madejski Stadium tonight. 

The Royals sit third from bottom and a point adrift of safety ahead of tonight’s clash but can draw confidence from back-to-back  Premier League wins over Newcastle and West Brom.

Those successes have contributed to Reading’s four-game winning streak in all competitions, having also beaten Crawley and Sheffield United in the FA Cup, thumping the Blades 4-0 in the fourth round on Saturday.

Chelsea have struggled to find consistent form this season. But Reading will be wary of a Blues side who have performed best away from Stamford Bridge in recent games, winning five of their last seven on the road in all competitions and drawing the other two.

Team News
Reading
Reading has no serious injury concerns for tonight’s fixture.

Chelsea
Chelsea face some problems in terms of team selection at the moment, particularly in midfield, with Eden Hazard suspended, Romeu injured, Mikel and Moses at the African Nations and David Luiz is a doubt.

Predictions and Betting
Chelsea will be looking to overcome their weekend blunder at Brentford. Reading need three points from this encounter but tonight they are up against it.

Chelsea to win both halves 2/1
Chelsea 2-0 7/1
Juan Mata to score anytime 6/4

Real Madrid V Barcelona 

21/20

Real Madrid

14/5

Draw

5/4

Barcelona

Real Madrid welcome Barcelona in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final at the Bernabeu tonight. Football matches don’t come bigger than El Clasico, and even when it’s just a simple domestic cup competition, Spain’s two most tetchy antagonists are sure to light some fireworks.

Barca will surely start as favourites however, even though they will be playing on Real’s daunting home patch.

Team News
Real Madrid

Real will have to face their biggest rivals with a very makeshift defence as Iker Casillas and Pepe remain out injured, whilst Sergio Ramos and Fabio Coentrao are suspended.

Diego Lopez is expected to make his first appearance in goal since rejoining the club at the weekend.

Further forward though the Spanish champions will be more recognisable as Sami Khedira and Xabi Alonso will return after a being rested.

Barcelona
Barcelona are at full-strength for the trip to the Bernabeu.

Prediction and Betting Advice
The hosts’  are missing  a host of important defensive players and it is hard to see how they will be able to cope with Barca’s pace and movement.

Madrid will also fancy themselves to score given Barca’s own troubles with conceding goals in recent games and

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored in each of the last six meetings between the two.

Barcelona to win 2-1 8/1
Messi to score and Barca to win  6/4

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