THERE are two big games in the Premier League on Sunday with Sunderland tackling Blackburn and Spurs travelling to Stoke.

I like the idea of backing on-form Spurs but not sure if Martin O'Neill can notch a win in his first game in charge of Sunderland.

So let's start at the Stadium of Light where the atmosphere should be electric after the dismissal of Steve Bruce and the arrival of former Aston Villa and Celtic gaffer O'Neill.

The Irishman is expected to do big things with the club and on the face of it a home match with Blacburn is a nice opener.

But Rovers gave under-fire boss Steve Kean a vital win over Swansea last week and they probably haven't been as poor as results suggest.

They score plenty of goals and Yakubu will have to be watched after firing four last week but at the other end they haven't managed a clean sheet since April. Yakubu is 7-1 with Betfred to score first and 12-5 at bet365 at any time.

I reckon it could be score draw with a stalemate paying 13-5 at Chandler. Sunderland are a biggest 10-11 (various) while Blackburn are a best 7-2 at Betfred.

There could be value in backing a Sunderland player such as Thomas Bendtner to score first at 11-2 (Paddy Power, Chandler)assuming they're fired up to make a fast start but I still don't think Rovers will lose and they are 1-1 with unibet on the double chance.

Rovers have netted 10 in their last five EPL games and although without a win on the road they have drawn four and lost three.

The later kick-off sees Stoke attempt to halt the Spurs juggernaut. Harry Redknapp's men would be closest challengers to Man City if they won their games in hand and have picked up five victories out of seven on the road when traditionally they have been strong at home.

I'll be on Spurs at 11-10 with Ladbrokes while Stoke are 3-1 with Chandler. For first goal consider on-form Luka Modric at 14-1 with Ladbrokes and Coral while the Croat is 9-2 at Ladbrokes to net at any time.

Peter Crouch scored twice against his former Spurs pals at the Britannia last season and is 5-1 with Paddy Power to net with a header and 18-1 to hit the winner.


Blackburn not to lose

(1-1, unibet)

Yakubu to score

(12-5, bet365)


(11-10, various)

Modric to score

(9-2, Ladbrokes)


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