Commodore's EPL Picks

What has a brother got to do to get a break around here? If it weren’t for Chelsea wiping the floor with Spurs or Fenerbahce’s Monday Night victory, I might not have dragged myself outta bed at all. As it stands, I’m starting to question whether I know this game we call football very well. Just what are Wigan doing in the FA Cup semi-finals again? Should I have seen it coming? Well now I must’ve been in a delusional state to back any team that contains Martin Demichelis. Just how that greasy Argentinian remains a top-flight footballer beggars belief. His footballing CV covers clubs like Bayern Munich, Malaga and Man City. It should read, River Plate, Scunthorpe United, and Melbourne Hearts.

Hull City 54/10 draw 34/10 Man City 5/10
It is with his current club that we start the week as they travel to the KC Stadium to face Hull City, another team that got the better of me last weekend. Since City have been away trying to fill up the trophy cabinet. Chelsea have been clinically accumulating points and they now sit nine points clear of Pellegrini’s team. Hull have been a side transformed since January, with the arrivals of Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic giving the club a mighty boost. The Tigers though have struggled at home in recent weeks, and have now lost four of their last six in front of their fans. If Man City choose to bench Demichelis then they should be able to see this out, with the returning Aguero giving them a bit more dynamism in attack.

Everton 7/20 draw 37/10 Cardiff 81/10
Everton may have been on the receiving end of a 4-1 scoreline against Arsenal, but it didn’t truly reflect on how the game played out. To make matters worse, Manchester United leapfrogged them into 7th, so they are now two spaces off of a probable European place. Their guests at Goodison this week are Cardiff City, who looked as good as gone just a week ago, but are now just one point from safety - such is the logjam at the bottom. Despite this much-needed home win, The Bluebirds or Red Dragons or whatever they decide to call themselves this week have lost their last seven on the road. Back Everton to notch up the victory, with Romelu Lukaku to be amongst the goals.

Fulham 19/10 draw 9/4 Newcastle 14/10
Oh Fulham, where did it all go wrong? It’s been a season of despair at Craven Cottage, where they currently sit rock bottom having just lost 3-1 to the worst side in the league beside themselves. A visit from Newcastle used to be a highly contested mid-table fixture, now it seems an inevitable loss. The Magpies will be without their manager, who is likely to get a stadium ban for his “headbutt” on David Meyler. Expect walkie-talkies or the ol’ laundry basket to come into play. Then again Newcastle don’t even need a manager to beat this lot. Fulham are without a win in nine matches - that should be ten come Saturday. Back Newcastle at 14/10.

Southampton 6/10 draw 3/1 Norwich 46/10
Southampton are quickly becoming my bogey team after they notched up an unsuspecting victory at Crystal Palace last time out. This followed three consecutive losses, the last of which had me gibbering on about their inability to score. This weekend it’s Norwich for them and it should be straightforward, but nothing is as it seems with this team. The Canaries have lost their last four on the road, but Chris Hughton has the knack of grabbing a victory just before the axe drops. Against my better judgment I’m going with under 2.5 goals here at 17/20. Do with that what you will.

Stoke 11/10 draw 23/10 West Ham 24/10
West Ham were near unplayable in February, but they started March with a loss at Goodison Park. Big Sam will take his team to the Britannia this weekend, a ground perfectly suited to his particular brand of football. The Hammers managed a 1-0 victory here last season and, Everton blip aside; they arrive here in good form. Stoke are not without some form themselves and managed a 1-0 victory over Arsenal in their last home fixture. Again it may be better off steering clear of the outright markets with two teams so closely contested, so I’m going for under 2.5 goals again, this time at 6/10.

Sunderland 21/20 draw 24/10 Crystal Palace 26/10
Sunderland may sit second-bottom at present, but looks can be deceiving. The Black Cats cup commitments have wreaked havoc on their fixture list, where they have fallen three matches behind those around them. A home game against Crystal Palace this weekend will provide them with the opportunity to start moving on up, especially since Tony Pulis’ team have hit somewhat of a slump. The Black Cats haven’t been the strongest of teams on their home turf though, and have won only one of their last six league games at the Stadium of Light. This will have to change if they are to stay up, starting this weekend with victory over Palace priced at just over evens.

Swansea 21/20 draw 5/2 West Brom 26/10
Pepe Mel has yet to win a league game since taking charge of West Brom. Just what the hell were they thinking when they got rid of Steve Clarke? It’s Swansea for them this weekend; another team who decided a change of manager would bring about a change of fortunes. The Baggies come into this one without a win since New Years Day, which has seen them plummet down the table. They were poor against Manchester United last time out, and look a team heading for the Championship. Michu should return for the Swans, who should have more than enough to see off Pepe Mel and his rag-tag bunch of footballers. Back ‘em at 21/20.

Aston Villa 11/2 draw 31/10 Chelsea 5/10
Aston Villa versus Chelsea is not a fixture that you would usually associate with classic football matches – but there certainly has been a fair share over the years. Last season’s 8-0 aside, the teams have been closer than you may suspect, where they are only separated by one win after 147 meetings. The Blues were rather labored at times in their victory over Spurs and with Aston Villa proving unpredictable at times, Jose Mourinho will be wary of a slip-up here. As it stands the Blue machine is rolling on toward another league title and should claim all three points here, but this is the Premier League so nothing is a given. 5/10 seems too short for me, so I’d steer clear here.

Man United 15/10 draw 9/4 Liverpool 18/10
And so to the return of Super Sunday – Two fixtures that deserve a day all to themselves. We start at Old Trafford where Manchester United will attempt to put a massive dent in Liverpool’s title aspirations with a victory here. United were much improved against West Brom, but it was West Brom so I’d be wary of reading too much into that one. The Reds will be rejuvenated after their weekend off and look a team capable of giving Manchester United a rollicking. Liverpool may not have the best away record but Everton, Spurs and Newcastle have all left Old Trafford with 3 points this season. I fancy Brendan Rodgers’ team to get up for this one at 18/10. Alternatively, under 2.5 goals seems well worth a punt at 11/10.

Tottenham 19/10 draw 9/4 Arsenal 29/20
The weekend closes out with a North-London derby, a match that so often provides bucket loads of goals. Spurs were shamed by London opposition just last week and they just don’t look a side capable of matching the league’s top teams. Arsenal certainly fall into that category and Arsene Wenger will know that a victory will not only boost their hopes of landing their first title in a decade, but also all but end Spurs’ European dreams. The Gunners have won both meetings between these two this season, although this will be their first trip to White Hart Lane. I don’t see Spurs causing them too many problems though, and Wenger’s team are tipped to make it 3 from 3 at 29/20.

There you have it. Hopefully this weekend will prove my redemption – Lord knows I need it. I’ll leave it up to the football gods now, it’s in their hands. Sala Kahle.

Written by Commodore Vegas
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Commodore’s Weekend Picks
Man City WIN 5/10
Everton WIN 7/20
Newcastle WIN 14/10
Southampton U 2.5 Goals 17/20
Stoke U 2.5 Goals 6/10
Sunderland WIN 21/20
Swansea WIN 21/20
Chelsea WIN 5/10
Liverpool WIN 18/10
Arsenal WIN 29/20