Commodore's EPL Picks

A weekend of football without any draws, where all the favourites won – the world truly has gone crazy. Unfortunately due to an unforeseen SNAFU I wasn’t able to supply you with some tips last weekend, but that didn’t stop me from making a tidy profit. Perhaps I can keep the good times rolling and you can get in on the act this week, although now is not the time to be making any promises. The league is hurtling on towards its conclusion, and results are notoriously hard to pick in the run-in. Throwing out predictions without knowledge of the midweek results may seem foolhardy, but I’m banking on this novel approach to keep the money rolling. Let’s make it rain.

Man United 7/20 draw 37/10 Aston Villa 77/10
Old Trafford is where we’ll kick things off with David Moyes hoping that it’s not just another false dawn in a season full of such things. Wayne Rooney channeled his inner-Beckham against West Ham to cap off a good week for United. The same can’t be said for their opponents who were shamed at home to Stoke in another diabolical performance. Luckily for Paul Lambert this week’s match is away from Villa Park where they seem to be a lot more consistent. United were torn to shreds on the break by Liverpool and although not quite of the same standard, Aston Villa do offer a threat when presented with possession. You have to believe that United will have enough about them though, at a measly 7/20.

Crystal Palace 56/10 draw 33/10 Chelsea 5/10
Jose Mourinho made it his mission to rain on Arsene Wenger’s 1000th match parade, and his Chelsea side sure did deliver. Another bullet dodged on the way to the title his side seems to be going from strength to strength despite his ongoing assertions that they aren’t title challengers. A visit to Crystal Palace this weekend should be about as easy as they come, but stranger things have happened in this league. Palace have now gone five matches without a win, but it is often when a teams back is against the wall that they pull out their season defining match. Unfortunately for Tony Pulis, I don’t think that will be this week. Back the Blues at 5/10.

Southampton 15/20 draw 26/10 Newcastle 38/10
Two games in and there hasn’t been much value to be found – perhaps this one will be a bit different. A mid-table battle for supremacy, Southampton host Newcastle as Alan Pardew serves the last game of his stadium ban. The Saints snatched defeat from the jaws of victory against Spurs, throwing away a two-goal lead in spectacular fashion. Their opponents toiled in their 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace in what was a fairly unspectacular performance. For both teams it looks likely to be a season of what might have been. What will be is a Southampton victory over a Newcastle side lacking a bit of joie de vivre at present. Back the Saints at 15/20.

Stoke 12/10 draw 24/10 Hull City 9/4
Stoke have come good in recent weeks, and have even started scoring goals. Much-maligned for being a bunch of thugs who have no place on a football pitch, The Potters have actually started to play some decent football under Mark Hughes. They welcome Hull to the Britannia this weekend, who themselves have been portraying the characteristics of a solid mid-table team. Having won their last two league matches on the road, Steve Bruce’s side should provide ample threat here. Their meeting earlier this season ended in a 0-0 draw, but somehow I fancy goals here. A sneaky punt on Both Teams To Score at 21/20 may be worth your while.

Swansea 7/10 draw 27/10 Norwich 39/10
Having picked Swansea a number of weeks back as a possible relegation candidate, it gives me great pleasure to watch them slip down the table. Sure, I will miss their fancy football that warms the soul like a good whisky, but the money I’ll get from their demise will go a good way to securing a nice 18-year old. There is no room for sentiments in gambling. If Norwich can sneak a victory at the Liberty, I’ll be right in the mix. Of course Swansea have only lost once at home to lower-league opposition and Norwich’s away record is poor. A safer bet will be the over 2.5 goals market at 19/20 – hopefully coming from the Canaries. 

West Brom 8/10 draw 26/10 Cardiff 36/10
For all their great football against Liverpool, Cardiff were just too lackluster at the back to cope with the likes of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge. A trip to West Brom will be a relief with Matej Vydra hardly striking any fear into defenders hearts. The Baggies are right back in the thick of things, and a win for the visitors will lift them level on points with their opposition. The Baggies are without a win in five at home, but four of those have ended in draws. Cardiff meanwhile have managed just one victory on the road, and that was against the bottom club. Where do I see this one going? I suggest you tear up the formbook and back Cardiff at 36/10.

Arsenal 18/10 draw 5/2 Man City 27/20
It was a case of mistaken identity at Stamford Bridge last weekend. Arsenal had been mistakenly identified as title challengers, when in truth they’re glorified also-rans. Their record against big clubs this season has been woeful, even somehow managing to lose to Manchester United. It will be another Manchester Club for them this weekend as City come to town, intent on crushing Arsenal’s title dreams. A 6-3 victory in the meeting earlier this season shows the gulf of class between these two teams, and even though the Gunners will be playing in front of their vociferous home support – four or five goals will take the sting out of the game. Back City to the hilt, even on the ‘cap if you can find it. Arsenal are fading fast and will be put out of their misery here.

Fulham 33/10 draw 26/10 Everton 17/20
The Gunners late season implosion will have the likes of Everton and Spurs hoping they can make a late push for a Champions League spot. The Toffees will travel to bottom-club Fulham on Sunday and a victory for Roberto Martinez’s team will all but condemn their hosts to the drop. Fulham may have won their last home match, but they’ve also lost a league high ten times on their home patch. Everton are also unbeaten in the last 8 matches between the two, and with an almost fully fit squad to choose from the 17/20 on offer for an away victory looks about as solid a bet as you’re likely to get this weekend.

Liverpool 5/10 draw 33/10 Tottenham 57/10
Why not make it a Merseyside double at 17/10 by backing Liverpool to overcome Spurs in Sunday’s other match. The Reds have been unstoppable in recent weeks, taking their goal tally to 82 with their 6-3 victory over Cardiff. They absolutely smashed Spurs when the two met earlier this campaign, and given their current rich vein of form I can only see this going one-way. Spurs are not top four quality and have shown that time and again against the bigger clubs. Anfield will be rocking come Sunday with confidence growing into expectation. The difference is – this Liverpool team can deliver, and how. Back them at 5/10 and finish the week on a high.

Sunderland 27/20 draw 24/10 West Ham 19/10
Closing out the game-week West Ham will look to rediscover their February form when they visit the Stadium of Light. Big Sam’s team won every fixture in February, and have subsequently lost every match in March. Talk about inconsistencies. Their opponents have shown a distinct lack of fight in their battle to avoid the drop. Gus Poyet chose a vengeful tone in his post-match interview with a thinly veiled attack on his players. It remains to be seen whether it will have any effect on his overpaid squad. I don’t expect much in the way of quality here, so I’m tipping Both Teams To Score (NO) at 19/20.

There isn’t much more to say on the matter. We’re into the final stretch and it’s still all to play for. Even Manchester United have something, although Bayern Munich are almost certain to extinguish that flame. Until next week, Sala Kahle.

Written by Commodore Vegas
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Commodore’s Weekend Picks
Man United WIN 7/20
Chelsea WIN 5/10
Southampton WIN 15/20
Stoke BTTS 21/20
Swansea OVER 2.5 19/20
Cardiff WIN 36/10
Man City WIN 27/20
Everton WIN 17/20
Liverpool WIN 5/10
Sunderland BTTS (No) 19/20