Commodore's EPL Picks

The international break is over for a month or so and now we can return our focus back to the things that matter – The English Premier League. Manchester United climbed into the top four prior to the break in an ominous sign for the anti-United brigade. The thing is, they’ve looked decidedly average and yet they’re ahead of Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs in the table. Once Louis van Gaal gets his new team firing they’ll be difficult to stop. There is still hope for the opposition though, as long until they address their frailties at the back. They look a better team on the whole, though, but for £150 million spent, they damn well better. 

Man City 9/20 draw 33/10 Tottenham 58/10
We start the weekend across town at the Etihad, where Manchester City will host Tottenham. Spurs conceded 11 goals in two meetings between these teams last season, including a 6-0 thumping in the corresponding fixture. They improved their recent record against the top four with a draw at Arsenal a couple weeks back, but in truth they were lucky to get as much out of the game. City are a more clinical bunch and with Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure back on the goalscoring trail following the victory over Villa, I can only see one result. Back Man City on the HT-FT double at 21/20.

Arsenal 7/20 draw 37/10 Hull City 64/10
Arsenal were a notch below Chelsea in their last outing and look destined for another fourth place finish. They still lack the power of the big teams, and often find themselves getting bullied. It’s Hull for them this weekend, and they’ll struggle to deal with the raw power of Mo Diame, who has had a fine start to his career with the Tigers. Steve Bruce’s team picked up their first win since the opening day last time out, but remain too inconsistent to back with any real conviction. Arsenal still have frailties at the back, and while I expect them to win, I don’t see them keeping a clean sheet. Both teams to score seems a decent punt at 9/10.

Burnley 16/10 draw 22/10 West Ham 16/10
Burnley finally managed to score a goal, but a Premier League victory still eludes them. Prior to the season a home game against West Ham might’ve been a perfect opportunity to end that drought, but Big Sam’s boys have impressed so far. Their two new strikers have tormented defences with their smart movement, while Stuart Downing has been reinvigorated after moving into the trequartista role. Good wins over Liverpool and QPR were separated with a narrow loss to Man Utd. Both teams are available at 16/10 but, on current form, there can be only one winner. Back Big Sam’s boys to fire.

Crystal Palace 7/1 draw 36/10 Chelsea 7/20
Crystal Palace have done moderately well considering they lost their manager just 3 days before the start of the new season. Unbeaten in four matches heading into their game against Hull, they never arrived on the day and were duly punished. Chelsea make the trip across town this weekend, where they’ll be looking to avenge last year’s defeat. It was a John Terry own goal that separated the two that day, landing what proved to be a fatal blow to Chelsea’s title hopes. It’s early season yet, but I don’t see Chelsea being quite so generous on Saturday. Despite the disruptions from the international break, I still fancy Mourinho’s men to triumph at 7/20. For longer odds, you could back the second half to produce the most goals at evens.

Everton 5/10 draw 3/1 Aston Villa 52/10
Following their impressive start to the season, Aston Villa's form has fallen off a bit in recent weeks. Matches against Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City haven't helped their cause in fairness. On Saturday they'll travel to Goodison Park to face Everton, another side without a win in three matches. The Toffees have only won once this season, a 2-0 win away at West Brom. Roberto Martinez's side don't have the confident swagger they showed last season and seem to be suffering a crisis of confidence at present. With Christian Benteke back in the mix for the Villains, they could sneak the points here. At 52/10, they look good value.

Newcastle 11/10 draw 23/10 Leicester City 23/10
Newcastle have yet to win this season, but a draw with Swansea last time out would've lifted their confidence. A return to St James' Park for a match against Leicester might not help their cause though, as they've come under increasing pressure from their own supporters. Papiss Cisse has rediscovered the goalscoring form that made him such a hit following his arrival from Germany and they'll need him to continue if they're to start climbing the table. The Foxes let me down badly against Burnley, so I'm going for a home win here, available at a fairly decent 11/10.

Southampton 11/20 draw 11/4 Sunderland 52/10
The new Pelle has been a revelation this season, even grabbing a goal for Italy on his debut. The Saints suffered their first defeat since the opening day against Spurs, but it was nothing more than an off day. Sunderland will make the long trip to the south coast this weekend buoyed by their solid win over Stoke. The victory ended a run of three consecutive draws as Darren Fletcher grabbed a brace and picked up his first goal of the season. The last three Premier League meetings between these sides have ended in a draw and, with the Black Cats recent record, it seems a solid enough bet. It can be found at 11/4, jump on it.

QPR 47/10 draw 28/10 Liverpool 11/20
Liverpool went four matches in all competitions before sneaking past West Brom at Anfield just before the international break. They'll have Daniel Sturridge back in the mix and, with a trip to QPR on the cards, the three points should be guaranteed. There's not much to be said about QPR. They remain a soulless club filled with money-hungry footballers and a manager that should probably have retired a couple years back when the FA decided that Roy Hodgson is a better coach. A Liverpool win is available at 11/20, I suggest you throw that into a couple multiples.

Stoke City 14/10 draw 21/10 Swansea City 18/10
The final match of the weekend sees Swansea travel to the Potteries to face Stoke. The two teams are separated by 12 places on the log, but only three points. It just goes to show how congested things are in mid-table. Stoke have struggled for goals so far this season. That'll happen when you're fielding a 33-year-old Peter Crouch as your sole striker. The Swans welcomed back Wilfried Bony in their last match and he responded with a goal and a strong performance. Stoke are slight favourites here, but I think that the Swans have enough to get the victory at 18/10.

West Brom 36/10 draw 11/4 Man United 7/10
Manchester United head to the Hawthorns to face West Brom on Monday night. Louis van Gaal has issued a warning to the league following his teams ascent into the top four, but a loss on Monday could see them drop as low as 13th. West Brom shocked the Red Devils at Old Trafford last season, with Morgan Amalfitano scoring one of the goals of the season as he made David de Gea look like a Sunday league keeper. The Spaniard has shown himself anything but with recent performances, even claiming the Spanish No 1 from Iker Casillas. I somehow don't see him keeping a clean sheet on Monday, though, not with Utd's current defence. Back Both Teams to Score at 7/10.

The season hasn't really got going, has it? Only Chelsea have found any sort of rhythm, while the rest have been inconsistent at best. It hasn't helped the punters. I suggest you keep a close eye on those teams that have been under performing, because once they turn the corner there'll be money to be made. That'll be all folks. Sala Kahle.

Written by Commodore Vegas
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Commodore’s Picks
Man City HT-FT Double 21/20
Arsenal BTTS 9/10
West Ham WIN 16/10
C Palace Most Goals 2nd Half 1/1
Aston Villa WIN 52/10
Newcastle WIN 11/10
Southampton DRAW 11/4
Liverpool WIN 11/20
Swansea WIN 18/10
West Brom BTTS 7/10