Commodore's EPL Picks

My calls last weekend weren’t bad, they just lacked conviction. If I’d had the balls there could’ve been more money in the coffers. Chelsea did me good with RVP’s late strike greatly affecting what could’ve been a successful weekend. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one. It was my decision not to take West Ham to beat the champions that irks me the most, but at least we know now how good they really are. Injuries permitting, this Hammers outfit could match Newcastle of a couple years back and push hard for European qualification. From a manager that looked down and out in April, it’s been an inspired turnaround. One final shameless brag – 16/1 on the 2-2 draw between West Brom and Palace – I hope you got on that.

Newcastle 28/10 draw 5/2 Liverpool 19/20
The weekend kicks-off at St James’ Park, where Newcastle take on Liverpool in an intriguing encounter. The Reds aren’t the team of last season. They weren’t going to be without Suarez and Sturridge. Brendan Rodgers would’ve been pleased to keep a clean sheet against Hull, but they drew a blank up front, where Balotelli came under more (if perhaps a bit unfounded) criticism. The Magpies – well they shocked most by scoring a win at White Hart Lane. Perhaps Pardew’s motley crew of European journeymen aren’t as bad as first suspected. Previous results suggest this could go either way, but I’m backing the Reds to find some form, any form, at 19/20.

Arsenal 1/4 draw 48/10 Burnley 87/10
Arsenal were gifted two goals and three points against Sunderland. Alexis Sanchez profitted from the Black Cats rather generous defence and bagged a brace. However, Arsenal aren’t looking comfortable at the moment, with their performances looking more a grind, than the entertaining, free-flowing football we’ve come to expect from them. They could well strike that balance against Burnley this weekend. Winless and three points adrift at the foot of the table, Sean Dyche’s team should prove easy pickings. They managed to score last time out, but conceded three. Get the Gunners on the HT-FT double at 15/20.

Chelsea 1/6 draw 64/10 QPR 14/1
Jose Mourinho wasn’t best pleased with his side after they forfeited two points deep into injury time against Manchester United. The draw was probably a fair reflection of the game. Chelsea weren’t clinical enough. Without Costa up front, one worries whether they’ll have enough firepower to sustain a challenge for the title. They should see off QPR this weekend, with or without their prize Spanish matador. Harry Redknapp’s team got their morale boosting win against Villa, but they’ll be no match for the Blues here. There’s very little value to go on here, so I’m backing Chelsea to win by three or more at 12/10.

Everton 15/20 draw 26/10 Swansea 38/10
Samuel Eto’o rolled back the years to turn in a match-winning performance for Everton against Burnley at the weekend. The Cameroonian striker, finished one with a bullet header, before curling in the winner during the second-half. Everton are on the up. A home match against Swansea will prove a test of their new-found confidence. The Swans find themselves as high as sixth following Wilfried Bony’s brace against Leicester, and look a team capable of troubling even high quality opposition. There are often goals when these two clash, with the both teams getting on the score sheet in the previous three meetings. Both Teams to Score looks the bet here, at 15/20.

Hull City 27/10 draw 24/10 Southampton 21/20
Southampton travel to Hull in a rich vein of form. Contrasting wins over Sunderland and Stoke have shown that they’re not only able to play the fanciful football, but they’re also able to grind out the victories. Hull disappointed me against Liverpool. They played for the draw and got what they wanted but, if they’d shown some intent, the Reds were there for the taking. They’ll be more adventurous against Southampton. The betting reflects how close this game could be, so I’m going with the draw at 24/10, with the 1-1 draw on offer at 52/10.

Leicester City 11/10 draw 24/10 West Brom 23/10
West Bromwich Albion showed great resolve to get a draw out of their match against Crystal Palace after trailing 2-0 at half-time. Saido Berahino grabbed his seventh of the season as his burgeoning reputation continues to grow. It’s a trip to the King Power Stadium for the Baggies this weekend, where they’ll face Leicester City. The Foxes are in a mini slump and are without a win in four matches – having failed to score in three of them. There’s not much to separate these two at the moment, with the draw looking the most likely outcome. 11/1 on the 2-2 draw anyone?

Stoke City 5/4 draw 24/10 West Ham 9/4
Stoke and West Ham meet in Saturday’s final match. Former ‘hoof-it-and-hope’ teams, that now like to get the ball on the deck and pass it. It should be a decent match. The Hammers sit just a point behind Manchester City in fourth place and are bang in form. They’ve won four of their last five, with their sole defeat coming against Man Utd. They’ve won at the Britannia as recently as 2013 and have a pair of strikers that should trouble Stoke’s ponderous defence. At 9/4, The Hammers look the value bet of the weekend, get on them.

Man City 17/20 draw 26/10 Man United 32/10
The headline act of the weekend is undoubtedly the Manchester derby. Both teams have exhibited frailties already this season. Eliaquim Mangala has struggled at the heart of City’s defence, while pretty much the whole of United’s back-four have had days to forget. There’ll be goals, of that I have no doubt. Last season City put seven past their rivals over the course of two matches. In fact, the last four meetings have produced over 2.5 goals. A repeat at 6/10 doesn’t offer much in the way of value, though. Rather get on the City victory at 17/20.

Aston Villa 5/2 draw 24/10 Tottenham 11/10
We close out the weekend with Tottenham’s visit to Villa Park. After an encouraging start to the season, Paul Lambert’s side have now lost five on the spin, the latest at the hands of lowly QPR. They’ve failed to score in each of those five matches, with Christian Benteke’s return failing to have the desired effect. Spurs, well they’re not doing much better. Soldado continues to look an overpriced flop, while Harry Cane still doesn’t convince me. However, their record against Villa is particularly impressive, having notched up 11 goals in the previous four meetings. Given their history in this fixture, 11/10 on an away win looks a very decent price.

Crystal Palace 11/10 draw 23/10 Sunderland 26/10
Crystal Palace welcome Sunderland to Selhurst Park on Monday evening in the hope that the Black Cat’s come bearing gifts. Gus Poyet’s team were diabolical against Arsenal on Saturday, with both Vito Mannone and Wes Brown contributing to the Black Cat’s downfall. Palace looked much-improved against the Baggies, and were unlucky not to collect the full three points. Last season’s corresponding fixture ended 3-1 in favour of the home side, and I’m backing Palace to repeat that feat at 11/10.

The Premier League continues to gather pace as we head towards Christmas, where the fixtures come thick and fast. So prepare yourself. 'Tis the season to be punting. You'll need a float, though. City, West Ham, Spurs will get you odds of nearly 12/1. Have a bit of that. Sala Kahle.

Written by Commodore Vegas
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Commodore’s Picks
Liverpool WIN 19/20
Arsenal HT-FT DOUBLE 15/20
Chelsea BY 3 GOALS OR MORE 12/10
Everton BTTS 15/20
Hull City DRAW 24/10
Leicester City DRAW 24/10
West Ham WIN 9/4
Man City WIN 17/20
Tottenham WIN 11/10
Crystal Palace WIN 11/10