Commodore's EPL Picks

I’m hurting right now. I can’t remember a weekend as disappointing as that one – from a football and betting perspective. Liverpool were diabolical, Arsenal toiled for 70 minutes, Chelsea were extremely lucky to get past QPR and the Manchester derby gave us a red card and not much else. Not one commentator uttered, “the best league in the world” and rightfully so. If I’m being completely honest, the Premier League is a bit dull at the moment. That West Ham and Stoke provided the most entertaining match of the weekend says it all. West Ham. And Stoke. The English contingent are likely to be fleeced in Europe mid week, but on the weekend the commentators will be back proclaiming “the best league in the world”. They’d be wrong.

Liverpool 5/2 draw 24/10 Chelsea 11/10
Perhaps Chelsea and Liverpool can raise the malaise on Saturday. I have my doubts. There was drama the last time these two met at Anfield, with Steven Gerrard's slip providing the defining moment in last season's title race. Mourinho out-thought his former protege on that day, where Chelsea grabbed two goals from two chances.  The bus driver has been given the day off on Saturday because, lets face it, Liverpool can't buy a goal. Against the league's most miserly defence, this one will be a procession. Chelsea to be the only side to score at 27/10 looks like value to me, as does the away win at 11/10.

Burnley 31/20 draw 24/10 Hull City 17/10
Ten matches in and no wins to show for it – Burnley are heading for the drop. Along with Sunderland 05/06 and Derby 07/08, this Burnley side is one of the worst to play in England's top competition. They've scored just four goals in those 10 matches, matching their points tally for the season so far. They host Hull this weekend, who were undone against Southampton by a goalkeeping howler. Lucky for them, Burnley aren't likely to get anywhere near their goalkeeper and if they do, they're unlikely to test him. Back the Tigers and let's move on.

Man United 3/10 draw 44/10 Crystal Palace 83/10
Louis van Gaal is starting to look a bit silly. Even when you take his haircut out of the equation. Even the most dim-witted of football followers could've told you that United needed defenders. Van Gaal thought differently. With Marcus Rojo out injured and Chris Smalling out due to pure stupidity, United's centre-back pairing will be Tyler Blackett and Patrick McNair on Saturday. Crystal Palace will be delighted. Both teams are without a win in three, and if Palace give this a proper go, they'll cause all sorts of problems. Load on Both Teams to Score, with the Palace or draw double chance also offering decent value.

Southampton 9/20 draw 34/10 Leicester City 6/1
Southampton's supporters were in full voice during their victory over Hull, proclaiming "we're going to win the league". While they're getting a bit ahead of themselves, the Saints early season form has been exemplary. A home match against Leicester shouldn't trouble them. The Foxes, for all their early season bravado have been terrible on the road, where they've lost four of their five matches. Southampton are getting goals from all over the park and aren't conceding many. They're a good team, bordering on very good. And they won't have any problems against Leicester. A home win and another clean sheet for the Saints.

West Ham 15/20 draw 27/10 Aston Villa 36/10
Aston Villa weren't too bad against Tottenham. For much of the match they even looked like they might pick up their first win in six. Then Christian Benteke saw red, and they imploded. The Belgian – Villa's only real hope for a goal – will now miss the next three matches. How they could do with one of West Ham's two strikers. It was Enner Valencia that found the back of the net against Stoke, as they made it 10 points from the last 12. Villa, well they've lost their last six, conceding 15 goals and scoring one. You won't get better value than a home win at 15/20. It's a bargain I tell you.

QPR 62/10 draw 4/1 Man City 4/10
QPR have shown some life in recent weeks. Their improvement has coincided with Sandro's return to form and the combative midfielder will need to be at his best if they're to get anything out of their match with Man City at the weekend. City lurched past Manchester United, with Sergio Aguero coming to the rescue. Yaya Toure was better, but still, something seems amiss in his performances. If QPR can get going early on, they could well trouble the champions here. The last time these two met at Loftus Road, QPR managed a commendable 0-0 draw. A repeat of that result will get you 4/1. It looks a gamble worth taking.

Sunderland 27/10 draw 5/2 Everton 1/1
Sunderland put two catastrophic performances behind them to record a morale-boosting win over Crystal Palace on Monday night. Steven Fletcher turned in a performance that mirrored his early showings for the club, where he couldn't put a foot wrong. He'll cause Everton problems this weekend, especially as they enter the match without the injured Antolin Alcaraz. The Toffees were toothless against Swansea, even after the Swans went down to 10 men. Samuel Eto'o was favoured over Romelu Lukaku up front, although it might be nice to see them start together up front. I fear, though, that both teams will cancel each other out, resulting in a draw.

Tottenham 13/20 draw 11/4 Stoke City 46/10
Spurs host Stoke on Sunday in a match that is a simple one to call. If Harry Kane starts, Spurs win. If he doesn't, they don't. Now, I still think that Kane will prove himself no better than David Nugent over time, but at the moment he's a match-winner. Other than Kane, there's not much about this Spurs side. Kaboul is a liability at the back, Lamela is a genius but inconsistent and the rest don't have the energy or the inclination to play the way Mauricio Pochettino wants them to play. They have a good recent record against Stoke, having won the last three encounters. It all comes down to team selection though, so keep an eye on twitter come Sunday and fire.

West Brom 12/10 draw 24/10 Newcastle 9/4
The penultimate game of the weekend sees an in-form Newcastle travel to the Hawthorns to face West Brom. The Magpies weren't great against Liverpool, but they didn't need to be to beat the Reds. Their strikers are scoring vital goals at crucial times and they're moving forward. West Brom are unbeaten in three matches, and won last time out at Leicester. Alan Irvine is doing a solid job in the Midlands, and they sit one place above Sunday's visitors. It will be tight, but given Newcastle's recent strong form, I have to favour Alan Pardew's men to pick up another win, at 9/4.

Swansea 24/10 draw 24/10 Arsenal 11/10
Arsenal close out the weekend's action with a trip to Wales. These two sides have produced some entertaining matches over the last few seasons, with both teams looking to keep the ball on the deck and play some good football. Swansea have added a defensive edge to their game under Gary Monk, which they showed during last week's draw with Everton. Arsenal won't have it all their own way. On the back of a Champions League outing midweek, this is a tough assignment. The Gunners have come on strong late in games recently, so I'm backing the second half to be the highest scoring at 21/20, a safer bet than the away win.

Let's hope it's a return to form this weekend – for football, for my tipping ability, and for the Reds. I'll take one of the three. My faith is running low, but it only takes one weekend to change that. You see I'm a fickle beast when it comes to punting, not football – where my allegiances run deep, like my emotions. Some final rash predictions before I leave you. England to beat the All Blacks, Hamilton to win again in Brazil and Lazio to beat Empoli in Serie A and Drogba to score against Liverpool. Sala Kahle.

Written by Commodore Vegas
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Commodore’s Picks
Chelsea WIN 11/10
Hull City WIN 17/10
Man United BTTS 8/10
Southampton WIN 9/20
West Ham WIN 15/20
Sunderland DRAW 5/2
Tottenham WIN 13/20
Newcastle WIN 9/4
Swansea 2ND HALF MOST GOALS 21/20