Commodore's EPL Picks

Beware the false dawn, folks. Just as I think the worm has turned, the international break comes along to plunge me into darkness. While I would like to attribute some of the blame to Eskom, it was all my own doing. It serves me right for trusting the Portuguese national football side. Lesson learned – from now on I stick to Premier League football, and the odd rugby handicap. Stick to what you know, that’s what I reckon, and the rest will follow. Of course the Premier League is a temperamental beast – turn your back for one second and it’ll be tearing your Achilles from the bone. It cares not for reputations, for the annals of history or your gut feelings. Trying to tip in the Premier League is to predict the unpredictable, to tame the untameable. Well come on, let’s give it a try then, ey.

Chelsea 2/9 draw 53/10 West Brom 11/1
Let me start with a rash prediction – Chelsea will be champions come May. No one can stop Mourinho’s side. They’re too balanced, too powerful and despite my hatred of the man’s character, they’re well managed. Last season a match against West Brom might’ve caused them troubles, but not this. The Baggies look to be progressing well under Alan Irvine, but a victory at the Bridge is beyond them. Previous meetings between these two have been surprisingly close, with Chelsea winning just two of the last six, both by a single goal. A repeat of that will get you 3/1, or you can go with Chelsea outright at 2/9 – one for the multiples.

Everton 11/20 draw 11/4 West Ham 7/2
Everton have gone somewhat unnoticed at the start of this season. Europa League commitments and international breaks have affected their rhythm and they currently find themselves in 10th. Their opponents this weekend, West Ham, have been catching everyone’s eye. Hell, Stewart Downing earned a recall to the England side, after succeeding in his new withdrawn role. He’s the new Gareth Barry. With Everton struggling defensively (they might have to field Tony Hibbert) West Ham are good for a goal or two here. I’m going with Both Teams to Score here at 13/20.

Leicester City 11/10 draw 24/10 Sunderland 24/10
It’s been two months since Leicester City’s last win – a 5-3 victory over Manchester United. It’s an example of how cruel this league can be. Since that afternoon they’ve lost five of their six matches, scoring just two goals. It wouldn’t surprise me if they beat Sunderland this weekend. The Black Cats are slowly regaining consciousness after the savage beating they took against Southampton, claiming four points from their last two outings. Looking at the betting, I can’t believe that Leicester are on offer at 11/10. I suggest you steer clear of this one, but if you must have a punt, the unders market looks like a decent bet at 8/10.

Man City 4/10 draw 39/10 Swansea City 64/10
I'm don't quite know what to make of Manchester City at the moment. Their defence is a shambles, but in Sergio Aguero they have a proven match-winner. Yaya Toure has blown hot and cold, while even the ever-reliable Pablo Zabaleta has seen a dip in form this season. The optimists would say that they're only eight points off the top despite all their troubles, but there seems to be underlying issues in the squad. Swansea will provide a stern test this weekend, especially off the back of their victory over Arsenal. City are normally a sure bet at home, but given their recent wobbles, the draw at 4/1 is too good to pass up.

Newcastle 15/20 draw 27/10 QPR 37/10
Newcastle look like a good football team. Five wins on the trot (four in the league) and they've moved above the likes of Liverpool, Spurs and Everton. How did this happen? Well for one – they stopped conceding goals. They've conceded just once during that run, in their comeback victory over Spurs. Throw in the the goal-scoring exploits of Ayoze Perez and they're on the up. Another team that has shown improvements in recent weeks is QPR. Harry Redknapp's team were undone by some Aguero magic against City, while Eden Hazard's late penalty denied them a point against Chelsea. Something's gotta give, however, I don't expect it to be Newcastle's newfound defensive solidity.

Stoke City 13/20 draw 27/10 Burnley 44/10
Burnley picked up their first victory of the season at their 11th attempt last time out, and they cost me big. They even kept a clean sheet, their first since keeping Sunderland scoreless on the opening day of the season. On Saturday they travel to the Britannia to face a Stoke side that sprung a surprise on Spurs to pick up a rare away win at White Hart Lane. Bojan Krkic grabbed his first goal since his move from Barcelona in an impressive display from the visitors. Back in the Potteries, Stoke should continue their solid start to the season, and are tipped to pick up the victory at 13/20.

Arsenal 11/10 draw 24/10 Man United 23/10
Saturday's final match should be a humdinger. The meeting of Arsenal and Man Utd has often been a title decider over the Premier League years. This year the winner might sneak into the top four. There will be goals, you can put your dog on it. United's centre-half pairing are travelling to London in their mother's SUV, while Arsenal's back four have decided that defending isn't for them. They'd rather play on the wing. Throw in Danny Welbeck, the baby giraffe in roller skates who continues to grow his collection of mishit goals and you've got the making of a classic. United are yet to win on the road this season, making the home win a solid bet at 11/10. For those looking to make real money, get on the live-betting and back the overs. I'm thinking there'll be eight or nine goals here.

Crystal Palace 7/2 draw 26/10 Liverpool 8/10
From a goal glut to a goal drought. Liverpool have managed just one goal in their last five matches. One-single goal. It's like watching a boxer long past his prime getting beaten mercilessly, but his trainer refuses to throw in the towel. Daniel Sturridge might be back, but the expectation has already started to tell on his fragile body. He now knows that Liverpool's hopes rest on his shoulders. No pressure Dan. Luckily for the Reds, they've got Crystal Palace this weekend – a team just as bad as them. Palace are also without a win in five matches, and even went down to Sunderland in their last home game. If Sturridge starts, Liverpool win. If not, I'd go with the unders market and keep an eye on the in-running markets.

Hull City 24/10 draw 24/10 Tottenham 11/10
Hull are another team short on goals, and have failed to find the net in each of their last three matches. Despite this, I still feel goals are in the offing for this side. Awaiting them this weekend is a visit from Spurs, who quite frankly are a poor excuse for a football side at present. They were booed off the pitch at half-time against Stoke, while Christian Eriksen and Andros Townsend didn't make it out for the second half. It was unbearable to watch for Spurs supporters, and not much better for the rest of us. How Spurs are favourites for this match beggars belief. They're unable to play the way Pochettino wants them to, and they're going to get fleeced here. Get on the Tigers at 24/10.

Aston Villa 39/10 draw 26/10 Southampton 15/20
Terry Paine tipped Southampton for a top four finish this season. The words of a delusional supporter, or a travelled pundit? A bit of both I suspect. Southampton have been a revelation this season – a phoenix from the flames. They're as defensively sound as they've ever been, while Graziano Pelle continues to show himself an astute signing. A trip to Villa Park should prove easy pickings for Ronald Koeman's side, especially since Villa's strikers couldn't hit a barn door at present. This one is simple – get on the away win at 15/20.

I'm all over the place. But such is the nature of the beast with which we wrestle. This is where I leave you. What you do with this information is up to you. I will take none of the blame, but I wouldn't mind some of the profits if my ramblings prove correct. Well enjoy the footy, Sala Kahle. 

Written by Commodore Vegas
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Commodore’s Picks
Chelsea WIN 2/9
Everton BTTS 13/20
Leicester UND 2.5 GOALS 8/10
Man City DRAW 39/10
Newcastle WIN 15/20
Stoke City WIN 13/20
Arsenal WIN 11/10
Liverpool WIN 8/10
Hull City WIN 24/10
Southampton WIN 15/20