Commodore's EPL Picks

Well now, folks, we're back in the money. Whisper it softly, for these are early days yet, and such runs are notoriously skittish. One wrong move and we'll be back scrounging around for one last dime to turn into a dollar. These matters of money bore me, though. Let's talk football, for there's plenty to cover. The Invincibles are no longer, RVP is back and 'Big Sam' has reverted to his old ways, without losing any of his new effectiveness. The cream is starting to rise, while Southampton and Swansea's season's look to be turning sour. Ho ho ho. This is Christmas in the Premier League, and while the rest of European football goes into hibernation, those stubborn English keep ploughing on. Steady on Guv'nor. Steady on.

Burnley 37/10 draw 26/10 Southampton 15/20
Southampton's defeat to Manchester United was their third in as many matches. The run also included defeats against Arsenal and Manchester City, as their European ambitions were tapered somewhat. They travel to Turf Moor this weekend to face Burnley, a welcome relief for Ronald Koeman's team. The Clarets were left bloodied by QPR last time out, and now find themselves firmly entrenched in the relegation zone. They've managed just one win in their eight home matches so far and, despite the Saint's recent wobble, I expect them to get back to winning ways here. They can be found at 15/20.

Chelsea 2/11 draw 62/10 Hull City 13/1
Chelsea's march to the title has lost it's rhythm in recent weeks and they now sit only three points clear of Man City at the top of the table. Following their defeat to Newcastle at the weekend, Jose Mourinho gave a peculiar post-match interview, speaking of cows and praising the referee. What it failed to do, was distract from the fact that teams have figured out how to play Chelsea. Drogba gives them a different dimension, but at 36 years of age, he'll need to be managed over the festive season. They'll beat Hull this weekend, mainly because Hull are a poor football team at present, but it won't be as convincing as might've been the case earlier this season. I suggest waiting for odd's to drift before jumping on the Blues in-running.

Crystal Palace 16/10 draw 22/10 Stoke City 7/4
Stoke lose three in a row, including defeats against Burnley and Liverpool, and then they go trample Arsenal at the Britannia. These are the anomalies that only occur in the Premier League. They were 1-0 up within 20 seconds, and 3-0 up at half-time. It took a strangely disallowed goal and a red card to halt their momentum, but the damage was done. For them this weekend, it's a trip to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace. Tony Pulis's side have now won just one of their last nine matches. While they were the better side against Spurs, they continue to struggle for goals. This is a nothing match, with no value to be found. I don't often do this, but I'd suggest you just forget about it and move on.

Leicester City 11/2 draw 7/2 Man City 9/20
Man City haven't been at their best this season, and yet they sit just three points off Chelsea, who have been widely praised for their quality of football. Much of this is down to the form of Sergio Aguero, who has scored 19 goals in 20 appearances this season. Unfortunately for City, they'll be without his services for the next month after he lasted just 90 seconds of the match against Everton. A trip to Leicester represents the perfect start to life without Aguero and, while I expect them to pick up the victory, goals might prove a bit harder to come by. As with Chelsea, hold-off for the odds to drift a little, and then fire on the away win. 

Sunderland 17/10 draw 23/10 West Ham 16/10
West Ham continued their unlikely charge up the table with a 3-1 win over Swansea on Sunday. What made the victory so special was the manner with which it was achieved. Gone was the fancy football of earlier this season, replaced by Stewart Downing whipping crosses onto Andy Carroll's prodigious forehead. Carroll obliged, with two well-taken goals. Big Sam is proving himself a man for all seasons. This weekend they head north for a meeting with Sunderland. The Black Cats drew yet another match, their ninth of the season, against Liverpool last time out. The draw out of the equation and they've won just two matches. Stick it on the West Ham (DNB) at 8/10, and throw that into your multiples. There's money to be made.

West Brom 11/10 draw 23/10 Aston Villa 26/10
Villa have followed up a six-match losing streak with five games unbeaten. Such is the nature of this league. Christian Benteke has returned to save them from the quagmire of relegation and I've even started making some money on them. It's the West Midland's derby this weekend, where they'll face WBA, who now sit just one point above the relegation zone. The Baggies have won just once on their home patch this season, and that came against lowly Burnley. Albion may have arrested a slide of four straight defeats with a draw against Hull, but their failings in front of goal leave them with little chance of picking up a win. Taking Villa on the DNB looks another shrewd move at a rather generous 29/20.

Arsenal 4/10 draw 7/2 Newcastle 7/1
It's been coming for a while, but there's a full-blown mutiny at the Emirates. Arsene Wenger was openly ridiculed by his own supporters following their spineless defeat to Stoke, with supporters rather bluntly telling him to "f*#ck off". His opposite number, Alan Pardew, is well aware of the hardships involved with managing a struggling Premier League side but, given their history, Wenger is unlikely to get much sympathy there. Before that defeat in the Potteries, Arsenal had rattled off three wins in a row, including three clean sheets. Overreaction? Maybe, but there is cause for concern. Wenger's side just don't have the stomach when sides have a go at them physically, and with Cisse and Sissoko in the mix, Newcastle are likely to do just that. While I don't expect Newcastle to follow up their win over Chelsea with a victory here, I do expect them to score, making the BTTS bet worth your while at 19/20.

Man United 17/20 draw 5/2 Liverpool 32/10
Man Utd will be looking to make it six wins on the trot when they host Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday. Historically the biggest match on the footballing calendar has become nothing more than a byline to the title race. United sit third, eight points off Chelsea, while Liverpool are six places and seven points further back. The Reds Champions League fate would've been decided midweek, but irrespective of the result, it will have an impact on their performance here. They just don't have the squad capable of competing on so many fronts, and even with their own injury list, United should be too strong here. Liverpool will be fielding Lambert. United should start with RVP and Rooney, with Falcao on the bench. There can be only one winner and, at 17/20, they're make a solid addition to your multiples.

Swansea 29/20 draw 23/10 Tottenham 19/10
There was an inevitability to Swansea taking the lead but eventually losing to West Ham – it's happened in three of their last four away matches in the Premier League. Of course, this weekend they will return to the sanctuary of the Liberty Stadium, where they've lost just once this season. Their visitors on Sunday will be Spurs, who returned to their former-selves in drawing a blank against Palace. Aaron Lennon continued to warm the bench, despite being one of the their better players, while Soldado was back to his wayward worst. The Swans are a really solid team on their home patch, and with Wilfried Bony continuing to bang in the goals, they are another solid bet at 29/20. Also worth a punt is Swansea to score first at 9/10.

Everton 9/20 draw 34/10 QPR 62/10
QPR's away record currently reads: Played 7, Lost 7. While I'll give you the liberty of more analysis, that is all you really need to know here. QPR are a half-decent side at Loftus Road, but away from it they're jut. They've managed just two goals, conceding 17. Everton currently find themselves in 12th place, which represents a disappointing return for their season thus far. However, there is very little to suggest that QPR with their ageing team can keep pace with Lukaku and co. I can only see one winner here.

That, o my brothers, should hold you over for the weekend. Remember there's always money to be made, or saved, by operating in-running. My recent strategy of backing favourites on the DNB after they've gone behind has been paying off handsomely in recent weeks. Until we meet again, happy punting. Sala Kahle.

Written by Commodore Vegas
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Commodore’s Picks
Southampton WIN 15/20 
Chelsea WIN 2/11
Man City WIN 9/20
West Ham DRAW NO BET 8/10
Aston Villa DRAW NO BET 29/20
Arsenal BTTS 19/20
Man United WIN 17/20
Swansea WIN 29/20
Everton WIN 9/20