Commodore's EPL Picks

Okay, folks, I have a problem here. I suffered the dishonour of betting against Liverpool in their massive derby against Manchester United and now I believe that I'm cursed. Ho ho ho. Since that ill-advised punt I've had a run of nine successive losses. It's not often teams like Atletico Madrid, PSG and Juventus fail to win, but fail they did. Let me not dwell on such matters, though, for there's always the next round of fixtures and a shot at redemption. For Liverpool, only divine intervention can save them now. Or the second coming of Daniel Sturridge. Oh how I long for the Ides of March when anything seemed possible. These are dark days indeed, and there's no end in sight.

Man City 3/10 draw 47/10 Crystal Palace 17/2
Man City also find themselves without their main-man but, unlike Liverpool, they have enough quality to offset the loss of their star striker. Frank Lampard did the business for them once again at the weekend, and with a home match against Crystal Palace to look forward to, they should pull level on points at the top of the table on Saturday. Palace may have lost once in their last five matches, but they've also managed just one win in that period. The home win looks a bit short for my liking, so I'm going with City on the HT-FT double at 8/10.

Aston Villa 9/2 draw 29/10 Man United 6/10
Across town at Old Trafford, something is happening. They've had their struggles this term, especially on the injury front, but United have now won six on the trot – without playing particularly well. Luck is on their side (see Juan Mata's marginal offside goal against Liverpool). David de Gea has been hailed the new messiah, while RVP is starting to look like the grey-haired 29-year-old they signed two years back. A trip to Villa Park lies in wait for them this weekend, a ground they haven't lost at for nearly two decades. Can they make it seven in a row? I believe they can, and so do the bookies, who've installed them as 6/10 favourites. Get on it.

Hull City 7/4 draw 9/4 Swansea City 31/20
Swansea were another team that did me on a torrid Sunday afternoon, thanks to Harry Kane's 4th minute opener. On Saturday they travel to Hull, who are without a win since the beginning of October. Steve Bruce's side now find themselves just three points above Leicester with no sign of improvement. They fell behind early against Chelsea at the weekend and have now conceded six goals in the opening 15 minutes of matches in the Premier League this season – no side has conceded more. I got burned on this last weekend, but I'm going with the Swans to open the scoring at evens, while a punt on Wilfried Bony to score anytime also seems a decent wager.

QPR 13/10 draw 24/10 West Brom 2/1
QPR are back at home and should be back among the points. On Saturday they host West Brom, who were fortunate to get make way with three points against Villa at the weekend. This is one of those fixtures that are worth having a punt on just to make it interesting. Otherwise no one would really give a damn about what happens at Loftus Road. Charlie Austin should return after missing the trip to Goodison Park through suspension. I can only see one outcome here and, at 13/10 for the win, QPR look just about the bet of the weekend.

Southampton 11/10 draw 24/10 Everton 24/10
Southampton have suffered an alarming dip in form in recent weeks. They're without a win in five and have lost their last four, including their last outing against lowly Burnley. They will be looking to return to winning ways this weekend against an Everton side struggling for form themselves. Roberto Martinez's side find themselves even behind city rivals Liverpool, and just a couple points above the relegation zone. With the players at their disposal, they should really be featuring more prominently in the race for European football. Neither team is bristling with confidence at present, making the draw a likely outcome at 24/10.

Tottenham 5/10 draw 34/10 Burnley 5/1
Spurs are another side that have been far from their best, but are somehow still managing to win. Harry Kane remains the sole player in their side that wants to be there, while Hugo Lloris continues to nonchalantly prove himself the best 'keeper in the league. Yes, United fans, he's better than De Gea. The rest of their side rank rather high on the David Bentley scale of underachievement. They should still have enough about them to see off Burnley at home, but this is the Premier League, so forgive me for my skepticism. I'm getting on Harry Kane to score anytime and BTTS. You do as you please.

West Ham 13/20 draw 11/4 Leicester City 4/1
West Ham did me a favour on Saturday as they fought back to secure a draw at the Stadium of Light. This weekend they'll host Leicester in a match they'll be expected to win. As I stated last week, Leicester are heading for the drop, and can still be found at 9/4 to finish bottom. I'd get all over that. Their last victory came against Man Utd – remember that? Since then, they've picked up just two points in 11 matches. You can commend them all you want for their performance against Man City, but they still lost. They'll lose again at West Ham. Get on the Hammers at 13/20 and throw that into your multiples.

Newcastle 9/10 draw 26/10 Sunderland 3/1
Newcastle's injury woes finally caught up with them as they were fleeced at the Emirates. The result won't worry Alan Pardew too much – they were never expected to win away at Arsenal. However, on Sunday they host Sunderland at St James' Park and anything short of a win will be met with scorn from the Magpies notoriously fickle supporters. Expect the customary red card, with Lee Catermole or trade coat Jack Colback the likeliest candidate to lose their heads. I've looked around and it can be found at 7/4. As for the result – this fixture has the tendency to finish in a draw – so I'm sticking with that, at 26/10.

Liverpool 18/10 draw 24/10 Arsenal 15/10
The weekend's final match, between Liverpool and Arsenal, should be an instant classic. Two sides that pride themselves on their attacking, free-flowing football, going at it with reckless abandon. Remember the 4-4 draw at Anfield a couple years back? The one that had Arsenal fans believing that Andrei Arshavin was a world-beater? Good times. Unfortunately for both clubs, they've fallen behind the times somewhat. Liverpool's run at the title was a bit like Arshavin's early promise – where everyone started to believe the hype, themselves included. They're not title contenders. They're not even Champions League contenders. With Joe Allen 'bossing' the midfield, they're nothing more than a mid-table club masquerading as something bigger. They'll get done against Arsenal like they did by United. Let's move along, why don't we?

Stoke City 47/10 draw 11/4 Chelsea 6/10
Chelsea have been good this season. Some may even hesitate to use a stronger adjective. But one question remains: Can they do it on a cold, wet, windy Monday night at Stoke? Well last season, they came unstuck, going down 3-2 despite two goals from Andre Schurrle. The main difference between then and now is the signing of Nemanja Matic. Forget Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas, Chelsea are out in front because they have the best holding midfielder in the league. End of story. Matic is as solid as they come, and possesses the vision and passing ability of Xabi Alonso in his prime. Only he makes it look better, because he does so with his left foot. Chelsea are a different team with him in the mix, as exhibited by their only loss of the season, which came in his absence. The Blues will exorcise the demons of last season, and restore their buffer at the top of the table.

That will be all, folks. Sala Kahle.

Written by Commodore Vegas
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Commodore’s Picks
Man City HT-FT DOUBLE 8/10
Man United WIN 6/10
Swansea 1ST TEAM TO SCORE 1/1
QPR WIN 13/10
Tottenham BTTS 17/20
West Ham WIN 13/20
Newcastle DRAW 26/10
Arsenal WIN 15/10
Chelsea WIN 6/10