Commodore's EPL Picks



Manchester City are in crisis. Thoroughly whipped by their city-rivals, Manuel Pellegrini’s side are now nervously looking over their shoulder. Surely time is up for the cool Chilean. Sheikh Mansour has invested over a billion pounds into the football club since 2008 – he did so with the aim of winning the Champions League. Now there’s a serious risk that they won’t even be invited to play in it next season. As for Louis van Gaal. He’ll consider the glorious 4-2 win at Old Trafford as vindication of his credentials. No need to mention that it was two players signed by David Moyes that were the stars of the show. And Ashley Young. Some things in football simply cannot be explained. On the betting front, things went quite well, although for the second week running I was out of my multiple by one leg. With the FA Cup rolling around this weekend, we’ll have an abbreviated fixture list, but there’s still enough matches to keep the good times rolling. Let’s get to it then, why don’t we?

Saturday

Crystal Palace 9/10 | Draw 23/10 | West Brom 3/1
We start the weekend at Selhurst Park, as the soaring Eagles host a West Brom side that have struggled in recent weeks. There have been no such problems for Alan Pardew’s Palace side, who absolutely decimated Sunderland at the weekend. Yannick Bolasie is quickly becoming one of my favourite players in the league. Pace, power, trickery – he’s got it all. And then there’s Glenn Murray, who looks like a construction worker, but plays like a philosophy professor. He’s a clever player, and after outwitting Man City’s expensively assembled defence, he was at it again against John O’Shea and co. Palace look unstoppable at the moment, and I can’t see anything but a home win here. At 9/10, they are full value for money. Go large, I’ll be doing the same.

Everton 13/20 | Draw 28/10 | Burnley 39/10
Everton have taken pretty much all season, but they’re starting to come good. They were unlucky not to claim all three points against Swansea and will be looking to make amends when they host Burnley this weekend. The Clarets have shown in recent weeks they are a difficult side to break down, but they’ll need to start showing more incisiveness on attack if they’re to save themselves from the drop. Danny Ings has cut an isolated figure up front in recent weeks, and they’ll need more goals from the likes of George Boyd and Ashley Barnes. A Samuel Eto’o brace gave Everton a 3-1 win when the two met at Turf Moor earlier this season, and they’ll be looking for a repeat at Goodison Park. It’s onwards and upwards for the Toffees, and they’re tipped to edge this one at 13/20.

Leicester City 11/10 | Draw 23/10 | Swansea City 23/10
The Foxes have come alive in recent weeks. Their stunning 3-2 win over West Brom was thoroughly deserved and netted me a pretty penny after I backed them when they were trailing 2-1. The 91st minute winner sparked wild celebrations, although it did do some damage to my 9/2 bet on them finishing at the foot of the table. It didn’t bother me none, I love a good scrap. And Leicester seem up for anything at the moment. They head into Saturday’s match with Swansea on the back of successive victories. The Swans haven’t been in too bad a nick themselves, notching up seven points out of a possible nine. Of course this is the time of the season where you have to favour the side that is scrapping for survival – unless it’s Sunderland. Boldness paid off handsomely for me last weekend, and I’m backing the Foxes to go again, at 11/10.

Stoke City 24/10 | Draw 21/10 | Southampton 12/10
Southampton just won’t go away. A fortuitous 2-0 win over Hull City moved them above Liverpool, before the Liverpool’s victory on Monday night. On Saturday they face a tricky trip to the Britannia to face Stoke City. The Potters may not be in the best of form of late, but their home record remains as good as ever. They’ve won four of their last six at the Britannia, with the two losses coming against Manchester City and an in-form Crystal Palace side. The Saints have rather surprisingly been installed as favourites for this one, which doesn’t sit well with me. The last two meetings at the Britannia have ended in a draw, while their last victory there in the league came almost a decade ago. This one will be close, so I suggest playing the unders markets or backing Stoke on the double chance at 6/10.








Chelsea 19/20 | Draw 24/10 | Man United 28/10
Saturday’s meeting of Chelsea and Manchester United has something of an anti-climactic feel about it. Chelsea have all but wrapped up the title, while United should finish in the Champions League places barring a monumental meltdown. Robin van Persie’s stoppage-time equaliser earned United a point when the two met earlier this season at Old Trafford, although all that came before it was rather bland. Both sides are in a very different space at the moment, with United finding their rhythm under Van Gaal, while Chelsea seem to be winding down to another title. I’m not expecting the same cut and thrust witnessed at Old Trafford over the weekend, with a point viewed as a good outcome for both sides. The draw is available at 24/10, although I suggest steering clear and watching this one for enjoyment purposes.

Sunday

Man City 1/4 | Draw 47/10 | West Ham 87/10
Failure to beat West Ham on Sunday will set alarm bells ringing at the Etihad, if they aren’t already. City have now lost three of their last four in the league, but can take some comfort in the fact that all of those came away from home. At the Etihad, their form remains as convincing as ever, where they’ve scored 10 goals and conceded none in victories over Newcastle, Leicester and West Brom. The Hammers also arrive in Manchester with just one win in their last 10 matches – hardly encouraging form. City will likely be without captain Vincent Kompany and it will be interesting to see whether Pellegrini retains faith in the walking liability that is Eliaquim Mangala. Despite all this City should have enough to pick up a much-needed victory, although the 1/4 on offer doesn’t quite seem worth it.

Newcastle 21/10 | Draw 24/10 | Tottenham 12/10
Tim Sherwood returned to haunt his former employers at the weekend. Kicked to the curb after leading Spurs to sixth place, Sherwood would’ve taken great joy in damaging his former-club’s hopes of a similar finish this time around. On Sunday Mauricio Pochettino will take his side to St James’ Park to face one of the poorest Newcastle sides I’ve seen in recent seasons. Their back four are Championship quality, while up front Ayoze Perez is hardly going to strike fear in the hearts of Premier League defenders. It’s a sad state of affairs really. They’ve lost their last five, scoring just two goals during that period. If Tottenham can’t pick up a win here, they don’t deserve to finish in the top six.

We also have the small matter of the FA Cup semi-finals over the weekend. Tim Sherwood showed last season that he is a shrewd manager, especially when it comes to cup competitions. It wouldn’t surprise me if he got one over Brendan Rodgers on Sunday. As for Arsenal’s meeting with Reading – there can be only one winner, but for the punters among us, I suggest loading on the overs markets, and let’s hope for another 7-5 thriller between the two. I’ve also got a decent treble for you: Crystal Palace/Bastia/Werder Bremen at 7/1. Let’s hope it arrives this weekend. Otherwise, enjoy the footy. Sala Kahle.

Written by Commodore Vegas
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EPL Picks
Crystal Palace WIN 9/10
Everton WIN 13/20
Leicester City WIN 11/10
Stoke WIN/DRAW 6/10
Chelsea DRAW 24/10
Man City WIN 1/4
Tottenham WIN 12/10