Commodore's EPL Picks




Last weekend’s abbreviated fixture list left me feeling shortchanged. Six Premier League fixtures is hardly enough to sustain my appetite, while the FA Cup left a bad aftertaste in the mouth. Arsenal will face Aston Villa  in the final on 30 May, while Steven Gerrard will watch the match on television. And so ends one of the season’s great narratives. There aren’t many left. Chelsea all but wrapped up the title with a victory over Manchester United, while City’s win over West Ham means Liverpool are likely to miss out on Champions League qualification. It’s all a bit anti-climatic. Betting at this stage of the season always feels a bit too much like gambling too me – anything can, and does, happen. Tread carefully, or your season might go the way of Liverpool’s. 


Saturday

Southampton 1/1 | Draw 24/10 | Tottenham 27/10
We start at Saint Mary’s where Southampton and Spurs will slug it out for fifth spot. Mauricio Pochettino left the south coast in search of glory and European football. Lose on Saturday, and his Spurs side will be overtaken by his former employers. Spurs have a great recent record in this fixture, having won each of the last five meetings. However, the Saints are no pushovers at home, and have managed 11 clean sheets in their 17 home matches. That is some record. Spurs eeked out a 1-0 win when these two met at White Hart Lane in October, and I’m expecting a similarly tight affair here. Back under 2.5 goals at 15/20 and move along.

Burnley 15/10 | Draw 9/4 | Leicester City 7/4
The relegation battle is perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this dire season. Leicester’s recent resurgence has given them a very real prospect of survival and a win against Burnley will lift them out of the bottom three for the first time since November. Sean Dyche’s team had no luck in their defeat to Everton, and now find themselves at the foot of the table. They’ll need to channel the spirit of that miraculous victory over Man City – one of just two victories this year. Given what is at stake, a cagey approach might be expected. However, both sides will be desperate for a win, and I’m expecting an open match. The 9/10 available for over 2.5 goals looks a decent wager here.

Crystal Palace 1/1 | Draw 22/10 | Hull City 29/10
Palace let me down big time last weekend. They absolutely dominated against West Brom, but were ultimately undone by a Craig Gardner screamer. They’ll be better this weekend. On Saturday they face Hull City, whose slide down the table has left them one place outside the relegation places on goal difference alone. They’ve lost their last three matches and didn’t look like scoring against Southampton in their last outing. Matches like this one are normally best to avoid. A mid-table side, hosting a team fighting for their survival. Palace are a good side, and should win, but that makes them even more likely to lose. If you must punt, I’d stick to Hull City on the Double Chance at 7/10 – they could do with a point or three.

Newcastle 27/20 | Draw 21/10 | Swansea City 2/1
There really is nothing to like about Newcastle at the moment. I long for the days of a side managed by Kevin Keegan or Bobby Robson, with names like Faustino Asprilla and David Ginola. As it stands, they’ve been turned into a soulless business, without a manager or any players of international quality. They’re a Championship side in all ways but one. They’ve lost six on the spin, scoring just two goals. If it weren’t for Alan Pardew (who the fans forced out earlier this season) they’d be heading down. Relegation might be the only way to rid themselves of the leeches that have attached themselves to this once great club. Back Swansea to make it three in a row at St James’ Park at an extremely generous 2/1.








QPR 27/20 | Draw 9/4 | West Ham 19/10
West Ham are another side that is ambling toward the end of the season. Their sole win in their last 10 matches came against Sunderland, which says it all really. On Saturday they make the short trip across London to face QPR, who have lost their last six at home. This is a must-win match for Chris Ramsey, who has yet to enjoy success at Loftus Road. West Ham fielded Carlton Cole up front in their defeat to Man City, hardly an inspiring selection. This most certainly won’t be a classic, but QPR won’t mind one bit if they can pick up three points. The 27/20 on offer for a home win is a bit short, but is probably the way to go here.

Stoke City 9/10 | Draw 23/10 | Sunderland 31/10
Stoke did enough to see off Southampton at the Britannia last time out, with Charlie Adam proving to be the match-winner. This weekend they’ll play host to a Sunderland side who find themselves just a point above the drop zone. Dick Advocaat’s arrival hasn’t quite brought the change of fortunes they were hoping for, as they followed up their win over Newcastle with a 4-1 defeat to Crystal Palace. That performance was about as limp a showing as I’ve seen this season. I fear for Sunderland’s survival, because they’re not getting anything out of this match. Back the home side at 9/10, and throw it into your multiples.

West Brom 28/10 | Draw 5/2 | Liverpool 19/20
Where to now for Liverpool? Their FA Cup dream lies in tatters, their Champions League hopes soon to follow and their talismanic captain is on his way out. Brendan Rodgers has a big off-season ahead of him. Before then, though, they’ll try to salvage what is left of their season, starting with a trip to the Hawthorns on Saturday. West Brom have proven tricky customers for the Reds in recent seasons, both home and away. They’ve won three of the last six meetings, including a 3-0 loss in Rodgers’ first Premier League match in charge of the Reds. Back the Baggies to put the final nail in Liverpool’s Champions League coffin, at 28/10.

Man City 1/4 | Draw 47/10 | Aston Villa 9/1
The turnaround at Aston Villa has been remarkable since Tim Sherwood’s appointment. I don’t believe he’s the best manager about, but he has the players invigorated by a fresh approach, and they’re playing for each other. He’s also helped Christian Benteke rediscover his confidence, and he’s plundered nine goals in his last seven matches. That’s some going. On Sunday he takes his side to the Etihad to face the outgoing champions. A win for Manuel Pellegrini’s team will all but secure Champions League football and given their recent home form – they’ve won their last four without conceding a goal – they should get the win they need. However, I fancy Villa to get themselves a goal or two. I’m backing Both Teams to Score at evens.

Sunday

Everton 24/10 | Draw 23/10 | Man United 11/10
Everton are another side that has enjoyed a late-season surge. The signature of Aaron Lennon has invigorated Roberto Martinez’s stale side and has them playing with some verve again. They’ll need to be at their best if they’re to compete with Manchester United on Sunday who, despite a loss to Chelsea, are in a rich vein of form. They’ll be keen to keep ahead of their rivals and secure automatic entry into the Champions League, so will be going all-out for the win. It should make for an entertaining match. I’ve got a feeling there could be some goals in this one, so I’m taking over 2.5 goals at 19/20.

Arsenal 14/10 | Draw 22/10 | Chelsea 19/10
Chelsea showed just why they’ll be champions with a stubborn 1-0 win over Manchester United this past weekend. It was typical Mourinho pragmatism. Expect a similar approach when they visit the Emirates on Sunday. A draw will be enough, so don’t expect to see any adventure from the Blues. The Gunners have a poor recent record in this fixture, while Arsene Wenger has constantly been out-thought by Mourinho. As much as I want to believe that will change on Sunday; that enterprise and boldness will pay off; it’s not going to happen. Chelsea will get the result they require, a win or a draw. Take the Double Chance at 5/10, and throw it into a couple multiples.


There you have it, folks. A full weekend of fixtures to sink your teeth into. No need to get hasty and bet on them all – pick and choose accordingly. If you’re putting together an EPL multiple, you could do a lot worse than QPR/Stoke/West Brom at 15/1. Enjoy the footy, and the punting. Sala Kahle.

Written by Commodore Vegas
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EPL Picks
Southampton UNDER 2.5 GOALS 15/20
Burnley OVER 2.5 GOALS 9/10
Hull City WIN/DRAW 7/10
Swansea City WIN 2/1
QPR WIN 27/20
Stoke City WIN 9/10
West Brom WIN 28/10
Man City BTTS 1/1
Everton OVER 2.5 GOALS 19/20
Chelsea WIN/DRAW 5/10