Commodore's EPL Picks




The league is over. Chelsea are champions. How fitting the title would be secured by a dubious penalty award and a 1-0 victory. A certain former player spoke of the genius of Jose Mayweather – as good a name as any for Chelsea’s pragmatic manager. There can be little argument, however, that they were the best side throughout the season. It’s hardly been a vintage year for English football and the mantle of ‘best league in the world’ is on shaky ground. With the Champions League places all but wrapped up and two of the three relegation places set to be decided this weekend, the season is set for a drab end. Especially if you’re a Newcastle supporter.

Saturday

Everton 8/10 | Draw 5/2 | Sunderland 34/10
We start at Goodison Park, where Everton will be hosting Newcastle’s cross-city relegation rivals, Sunderland. The Black Cats got a slice of luck in their 2-1 victory over Southampton, although they still remain in the bottom three. Meanwhile, the Toffees were undone by some poor set piece defending and an in-form Christian Benteke as they fell to their first defeat since early March. Meetings between these two are generally close-run affairs, with Sunderland even claiming a 1-0 win in the corresponding fixture last season. Dick Advocaat’s side need the points, but unfortunately Everton look too strong for them. I’m going for a home win at 8/10.

Aston Villa 9/10 | Draw 5/2 | West Ham 28/10
A win for Aston Villa over West Ham on Saturday should be enough to see them preserve their Premier League status. Christian Benteke has now scored 10 goals in his last eight Premier League outings, while even Tom Cleverly is getting in on the act. Villa are on the up while the Hammers, despite their 1-0 win over 10-man Burnley, are on the slide. They’re without a win in their last 10 matches away from Upton Park. They’re already on summer holiday. Villa have more to play for, simple as that. I can only see one winner here – back Benteke and the Villains to triumph at 9/10, and throw that into your multiples.

Hull City 19/20 | Draw 23/10 | Burnley 3/1
With matches against Tottenham and Manchester United to close out their season, Hull City’s meeting with Burnley on Saturday is a must-win. For Sean Dyche’s side, anything but a victory will send them straight back to the Championship. With one goal in their last nine matches, I’m afraid that is where they’ll be going. Danny Ings has done himself no favours with no goals in his last 10 matches, a record that is not likely to spark interest from any Premier League clubs. The Tigers have enough firepower upfront to claim the win here, but it might not be enough to save their season. Another home win for me at 19/20.

Leicester City 31/20 | Draw 22/10 | Southampton 7/4
Leicester have given themselves every chance of staying up with a late season flurry of points. Their 3-0 win over Newcastle was more comfortable than some may have expected, and they’ll face a sterner test from Southampton at the weekend. Ronald Koeman’s side seem to have run out of steam and are without a win in three heading into the match at the King Power Stadium. Nigel Pearson may not be the most likable of managers, but he has his side fired up and in sight of a great escape. I’m rooting for them, even more so after placing my money on the 31/20 available for a Foxes victory. 

Newcastle 16/10 | Draw 21/10 | West Brom 17/10
Newcastle are in the midst of their worst run in 38 years. They’ve lost eight straight and the 3-0 reverse at Leicester, which they ended with nine-men, has to be considered one of the worst. They’re a disgrace, to themselves, the club and to football as a whole. John Carver pulled no punches in his post-match assessment, questioning whether Mike Williamson got a red card on purpose. It was an astounding moment, and one that shows just how dire the situation is at St James’ Park. They’re going down. There’s no saving them now. West Brom are not a great side, but they’re far better than the lot calling themselves Newcastle players. I missed out on Swansea’s victory a fortnight ago. I won’t miss out on this. Back the Baggies at 17/10.







Stoke City 18/10 | Draw 9/4 | Tottenham 29/20
Stoke are back at home this weekend after yet another failure on the road. On Saturday they’ll face a Spurs side that simply weren’t able to take their chances against Manchester City. Mauricio Pochettino’s side are limping across the finish line, as the exertion of his high intensity pressing game begins to catch up with them. The Potters will be looking to do the double over the Londoners, having triumphed 2-1 at White Hart Lane earlier this season. Neither side come into the match in fine form, but Stoke at home are al/10.ways worth a dabble. I’m backing them to do enough at 18

Crystal Palace 33/10 | Draw 5/2 | Man United 8/10
Should Manchester United lose at Selhurst Park on Saturday, they will open the door for Liverpool to sneak into the Champions League spots. With a home match against Arsenal and a tricky final day trip to Hull, nothing is assured for Louis van Gaal’s side. Against West Brom at the weekend, United had 80% possession, but failed to find the net or pick up a point for the third match in a row – the first time that they have suffered this fate in league football since April 1989. Palace are also on a run of three straight defeats, but their performance against Chelsea suggest they will cause problems here. I’d suggest getting on the Palace Double Chance at 17/20. For those brave enough, the win is at a generous 33/10.

Sunday

Man City 2/9 | Draw 52/10 | QPR 92/10
Manchester City’s nervy win against Tottenham saw them move back into second place and assured their place in next season’s Champions League. A win on Sunday at the Etihad against QPR will ensure they end the season above city rivals United. The visitors require nothing less than a win if they’re to keep their Premier League hopes alive. Sergio Aguero bagged a brace as Manchester City twice came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw when these sides met at Loftus Road earlier this season. QPR have won just two matches away from home this season, while City are on a five match winning streak at home. Wait for City on the drift and take them to win in-running.

Chelsea 21/20 | Draw 23/10 | Liverpool 26/10
Last season Chelsea effectively ended Liverpool’s hopes of a first Premier League title with a smash-and-grab 2-0 win at Anfield. They’ll be looking to do the same to the Reds’ Champions League aspirations at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. No side has beaten Chelsea on their home patch this season, while they’ve lost just twice in the league all season. It’s a tough task for Brendan Rodgers’ side, who scraped past QPR at the weekend courtesy of a late Steven Gerrard header. Rodgers has yet to outwit his former colleague, and Liverpool haven’t tasted victory at the Bridge since 2011. Neither team has been prolific of late, so I’m going under 2.5 goals at 15/20.

Monday

Arsenal 3/10 | Draw 42/10 | Swansea City 8/1
Arsenal are the form side in the Premier League at present. Their first half performance against Hull City was a joy to watch, as Alexis Sanchez, Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey combined to tear the Tigers apart. When Arsenal are good, they’re damn good. Talk of a title challenge next season seems premature though. They still don’t have a prolific striker, their midfield remains lightweight and injury prone, but it is their fragile confidence that is their greatest flaw. A couple bad results and the heads will drop. Back to the present though, and their home match against Swansea. The 3/10 available on a home win seems too short for me. I’d rather go with the Arsenal HT/FT double and hope the Gunners get off to a flyer.

Time is almost up on another season of European football, so best you cash in while the going is good, before hibernating for the winter. Hell, there’s not even a World Cup to keep us warm over the next few months. Well enjoy the weekend’s footy, and happy punting. Sala Kahle.

Written by Commodore Vegas
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EPL Picks
Everton WIN 8/10
Aston Villa WIN 9/10
Hull City WIN 19/20
Leicester WIN 31/20
West Brom WIN 17/10
Stoke City WIN 18/10
Crystal Palace WIN/DRAW 17/20
Man City WIN 2/9
Chelsea UNDER 2.5 GOALS 15/20
Arsenal HT-FT DOUBLE 8/10