Commodore's EPL Picks




Some weeks are unfortunate in the world of football. Last week was definitely one of them. Sunderland could well have secured their place in the Premier League for another season with their victory at Goodison Park. The league will be poorer for it. Meanwhile, Burnley and QPR slipped through the trap door back into the Championship. I have mixed feelings over the loss of ‘the Ginger Mourinho’, but I’m glad to see the back of QPR. All they’re good for is improving the goal difference of the sides in the league. With Champions League qualification wrapped up, the only thing left undecided is the final relegation place. Hull may have let themselves down against Burnley, but Spurs are running on empty. They’re there for the taking.

Saturday

Southampton 15/20 | Draw 5/2 | Aston Villa 7/2
We start, however, on the south coast. Aston Villa look to be safe for another season at least, and with an FA Cup final on the horizon, it might even be considered a successful season. Hell, they sacked Paul Lambert, so it can only be a good year. On Saturday they’ll travel to Southampton to face a Saints side battling to avoid the dreaded Europa League qualification. Ronald Koeman has done well in his first season at St Mary’s but he doesn’t need the poisoned chalice that is European competition next time around. Neither team will really want to win this one, while a point will do for both. I fancy a draw at 5/2.

Burnley 31/20 | Draw 21/10 | Stoke City 17/10
Burnley are down, Stoke are fighting for nothing. This one should be a cracker. The only intrigue about a match like this is that Burnley’s players (Danny Ings) will be looking to put themselves in the shop window for potential Premier League saps. The Potters absolutely bludgeoned Spurs at the Brittania over the weekend, although on the road they’re a completely different prospect. Burnley will be playing in front of their fans for the last time this season, and I expect them to make it a worthwhile experience. Too little, too late, but I’m going for a home win at 31/20. 

QPR 19/10 | Draw 24/10 | Newcastle 13/10
QPR’s meeting with Newcastle is an interesting one. It can go any number of ways. Newcastle have everything to lose, and it will be interesting to see how they deal with that pressure. The R’s on the other hand are going down no matter the result. Their capitulation at the Etihad might just set them free to play the football they’re capable of. The return of Papiss Cisse could be pivotal in Newcastle’s survival. The Senegalese striker is a goal-scorer, and lord knows how John Carver needs one of those. This will be edgy, but Newcastle should edge closer to safety here. You can get them at 13/10. For those more adventurous types, Cisse to score anytime is at 15/10.

Tottenham 7/10 | Draw 11/4 | Hull City 7/2
No team has run more than Spurs this season and it’s starting to show. Add in the ludicrous Europa League schedule and it’s like watching zombies play. Their defeat against Stoke was one of the weakest performances they’ve put in all season. On Saturday they’ll welcome Hull City – who have everything to play for. They finish their season with a home match against Manchester United, so a result at White Hart Lane is a must. Fixtures like these are the reason I hate gambling at this stage of the season. Spurs are odds on favourites – they shouldn’t be. Hull look good value at even money on the Double Chance, while the 7/2 available on a Tigers win looks too good to pass up.

Sunderland 31/20 | Draw 22/10 | Leicester City 7/4
A clean sheet and a Danny Graham goal – I guess footballing miracles do happen. Two years, three managers and 28 games – that is how long it took for Graham to open his Sunderland account. When it came, it had an element of luck about it, but it’s that luck that might just save the Black Cat’s for another season. Win against Leicester on Saturday and safety shall be theirs. However, the Foxes have won six of their last seven games following their comfortable 2-0 triumph over Southampton. Both sides will be desperate for the win, but even more keen to avoid defeat. The draw will suit both sides nicely. It can be found at 22/10.







West Ham 16/10 | Draw 23/10 | Everton 31/20
Everton can move above West Ham into the top half with a victory at Upton Park on Saturday. The Hammers are on the slide, and have failed to score in their last three matches. They were awful during the first half of their defeat to Aston Villa and although they improved after the break, it was not enough to stave off another defeat. Everton weren’t much better in going down at home to Sunderand. Roberto Martinez’s side have blown hot and cold in recent weeks, so it’s difficult to suggest an outcome here. I’d steer clear from this one, but if you must, the Toffees look the better bet at 31/20. 

Liverpool 9/20 | Draw 34/10 | Crystal Palace 11/2
Liverpool’s Champions League hopes are done for another season. In truth, they’ve barely deserved a place among Europe’s elite with a string of lethargic performances this season. Their meeting with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park ranks among the worst. The Eagles went into that match in a dreadful run of form, but blew the Reds away with two late goals to condemn Liverpool to their third consecutive defeat. The Reds may have gained some revenge by knocking Palace out of the FA Cup, but it is Palace who have enjoyed the upper hand in this fixture in recent times. However, with neither side in the best of form at the moment, a win bet seems a foolish move. Rather back Both Teams To Score at 17/20 and hope the goals come rolling in.

Sunday

Swansea City 36/10 | Draw 29/10 | Man City 7/10
Against QPR, Manchester City looked every inch the side that waltzed to the title last season, scoring over 150 goals in all competitions. Sergio Aguero showed why he remains the best striker in the league, while David Silva pulled the strings from midfield. It was a joy to watch. However, we’ve seen too little of it this season. On Sunday they’ll travel to Wales to face a Swansea side that executed the perfect smash and grab at the Emirates. Gary Monk is a shrewd manager, and his side has proven difficult to break down this season, especially at the Liberty. This is another match that could go either way. The last three meetings have provided 11 goals. There’s no value to be found here, but if you must have a punt, Both Teams To Score is the way to go and it can be found at 13/20. 

Man United 14/10 | Draw 24/10 | Arsenal 18/10
Arsenal blew their chance to keep up the pressure on Manchester City in the search for second spot on Monday evening. Their first half performance infuriated the home supporters, while they missed numerous chances in the second. On Sunday they travel to Manchester for one of England’s draw card fixtures. United claimed the three points they needed against Palace to secure the fourth Champions League spot and have already started to look to next season with the signing of the highly-rated Memphis Depay. Louis van Gaal’s side completed a smash and grab of their own at the Emirates earlier this season, but at Old Trafford they’ll need to show more ambition. This one should provide us with goals, and I’m backing over 2.5 of them to come in at 8/10.

Monday

West Brom 11/4 | Draw 24/10 | Chelsea 1/1
Chelsea will close out the week’s action with a trip to the Hawthorns on Monday night. It will be interesting to see how Jose Mourinho plays this one, as he looks to give his squad players a run out before the end of the season. Expect a much changed side from the one that earned a point against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. Such tinkering makes betting on this match another risky proposition. I’d suggest holding off until the teams are announced. West Brom are unbeaten in three at the Hawthorns against the Blues, and have won two of those. So a home win might not be the worst bet at 11/4.

There may be one more week left in the season, but things are all over bar the shouting. The rumours have already started up, but don’t believe everything you read. Paul Pogba is not coming to your club. You’re more likely to sign James Milner. Face it, the Premier League doesn’t have the pull of the Spanish giants and Bayern Munich. There’s a reason there are no English clubs in the final four of the Champions League. Their players, and subsequently their teams, aren’t good enough. That’ll be all. Sala Kahle.

Written by Commodore Vegas
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EPL Picks
Southampton DRAW 5/2
Burnley WIN 31/20
Newcastle WIN 13/10
Hull City WIN 7/2
Sunderland DRAW 22/10
Everton WIN 31/20
Liverpool BTTS 17/20
Swansea City BTTS 13/20
Man United OVER 2.5 GOALS 8/10
West Brom WIN 11/4