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Commodore's EPL Picks

It’s early season yet, but I’ll be damned if I’ve seen a better start than the one Man City are currently enjoying. Three matches, eight goals scored and none conceded. Not half bad. Including their form at the tail-end of last season, it’s nine wins on the trot. Meanwhile, their fellow contenders for the title have stumbled from one week to the next. Manchester United are about as good in front of goal as Ed Woodward is at sealing a deal, while Chelsea have been undermined by their managers increasingly outrageous antics. They better sort themselves out sooner rather than later or the league will be won by Christmas. Only Liverpool can stop them now. God help us.

Saturday 29th August

Newcastle 47/10 | Draw 31/10 | Arsenal 11/20

We start the weekend off up north, where Arsenal will be looking to put Monday’s stalemate behind them against Newcastle. They had Petr Cech to thank for that, after he pulled off two fine saves to deny Christian Benteke and Phillippe Coutinho. Arsene Wenger’s side have failed to score in two of their three matches and five of their last six at home so the Frenchman will be relieved to be facing the Magpies at St James’ Park, where they’ll be more likely to show some attacking intent. The Gunners should have their first-choice centre back pairing back in the mix and are tipped to get the victory, if only by the odd goal.

Aston Villa 8/10 | Draw 24/10 | Sunderland 34/10

Some may think it too early to label as such, but Saturday’s meeting between Aston Villa and Sunderland is a relegation six-pointer. The Black Cats may have surprised with a draw against Swansea, but they’re not fooling me. This side will be in the bottom three at Christmas. As for Villa, well you can’t win anything with kids. Certainly not football matches on a consistent basis. Tim Sherwood has brought in a number of French players in a bid to raise the flair factor at Villa Park, but they have been about as effective as his gilet. Neither side are very prolific in front of goals and this one should be a low scorer. Back the under 2.5 goals at 13/20 and move along. No need to watch this one.

Bournemouth 21/20 | Draw 5/2 | Leicester 24/10

Bournemouth celebrated their first goal in the Premier League by scoring three more as they fended off West Ham in the match of the weekend. Callum Wilson bagged himself a hat-trick as last season’s Championship winners showed just what all the hype was about. On Saturday they’ll host a side that knows a fair bit about winning the Championship and staying up. Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester have been one of the surprise packages so far and remain unbeaten in second place. They were strangely off-kilter against Spurs, but even then they had enough about them to get a draw. Both sides like to move the ball around and focus on the attractive parts of football. This one should be easy on the eye, with Both Teams to Score looking the bet at 7/10.

Chelsea 7/20 | Draw 39/10 | Crystal Palace 72/10

Mourinho’s self confidence must’ve gone up a notch following the remarkable debut performance by Pedro. As if he needed it. The Portuguese manager, the darling of the media in England, has cut a frustrated figure this season. Much like his captain, John Terry. The centre back will miss this weekend’s clash with Crystal Palace through suspension, with Kurt Zouma expected to deputise. The Blues have been uncharacteristically ragged in defence, conceding more shots at goal than any other Premier League side. Can they stop a Palace side that has two wins from three this season, including a narrow defeat to Arsenal? The Eagles showed last season they are a side made for the counter-attacking football away days require and I fancy them to score here. Both Teams to Score at evens looks a good bet, but I’m going for the draw at 39/10.

Liverpool 7/20 | Draw 38/10 | West Ham 7/1

Following Monday Night’s 0-0 draw at the Emirates, Liverpool have now kept three consecutive clean sheets for a record that mirrors their old rivals Manchester United. However, with two of those coming in tough away fixtures, Brendan Rodgers should be quietly pleased about his side’s work so far this season. This weekend they host West Ham at Anfield, where they’ll be expected to put on a more attacking display. There were glimpses on Monday, with Firmino and Coutinho combining to good effect. The Hammers on the other hand have gone off the boil following their opening weekend shock against the same opponents. Matches between these two generally provide goals, but I don’t see it going that way. Back the Reds to triumph with less than 2.5 goals at a rather decent 5/2.

Man City 1/5 | Draw 11/2 | Watford 10/1

What is there to say about Man City? Manuel Pellegrini’s side have been pretty much perfect so far this season. Vincent Kompany looks every bit the colossus of their title-winning campaigns. Yaya Toure is his old indomitable self and Sergio Aguero is fit and firing. Even Eliaquim Mangala looks the part. Poor old Watford.  They really should have no chance on Saturday. They’ve failed to score since the opening day and, against a defence that has given nothing away to the likes of Chelsea and Everton, they will get no joy. We’re talking winning margins here. City are 13/10 to win by three goals or more. Hardly value. I’d leave this one alone.

Stoke 17/20 | Draw 23/10 | West Brom 33/10

Tony Pulis returns to his old stomping ground on Saturday as he takes the Baggies to the Britannia. Stoke have looked good in patches this season, but have failed to string together a full 90 minute performance and pick up a win. Saturday’s meeting will provide the perfect opportunity. Away from the Hawthorns, West Brom really aren’t the same side. The addition of Saloman Rondon will inject some much-needed pace to their attacking forays, but they still look short of firepower around the park. Mark Hughes’ side have undoubted talent in the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri and Marco van Ginkel. Saturday is the perfect occasion for the new-look Stoke to show what they’re about. I’m backing them to triumph at 17/20.

Tottenham 19/20 | Draw 5/2 | Everton 26/10

Just where are Spurs headed? A few years back they graced the hallowed turf of Europe’s elite and now they can’t even beat Leicester City. If Sadio Berahino is the height of their transfer ambitions then I’m desperately worried for them. Ladies and gentleman, we have reached the glass ceiling. Saturday sees them host Everton, a side that has done things right in their quest to remain relevant. Roberto Martinez’s side may not trouble the upper echelon but that is more down to the big sides transfer raids than their own failings. They made City work for the three points on Sunday and showed enough to suggest they have what it takes to beat Spurs. If they can match the performance shown in their previous away game at Southampton, they should have no problems. Another one at decent odds of 26/10.

Sunday 30th August

Southampton 9/10 | Draw 24/10 | Norwich 28/10

Things really aren’t going to plan for Southampton. Whereas last year they managed to deal with the loss of some key players, the current crop of European imports haven’t been quite so quick to adapt to the pace of the Premier League. Sunday’s sees them face a Norwich side who have looked comfortable on their return to the top flight. Nathan Redmond is starting to fulfill his immense potential, while the likes of Robbie Brady and Russel Martin are thriving. On the flip side, Ronald Koeman’s side have underperformed and find themselves in the bottom three going into the weekend, having failed to pick up a win in their first three matches. They’ve shipped five goals in that period while the Canaries are yet to keep a clean sheet. Both teams to score anyone? It’s available at 8/10.

Swansea 21/10 | Draw 22/10 | Man United 13/10

Swansea saw their standards dip in their draw at the Stadium of Light last time out, but something tells me they’ll be back to their best for the visit of Man United. The Swans did the double over Louis van Gaal’s side last season and will be looking to pile more pressure on the Dutchman with a victory at the Liberty. United have been solid defensively this season, with Matteo Darmian and Chris Smalling their star performers, but it is further upfield where they have struggled. Memphis Depay gave the ball away needlessly against Newcastle, while Wayne Rooney was sluggish once again. He’ll come good, but at what cost? The Swans are in form, have a good record and are tipped to upset the odds with a home win.

No Monday Night Football this week, folks. Luckily, with all the European leagues back in action, there’s plenty football to have a dabble on. I’ll be putting together a tasty multiple to keep me interested over the weekend, so check it out on Twitter and let me know where I went wrong. Otherwise, Happy Punting. Sala Kahle.

Written by Commodore Vegas
Follow him on Twitter here!

EPL Picks
Arsenal WIN 11/20
Aston Villa UNDER 2.5 GOALS 13/20
Bournemouth BTTS 7/10
Chelsea DRAW 39/10
Liverpool WIN & UNDER 2.5 GOALS 5/2
Stoke WIN 17/20
Everton WIN 26/10
Southampton BTTS 8/10
Swansea WIN 21/10