Commodore's EPL Picks

Liverpool will win nothing this season. Doomed to another year of hopes, dreams and failure. The Brendan Rodgers era of deluded importance is coming to an end. Liverpool are no longer a big club. They’ve only been in the Champions League once in the last five seasons. Even Malmo has a better record than that. Sure, Man United aren’t as good as the scoreline suggests, but they’re certainly better than Chelsea at present. Jose Mourinho is an unhappy man. I’ve seen this once before at Stamford Bridge and it didn’t end well. Screw the rest, though. The best side to watch in the league at the moment is Leicester City. Give the ball to Rihad Mahrez and watch him go. Perhaps Liverpool will take note, sign him, and play him as a wing-back. You just never know.

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Saturday 19th September

Chelsea 14/10 | Draw 24/10 | Arsenal 18/10

Arsene Wenger has already got one over Mourinho his season, but most people will tell you the Community Shield doesn’t count. They’re wrong. Wenger, and his team, know what is possible now. It wouldn’t surprise me if they went to Stamford Bridge on Saturday and took the game to Chelsea. In fact, that is exactly what they should do. The thought of Alexis Sanchez running at him will have Branislav Ivanovic waking up in cold sweats. I thought that Chelsea might turn it around at Goodison last week with a tweak to their formation, but I was off the mark. The problems seem to run deep at the Bridge and Arsenal have never had a better chance to go there and claim three points.

Aston Villa 5/4 | Draw 21/10 | West Brom 9/4

Tim Sherwood has traded in the gilet for a suit jacket, but still the results aren’t coming. In fairness, his side should’ve made more of their 2-0 lead against Leicester. Their capitulation was certainly something to witness. It’s derby day for them this weekend, as they host West Brom at Villa Park. I’ve had a certain amount of joy in this fixture over the years backing over 2.5 goals. However, nine goals in 10 matches between the sides this season doesn’t inspire similar confidence. Villa are the better side and should find a way to record a first victory since the opening day of the season, but I wouldn’t go too hard in backing that outcome. 

Bournemouth 13/20 | Draw 28/10 | Sunderland 42/10

Bournemouth have been something of a disappointment so far this season. Last year’s top-scorers in the Championship have struggled to impose themselves in elevated company. They were outplayed by Norwich last time out, while their only victory to date came in a thrilling 4-3 slug-fest at Upton Park. Their visitors this weekend, Sunderland, have been similarly uninspiring. They’ve yet to win this season, but can consider themselves unlucky not to grab at least a point against Spurs on Sunday. Early season it may be, but this is a relegation six-pointer. One common theme running through both sides results this season is Both Teams to Score. It can be found at 9/10.

Newcastle 14/10 | Draw 22/10 | Watford 19/10

Steve McClaren’s Newcastle may have had a tough start to the season, but sooner or later they’re going to need to start winning. They currently find themselves at the foot of the table with just two points from their five matches.  Fail to beat Watford at home and the St James’ faithful might start putting their banner-making skills to the good use. Watford did me good and proper last weekend, beating Swansea even after Valon Behrami was sent off for a nasty stamp on Andre Ayew. That’s the sort of fight they’ll need if they’re to stay in the Premier League. Newcastle have very little to offer going forward, while only Man City have found a way past Watford this season. This one has the makings of a draw, which can be found at 22/10.

Stoke City 27/20 | Draw 9/4 | Leicester City 2/1

Earlier I confessed my undying love for Leicester City and the way they’ve played this season. The same can’t be said of Stoke. Mark Hughes has tried to mould some of Europe’s brightest outcasts into a coherent team and failed. If anything Mame Biram Diouf is their best player, and that is saying something. Xherdan Shaqiri, Ibrahim Affelay, Marco van Ginkel, Bojan – they’ve all failed to make any sort of impact on the Premier League. There is a reason why none of their clubs wanted them. It’s not often I’ll back the away side at the Britannia, but they’ve already lost twice at home this season, while the Foxes secured a 1-0 victory in the corresponding fixture last season. All this adds up to a tasty 2/1 on my favourite Premier League team at present. Come on The Foxes! 

Swansea City 13/10 | Draw 9/4 | Everton 2/1

Swansea have been another side well worth the time this season, especially at home. They’ve seen off Newcastle and Manchester United already at the Liberty, and now have Everton in their sights. The Toffees were full value for their victory over the champions, with the Evertonian Dirk Kuyt – Steven Naismith – grabbing a hat-trick. The Toffees seem to be moving in the right direction after a difficult campaign last season. Swansea, as was to be expected, have let their standards drop after an impressive start. Roberto Martinez’s side have a good record against the Swans and another draw is tipped, this time at 9/4.

Man City 1/4 | Draw 5/1 | West Ham 87/10

Manchester City will close out Saturday’s action with a home match against West Ham. The Hammers were comfortable enough in brushing aside Newcastle on their home patch on Monday Night, but that will count for little on Saturday. City found a way to pick up all three points against a belligerent Crystal Palace team at the weekend – a hallmark of a champion side. Even without Aguero, they did enough. City will drop points this season. They can’t carry on at the pace they’ve started. But it won’t be this weekend against West Ham. The last two meetings in Manchester have ended 2-0. A repeat of that scoreline will get you 11/2. Worth a dabble I reckon.

Sunday 20th September

Tottenham 17/20 | Draw 5/2 | Crystal Palace 31/10

Harry Kane worth £30 million? Hardly. Last season’s breakout star is looking very much a flash in the pan, something I always suspected. He’ll be no better than Darren Bent this kid. As for Spurs, well they’re going nowhere slowly. A 1-0 victory over Sunderland doesn’t change my perception of them. On the flipside, a 1-0 loss to Manchester City doesn’t alter my view on Crystal Palace. They’re a good side, and one that will trouble Spurs at home. Two away matches, two wins. This side is built to play on the road. Somehow they’re 31/10 to pick up the victory, which has to be the bet of the weekend. I’m going large on Palace and I suggest you do the same.

Liverpool 6/10 | Draw 29/10 | Norwich 42/10

It pains me deeply to watch Liverpool scrapping around in the lower half with no clear plan in sight. Square pegs, round holes, no pace, defensive frailties – you pick your problems with the current Liverpool setup. Brendan Rodgers is now favourite to be the next manager to lose his job, and with good reason. I don’t even expect them to beat Norwich. Inspired my Wes Hoolahan, the Canaries tore Bournemouth to pieces at the weekend. Liverpool are there for the taking and Norwich know it. Defeat could put Rodgers out of his misery. Make it swift Norwich, make it swift.

Southampton 23/10 | Draw 9/4 | Man United 12/10

The weekend’s action draws to a close at St Mary’s with Southampton hosting Manchester United. The feeling here is United weren’t as good against Liverpool as the 3-1 scoreline suggest. Marouane Fellaini was woeful up front and they will be hoping to have Wayne Rooney back for the trip to the south coast. His inclusion, along with that of Anthony Martial could be the spark United need. Anything else and I have my worries. I’d hold off until the teams are announced, but if you want you can punt Both Teams to Score at 9/10 – five of the last six meetings have seen this outcome.

Six weeks in and we’ll start to see some form lines. We’ve managed to navigate the early weeks without too much trouble, but we’ll need to kick on now. Last weekend saw the away teams come up short, but I’m backing the pattern to return this weekend. A Crystal Palace/Leicester/Norwich treble comes in at 28/1. It’s a long shot, but one worth taking. Have a good weekend, and happy punting. Sala Kahle.

Written by Commodore Vegas
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EPL Picks
Arsenal WIN 18/10
Aston Villa WIN 5/4
Bournemouth BTTS 9/10
Newcastle DRAW 22/10
Leicester City WIN 2/1
Swansea City DRAW 9/4
Man City CORRECT SCORE (2-0) 11/2
Crystal Palace WIN 31/10
Norwich WIN 42/10
Southampton WIN 9/10