Commodore's EPL Picks

Just what the hell has happened to Chelsea? The Blues swashbuckled their way to the title last year, effectively wrapping things up with a mesmerising run prior to Christmas. This season has been the polar opposite. It started with a loss to Arsenal in the Community Shield and has gone from one controversy to the next. It can’t go on for much longer. Jose Mourinho has completely lost his head. Banished to the stands during his side’s defeat to West Ham, the Portuguese is currently nursing his drink in the last chance saloon. Last rounds have been called. I got rid of Tim Sherwood last week. Time to move onto some bigger fry.

WIN the Ultimate Fan Trip to watch Liverpool play Man United LIVE at Anfield!

Saturday 31st October

19/20 Chelsea | Draw 49/20| Liverpool 28/10 (14:45)

It’s pretty apt then that we start the week at Stamford Bridge. Jurgen Klopp will bring his Liverpool side to London still on the hunt for a first Premier League win. Poor Jurgen, having to deal with the mess left behind by Brendan Rodgers. He has in his employ numerous No 10’s but not one single winger. He’s using James Milner out wide for goodness sake. No wonder they can’t pick up a win. As for Chelsea, well there’s not much positive going on there either. They’re a ticking time bomb, with one incorrect decision enough to push them all over the edge. Things could get ugly, especially with Diego Costa on the park. Six of Liverpool’s last seven matches have ended in a draw, with five of those finishing 1-1. That scoreline will get you 5/1 – jump all over it.

51/20 Crystal Palace | 47/20 | Man United 21/20 (17:00)

I’m not quite sure what Louis van Gaal is up to at Manchester United. Every time things start going well for him, he tinkers with his side and makes things worse. Anthony Martial looks the real deal, but somehow now finds himself marginalised on the left. Matteo Darmian – arguably United’s best player this season – gets replaced by Antonio Valencia for the Manchester derby. Antonio Valencia! This week they travel to Crystal Palace, a side who have gone slightly off the boil in recent weeks. The Eagles are yet to win against a side above them in the league this season and have already lost to United’s city rivals at Selhurst Park. United have a good recent record against the Londoners, having won each of the least four meetings. They look good value for the win at just over even money.

3/10 Man City | 9/2 | Norwich 8/1 (17:00)

Man City were equally disappointing in that dismal Manchester derby. Wilfried Bony just isn’t Sergio Aguero, while Yaya Toure showed his limitations in the No 10 role. The draw was still enough to see them move to the top of the table, which is all that matters really. They return to the Etihad this weekend to face a Norwich side that conceded six goals at St James’ Park on their last away trip. Throw in the fact that City have scored 11 goals in their previous two home league matches and we begin to see how this one should go. City have made a habit of smashing the smaller sides. You can back them to Win By Three Or More Goals at 18/10.

14/10 Newcastle | 22/10 | Stoke 19/10 (17:00)

Stoke win three matches on the trot and then lose at home to Watford. Newcastle pick up their first win of the season in scintillating style, then get thumped by Sunderland (who haven’t won a match all season). Why do we do this to ourselves? We’ve got better chance of making money by investing in the SABC. Now there are a number of players worth watching in these two sides, but as a collective neither really gets the blood flowing. Stoke have managed just nine goals in their 10 matches this season, while the Magpies have fared little better. Under 2.5 Goals at 7/10 seems the best bet here, but I’d suggest steering clear of this one.

39/10 Swansea | 29/10 | Arsenal 13/20 (17:00)

Perhaps the pick of the games on Saturday sees Arsene Wenger take his side across borders to face a Swansea side which has caused him problems in recent times. The Swans did the double over the Gunners last season, while there have been some memorable cup clashes as well.  Gary Monk’s side picked up their first win in six matches at the weekend, although it did come against Tim Sherwood’s Aston Villa. Hardly inspiring stuff. Arsenal, meanwhile, find themselves in fine form. They pushed some more good ball against Everton and, despite a late scare, were full value for their three points. I’m a big fan of backing Arsenal on the road and nothing changes here. They’re available at 13/20, certainly one for the multiples.

29/20 Watford | 22/10 | West Ham 19/10 (17:00)

Troy Deeney finally has a Premier League goal. The Watford captain notched up 21 goals on the way to promotion last season, but has struggled to make the step up. Alongside Odion Ighalo, the two have enough bustle about them to trouble most defences. This week West Ham’s back four will be put to the test. The Hammers currently find themselves in the lofty position of third, having seen off Chelsea at Upton Park over the weekend. Even better for the Hammers has been their away form. They’ve picked up 13 points from a possible 15 and won at Arsenal, Liverpool and Man City. You simply can’t go against a record like that. Back them to make it five from six on the road at a very generous 19/10.

18/10 West Brom | 9/4 | Leicester 15/10 (17:00)

West Brom’s 1-0 win over Norwich City will help pay the rent this month. It’s not often as a punter that a correct score bet comes through, but it pays well when it does. Of course backing a Tony Pulis side to win 1-0 doesn’t make me some kind of messiah. Just a sensible man. They return to the Hawthorns this weekend, where they’ll face off against Leicester City and a red-hot Jamie Vardy. The Englishman was another who contributed to my burgeoning bank balance after scoring the first goal against Crystal Palace at 5/1. That’s seven in seven for him. I’ll be re-staking some of that money this week. As for the result, I’m going for another Foxes win at 15/10.

Sunday 1st November

5/10 Everton | 32/10 | Sunderland 52/10 (15:30)

Everton have shown their limitations in recent weeks – going down to Manchester United and Arsenal. This weekend’s match promises to be a much easier proposition as Big Sam brings his Sunderland side to town. You would think that I might be wary of Sunderland after they way they fleeced Newcastle on Sunday, but derby’s are a different beast. They were helped immeasurably by Fabricio Collocini’s red card, while Younes Kaboul got one of the assists of the season. Everything went their way. That won’t happen at Goodison Park. Even without Phil Jagielka, the Toffees should have too much. The 5/10 on offer for a home win seems too short. Stretch it out by throwing in over 2.5 goals to make it a nice 11/10. 

11/20 Southampton | 31/10 | Bournemouth 47/10 (18:00)

As if Eddie Howe didn’t have enough problems to deal with, Artur Boruc’s display against Spurs added another to the list. The Polish goalkeeper had a hand in four of Spurs’ five goals. This weekend Boruc returns to Southampton, the club where he spent three seasons before making to move to Dean Court. The Saints have fared just fine without him, with Maarten Stekelenburg proving an able replacement. The Saints are unbeaten in their last four matches and were deserving of a point against Liverpool. Both sides have seen plenty goals in their last four matches and I don’t expect this one to be any different. Back Both Teams to score at 17/20.

Monday 2nd November

4/10 Tottenham | 7/2 | Aston Villa 13/2 (22:00)

The man who benefitted most from Boruc’s generous goalkeeping was Spurs striker Harry Kane. The Englishman helped himself to a typically Kane like hat-trick, namely three tap-ins off the shin. What a prodigy. I’ve been fairly open in my assessment of Kane. I think he’s two bob. A glorified Dirk Kuyt. He’ll never be able to sustain last season’s numbers over the course of his career. However, against an Aston Villa defence that has kept just one clean sheet all season, he should stand a pretty good chance of building on last week’s performance. That goes for Spurs as a whole, who should have no problem seeing off this managerless rabble from the Midlands. 

And that, folks, is about that. Let’s hope this weekend is considerably better than the last, which was a poor indictment on the English game. Where was the flair? The drama? The intrigue? It was a weekend that promised everything and delivered nothing, except the usual managerial quotes for the media to chew over. Hopefully next week we can speak about some actual football, because right now it really isn’t all that interesting. Sala Kahle.

Written by Commodore Vegas
Follow him on Twitter here!

EPL Picks
Chelsea CORRECT SCORE (1-1) 5/1
Man United WIN 21/20
Newcastle UNDER 2.5 GOALS 7/10
Arsenal WIN 13/20 
West Ham WIN 19/10
Leicester WIN 15/10 
Everton OVER 2.5 GOALS 11/10
Southampton BTTS 17/20
Tottenham WIN 4/10