Commodore's EPL Picks

I’m starting to question everything I thought I knew about this game. I’m in the midst of perhaps one of my hottest runs of my gambling “career” and yet, something is amiss. Could I have been so wrong about the Premier League? Can Leicester or Tottenham really claim the title? Still at this stage of the campaign, it looks a very real possibility. Spurs have been remarkably consistent, while Leicester’s fleecing of Man City has made them favourites for the title. It’s a new world, where anything is possible. Hell, Liverpool might even be contenders next season. Perhaps that’s a bit far-fetched though...

Saturday 13 February

38/10 Sunderland | Draw 26/10 | Manchester United 15/20 (14:45) 

We start the week at the Stadium of Light, where a resurgent Manchester United continue their quest for Champions League football. In their way, Big Sam’s stubborn side, who fought back to claim a deserved draw at Anfield with the help of Simon Mignolet. It may prove a valuable point come the end of the season, but only if Sunderland start picking up some points. They currently find themselves in 19th, just four points above Aston Villa, who have been dreadful for most of the season. United have a good recent record at the Stadium of Light, having won six of their last eight league visits there and are tipped at 15/20. On a side note – that Cameron Borthwick-Jackson looks a real talent. 

21/20 Bournemouth | 9/4 | Stoke 11/4 (17:00) 

Stoke suffered yet another resounding defeat at Goodison Park over the weekend and have now gone five matches without a win. They have failed to find the back of the net in any of those defeats as they’ve slipped toward their customary mid-table league position. Next up for them is a visit to Dean Court. Bournemouth may have been outclassed by the Gunners, but their recent form has been good. They spent well during the January transfer window and look set to push for survival over the course of the next couple of months. Stoke will be hoping their record signing Giannelli Imbula can bring some bite to their midfield, although he may take some time to adapt to the pace of the Premier League. I like the look of Bournemouth here, and they offer decent value at just over evens.

12/10 Crystal Palace | 22/10 | Watford 24/10 (17:00)

Palace arrested their recent slump with a 1-1 draw at Swansea last time out. They will be looking to go one better when they host Watford at Selhurst Park on Saturday. The Hornets seemed intent on sitting back against Spurs, but may show a bit more adventure against a side low on confidence. They have lost just once on the road to sides below them in the table and will be quietly confident going into this one. Neither side has been particularly prolific as of late, with only six goals between them in their last six outings. The meeting earlier this season was decided by the single goal, so everything suggests a low-scoring affair. Under 2.5 Goals looks a decent wager at 15/20.

6/10 Everton | 3/1 | West Brom 47/10 (17:00)

The highlight of the week for Everton supporters was not, as you’d imagine, the 3-0 victory over Stoke, but rather the emergence of a video showing Roberto Martinez cutting shapes at a Jason Derulo concert. It was everything you thought it might be, and then some. His side produced a similarly impressive performance at the weekend, but it was at the back that things have looked markedly better. Since replacing Tim Howard in goal with Joel Robles, Everton have kept three consecutive clean sheets, resulting in three 3-0 victories. Three is the magic number. It wouldn’t surprise me if they put three more past West Brom on Saturday. The 3-0 scoreline is available at 10/1, the home win at 6/10. Both are worth a punt for different reasons.

29/20 Norwich | 9/4 | West Ham 19/10 (17:00)

On form, Norwich City are the worst side in the Premier League at present. The Canaries have lost their last five matches, conceding 16 goals in the process. On that form they may be a decent bet to finish bottom at 14/1. The signing of Steven Naismith looked a good one, but with so many problems defensively, the odd goal is not going to keep you up. On Saturday they face a West Ham side capable of putting a couple more past their disastrous defence. The Hammers have bolstered their attacking ranks with the signing of Emmanuel Emenike on loan and look set for a Europa League push. Norwich are heading the other way and there can be only one result here. The away win looks huge value at 19/10. Crazy stuff that.

21/10 Swansea | 21/10 | Southampton 14/10 (17:00) 

After a terrible run through the festive season, Ronald Koeman has turned things around at Southampton and has them looking up once again. They currently find themselves third in the form table after their rear-guard performance in their victory over West Ham. Fraser Forster has been superb since his return as the England goalkeeping ranks continue to flourish. They face a trip to the Liberty Stadium this weekend to face a Swansea side who have been quietly getting on with their work. They’re unbeaten in four matches and have proven difficult to break down in recent weeks. This looks like it could be another low-scoring affair, with the unders on offer at 11/20. I’m going a bit more exotic, though. The Saints have triumphed 1-0 on their last two visits and a repeat scoreline will get you 5/1. Worth a dabble, I reckon.

9/20 Chelsea | 7/2 | Newcastle 11/2 (19:30)

Saturday’s final match sees Newcastle head to Stamford Bridge to face the outgoing champions. Chelsea are no longer in any sort of real danger after a decent run at the start of the year. With very little to play for in the league, their focus shifts to the cups, namely the Champions League. They host PSG in the first leg next week and it wouldn’t surprise me if Guus Hiddink rested a number of players for this one. It will be worth holding off until the team sheets are out and seeing if there is any value in punting the Magpies. Steve McLaren’s men have been dire on the road this term, but a 2-1 victory at White Hart Lane gives me hope. If Chelsea ring the changes, the 11/2 on the away win is not going to last long. Lap it up. 

Sunday 14 February

15/20 Arsenal | 28/10 | Leicester 36/10 (14:00)

Onto Super Sunday, and what a Sunday it may prove to be. Win at the Emirates and Leicester will open up a commanding lead at the top. However, an Arsenal victory blows the whole thing wide open again. It's perfectly poised. The Gunners are one of only two sides to get the better of the Foxes this season, coming out on top in an seven-goal thriller. Alexis Sanchez was the destroyer-in-chief on that occasion, helping himself to a hat-trick. The Chilean has been rather low-key since his return from injury, but one gets the feeling a big performance is around the corner. But you cannot discount Leicester, who have done it week after week, even in the big games. Arsenal are favourites – and rightfully so – but 36/10 on a Leicester win offers the greatest value. 

7/2 Aston Villa | 5/2 | Liverpool 17/20 (16:05)

Aston Villa looked dead and buried a couple weeks back, but they have sparked to life in recent weeks. Victory over Liverpool at the weekend and they’ll be right back in the mix. For so long I had them pegged as certainties to finish bottom, but I really feel they could make a run at survival, especially after they beat the Reds this weekend. Liverpool are a dreadful side at present. There is very little about this side that will worry Remi Garde, even with the return of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho. The less said about this lot, the better. Just back Villa at 7/2 and thank me later. Easiest money you’ll make this year.

19/20 Manchester City | 27/10 | Tottenham 27/10 (18:15)

We close out the weekend at the Etihad, where Manchester City will look to put their faltering title charge back on track against Spurs. Meanwhile, Mauricio Pochettino’s side will be hoping to follow in Leicester’s footsteps and announce themselves as very real title contenders. It should be an enthralling match. Pochettino has a blueprint to work off, having masterminded a stunning 4-1 win at White Hart Lane earlier this season. Spurs were rampant that afternoon and could’ve had eight. This match is unlikely to be as one-sided, but there is very little to suggest the result won’t be the same. Spurs are solid at the back, City aren’t. They are willing to press and work as a unit, City aren’t. They are going to win, City aren’t. Take that to the bank.

Written by Commodore Vegas
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EPL Picks
Manchester United WIN 15/20
Bournemouth WIN 21/20
Crystal Palace UNDER 2.5 GOALS 15/20
Everton WIN 6/10
West Ham WIN 19/10
Southampton WIN CORRECT SCORE (1-0) 5/1
Newcastle WIN 11/2
Leicester WIN 36/10
Aston Villa WIN 7/2
Tottenham WIN 27/10