Commodore's EPL Picks

Okay. It’s not often I get nearly every prediction correct in a week of football. So when I do, it’s reason enough to crow about it. Of course this game has a way to cut down anyone who gets too cocksure, so I’ll keep it tidy.  But what an international break it was. Nine out of 10 predictions and a couple decent doubles for good measure. Those who followed enjoyed a feast over the Easter weekend. Never have I been so disappointed to see the return of the Premier League, with it’s unpredictable results and complete lack of sense. Prior to the break my confidence was at an all-time low. Let’s see if I can carry over this new-found success to where it really matters...

Saturday 2 April

52/10 Aston Villa | Draw 3/1 | Chelsea 11/20 (13:45)

I’ve had some serious problems with Chelsea in recent weeks and their last outing was no different. Cesc Fabregas awoke from a six-month siesta to ruin my bet on West Ham. Typical Chelsea. This week they travel to Villa park for what should be a straightforward victory. Villa have lost six on the spin and are sinking fast. I’ll be surprised to see Remi Garde in the dugout for Saturday’s match. The Frenchman really has had a torrid time of it in the Midlands and will be relieved to return to his Villa in the French Alps before the season is up. Chelsea are rather short at 11/20, but they are a banker in any multiple you feel like throwing together.

3/10 Arsenal | 42/10 | Watford 8/1 (16:00)

Next up: Arsenal. A side who, much like my interest in the US Presidential campaign, ends in March every year. Despite some fighting talk coming from their camp, they’ll be playing for fourth place once again this season. Their opponents on Saturday, meanwhile, have an FA Cup semi-final to look forward to after their victory at the Emirates just a couple weeks back. That victory was their first in four matches leading up to the tie, which made the result even more infuriating for Arsenal supporters. Of course, in true Arsenal fashion, they’ll go and win the match that doesn’t matter like they did at Everton in their last outing. All of this is of very little importance unless you’ll be supporting Arsenal or have money on the match. I’ll be doing neither. Let’s move on.

28/10 Bournemouth | 5/2 | Manchester City 19/20 (16:00)

Onto another underachieving side as Manchester City travel to Bournemouth with a number of clubs breathing down their necks. Manuel Pellegrini’s expensively assembled squad have been bitterly disappointing in recent weeks and might run into more problems here. Without Vincent Kompany, they aren’t able to keep a clean sheet, while 13 goals in 14 away games indicates they can’t score them either. Prior to their 3-0 drubbing at the hands of Spurs, Bournemouth had won three on the trot, including a 2-0 win over Southampton. The meeting at the Etihad earlier this season went as you’d expect, with City running out 5-1 victors. But away from home, City can’t be trusted. For those brave souls among you, the 28/10 for the home win might have some value about it. 

12/10 Norwich | 9/4 | Newcastle 24/10 (16:00)

Perhaps the biggest match of the weekend comes from the bottom of the table, with Norwich City hosting Newcastle at Carrow Road. The Canaries gave themselves a lifeline with a 1-0 victory at the Hawthorns last time out. Rafa Benitez halted the slide against Sunderland, but nothing short of three points will do on Saturday. However, the international break means he hasn’t had the time on the training pitch with his players he would’ve wanted. Newcastle’s 6-2 win in the reverse fixture is undoubtedly the high point in a season of lows. A win on Saturday might even usurp that. Unfortunately, I just don’t see it. They’ve won just twice on the road all season. I’m going with the home side at 12/10, if only for smalls.

11/10 Stoke | 22/10 | Swansea 26/10 (16:00)

Stoke are another side I haven’t quite come to grips with this season. Pleasantly surprising one moment, they are infuriatingly indifferent the next. But while their recent form has been pretty solid, the loss of Jack Butland to injury will hurt them. The England international has been in fine form all season and very little is known about his expected replacement, Jakob Haugaard. Visitors Swansea will feel they’re in with a shot, especially given their recent form. Three wins in four matches, including a victory at the Emirates tends to back that up. There’s not much to choose between the sides, but I fancy the Swans to get some sort of a result here. You can back them on the Double Chance at 13/20.

21/20 Sunderland | 22/10 | West Brom 28/10 (16:00)

Onto a meeting of two of the most disliked sides in the Premier League. Two sides that somehow manage to keep themselves among England’s elite, despite fielding what are undoubtedly Championship quality sides. Much comes down to the choice of managers, whose style of play comes with massive limitations. I speak of course about Sunderland and West Brom; Big Sam and Little Tony. I most certainly won’t be watching this display of mediocrity. I’d rather watch an Australian derby. If I was going to have a punt, I’d get on Jermain Defoe Anytime Goalscorer.

19/20 West Ham | 5/2 | Crystal Palace 28/10 (16:00)

Back to the top-half, where West Ham will be looking to continue their push for Champions League football against Crystal Palace. Just a couple month’s back Alan Pardew’s men found themselves on a similar path, but that has been derailed by an atrocious run of form. They have not won since December. That is four months of Premier League football without a victory. It’s an astonishing run and one that might’ve gotten them relegated had they not started the season in such style. With this in mind, it’s amazing to find West Ham as long as 19/20 to win this match, and at home no less. I’m throwing this into a couple multiples and lumping on the outright. Printing money. 

31/20 Liverpool | 9/4 | Tottenham 18/10 (18:30)

Saturday’s final meeting has the making of a classic. Spurs, in the midst of the title race, will visit Anfield with high hopes of closing the gap at the top to just two points. The two played to a rather dour 0-0 draw in Jurgen Klopp’s first game in charge, but that meeting was the exception rather than the rule. The previous five meetings had produced 22 goals with scorelines like 5-0; 4-0 and 3-2. Spurs are the league’s top scorers, while Liverpool have been in decent goal-scoring nick of late. With that in mind I’d strongly favour a bet on the Over 2.5 Goals at 19/20. It looks a better bet than backing either team to win – this could be a topsy-turvy affair.

Sunday 3 April

12/10 Leicester | 9/4 | Southampton 5/2 (14:30)

Sunday brings us a couple intriguing fixtures with title-chasing Leicester hosting Southampton in the first of two matches. Leicester look a shoo-in for the title, and will likely strengthen their position over the weekend with a victory over the Saints. That’s not to say this will be an easy match, but there seems an air of inevitability about this title challenge. The nature of their victories only adds to that impression. They’ve gone from one 1-0 victory to the next, with not too much hassle. A repeat result comes in at just over 5/1, which has arrived in their last two home matches. You could also just take straight wins at 12/10 and throw it into a couple multiples. 

21/20 Manchester United | 24/10 | Everton 27/10 (17:00)

The final match of the weekend has Manchester United hosting an unpredictable Everton side. I had them to beat Arsenal prior to the international break, only to be badly let down by a terrible performance. To say they have underachieved would be an understatement. And following Romelu Lukaku’s rumblings over the weekend, their failings this season could prove even more costly. A look over the previous two meetings between these clubs says it all. The Toffees ran out comfortable 3-0 winners toward the end of last season, before being dismantled earlier this campaign. Anything can, and probably will, happen. As much as I’d like to end the weekend on a high, I’d suggest steering clear. If you must have a punt, back United to win at 21/20.

Written by Commodore Vegas
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EPL Picks
Chelsea WIN 11/20
Arsenal WIN 3/10
Bournemouth WIN 28/10
Norwich WIN 12/10
Swansea WIN/DRAW 13/20
West Ham WIN 19/20
Liverpool OVER 2.5 GOALS 19/20
Leicester CORRECT SCORE (1-0) 52/10
Man United WIN 21/20