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Commodore's EPL Picks

Confidence is low with Yours Truly at the moment. It’s been a tough two weeks, mixed with near misses and flat out failure. However, the results have only hardened my resolve to turn things around, to delve deeper and find those hidden gems that often come up after hours of painstaking research. Of course no amount of research can account for an Andy Carroll hat-trick or Chelsea fielding a team of choir boys. Beware the need to rest players among clubs still involved in other competitions. Take it as an opportunity – one where there is money to be made. SBN dishes out those team sheets an hour before every kick-off on Twitter. Look them over and see if you can find some value. I’ll be doing the same.

Saturday 16 April

14/10 Norwich | Draw 22/10 | Sunderland 2/1 (13:45)

We start at Carrow Road with perhaps the biggest match of the weekend – Norwich v Sunderland. Despite their loss on Saturday, I still fancy the Canaries to stay up. A victory against the Black Cats on Saturday will go a long way to making that a reality. Norwich picked up their first win of the season against Sunderland back in August, running out 3-1 winners against Dick Advocaat’s toothless side. Not much has changed under Big Sam, with Jermain Defoe the notable exception. Still, Sunderland are without a win in their five previous away trips and don’t look likely to turn it on now. I’ve been wrong about them in the past, but I’m backing the home team to all but end the relegation battle with the three points here.

13/10 Everton | 23/10 | Southampton 21/10 (16:00)

Time is fast running out for Roberto Martinez at Everton. The disgruntled few are turning into the mutinous many and that crowd is expected to grow at Goodison this weekend. Contrast them with this weekend’s visitors, Southampton, who despite a torrid start to the season find themselves seven places and 11 points better off. The Toffees may have won 3-0 when the two met earlier this season, but that seems a long way away now. They’ve claimed just 13 points from their last 13 matches – that’s relegation form. I can’t be backing them again, not until Martinez has been shown the exit door. They haven’t won a home game against any team in the top half – that isn’t about to start now. Back the Saints at 21/10.

1/5 Manchester United | 5/1 | Aston Villa 14/1 (16:00)

Aston Villa will finally be put out of their misery this weekend at Old Trafford when their drop to the Championship will be confirmed. For United, this will be a routine three points. However, victory over the bottom club will do little to inspire confidence that Louis van Gaal is moving this club forward. Sunday’s 3-0 defeat to Tottenham showed this side for what it truly is – desperately average. Ashley Young playing up front says it all really. LVG has lost it. In fact, I’d go so far to say he never had it. United will win here, but they won’t finish fourth. Not a chance.

27/20 Newcastle | 22/10 | Swansea 21/10 (16:00)

The Premier League seems to be hurtling toward an inevitable conclusion, at the top and bottom of the table. Following their pitiful showing at St Mary’s last weekend, Newcastle are on the brink. Their defensive performance was something out of a Marx Brothers movie, with Steven Taylor and Daryl Janmaat contributing to their own demise. It was pretty funny to watch if it wasn’t so sad. In contrast, Swansea were keeping a clean sheet against Chelsea, while Gylfi Sigurdsson popped up with another vital goal. If Newcastle are going to save themselves, it will have to be at St James Park, because their away form is atrocious. I can’t say for certain they’ll win here, but they will most certainly concede. With that in mind, the Both Teams To Score bet looks a solid one at 17/20.

27/20 West Brom | 21/10 | Watford 21/10 (16:00)

The meeting between West Brom and Watford at the Hawthorns is perhaps the most underwhelming fixture I’ve seen this year. Two sides, assured of safety, in terrible form and with very little reason to improve on that before the summer break. The Baggies are without a win in three, while Watford haven’t won since beating Crystal Palace in mid-Feb. I really can’t find any redeeming qualities about this match. Look elsewhere for your entertainment. If you must have a punt, wait for the team sheets to be announced and watch for Watford changes. Only then will the Baggies be worth a dabble, otherwise just play the Unders at 6/10 and change the channel.

15/10 Chelsea | 24/10 | Manchester City 7/4 (18:30)

In any other season, a meeting of Chelsea and Man City at this stage of the season would be a title-defining one. This is not one of those season’s. City are playing for fourth, Chelsea for pride. Although in truth, even that went long ago. The defending champions are currently 28 points behind Leicester after defeat to Swansea last weekend. After backing them earlier in the week, my outlook changed greatly once the team sheets became known. As for City, their away form has done them this season. They’ve yet to win away to a side in the top half. Chelsea are currently 10th – read into that what you will. As for me, I’ll be taking a bit of City at 7/4. Their injury woes are behind them and they’re looking a decent side again.

Sunday 17 April

26/10 Bournemouth | 24/10 | Liverpool 21/20 (14:30)

Liverpool surprised even me with the way they dismantled Stoke at home over the weekend. It was a performance you’ve always suspected Klopp’s team capable of, but one that has been all too rare this season. Their defensive frailties remain, but moving forward they have the pace and power to trouble most. On Sunday they travel to Bournemouth for what amounts to a dead-rubber. The Cherries are safely secure in the Premier League and will already be looking to next season. Callum Wilson’s return up front will be a massive boost for Eddie Howe, whose side have already surprised the likes of Manchester United and Southampton at home this season. I’d be hesitant about backing the Reds outright, with Both Teams To Score the play here at 8/10.

19/20 Leicester | 5/2 | West Ham 11/4 (14:30)

I was moments away on catching yet another 1-0 correct score on Leicester City before Jamie Vardy swooped in to break my heart. Such are the margins between a winning and losing bet. This week begs for a change in approach, from a betting perspective at least. West Ham are a different side to the one’s faced by the Foxes recently and the most likely to give their defence a stern test. Dimitri Payet’s set-piece prowess is one thing, but the aerial ability of Andy Carroll and craft of Manuel Lanzini make them a threat in more ways than one. They won’t have things all their own way and I expect the Hammers to get on the score sheet. For those brave enough to go against the Foxes, the draw could be of value at 5/2.

7/20 Arsenal | 4/1 | Crystal Palace 77/10 (17:00)

It’s becoming a bit tedious writing about Arsenal week after week, year after year. Once again they lacked the game management skills to close things out after going up 2-0 at Upton Park. Andy Carroll exposed their soft underbelly once again, bulldozing his way to a Premier League hat-trick. They’ll be better this weekend against Palace. After all it is Palace, and Arsene Wenger isn’t about to lose a match to Alan Pardew. The Gunners have brushed aside the lesser sides at home this season, while Palace are without a win in seven away games. Not much value in backing the home win though, unless it’s thrown in with BTTS for an 18/10 matchbet.

Monday 18 April

7/2 Stoke | 26/10 | Tottenham 8/10 (21:00)

Monday Night football makes a return next week, with Spurs visiting the Britannia for a must-win clash in terms of the title race. Irrespective of Leicester’s result on Saturday, Spurs know nothing short of a win will do here. They could come to regret the first meeting with the Potters, where they threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at White Hart Lane. Stoke have produced some decent results at home to the top six clubs and have already seen off Man City and Man United. Throw in draws with Arsenal and Leicester and it’s clear to see, they’re a tough nut to crack at home. This could well be the weekend Spurs lose the league, with Stoke tipped to get some sort of a result on the Double Chance at 19/20.

Written by Commodore Vegas
Follow him on Twitter here!

EPL Picks
Norwich WIN 14/10 
Southampton WIN 21/10 
Manchester United WIN 1/5
Newcastle BTTS 17/20 
West Brom UNDER 2.5 GOALS 6/10
Man City WIN 7/4
Bournemouth BTTS 8/10 
Leicester DRAW 5/2
Arsenal WIN + BTTS 18/10
Stoke WIN/DRAW 19/20