Friday, February 10, 2017

EPL 2016/17 - Week 26

Arsenal v/s Hull - Home win
Man Utd v/s Watford - Home win
Middlesbrough v/s Everton - Away win
Stoke v/s Crystal Palace - Home win
Sunderland v/s Southampton - Home win
West Ham v/s West Brom - Away win
Liverpool v/s Tottenham - Home win
Burnley v/s Chelsea - Away win
Swansea v/s Leicester - Home win
Bournemouth v/s Man City - Away win

It seems best to side with the Manchester teams this game week. I will again go against Watford knowing fully well that I was on the wrong side of their last 2 wins. Against Arsenal they were arguably lucky to get 2 quick goals against an uncharacteristically poor opponent. Against Burnley, they played with one extra man for the most part of the match. The problem with Man Utd at the moment is their profligacy in front of goal. Besides Zlatan, everyone else is finding it hard to be clean in front of goal. Once they rectify their shot to goal ratio, they will be more lethal. The Red Devils are on a good run and I just cannot see Watford doing another Arsenal shocker here. Home team win.

I think Man City are also turning the corner. The arrival of Gabriel Jesus has given this team a second life. They should have too much against a Cherries team that are conceding goals by the bucket load. If Man City take their chances, they could be hammering at least 3 goals on this road trip. This should be a comfortable City win.

Win: Man Utd, Man City

Friday, February 3, 2017

EPL 2016/17 - Week 25

Chelsea v/s Arsenal - Draw
Crystal Palace v/s Sunderland - Home win
Everton v/s Bournemouth - Home win
Hull v/s Liverpool - Home win
Southampton v/s West Ham - Home win
Watford v/s Burnley - Away win
WBA v/s Stoke - Home win
Tottenham v/s Middlesbrough - Home win
Man City v/s Swansea - Home win
Leicester v/s Man Utd - Away win

Watford may have stunned Arsenal last week but I have a feeling that they will flounder at home to Burnley. This may appear as a long shot but Burnley's profile going into this match makes some appeal. They are on a great winning run and their last loss of late was a last-gap one at the Emirates where Alexis Sanchez broke the deadlock in the 8th minute of injury-time. Watford will prove a lesser nut to crack and I really think Dyche's men can take something out of this match. A draw might be a more sensible choice but going with the visitors at current prices might prove very rewarding.

Man City should be making ground up again this week-end as they entertain Swansea. Newcomer Jesus has already made a refreshing and solid impact and the Citizens could be on a winning run here. Spurs should also get back to winning ways when they host Swansea.

Win: Burnley, Man City, Tottenham

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

EPL 2016/17 - Week 24

Bournemouth v/s Crystal Palace - Home win
Arsenal v/s Watford - Home win
Burnley v/s Leicester - Home win
Middlesbrough v/s WBA - Draw
Sunderland v/s Tottenham - Away win
Swansea v/s Southampton - Draw
Liverpool v/s Chelsea - Home win
West Ham v/s Man City - Away win
Man Utd v/s Hull - Home win
Stoke v/s Everton - Home win

The next 2 week-ends could mark a turning point in the EPL race as runaway leaders Chelsea face pursuers Liverpool and Arsenal. If they pass these tests with flying colors, confidence will be abundant for the Blues that they could go all the way. At this point, my feeling is that they will choke at some point and lose points in both of these matches. At current odds, Livepool looks enticing to beat Conte and his team at Anfield. Granted, Liverpool are running on poor form at the moment but now that Coutinho has ran a good run of games, I only expect them to get better than what they have shown in the past few weeks. They have the quality and speed to run over the visitors and if they are to save on their title aspirations, they need to produce this week-end. I don't see them losing this match and it might be worth going for the all way win with the Kops.

I see Man City getting the full points as they visit the Hammers. The latter finally let go of their best player Dimitri Payet this week and they will miss the Frenchman, particularly on set-pieces. The Citizens are in the same as Liverpool in that they need to rack up points after a dreadful run. Aguero needs to start banging goals and the latest signs are that this team is ready to start rolling. I cannot see West Ham winning this.

Man Utd is a banker against Hull. This is their third match in the space of 3 weeks with the record at 1-apiece. This is another must 3-points for the Red Devils as they try to secure a UCL spot. They are a team with hardly any injuries, so Mourinho should have all the ammunition at his disposal to secure the win.

Win: Man Utd, Man City, Liverpool
Lay: Chelsea

Friday, January 20, 2017

EPL 2016/17 - Week 23

Liverpool v/s Swansea - Home win
Bournemouth v/s Watford - Home win
Crystal Palace v/s Everton - Away win
Middlesbrough v/s West Ham - Home win
Stoke v/s Man Utd - Away win
WBA v/s Sunderland - Home win
Man City v/s Tottenham - Away win
Southampton v/s Leicester - Home win
Arsenal v/s Burnley - Home win
Chelsea - Hull - Home win

There are 3 bankers I can see; Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea. I cannot see these 3 top teams leaving any scrums of points given their feeble opposition. The big match is between Man City and Spurs. The result can swing either way, so predicting it would be pure speculation.

It's probably worth chancing on Bournemouth as they host Watford. The Cherries have an admirable home record and Watford are not coming in with suspect form. Mixing Bournemouth with the 3 bankers mentioned above seems to be the best value play of the week-end.

Win: Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Bournemouth

Friday, January 13, 2017

EPL 2016/17 - Week 22

Tottenham v/s West Brom - Home win
Burnley v/s Southampton - Home win
Hull v/s Bournemouth - Home win
Sunderland v/s Stoke - Draw
Swansea v/s Arsenal - Away win
Watford v/s Middlesbrough - Draw
West Ham v/s Crystal Palace - Draw
Leicester v/s Chelsea - Home win
Everton v/s Man City - Away win
Man Utd v/s Liverpool - Home win

Man Utd v/s Liverpool is the biggest rivalry in England, no question. This year, the intrigue deepens with a Mourinho v/s Klopp confrontation with the two managers having improved their teams markedly this season. Momentum is with the Red Devils and it's hard to oppose them as they are playing with plenty of confidence at the moment. They are on a hot winning streak and are as ever as dangerous at Old Trafford. Liverpool will welcome back Coutinho but he is bound to be short of playing time and won't be at the best of his abilities until he gets a good run of matches. The Kops' form has dipped during his absence and won't be going to their nemesis all guns blazing. Advantage the Red Devils in this one and I can't see them losing this match. They will either win or draw, which makes a draw-no-bet on them the best value punt.

Spurs beat Chelsea comprehensively in their last match and will be confident about their chances for a title run-in. West Brom are a tough cookie to deal with as they showed in their recent visits to powerhouses such as Arsenal, Chelsea or Southampton. Although they have buckled in the end, they have kept some of these away games very close till the end. Delle Ali and his team mates are on fire at the moment and they have so many outlets of scoring that it is hard to see WBA getting out of White Hart Lane with something. Spurs should prove too much in the end for Pulis' men.

Win: Tottenham
Draw-no-bet: Man Utd

Sunday, January 1, 2017

EPL 2016/17 - Week 21

Middlesbrough v/s Leicester - Home win
Everton v/s Southampton - Home win
Man City v/s Burnley - Home win
Sunderland v/s Liverpool - Away win
WBA v/s Hull - Home win
West Ham v/s Man Utd - Away win
Bournemouth v/s Arsenal - Draw
Crystal Palace v/s Swansea - Home win
Stoke v/s Watford - Home win
Tottenham v/s Chelsea - Home win

Happy New Year 2017! All the best with your punting for this coming year!

I see quite a few bankers from this coming fixture list. Man City, Liverpool and West Brom look sure winners and have to be in any accumulators. As a riskier tier, I see Man Utd, Palace and Stoke having slightly more difficult matches but still winning as well. Finally, Chelsea's good run should come to an end as they visit Tottenham. At current odds, I really like Spurs as a draw-no-bet option here as I cannot see them losing this match.

Win: Man City, Liverpool, West Brom, Man Utd, Crystal Palace, Stoke
Draw-no-bet: Tottenham

Friday, December 30, 2016

EPL 2016/17 - Week 20

Hull v/s Everton - Home win
Burnley v/s Sunderland - Home win
Chelsea v/s Stoke - Home win
Leicester v/s West Ham - Away win
Man Utd v/s Middlesbrough - Home win
Southampton v/s West Brom - Draw
Swansea v/s Bournemouth - Away win
Liverpool v/s Man City - Home win
Watford v/s Tottenham - Away win
Arsenal v/s Crystal Palace - Home win

"Stay with the same" is the motto for New Year's selections. There is a reunion of sorts at Old Trafford where Boro boss Karanka meets his ex-Real Madrid boss Mourinho. Man Utd should prove too good here and keep their running winning sequence intact.

Arsenal host Palace in what is another Wenger/Allardyce match-up. Arsenal worked hard to break down WBA in their last match but they fully deserved the 3 points. They will face the same type of challenge against an Eagles team that I expect to improve from the Pardew days from now on. However, Allardyce will need more than a few matches under his belt to get the team back rolling and on this basis, the Gunners should be able to win this based on their superior firepower.

Win: Arsenal, Man Utd

Sunday, December 25, 2016

EPL 2016/17 - Week 19

Watford v/s Crystal Palace - Home win
Arsenal v/s WBA - Home win
Burnley v/s Middlesbrough - Away win
Chelsea v/s Bournemouth - Draw
Leicester v/s Everton - Home win
Man Utd v/s Sunderland - Home win
Swansea v/s West Ham - Away win
Hull v/s Man City - Away win
Liverpool v/s Stoke - Home win
Southampton v/s Tottenham  - Home win

Man Utd to beat Sunderland is a banker home win, no other way to describe it. I see the Red Devils going on a very good run and Mourinho seems to be getting the better of his squad with every passing match. They might have left too many points on the table to be seriously considered a title contender but Man Utd will be very hard to beat against anyone. Safe home win.

Arsenal are on a 2-game losing streak and that is bound to stop as they welcome WBA. It's the same old story with the Gunners; their title aspirations are always cut short by a damaging losing streak. They will hope that they are not on one currently and although WBA are a tough team to break, the Gunners have enough firepower to get the much-needed full points at the Emirates. They won't lose this match and it might very well be worth chancing on a straight home win.

Win: Man Utd, Arsenal
Double Win: Man Utd/Arsenal

Friday, December 16, 2016

EPS 2016/17 - Week 18

Crystal Palace v/s Chelsea - Home win
Middlesbrough v/s Swansea - Draw
Stoke v/s Leicester - Home win
Sunderland v/s Watford - Home win
West Ham v/s Hull - Home win
WBA v/s Man Utd - Home win
Bournemouth v/s Southampton - Draw
Man City v/s Arsenal - Home win
Tottenham v/s Burnley - Home win
Everton v/s Liverpool - Away win

This week-end's matches look pretty even across the board and I am not expecting to reach Week 17's strike rate of 9 correct out of 10. I see quite a few home wins but a goal here and there can easily tilt the result in the other direction.

I expect Spurs to beat Burnley at home. Kane was uncharacteristically quiet against Hull on Wednesday as Spurs found it hard to overcome Phelan's stubborn side. The England striker can make amends against a lowly Burnley side with a poor away record. This should end in a home win that consolidates Tottenham's ambitions to stay firmly in the hunt for the league title.

Everton were poor against Arsenal, yet managed to get the win in the end. With that kind of display, I cannot see them overcome a Liverpool team that seems to be hitting top form at the moment. Klopp and his men demolished Middlesbrough in mid-week and are showing attacking intent from all corners even with the loss of Coutinho. I expect a high-tempo game for this Merseyside derby and the Kops should prove too strong in the end. An away win looks set on the cards here.

Win: Tottenham, Liverpool

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

EPL 2016/17 - Week 17

Bournemouth v/s Leicester - Home win
Everton v/s Arsenal - Draw
Middlesbrough v/s Liverpool - Away win
Sunderland v/s Chelsea - Away win
West Ham v/s Burnley - Home win
Crystal Palace v/s Man Utd - Away win
Man City v/s Watford - Home win
Stoke v/s Southampton - Draw
Tottenham v/s Hull - Home win
WBA v/s Swansea - Home win

Man City have a great opportunity to get back to winning ways as they host Watford. Pep Guardiola is finding how things are tough in the EPL; this is no La Liga or Bundesliga where only 2 or 3 teams matter. The Citizens are not as dangerous without Aguero but they still have the likes of de Bruyne and Toure who can make the difference at any point in the match. They cannot afford much slip-up at this time and they should come away with the full points against a Watford team with a suspicious away record.

I expect West Brom to beat Swansea at the Hawthorne. Pulis' men are very strong at home and the visitors will find it tough to score against them. The Baggies were arguably unlucky to concede a late goal and defeat at Chelsea last week-end but they should have an attack-minded team against a Swans team that can concede by the bucket load. At current odds, a West Brom outright win makes great appeal.

Win: Man City, West Brom

Friday, December 9, 2016

EPL 2016/17 - Week 16

Watford v/s Everton - Home win
Arsenal v/s Stoke - Home win
Burnley v/s Bournemouth - Away win
Hull v/s Crystal Palace - Home win
Swansea v/s Sunderland - Home win
Leicester vs Man City - Draw
Chelsea v/s WBA - Home win
Man Utd v/s Tottenham - Draw
Southampton v/s Middlesbrough - Draw
Liverpool v/s West Ham - Home win

After their rather astounding collapse in Bournemouth last week, I expect Liverpool to get back to winning ways when they host the Hammers. It is true that the Kops have a vital cog in their attack missing with Coutinho out, but they can still score by the bucket load with the system that Klopp has put into place. Their weakness is their defence, which showed its weaknesses against the Cherries. West Ham are toiling and it seems there is no end to their problem. They were totally hapless against the Gunners last week and I cannot see them rebound that easily from that debacle. Bilic is really in trouble as far as job security is concerned. Liverpool will win this.

Sunderland have gotten some nice points on the board lately but Swansea will be looking to score some much-needed points as well. I believe for Swansea to stay up they will have to get most of their points at home and beat fellow struggling teams. The Black Cats definitely fit in that category. A failure to beat Sunderland will say long about their ability to avoid the relegation zone and any progress or regress made under new manager Bradley. I believe they will not lose this match and so side with them as an outright win or a draw-no-bet.

Win: Liverpool
Win or Draw-no-bet: Swansea

Friday, December 2, 2016

EPL 2016/17 - Week 15

Man City v/s Chelsea - Home win
Crystal Palace v/s Southampton - Home win
Stoke v/s Burnley - Draw
Sunderland v/s Leicester - Away win
Tottenham v/s Swansea - Home win
WBA v/s Watford - Home win
West Ham v/s Arsenal - Home win
Bournemouth v/s Liverpool - Away win
Everton v/s Man Utd - Draw
Middlesbrough v/s Hull - Home win

Man City against Chelsea is without doubt the highlight match of the week-end. For all their irresistible form of late and their winning run sequence, I think Chelsea will dive right back to reality after this road trip. I cannot see them win this match, and if they get lucky they might sneak out a point. But there is a big chance that Man City will overpower them in all departments and get the all-important 3 points. The thing with the Blues is that they are dominant at Stamford Bridge where they suffocate their opponents with their fluid football from start to finish. They cannot perform at the same level when visiting top-level teams. They need control and possession of the ball as they rely on incisive through balls to beat defenders. They will not get those kinds of opportunities against Guardiola's men. The one weakness of the home team is the unsettling of their central defending positions; Kompany is crocked yet again and Otamendi is the only reliable rock there. Still, I see an outright home win here.

I see West Ham snatching something out of their match against Arsenal. The Gunners fielded a totally unrecognizable second-string team in their midweek league cup match against Southampton and there is no doubt that Arsene Wenger wants his team totally fit and focused on the Premier League. With main man Sanchez having been on a non-stop run since the summer, it is clear that concerns regarding his freshness are legit. The Gunners are not as potent when the Chilean is not firing on all cylinders. The Hammers definitely have the capacity to match the visitors. With Payet, they are supremely dangerous on dead-ball situations. Their form has improved slightly of late but it is more a matter of urgency for them to earn points in order to get out of their precarious league position. I really like the outright win and double chance value on the Hammers in the exchange markets as they cannot see them lose this match.

Win: Man City, West Ham
Double Chance: West Ham

Friday, November 25, 2016

EPL 2016/17 - Week 14

Burnley v/s Man City - Away win
Hull v/s WBA - Draw
Leicester v/s Middlesbrough - Home win
Liverpool v/s Sunderland - Home win
Swansea v/s Crystal Palace - Home win
Chelsea v/s Tottenham - Home win
Watford v/s Stoke - Home win
Arsenal v/s Bournemouth - Home win
Man Utd v/s West Ham - Home win
Southampton v/s Everton - Draw

I see lots of home wins this week. Liverpool should blow out Sunderland. I cannot think of a better 'banker' win. Sunderland will do well to keep this a low score but I don't think they will. Arsenal should overcome Bournemouth although I don't think it will be a thrashing as with the Reds. The Gunners are puffing of late and a tough mid-week match against PSG is bound to leave stamina questions for this match. Still, I think Wenger will just sneak through with the all-important 3 points.

I expect Man Utd to confirm their renewal of form by beating the struggling Hammers. The Red Devils were oh-so rampant against Arsenal in their last league match but failed to win but they confirmed their good disposition by thrashing Feyenood in mid-week. Something seems to have clicked nicely during the Arsenal match and Mourinho's men could be on a roll now. Another home win.

It might be worth chancing with Swansea to give manager Bradley his first EPL win. Visiting Crystal Palace are a team capable of the best and worst; in other words, they are not a reliable team to have any confidence at all. At current odds, going with a Swansea win or Double chance (win or draw) could be rewarding.

Win: Liverpool, Arsenal, Man Utd, Swansea
Win or draw: Swansea

Friday, November 18, 2016

EPL 2016/17 - Week 13

Man Utd v/s Arsenal - Home win
Crystal Palace v/s Man City - Away win
Everton v/s Swansea - Home win
Southampton v/s Liverpool - Home win
Stoke v/s Bournemouth - Home win
Sunderland v/s Hull - Draw
Watford v/s Leicester - Draw
Tottenham v/s West Ham - Draw
Middlesbrough v/s Chelsea - Away win
WBA v/s Burnley - Home win

The big match this week-end, without doubt, is at Old Trafford for yet another Mourinho - Wenger showdown. The Portuguese near-flawless record against his nemesis is well documented and I see the pattern staying unchanged after this match. It's true that the Gunners have been flying of late, but a view of their recent outings suggests that their good streak is about to end sooner than later. Mourinho will be pumped up not to lose against a despised rival and will resort to whatever means, including parking the bus, to stutter the potent of the Gunners attack. Another piece of bad news for the Gunners is the potential absence of Alexis Sanchez. I cannot see the Red Devils losing this one; they either will win or draw.

I also see Liverpool dropping points as they visit Southampton. I mentioned a couple of weeks back that it would be difficult for them to maintain the form and tempo they have been enthralling the league since the start. The St Mary's is a tough place to go to and the Kops can expect a serious fight until the final whistle. I like the home team's odds here for an outright win but a draw-no-bet looks reasonable as well.

Win or draw-no-bet: Man Utd, Southampton

Friday, November 4, 2016

EPL 2016/17 - Week 12

Bournemouth v/s Sunderland - Home win
Burnley v/s Crystal Palace - Home win
Man City v/s Middlesbrough - Home win
West Ham v/s Stoke - Home win
Chelsea v/s Everton - Home win
Arsenal v/s Tottenham - Away win
Hull v/s Southampton - Draw
Liverpool v/s Watford - Home win
Swansea v/s Man Utd - Away win
Leicester v/s West Brom - Home win

Chelsea are on a roll and Everton could be having a long afternoon at Stamford Bridge. The Blues boasts a stellar home record against leading teams this season including 3-0 and 4-0 thrashings of Leicester and Man Utd respectively. Hazard, Pedro and Costa just seem to find an extra step in front of their supporters, which is not always the case on their travels. After a very strong start, Everton have gone back in the ranks lately but will rely on ex-Chelsea striker Lukaku to do damage at the front end, although it won't be easy against Courtois. It is possible The Toffees can snatch a draw in this one but it might be worth going for the outright home win here, given the market odds.

The match of the week-end will be at the Emirates for the London Derby between the Gunners and Spurs. Both teams had different fortunes in their midweek UCL encounters. Arsenal struggled to go beat minnows Ludogorets while Pochettino's men lost at Wembley to Bayer Leverkusen. The Gunners are on a good streak but I think they can be vulnerable against their resilient rivals here. Spurs have proven to be a tough team to beat even without their main striker Kane. While the England striker might make his comeback after injury, the visitors' strength relies on the coherence of their defensive and midfield corps. If Tottenham can withstand the attacks of Sanchez and Ozil, a deciding goal at the other end is definitely within their reach. Spurs as a Double Chance (Draw or Away) or Draw-no-bet look to be great value plays.

Win: Chelsea
Draw-no-bet or Double-Chance: Tottenham