Friday, March 17, 2017

EPL 2016/17 - Week 30

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

Most of the matches look even this week and there will probably be more drawn matches than usual. It will be interesting to see the impact of the European matches in mid-week notably on Leicester, Man Utd and Man City.

Leicester will be on a high after overcoming Sevilla and making it to the last 8 of the Champions League. I think they have a tough away trip to West Ham with both teams in need of points to get away from the relegation zone. While the Foxes have excelled in the UCL, their form in the Premier League has been terrible although they seem to have found a new lease of life after the sacking of Ranieri. I still think they are vulnerable on this trip though as they could be feeling the effects of the euphoria of the defeat of Sevilla. It might be worth going all out on a Hammers win or a draw-no-bet on the home team.

Chelsea have the title wrapped up bar accident and if they are ever to fail, I see Spurs as the most competent challengers to pick things up. It's true that they will be missing Kane to injury but the likes of Son and Ali have goals in them. Pochettino's men are a team on the upside and have rock solid form at home. They are difficult to break down. Southampton are no slouches as well and will certainly make it difficult for Spurs but in the end, I see the home team either edging or drawing this.

Win: West Ham
Draw-no-bet: Tottenham

Friday, March 10, 2017

EPL 2016/17 - Week 29

Bournemouth v/s West Ham - Draw
Everton v/s West Brom - Home win
Hull v/s Swansea - Home win
Liverpool v/s Burnley - Home win

A paltry set of matches to contend with this week-end. Liverpool should beat Burnley provided they show the same enthusiasm and urgency they did against Arsenal last Saturday. I also like Everton's chances against visiting West Brom. The Toffees are in good form and nearly nicked a result at White Hart Lane last week-end. They should overcome a Tony Pulis' team that has been having suspect form on the road of late.

Win: Liverpool, Everton

Friday, March 3, 2017

EPL 2016/17 - Week 28

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

Harry Kane's sparkling form will be of huge benefit to Spurs when they host a rejuvenated Everton on Saturday. The England striker scored a first-half hat trick last week to maintain his team's challenge near the top of the table. The home team will need all to overcome the Toffees who have been enjoying a series of positive results as of late. It seems that Koeman has finally succeeded getting his team into his system after a dry spell. With Barkley and Lukaku full of confidence, the Toffees will have their chances to find the net in this match. However, Tottenham have a strong record at home and will make chances of their own. England midfield Alli has been a little under fire lately after his sending-off in an Europa league match but he is the dynamo in midfield that can turn a match around. Spurs will need him for their title challenge but also to make a difference in this match. I see the home team edging this one, so the punt is for a home win.

Man City should have too much for Sunderland to handle. With Jesus gone for the season, Aguero has regained his role as No 1 striker for the Citizens and the confidence in his play seems to have picked up lately. Sunderland might hold on for a while but in the end, I cannot see anything other than Guardiola's men celebrating.

Win: Tottenham, Man City

Friday, February 24, 2017

EPL 2016/17 - Week 27

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

I like Hull's chances when they host Burnley on Saturday. Marco Silva is bringing a different continental approach to the Tigers and the players seem to be responding well with some honorable performances since his appointment. There is more fight in them and they can find ways to score as well. Burnley are coming into this match on the shock of a defeat to Lincoln at home in the FA Cup. They have an absolutely terrible away form and although I think they will win one of these days on a road trip, I cannot see it happening this week-end. I see it rewarding to go for Hull for the outright win.

Champions Leicester are in turmoil and the sacking of Ranieri in mid-week won't appease things, at least in the short term. This team is terribly missing Kante in the middle and with the likes of Mahrez and Vardy not reproducing last year's irresistible form, they are more a bottom than top-level team this year; however, as a whole, they are surely better than being a relegation team which is why their current standing baffles and has seen their Italian manager sacked. Liverpool will be visiting the Foxes like hungry wolves. The Kops have had their poor run of their own lately but I see them picking things up from now on. Coutinho is too good to remain quiet and once he starts firing, the whole team will dance to his tune. They have a great chance of grabbing full points against a deeply-wounded and manager-less Leicester team.

Win: Hull, Liverpool

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