Friday, October 25, 2013

Football Preview

A couple of great match-ups dominate the EPL and La Liga this week-end. Chelsea and Man City, the 2 front-runners for the Premier League, at least from the bookies standpoint, clash at Stamford Bridge, while the El Clasico is the un-missable feature in Spain. Here are some picks.

Crystal Palace v/s Arsenal. There is no basis to back the Eagles here. They lost manager Halloway during the week and I can't see the caretaker manager making a marked difference to the squad, particularly that other managers are being publicly sought after. Arsenal lost against Dortmund in the Champions League and will be keen to resume their winning ways against lesser opposition. Arsenal is a Win selection.

Aston Villa v/s Everton. I like the hosts' chances here with the possible return of Benteke in the starting eleven. Everton can be deemed lucky to have scraped past Hull last week and they are certainly a work in progress under Martinez. This could very well end up in a draw and I fancy to nick it if there is to be a winner. So, the Villains are a  draw-no-bet selection.

Liverpool v/s West Brom. I can't believe Liverpool are near evens to land a top 4 spot and in the 9's to win the league. I say lay on both, because in my mind, they are not good enough to finish in the first 4. Granted, it's still early in the season, but the prices are attractive enough to lay at the moment. WBA's visit is a good occasion for the Kops to land another 3 points although if there is to be a shocking result this week-end, it could be with WBA taking the spoils. I'll avoid this one.

Man Utd v/s Stoke. This should end with a home win to get the Red Devils back on track in the league.

Tottenham v/s Hull. Spurs shouldn't take Hull for easy victims as the visitors are a good disciplined side that is hard to break down. I can't see the Tigers winning this but they will definitely battle to get at least a draw from the match. Spurs look to be safe draw-no-bet selection.

Chelsea v/s Man City. History has it that Mourinho has never lost an EPL game at Stamford Bridge. They are in good form and went to thrash Shalke in Germany during the week. Man City finally won on the road last Saturday but this is going to be one of their toughest visits of the season. This is a 6-pointer game and this game will probably be decided with a moment of genius or inattention from either side. With Mourinho's record, it's hard to go against Chelsea as hosts, so the Blues are a strong draw-no-bet selection at current odds.

Finally, the El Clasico in Spain is an intriguing one with the 2 giant clubs under the helm of new management. There is no doubt that Ancelotti and Martino are still working the kinks of their side and won't have their typical A-team. Neymar is still finding his feet at Barca and Bale is far from showing his real weapons at Madrid. Being the hosts and with the return of Messi, the Catalans hold a slight advantage and look good value with current draw-no-bet odds.

Win: Arsenal, Man Utd
Draw-no-bet: Barcelona, Chelsea, Tottenham, Aston Villa

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