Tuesday, December 31, 2013

EPL Week 20

Happy New Year 2014 everyone! Wishing everyone a successful coming year, in and outside the punting arena. Some thoughts on the New Year's EPL matches.

Swansea v/s Man City. Swansea are currently on a winless streak that is mostly due to a horrendous injury list that includes their star striker Michu. They have been missing an out-and-out striker that can poach crucial goals like the Spaniard used to last season. Man City have been doing a lot better on their travels of late after having compiled a very poor away record during the first months. They will be missing playmaker Silva but their squad is big enough to cope with any loss at any position. I think it might be worth playing it from a tight-match angle and have the visitors as a draw-no-bet and have Swansea with a +1 goal handicap (draw is void).

Arsenal v/s Cardiff. This should end in a home win no matter what resilience Cardiff can come up with.

Crystal Palace v/s Norwich. I am probably of a minority, but I seriously believe that Crystal Palace are going to avoid relegation this season. The reason is new manager Pulis who's managed to get 3 wins already since his appointment. This is a 6-pointer for both teams, and I fancy the hosts as a draw-no-bet.

Fulham v/s West Ham. This will probably end in a draw or a home win. Best to avoid as the forms of both teams cannot be relied in any way.

Liverpool v/s Hull City. Suarez has been blanked for the past 2 matches and it would take a brave man to see him off the score-sheet in this one. Hull are mighty at home and well organized on the road. However, class should prevail here and it's hard to see the Kops being beaten at home, after 2 tough away defeats. Liverpool is a home win selection.

Southampton v/s Chelsea. This looks set to be a close one and I don't think there will be more than a goal separating the teams. Best to avoid as the result can go any way.

Sunderland v/s Aston Villa. The hosts are enjoying a revival under Poyet and this is a match they will be keen to get full points to avoid staying in the relegation limelight. Villa are woeful at the moment and cannot be backed in any way. I like Sunderland as a draw-no-bet in this one.

West Brom v/s Newcastle. I think the Baggies are under-valued in the current market. Last game week, I went against Newcastle when they hosted Arsenal and I think it worth to lay against them again this week. West Brom are a solid team at home and they look to be good value as draw-no-bet.

Man Utd v/s Tottenham.  The fortunes of the Red Devils seems to have turned for the better for the past weeks and they seem to be getting the rubber of the green, something they lacked in the prior games. I cannot see them lose this match and if Rooney makes it in the starting line-up, they could very well get full points. They are a win selection for good value, but if a safe route is preferred, then a draw-no-bet looks a safe selection.

Win: Arsenal, Liverpool, Man Utd
Draw-no-bet: Man City, Crystal Palace, Sunderland, West Brom
+1: Swansea

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