Friday, January 17, 2014

EPL Week 22

This gameweek is all about Man Utd's visit to Chelsea in what is a make-or-break game for the Red Devils. Lose, and they are definitely out of the title race.

Chelsea v/s Man Utd. The Mancunians are going to Stamford Bridge at the worst possible time. They are without their 2 best players in Rooney and RVP. They will meet a Chelsea team that is now playing under the Mourinho way, i.e, score and close shop. The odds are that the already-slim title chances that the Red Devils have, will be all but extinct after the match. It's hard to see them inflict a first home league defeat to Mourinho, but if there is a team that has the spirit to do it, it must be Man Utd. Of late, their away form has been solid when it counted. They put 5 at Leverkusen when everyone thought they would be in for a tough match. If they start firing with accuracy and balls go their way, they can get a result in any game. They've got to get the crucial first goal to have a chance of upsetting Chelsea. Lots of ifs. This match might very well end up in a draw, and looking at the market, my selection is a draw-no-bet on Chelsea.

Sunderland v/s Southampton. It's not been a rosy week for the Saints with the shock departure of their chairman and uncertainty concerning the future of their Argentine coach. Sunderland are a team on the up and if they get consistency in their results, they can avoid the drop. With momentum starting to swing their way, the Black Cats are a value draw-no-bet selection.

Arsenal v/s Fulham. Straight home win to keep the Gunners title aspirations on target.

Crystal Palace v/s Stoke. CP were beaten at White Hart Lane last week but the result could have been different if they had converted a first-half penalty. Stoke conceded 5 against Liverpool at the Brittania and will be keen to tighten things at the back to keep the hosts in check. I can hardly see CP lose this match, so I will go with them as a draw-no-bet as well.

Man City v/s Cardiff. It will be a Man City win, and the question is by how much.

Norwich v/s Hull. I see value in going with the visitors with a +1 goal advantage here (equal score is void). They are a well-organized, resilient team on the road, and will be fighting mightily for an all-important point.

West Ham v/s Newcastle. Best to avoid although I could see the Magpies ending their losing run.

Liverpool v/s Aston Villa. This should be a home win, and with the S & S strikeforce back, Liverpool can cause damage to any team.

Swansea v/s Tottenham. I see the poor run of the hosts ending here. At least, I don't think they'll lose that game and looking at current odds, they are a strong value draw-no-bet selection.

West Brom v/s Everton. Can go any result.

Win: Arsenal, Man City, Liverpool
Draw-no-bet: Chelsea, Sunderland, Crystal Palace, Swansea.
+1 goal: Hull.

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