Friday, January 31, 2014

EPL Week 24

This week-end's fixtures look very even matched, so I won't be surprised if there are lots of draw results on the cards. Here are some of my views.

Newcastle v/s Sunderland. This northern derby will pit 2 teams with opposing momentum. Newcastle are looking for a new lease of life at the moment and the departure of Cabaye to PSG has been a big blow to their European aspirations. Sunderland are riding an upward wave since the arrival of Gus Poyet and I have a strong feeling that they will avoid relegation altogether. At current odds, they are a value draw-no-bet.

West Ham v/s Swansea. These are 2 awful teams really. There is no confidence whatsoever backing any of them and a draw looks the likeliest result. Avoid.

Cardiff v/s Norwich. The hosts have gotten to find back their ruthless form at home if they are to avoid relegation. New manager Solksjaer hasn't had the impact many expected and it remains to be seen if new recruits Fabio and Zaha can help him steer the sinking ship right. At current prices, it might be worth a punt to go for a straight Cardiff victory here, as the Canaries are poor on the road.

Everton v/s Aston Villa. I was surprised of the tame effort Martinez's team put in the derby at Liverpool. They will be without Lukaku for a few weeks. Villa are coming off a huge thriller of a win against WBA and they will definitely be causing problems to the hosts. The Villains are however an inconsistent bunch that are capable of the best and worst displays. For risk-takers, there is value going for a draw here.

Fulham v/s Southampton. Just my opinion, but an early assessment makes me think that the Cottagers will go down at the end of the season. Chances are that they will lose Berbatov to Monaco by today's transfer deadline. The Saints showed that they are not far from peak form by sharing the spoils with Arsenal in the previous game week. With the same kind of spirited display, they should be able to take at least a point from this travel. They are a strong draw-no-bet selection.

Hull v/s Tottenham. Could go either way. Avoiding.

Stoke v/s Man Utd. I mentioned last week that the only way is up for Man Utd, following the arrivals of Mata and the returns from injury of Rooney and RVP. I see them getting the 3 points here as they try to climb up the table. They are a Win selection.

WBA v/s Liverpool. While I was impressed with West Brom's attacking prowess at Villa Park on Wednesday, the same could not be same of their defence, which leaked 4 goals in the defeat. I can easily fathom Suarez and Sturridge relishing this contest. I think goals will abound and in the end, with their flying form, Liverpool should be at the right end of the result. The Kops are a value Win selection at current odds.

Man City v/s Chelsea. That's the most important game of the season at this point. A 6-pointer. The Citizens will be missing Aguero but they have so many other attacking weapons that they will not fret over his injury. Chelsea got stopped by West Ham last week and it would not be surprising if they fail to find the net again. Mourinho will have them ready for this game but mind games or mental strength might not be enough against the most potent attacking force in the world at the moment. I cannot see City lose this game and while in the end the spoils might be split, I see value going with the Citizens as a draw-no-bet.

Win: Cardiff, Man Utd, Liverpool
Draw-no-bet: Sunderland, Southampton, Man City
Draw: Everton/Aston Villa

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