Friday, February 21, 2014

EPL Week 27

My selections after studying some of this week-end's matches.

Liverpool v/s Swansea. Home Win. This should be a stroll in the park for the hosts. Swansea are coming after a tough mid-week European game against Napoli and will need all their fresh legs to contain the potent Kop offence. There are still huge question marks of the visitors under need manager Monk. On the other hand, Liverpool have put themselves in the title picture after some fantastic form of late. They are in with a shout although my feeling is that they will not be able to sustain their current form. I might be wrong. However, there is little or any doubt that they will win this match.

Chelsea v/s Everton. It would not be a shock if the Toffees were the first to inflict Mourinho his first home league defeat. The Toffees can give a game to anyone and with some luck they have been able to snatch crucial victories or draws such as at Old Trafford and the Emirates Stadium. They beat the Blues at home earlier in the season in a game which they took their chances to the full. However, I expect the hosts to try hard and avenge this defeat and keep on their title charge. This is crunch time and with the form of Hazard, I cannot see Chelsea beaten again by the Toffees. The hosts are a strong draw-no-bet selection.

Arsenal v/s Sunderland. I don't see the visitors winning this, just as I don't see Arsenal being a banker for the win. The Gunners are definitely looking for a breather for the moment and although they might very well end up with the win, I see Poyet's men making them work for it. The Gunners are a draw-no-bet selection.

Man City v/s Stoke. This should be a home win. The Citizens are missing Aguero massively but should have too much firepower for the visitors.

West Brom v/s Fulham. I always thought Fulham were destined for the drop but the appointment of Magath can change things. I think if Fulham are to have a win away from home, it might very well be in this game. Magath is an excellent coach who can turn the fortunes of the club around but much remains on how he can instill a winning confidence on his under-achieving team. For long punts, a Fulham Win should be well worth considering.

West Ham v/s Southampton. Both are in good form but class will probably tell in this one and I see Southampton getting at least the spoils out of this game. The visitors are a draw-no-bet selection.

Crystal Palace v/s Man Utd. The question here is how much good will the Dubai break have done to the Mancunians? Could this be the game they turn things around? I am not willing to put any confidence into this until they really show on the pitch that they mean business. The Eagles on the other hand are in splendid form at home and if Man Utd are to be as poor as in the past few weeks, their woes could deepen further in this match. It will be interesting to see how the match develops but it's better sitting on the fence than try to figure out the outcome.

Win: Liverpool, Man City
Draw-no-bet: Southampton, Arsenal, Chelsea
Win (Long punt): Fulham

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

EPL Week 26 (Wednesday)

Sorry, missed yesterday's matches due to a technical problem. But I had Chelsea winning, so nothing was missed there. Here are my selections for the matches starting in a couple of hours time.

Arsenal v/s Man Utd. Two teams having had a horrendous last week-end. I mentioned Arsenal were exposed against Liverpool and it showed clearly that they are in need of a breather. I will continue thinking that their second half of the season cannot be as good as the first. Man Utd were equally bad against Fulham. A Fergie team would have put at least 5 past the Cottagers. This is a team that is lacking in confidence, let alone luck. I don't think they will make the first 4. If they don't turnaround quick, they might not even make the first 6. The second half of the season however cannot be worse than the first half. I cannot see the Red Devils winning this game. Arsenal are a draw-no-bet selection.

Everton v/s Crystal Palace. If ever there is going to be a shocker this gameweek, I think that it will be in this one. However unlikely to most pundits, I think the Eagles can get something out of this match. If I were a risky long punter, the current odds of a Palace win would be very tempting. Even the draw-no-bet odds on the exchanges look appealing. I have a suspicion that Everton are lacking tempo at the moment and will go for the jugular and have CP as a long-shot Win selection.

Man City v/s Sunderland. Home win even without Aguero after the missteps of the past 2 weeks for the Citizens.

Fulham v/s Liverpool. The visitors are the form team of the moment and it would be tough to go against them. They are a Win selection against a team that I believe is going down.

Win: Crystal Palace, Man City, Liverpool
Draw-no-bet: Arsenal

Friday, February 7, 2014

EPL Week 25

It remains to be seen how crucial Chelsea's win at the Etihaad will be in the standings at the end of the season. It has certainly stopped Man City from crushing the league at this point. This week-end is a top 4 clash between Arsenal and Liverpool.

Liverpool v/s Arsenal. I certainly don't think any of the two will win the league. The way I see it at this point, is that the Gunners will come out 3rd. Whether the Kops get the UCL 4th spot much depends on how good the comeback from Man Utd will be, if ever there is a comeback, that is. Were it not for their current injuries, I would have fancied the hosts to be strong contenders for the win. There's a team spirit and a will to win that flows in this Liverpool team that wasn't there in previous years. Manager Rodgers has simply been outstanding playing his cards so far and has the S & S strike duo running to full effect. However, it remains to be seen whether a lack of recruitment during the January trade window will have effects during the season run-in. The Gunners have the talent to beat any team any time, but there are still question marks as to their disposition when the chips are on the line, as in Saturday's match. They have a potent attacking force and much of their chances of winning will depend on how well they can contain Suarez and Sturridge. If they can keep them quiet, Ozil and Cazorla can create damage on the other side of the pitch. It looks very much to be a battle of the wills that will win it and if there is to be a winner, I see the Reds just edging this one. It might very well end up in a high-scoring draw. So, the selection is Liverpool as a draw-no-bet.

Aston Villa v/s West Ham. The Villains have been shaping up well in the last few weeks and they are my confident selection for a home Win. I don't see West Ham parking the bus as against Chelsea a few weeks back as they will fancy their chances to go get a result.

Chelsea v/s Newcastle. Got to be a home Win. I cannot see a struggling Newcastle stopping an in-form, buoyant, and confident Blues team at the moment.

Crystal Palace v/s West Brom. It has been rewarding to side with Palace at home over the past weeks and I see the trend continue. They are solid at home and the Baggies are prone to be scored against. The Eagles are a draw-no-bet selection.

Norwich v/s Man City. Negredo and Dzeko were poor against Chelsea and missing Aguero is definitely a negative for the Citizens. The above duo usually are prolific against lesser opposition and I expect at least one of them to be on the score sheet in this game. City are a Win selection.

Southampton v/s Stoke. It looks like the Saints of old are back and they are a strong value Win selection. It tooks 2 incredible goals for the Potters to overcome Man Utd last week-end and I just don't fancy their luck prolong in this game.

Sunderland v/s Hull. The hosts are on the up and should get the critical 3 points against the struggling visitors. I am believer of the Poyet renaissance of the Black Cats and they will beat the drop in my estimate. Hull are struggling mightily on the road mainly due to their lack of firepower and are relying mainly on their home form for survival. Sunderland are a Win selection.

Tottenham v/s Everton. I have a feeling that the visitors will nick this but will sit on the fence on this one.

Man Utd v/s Fulham. If the Red Devils cannot beat Fulham at Old Trafford, then they should not even be talking of a Top 6 finish. In my books, Fulham are going down. This should be a home win with RVP, Rooney and Mata relishing a possible goals galore.

Win: Aston Villa, Chelsea, Man City, Southampton, Sunderland, Man Utd
Draw-no-bet: Liverpool, Crystal Palace