Friday, March 21, 2014

EPL Week 31

Back in the fold after a nice rejuvenating break and ready to go for the fantastic sporting events ahead.
The EPL race looks as intriguing as ever and this week-end could see one of the main challengers going down for good; Arsenal face a near do-or-die scenario at Chelsea. Here are some of my thoughts on the upcoming matches.

Chelsea v/s Arsenal. I think this is the match that Chelsea boots away any remaining title hopes the Gunners are nurturing. The hosts are on an upward curve while Arsenal seem to be dragging their feet to the finish line. The problem with the Gunners are their thinning squad, with the likes of Walcott, Wilshere and Ozil all out. Although the Blues lost their last league game at Villa Park, I believe they were unlucky to be beaten by a fantastic but freak goal. They righted the ship by convincingly dispatching Galatasaray in the Champions League. I cannot see a Gunners win here and Chelsea are a strong draw-no-bet selection.

Cardiff v/s Liverpool. Ok, I admit it, Liverpool are title contenders. I thought their challenge would have petered out by now, but with S & S still clicking wonderfully, they will fancy their title charge until the end, hoping that Chelsea and Man City drop points. After all, they will hosts those 2 teams at Anfield in the remaining fixtures. I can't see a home win here and logically the Kops should take all the beating. The visitors are a Win selection.

Everton v/s Swansea. Everton left it late in injury time to win last week and I suspect their form is not as good as early in the season. They will relish facing a Swansea team that has lost its ways and could be pulled in a relegation fight if they cannot find a way to win. I don't see an away win here but am not overly convinced of a certain home win either. Everton is a draw-no-bet selection.

Hull v/s WBA. To stay in the top flight, Hull needs to win their home games against the likes of teams like West Brom. They have to make the most of their strong home record. West Brom won on the road last week but I can't see them repeating the same result, so Hull are a draw-no-bet selection.

Man City v/s Fulham. Even without Aguero, it's hard not to see a home win here.

Newcastle v/s Crystal Palace. Magpies boss Pardew will be on the stands and there is no confidence whatsoever to back Newcastle who have accumulated see-saw results following the loss of Cabaye during the January transfer window. I think this a match that Palace could steal the 3 points. Looking at the odds, I say cover the bases with Palace, and back them for the straight win and as a draw-no-bet. Or lay Newcastle.

Norwich v/s Sunderland. I feel the same with Sunderland as I do with Palace just above. I see them either winning or drawing this match.

West Ham v/s Man Utd. This game can go either way and much will depend on whether Man Utd have truly raised their game after beating Olympiakos in mid-week. I'm abstaining on this one.

Tottenham v/s Southampton. Staying in the clear on this one as well, although I think that the Saints can get a result there.

Villa v/s Stoke. Their spirits will have been raised after beating Chelsea at the same ground last week. Stoke are an inferior team to the Blues, so the Villains will be hoping for 3 vital points. I see the hosts as draw-no-bet selection.

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

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