Friday, October 30, 2015

EPL 2015/16 - Week 11

Chelsea v/s Liverpool - Away win
Crystal Palace v/s Man Utd - Away win
Man City v/s Norwich - Home win
Newcastle v/s Stoke - Draw
Swansea v/s Arsenal - Draw
Watford v/s West Ham - Home win
West Brom v/s Leicester - Home win
Everton v/s Sunderland - Home win
Southampton v/s Bournemouth - Home win
Tottenham v/s Villa - Home win

I see banker wins for Man City, Tottenham and Southampton, so it might be value to play them in multiples. Norwich have been woeful lately and I just cannot see Man City losing to them at home. Aston Villa are in even worse disarray having no manager to lead them into their clash at White Hart Lane where Harry Kane will be keen to embark on a scoring run after hat trick last week. Southampton will relish the visit of injury-hit Bournemouth who've leaked 5 goals against Spurs last week.

Klopp will aim to get his first EPL win against foe Mourinho at Stamford Bridge. With the Blues in serious crisis, I think the Kops can pull an upset here and they certainly look good value as a draw-no-bet or with the benefit of a goal advance in the Handicap markets.

Friday, October 23, 2015

EPL 2015/16 - Week 10

Aston Villa v/s Swansea - Home win
Leicester v/s Crystal Palace - Draw
Norwich v/s WBA - Home win
Stoke v/s Watford - Home win
West Ham v/s Chelsea - Draw
Arsenal v/s Everton - Draw
Sunderland v/s Newcastle - Home win
Bournemouth v/s Spurs - Away win
Man Utd v/s Man City - Home win
Liverpool v/s Southampton - Draw

Aston Villa look an excellent "draw-no-bet" option against Swansea. Both teams are in rotten form but there is an urgency for the Villains to get points on the board here; Tim Sherwood's time at the club is on the line. Villa are not playing as bad as their table position indicates and I cannot see them lose this one; I see it ending in a home win or a draw, hence the current draw-no-bet value looks very enticing.

Although they just lost in their Europa mid-week game, I like the chances of Spurs as they travel to Bournemouth. Harry Kane should be scoring sooner rather than later and it could be one of those games against lowly opposition where he finally gets his scoring touch back. Bournemouth are finding life more difficult in the Premier League with each passing week, as they should, and with their current injury setbacks, they will prove very vulnerable to teams of the likes of Spurs. I expect Tottenham to edge this.

Friday, October 16, 2015

EPL 2015/16 - Week 9

Tottenham v/s Liverpool - Draw
Chelsea v/s Aston Villa - Home
Crystal Palace v/s West Ham - Away win
Everton v/s Man Utd - Draw
Man City v/s Bournemouth - Home win
Southampton v/s Leicester - Home win
WBA v/s Sunderland - Draw
Watford v/s Arsenal - Away win
Newcastle v/s Norwich - Home win
Swansea v/s Stoke - Draw

They've obviously already lost the title but Chelsea should getting better results in the next few weeks as Mourinho pulls out the whip to try to get a response from his under-achievers. The return of Costa should help but more importantly the visit of similarly struggling Villa comes in a timely fashion for the Blues. They might not win in a convincing way but I think they will end up pulling in the 3 points whatever the means; maybe with Costa doing his anti-fair-play theatrics again.

Arsenal need to win at places like Watford to show they are championship material. I think they will do it. Much of their chances rest on the availability of Sanchez, who scored again for Chile in mid-week but who is doubtful with a hip injury. With or without their South American talisman, the Gunners have enough class to get the full points. Ramsey having scored for Wales in mid-week might get rolling with his club as well.

The Magpies at St James Park look the best value for a home win against Norwich. They were very good for a half against Chelsea and Man City before collapsing. The fact that they lost keeper Krul is a huge blow but Steve Mc Laren seems to be finally getting his players gelling as a unit. It's only a matter of time they get a win and it could very well come against the Canaries.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Arc de Triomphe 2015 - Treve for the Treble

A top-class field will line up in Sunday's Arc and everyone will try to stop Treve from notching an unprecedented third Arc, which would most possibly put to rest the claims that she's the greatest mare that ever raced. The form she displayed in the Vermeille shows that she will be at her top of her powers for the showdown and would be very hard to oppose. Here are the handful of horses who I think will provide the main opposition; Golden Horn, New Bay and Free Eagle. Forget the rest.

I will say frankly that Golden Horn has disappointed me in his last 2 races, in the sense that he did not prove to be the super horse that I thought he might be. He lost much of his luster when losing his unbeaten record to Arabian Queen in the Juddmonte International. Although he redeemed himself by subsequently winning the Irish Champion Stakes, the manner of his win was rather subdued as he clearly hampered Free Eagle on his way to the line. To say he's top-class is correct. To say he's a super horse would be stretching and it feels that you'd need a super horse to beat Treve in the Arc. His outside draw complicates things for this fans; he will need a lot of luck in running. To me, he's the lay of the field as I don't think he will win. He is good enough to make the frame but I am very certain he won't win.

New Bay is the best middle-distance French colt of this Classic generation. The way he won the Prix Niel shows without doubt that he will be at his peak on Sunday. The distance and more importantly the ground will suit, which will make him Treve's most dangerous opponent, in my opinion. I cannot see him outside the first 3, and if Treve fails to fire, he looks the one most apt for glory.

Free Eagle is the dark horse in my books. He was unlucky to be hampered by Golden Horn in the closing stages of the Irish Champion Stakes. Whether he would have won is a matter of interpretation; visually he seemed to be picking up the Derby winner but whether he would have done so at the line will remain a mystery for ever. The main question is how he will handle twelve furlongs for the first time. His pedigree seems to indicate that the distance will not be a problem but it will have to be his optimum distance for him to play a leading role here. Should stamina not be a problem, I would rate him on a par with New Bay.

My view of this race is simple. If Treve shows up to her best of her ability and does not encounter any hard luck in running, then she will win. I can't see any horse that can put up with her irresistible acceleration in the straight. If she fails to fire or does not benefit from any luck in running, then New Bay and Free Eagle look to be the main dangers, with my preference going to the Prix du Jockey Club winner.

Trifecta: Treve - New Bay - Free Eagle
Won't win: Golden Horn

Friday, October 2, 2015

EPL 2015/16 - Week 8

Crystal palace v/s WBA - Away win
Bournemouth v/s Watford - Away win
Aston Villa v/s Stoke - Draw
Man City v/s Newcastle - Home win
Norwich v/s Leicester - Home win
Sunderland v/s West Ham - Home win
Chelsea v/s Southampton - Draw
Everton v/s Liverpool - Home win
Arsenal v/s Man Utd - Draw
Swansea v/s Tottenham - Home win

Chelsea are in dire straits and things don't look to be getting any better for them as Southampton come to visit. Koeman's men are a tough proposition for any team and will fancy taking their chances against a Blues team in search of a desperate breather. Pelle is in great form and it's hard to see Begokic keeping a clean sheet here. This should be a close match and if there is a value away win to go for this week-end, it's with the Saints. A draw could very well settle this encounter though.

Man City have dropped 2 straight in the EPL but I cannot see them go down to the Magpies at home. They will be missing a bunch of first-team regulars including Silva and Toure but the squad is talented enough to cope. The return of Joe Hart in goal gives them big security at the back. De Bruyne has impressed since his transfer and Aguero is destined to resume scoring in the EPL soon. Hard to see anything other than a home win.

Everton v/s Liverpool. Everton will really fancy their chances to win this Derby with their rivals begging for some form. Liverpool will be better with Sturridge up front but Rodgers has so far been unable to get his team to play cohesively in any match so far. He's running out of time to save his post and in-form Lukaku can pile on their misery here. The Toffees look great value for a home win.