Monday, December 28, 2015

EPL 2015/16 - Week 19

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

I really like the chances of Leicester bouncing back from their defeat at Liverpool in their match against Man City. It was one of those rare matches where they could not find their net and it is a touch possible that Vardy is running out of steam at the moment. However, Mahrez is in superb form and the cog is really in full flow for Ranieri's men. Man City will be without captain and talisman Kompany and they have shown vulnerabilities on their road travels. At current odds, Leicester look a great win or draw-no-bet value.

I also see a home win for Palace against struggling Swansea. Sure, the Swans broke their duck by winning their last match but it's hard to see them getting a second win in a row against a solid Palace team. This could be a walk in the park for Pardew's men and I believe a home win beckons here.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

EPL 2015/16 - Week 18

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

With the return of Kompany at the back, Man City to beat Sunderland is the banker of this week-day. The Citizens are a different team with the Belgian at the back and they should have too much firepower for Allardyce's men.

I think the Gunners face a tricky encounter at Southampton. I thought they were rather flattered by their win against the Citizens on Monday and the wounded Saints team begging for a win certainly won't do them any favours. The Gunners could be apt for a bad game after their exertions against Man City and at current prices, the home team looks good value as a draw-no-bet at the very least. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

EPL 2015/16 - Week 17

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

Jose Mourinho has finally been sacked. Deservedly so, given how he was losing the plot and the locker room. This resets Chelsea's season and it remains to be seen what kind of form they will show from now on. My opinion, as I've been maintaining since the start of the season, is that they have been a regressing team for a while now and even though they had a great last hurrah winning the league last year due to the failings of the other teams, they need to renew the team to get back to their levels of a few years back. Man Utd has been going through the same process in the past couple of years. In effect, Mourinho is certainly the main culprit for their precarious position but not the only one. The Blues are still too good to face relegation but they are no longer a force week-in week-out. The choice of next manager will be crucial in properly picking up the pieces left by the Sacked One.

I see Man Utd winning against Norwich. The pressure is such on Van Gaal that I think he will have to throw caution to the wind and get goals for the Old Trafford faithful. The number of drab 0-0's is certainly ruffling the supporters' skins. The hosts need a win to shut down any dissidence and they have a huge chance to show their attacking prowess against lowly Norwich. If Van Gaal starts the same team as against Bournemouth with the bunch of inexperienced youngsters, then this advice can be thrown out of the window. If the team selected looks competitive on paper, then the Red Devils should win this.

I like the chances of Newcastle at home to Aston Villa. Maybe the Magpies have turned a corner with 2 consecutive wins against non-negligible opposition such as Liverpool and Tottenham. Papiss Cisse is getting chances and if the back four can limit their customary mistakes, then the hosts must have a leading chance against struggling Villa. 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

EPL 2015/16 - Week 16

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

With a squad depleted of 9 players, I find it hard to see Man Utd go win at Bournemouth. Van Gaal's men will feel the fresh effects of being dumped out of the Champions League while the hosts will be buoyed from last week's win at Stamford Bridge. I've mentioned before that Bournemouth are a proving to be a surprise tenacious package, even more so as they have been successfully overcoming injuries to key players for a while now. They put 3 against Everton on their last home match and the Red Devils look very vulnerable without their regular spine of Rooney, Smalling and Schweinsteiger. I am going for a home win or a draw-no-bet for the Cherries.

Friday, December 4, 2015

EPL 2015/16 - Week 15

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

It probably won't be a canter for the Blues but at the end of 90 minutes they should be able to overcome visiting Bournemouth. We can read many pundits guaranteeing a top 4 finish for Mourinho's men; I'm far from convinced about that. I think there are way too many good teams ahead of them in the fray with the likes of Tottenham and a rejuvenated Liverpool that will make it hard for the Blues to get the coveted last Champions League spot. Still too early to say though but my gut feeling at this time is that they have lost too many points at this stage and giving guarantees as some of the pundits are currently doing, is just irresponsible and speculative.

I see a Watford win against visiting Norwich. I think the Hornets have one of the shrewdest managers in the league in Quique Flores and he will see it as a vital 3 points to bag against the struggling visitors. Their main striker Ighalo is in a rich vein of form and has been the recipient of quite a few lucky bounces of late. It could very well be a low scoring match and I think the home team will just edge this one.