Friday, December 8, 2017

EPL 2017/18 - Week 16

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

A huge 6-point match decider is on the cards at the Theatre of Dreams on Sunday for the Manchester Derby. Most people think that this season's champion will come out of Manchester and I could not agree more; if there is any team that will stop the Guardiola juggernaut of Man City, it will be the Red Devils. I disagree with the markets on this one, though; Man City's odds are way too short in my opinion. For all their dominance since the start of the season, their last 3 league matches have resulted in 3 tight wins of 2-1, all won in the closing stages. That means that the Citizens have laboured whenever teams have shut the door. Against Man Utd, they will go against a manager known for parking the bus extremely well. That is Mourinho's forte when he is playing more talented teams. Man Utd have recently proven lethal when soaking up the pressure to deliver the knockout blow; ask Watford and Arsenal. Sure, they will be missing suspended Pogba in midfield but they have played without the Frenchman to good effect before his return from injury. Man City's defence is there for the taking, particularly on the counter-attacks and I believe the crowd will roar the home side to victory on Sunday. If they don't win, a draw-no-bet on the home side looks very enticing as well.

Sam Allardyce will right the ship at Everton but they are travelling to Anfield in the worst possible moment as Klopp's team are the hottest in the league. Goals can come anywhere from the quartet of Mane, Salah, Coutinho and Firminho. No doubt Sturridge needs to go elsewhere to find playing time. The most the visitors can look for is a hopeful draw but I think the Kops are just too strong at Anfield. Home win.

Finally, I see Crystal Palace getting another rare win against visiting Bournemouth. Their form has sharpened considerably in recent weeks with the arrival of Hodgson and the return of Zaha. Their unfortunate problem is that they have the most profligate striker in the league in Benteke. The Belgian international can score beauties when on fire but he has a record of spurning good goal scoring opportunities as well. Bournemouth look like a team on the wane and it is a massive opportunity for the Eagles to ramp up some much-needed points.

Win: Crystal Palace, Liverpool, Man Utd

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