Tuesday, December 31, 2019

EPL 2019/20 - Week 21

Brighton v Chelsea - Home
Burnley v Aston Villa - Home
Newcastle v Leicester - Away
Southampton v Tottenham - Away
Watford v Wolves - Home
Man City v Everton - Home
Norwich v Crystal Palace - Away
West Ham v Bournemouth - Home
Arsenal v Man Utd - Home
Liverpool v Sheffield Utd - Home

Happy New Year 2020 everyone!!

Newly-appointed manager Moyes can start his second managerial Hammers career on a winning note as Bournemouth visit the London Stadium. It is always a case of making first impressions whenever a new manager takes over as the players get that extra urge to make their mark. The feeling watching them for the past weeks was that they were not responding to ousted manager Pellegrini. Bournemouth have a pretty mediocre away record and look vulnerable to the wrath of a home team in bad need of a win. At current prices, it looks rewarding to side win a straight home win.

Burnley got burned by Man Utd in their last home match and I've rarely seen them playing that bad at Turf Moor. They will find Aston Villa easier to deal with than the Red Devils. Their solid front duo of Wood and Barnes should present a menace for the wobbly Villa defence. This should end in a comfortable home win.

Win: Burnley, West Ham

Friday, December 27, 2019

EPL 2019/20 - Week 20

Brighton v Bournemouth - Draw
Newcastle v Everton - Draw
Southampton v Crystal Palace - Home
Watford v Aston Villa - Home
Norwich v Tottenham - Away
West Ham v Leicester - Home
Burnley v Man Utd - Home
Arsenal v Chelsea - Home
Liverpool v Wolves - Home
Man City v Sheffield Utd - Home

Anyone out there still thinking that Liverpool won't be crowned champions? There is no more race, the Kops will win it by a canter. Man City will focus on the Champions League while still fighting for second spot in the league. The others are just not good enough.

After a tepid start, Southampton have been enjoying some positive results lately headlined by their away win at Stamford Bridge in their last match. They no longer look like a team primed for the drop. They should have enough of them to dispose of visiting Crystal Palace. The Eagles are a middle-tier team that is gunning for a European spot but they will do well to finish in the top 10 and far from the relegation battle. They were arguably lucky to have beaten West Ham in their last match thanks to a Ayew's sublime solo goal. Their over-reliance on Zaha can often bite them and although the former Man Utd player can always present danger up front, his current form is not as spectacular as in previous years. Might be worth chancing on a home win at current prices.

Leicester's legs might have been somewhat cut off by their recent debacle against Liverpool. After a spectacular unbeaten run, the Foxes are now on a 2-game losing streak having lost to rivals Man City and Liverpool in their last 2 matches. That sequence might extend to 3 if West Ham can regain some level of form. There is much pressure on Hammers manager Pellegrini due to their serious dip of form in the past months but the results have slightly improved in the past few weeks. As mentioned earlier, they should have gotten something out of their last encounter against Palace. If the Foxes are still reeling from their past couple of results, the Hammers have enough in them to cause an upset. A home win will be very rewarding although going to the less-risky draw-no-bet might prove fruitful as well.

Win: West Ham, Southampton

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

EPL 2019/20 - Week 19

Tottenham v Brighton - Home
Bournemouth v Arsenal - Home
Aston Villa v Norwich - Home
Chelsea v Southampton - Home
Crystal Palace v West Ham - Draw
Everton v Burnley - Draw
Sheffield Utd v Watford - Home
Man Utd v Newcastle - Home
Leicester v Liverpool - Home
Wolves v Man City - Away

Merry Christmas to you all!

I see a lot of upside going with many of the home teams on the Boxing Day match-ups. Spurs is a certainty to beat Brighton. I see Villa being great value to dispose of struggling Norwich. Chelsea should be able to edge its encounter against the Saints. Sheffield United have decent form at home and should overcome lowly Watford. Man Utd mis-cued against the latter last week mainly due to keeper De Gea's howler but they should have too much firepower against the Magpies.

I believe Leicester are the value team to side with against league leaders Liverpool. The visitors are newly-crowned world cup champions but there is no doubt that they will be short of peak fitness after their trip from Doha. Those exertions and the upcoming busy schedule will have Klopp rotating the team and they look exposed going to dangerous Leicester City. Foxes manager Rodgers would certainly relish doing one to his old club and I believe they can at least extract a draw from the encounter. Leicester as a win looks plausible, a draw-no-bet on them presents less risk but good returns in the end.

Win: Leicester, Man Utd, Tottenham, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Sheffield Utd

Friday, December 20, 2019

EPL 2019/20 - Week 18

Everton v Arsenal - Home
Bournemouth v Burnley - Home
Aston Villa v Southampton - Home
Brighton v Sheffield Utd - Draw
Newcastle v Crystal Palace - Draw
Norwich v Wolves - Away
Man City v Leicester - Home
Watford v Man Utd - Away
Tottenham v Chelsea - Home

Arsenal will operate under new manager Arteta this week-end and the Gunners will surely be keen to make good first impressions as they visit Everton. The new manager has been a solid No 2 for Guardiola at Man City but is unproven at this level. It is a big question mark hanging over the club and I am not so sure he will make the immediate impact as Gunners fans will be expecting. Everton have had managerial issues of their own, having had to dismiss Silva a few weeks ago. Quite surprisingly, the club has amassed some encouraging results under caretaker manager Duncan Ferguson since the Portuguese departure. The Scot seems to have instilled some vigor back into the players and they will be surely keen to pounce more misery on the ailing visitors. Usually I would favor the team with the new manager but given the directions both clubs have taken for the past weeks, I can very well see a home win.

Man Utd are on an upward curve and it could be that Solksjaer has found the proper buttons to push. A near-repeat of their last away performance where they shocked Man City at the Etihaad should put them in good stead against the struggling Hornets. Rashford is on a tear and Greenwood looks to be an amazing poacher in the making. Martial should be involved as well and I can see a comfortable Red Devils win.

Win: Man Utd, Everton

Friday, December 13, 2019

EPL 2019/20 - Week 17

Liverpool v Watford - Home
Burnley v Newcastle - Home
Chelsea v Bournemouth - Home
Leicester v Norwich - Home
Sheffield Utd v Aston Villa - Draw
Southampton v West Ham - Draw
Man Utd v Everton - Home
Wolves v Tottenham - Away
Arsenal v Man City - Away
Crystal Palace v Brighton - Draw

The big guns have relatively easy matches this week and although I wouldn't call Arsenal easy fodder, I can easily see Man City coming out trumps out of their visit from the Emirates. The Gunners are have been in total rotten form for the weeks and have lost manager Emery as a consequence. They haven't shown any improvement with Llunberg at the helm and Man City should feel lucky to visiting them at an auspicious moment. The Citizens have waved their title good-bye after their rather stunning loss at home to city rivals Man Utd. We knew at the start of the season that their main aim was the Champions League and that importance will have been aggravated given the insurmountable gap Liverpool has forged at the top. But given the knockout stages of the UCL will resume in February, the title is their short term priority and the 3 points look very viable against an out-of-sorts Gunners team.

Spurs lost in their UCL mid-week visit at Bayern but Mourinho seems to have brought back some belief into the squad. Son and Ali are in confident form at the moment and look capable of scoring in every match. Wolves is never a place to have an easy match and the Wanderers are having a great season and currently vying for a European spot. Their main negative is that they had a midweek Europa league match yesterday and although they did win it fairly comfortably, they will be on the fringes fitness-wise. I see either a Spurs win or a draw, so a draw-no-bet on the visitors looks plausible.

Win: Man City
Draw-no-bet: Spurs

Friday, December 6, 2019

EPL 2019/20 - Week 16

Everton v Chelsea - Away
Bournemouth v Liverpool - Away
Tottenham v Burnley - Home
Watford v Crystal Palace - Away
Man City v Man Utd - Home
Aston Villa v Leicester - Home
Newcastle v Southampton - Draw
Norwich v Sheffield Utd - Away
Brighton v Wolves - Home
West Ham v Arsenal - Home

Everton will be manager-less after the sacking of manager Silva and it could be an oh-so-lucky visit for Chelsea. Lampard's men are enjoying a good run and the return of striker Abraham in mid-week re-invigorates their attacking prowess. The Blues have an excellent shout at a UCL spot if they can continue their surprisingly positive display under Lampard. Goodison Park is never an easy place to garner full points but the Toffees are in such turmoil that the visitors will be strongly fancying a win. At market prices, Chelsea look good value to come out as outright winners.

If the Citizens are to retain their title, they will have to at least come out on top of the battle of Manchester. They have the better squad and are quite formidable at the Etihaad and everything points to a home win. Man Utd will be buoyed by their mid-week win against Spurs  but this Man City is an entirely different beast. Guardiola's men will need to keep an eye on Red Devil striker Rashford though as the England striker is in electric form and capable of intimidating the unsettled Citizens' backline. This should, however, end in a home win.

I like the chances of Villa against Leicester. The Foxes are the hottest team in the league having won their last 7 matches. Everything good thing has an end and it is not fathomable to see Rogers' men keeping the winning streak or Vardy continuing his goal-scoring. Villa are no push-overs at home and I can see them at least snatch a draw in this match. A draw-no-bet or outright win on the Villains could be very rewarding.

Win: Aston Villa, Chelsea, Man City