Anything You Can Tip, I Can Tip Better
I jest, of course. In my description I suggested football betting is easy. As the numerous Christmas nights out for Coral I’ve paid for, and my bank balance would attest to however, it most certainly is not!
We also joke on the podcast that our resident tipster is…well, crap. His record is comparable to the ‘big’ pundits you see in the papers (and more often than not he actually performs better) however we don’t tend to let facts get in the way of a good ribbing. So Matt set me a challenge this week so I can see how ‘easy’ it really is to predict the winners. I love a challenge, so here’s MY predictions for this weekend’s Premier League matches! All odds taken from Ladbrokes.
Norwich VS West Ham – Saturday 12.45pm
Norwich had a fairly impressive home record last season, getting 27 points at home, which is a fantastic record for a newly promoted team (and drawing with Liverpool in the process) but I think they’re still suffering from the 5-0 thumping against Fulham in their first game of the season. However, they did well to draw away to Spurs in their last league game, and showed signs of their form last season.
West Ham have got off to a cracking start, currently sitting with six points after impressive wins over Aston Villa and Fulham in their two home games. Their one away game however was a 3-0 kicking against Swansea, and I think they’re going to struggle away from home this season going by what I saw in that game. With Norwich still starting however, I think the Hammers will grab a point.
DRAW @ 12/5
Arsenal VS Southampton – Saturday 3pm
The Gunners impressively took three points at Anfield in their last league game, and I wonder if this is their turning point after poor displays against Sunderland and Stoke City to record two 0-0 draws. Arsenal also got off to a terrible start last season before turning it around and going on a fantastic run to eventually finish third. Perhaps Arsenal are the new Man Utd, seeing as the Red Devils no longer seem to be slow starters.
Southampton are the only team without a point (sorry Steve!) so far, and I don’t see this changing this weekend. While they were awful against Wigan, two spirited performances against both Manchester teams showed us they will run teams close this season, and I don’t think they need to fear relegation going by these performances. However, Arsenal are always good at home and I see a hard-fought win for the home team.
HOME WIN @ 4/11
Aston Villa VS Swansea – Saturday 3pm
Aston Villa have looked poor so far, and they don’t have the squad quality to change their fortunes any time soon. For me, they’re a team involved in a relegation battle this season. If you’ve seen Villa play, then you’ll understand why I can’t really say much more about them.
Swansea have continued where they left off last season, and with the added bargains yet still quality players Michael Laudrup has brought into the squad, the Swans truly have been a joy to watch. Despite a poor away record last season (11 losses in 19 games) they thumped QPR 5-0 in the first away game of this season, and really do look a better team than last season. No contest.
AWAY WIN @ 21/10
Fulham VS West Brom - Saturday 3pm
Fulham got off to a fantastic start, beating Norwich 5-0 as previously mentioned and giving Man Utd a fright at Old Trafford before succumbing to a creditable 3-2 loss. They looked average against West Ham in the last game, but Craven Cottage is a fortress for Fulham and they very rarely struggle for a result there.
WBA have been flying so far, embarrassing Liverpool and Everton at home and grabbing a draw against Spurs. They vastly improved under Roy Hodgson and it looks like Steve Clarke might just continue the good work he left behind for the England job. Albion had the sixth best away record last season, but I can’t see past Fulham on this occasion.
HOME WIN @ evens
Manchester United VS Wigan - Saturday 3pm
Man Utd will be without Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie for this match, as well as long-term absentees Chris Smalling and Phil Jones. Despite this, a record against Wigan of 14 wins and only one loss tells its own story.
Wigan have looked a lot better than usual this, but a lot of that seemed to be down to Victor Moses. Now he’s left the club, I think Wigan will revert to form and slide down the table into a relegation battle. Only one way this game is going.
HOME WIN @ 2/9
QPR VS Chelsea – Saturday 3pm
Despite Mark Hughes employing the Football Manager tactic of Transfer Centre>Player Search>Add Condition>Contract Status=Expired, and signing ALL the players he’s ever heard of, the team seem to have went backwards this season and really look poor so far. Hughes showed his confidence in his decisions by signing Julio Cesar to replace Rob Green in goals after ONE game. He doesn’t seem to be able to lead the team forward and the squad seems disjointed. They’ll go down if this keeps up.
Chelsea are the only team with full points so far, and I foresee four wins from four games. A routine victory for me. I’ve been impressed with the Blues under Roberto di Matteo, and the signing of Eden Hazard has been absolutely inspired.
AWAY WIN @ 4/5
Stoke City VS Manchester City – Saturday 3pm
Stoke’s home record seems to continue to keep them in the Premier League, with an away record last season only beating three teams (two of which were relegated). Since they came up a few years ago, the Brittania has been a fortress for them. In this fixture last season, Peter Crouch scored one of the goals of the season:
They’ve drawn all three of their games so far, including a creditable draw against Arsenal at home, so they have the potential to take points off City.
Of course…it’s Man City they’re playing. Just took at that team. Go on, I’ll wait. You back? Excellent. City had a fantastic away record last season but they’ve never won at Stoke since their promotion in the 08/09 season. I think this is where they break their duck, they just look way too strong in the attacking department for a solid yet unspectacular Stoke defence. It’ll be a tight match but the away team wins.
AWAY WIN @ 8/11
Sunderland VS Liverpool - Saturday 5.30pm
Sunderland have improved under Martin O’Neill, but they seem to be at an impasse. The Black Cats are always dangerous at home, and the passionate support is truly the 12th man at the Stadium of Light. Steven Fletcher has been a great signing (if massively overpriced) and has the goals in him to fire the team up the league. If only he’d stop his bitch fit with Craig Levein. They’ve drawn both of their league games so far and I certainly don’t expect them to lose, but I’m struggling to look past a draw.
Liverpool…where do I start? They’ve been terrible so far, but I put that down to getting used to Brendan Rodgers’ managerial and playing styles rather than anything else. They’ve looked very poor so farm and they rode their luck against Hearts in the Europa League qualifiers, where a Hearts team with a quality striker would have knocked them out. WBA and Arsenal have handed them some footballing lessons so far in the Premier League, and defensive errors lost them two points against Man City. I think they’ll keep Sunderland at bay, but Liverpool won’t score either.
DRAW @ 9/4
Reading VS Tottenham – Sunday 4pm
The Royals have been poor so far in their return to the top tier. They were frankly extremely lucky to get a point against Stoke in their opener, and whilst they gave Chelsea a fright in their 4-2 loss, this was due to Chelsea’s defensive errors rather than any true attacking danger from Reading. For me, they still look like a Championship team and will struggle this season.
Spurs have got off to a slow start, but the quality in their squad, you imagine this is only a small blip in form rather than an ongoing issue. Reports of AVB pissing off most of the squad don’t seem to be far off the mark however, and recent signing Hugo Lloris is reported to have asked for ‘clear the air’ talks already! I think they’ve got enough in them to take their first victory of the season against their opponents, but it might just be papering over the rapidly expanding cracks appearing at the club.
AWAY WIN @ evens
Everton VS Newcastle – Monday 8pm
Everton at Goodison always makes them favourites in my book, regardless of their opponents. Their performance against Man Utd in the first Monday night game of the season merely showed how good they are at home. David Moyes has massively improved the squad within the last 12 months, and while I feel a top four place is slightly outwith their grasp, I think Everton will be a team to watch in the cups. In recent seasons, they’ve had a good first XI but were let down by their squad players, but they’ve massively improved the squad.
Newcastle were the shock team of last season, and won many admirers with their style. They don’t look the same team to me this season. Maybe teams have figured them out, I can’t put my finger on it. The Magpies have went slightly backwards for me, and I don’t see success for them this time.
HOME WIN @ 17/20
So there you go, a guaranteed £1314 for a £1 bet…you’re welcome. Just deposit 10% into my bank account.
In all seriousness, I’m not sure how Matt does it every week. Having to look up form, injuries, stats, etc…I frankly don’t have the patience for it. I tip my hat off to you Mr.Howard…shame I’m going to beat you this weekend.
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