EPL PICKS GW23

My horrible GW22 ended in -60 and out of the top 2500! So poor was it that I avoided login in to see it, past ten days. Your comments have helped understand the EPL unpredictability better, hope to fare well this time! Although the extra wild card option opens this week, i suggest you hold it back till GW24 when 13 games are up for grabs.

Chelsea 3 – 1 Blackburn (Put banker bonus)
Blackburn have conceded in all games recently (last six) but are losing alternate games too. Chelsea are coming off the back of a 7-0 thumping of Ipswich. Blackburn will attack and fancy them getting on the score sheet, at same time keeping the defense porous too. This is Stamford Bridge and with every passing day it’s getting difficult to bet against Chelsea; they are due to bounce back. With Chelsea out of top four, the banker bonus ensures three times benefit.

Man City 2 – 0 Wolves
Wolves are losing alternate games too, recently, but have beaten Liverpool and Chelsea in between. Wolves had also beaten City in their home fixture and City fans will be on the edge considering Tevez’s recent horror shows in front of goal. Silva and Ballotelli are still unfit, hence expect a laboured performance from the home team and a revenge win.

Stoke City 2 – 0 Bolton
Stoke are also losing alternate games, recently, but by that pattern they are due for a win this game. Bolton have lost bite ever since Chung Yong Lee departed for AFC Asian cup, they are going through a trough. Stoke to manage a clean sheet win.

WBA 1 – 3 Blackpool
A hugely fantasy friendly match and needless to say Blackpool are playing rollicking soccer, never mind recent close losses to the two City’s (Manchester and Birmingham). WBA’s last win (over Newcastle) seems distant considering they lost their next five and conceded twelve goals in those games. Blackpool are better away from home, and would view this match as a chance to moving upto seventh spot. Am going with my first away win of this GW.

Wigan 2 – 1 Fulham
Fulham have stitched two wins in their last four games, but aren’t great travelers, while Wigan are unpredictable at home. But with their influential winger N’Zogbia returning (and keeping ears open to transfer offers), they should get a strong performance.

West Ham 1 – 2 Arsenal
Just as West Ham started getting some results (a couple of draws and wins), came a 5-0 hammering to Newcastle. West Ham have a decent recent record vs Arsenal at Upton park including a 2-2 draw, the last time the teams met here. Arsenal’s defensive frailties continue after their 1-0 loss to Ipswich (yes, the same team Chelsea hammered 7-0). This would be a hard earned win.

Birmingham 1 – 0 Aston Villa
Birmingham are solid at home defensively (nevermind Foster’s midweek blunder) and will know this is the sort of game they need to win to be away from the relegation zone; currently they are just a point above.

Sunderland 2 – 1 Newcastle (Put insurance)
Both Sunderland and Newcastle come into this game with similar record in past five EPL fixtures – two losses to teams in the top four; other three matches have been won with some comfort. Sunderland are rock solid at home and have the most clean sheets outside the top two teams! The Black Cats’s European dreams will get a massive jolt if they lose this one and will have revenge on their mind after they were humiliated at the reverse fixture. Still exercise your insurance in this one, as you never know J

Liverpool 0 – 0 Everton
King Kenny’s team selections have defied logic. Glen Johnson as left back, Jovanovic ahead of Ngog and Poulsen ahead of everyone in the squad!! So avoid Liverpool’s players till the King settles on a lineup. Just when everyone thought Everton will lose bite after Tim Cahill departed for the AFC Asian Cup, they scored an upset win over Totts. Mersyside derby is always tough to call, but safety first could be order of the day as I settle for my first draw for this GW.

Tottenham 1 – 1 Man Utd
Tottenham have scored in all their recent matches and at the same time have just three clean sheets in EPL. So goals at both ends are expected. Totts would also have revenge in their mind after Nani’s winner in the reverse fixture, early this season, snowballed into a big controversy. United though will like to stay unbeaten and continue the firm grip at top of the table. They are also 15-1 over Totts in head to head ties, and Totts would need to reflect back to close to a decade when they last beat United in an EPL fixture.

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