SoccerWinners - EPL Week 11 picks (part 2)
Sunderland v Everton - Both teams have had a mixed bag of results, so this is not going to be an easy game to predict. Sunderland drew 5 out of their first 6 games, but since I started predicting draws for them they've won, lost, lost, won. The first loss was an 8-0 thumping at Southampton, and the second was a more modest 0-2 defeat against Arsenal. Last weekend they beat Crystal Palace 1-3. They did a good job in midfield, preventing Crystal Palace from coming forward. They also made the most of their chances, with some good finishing. Everton are in mid-table, thanks to 3 wins and 4 draws. They have played 4 of the top 6 teams and come away with 2 draws and 2 defeats, which makes me think they are probably good enough for 7th or 8th place. They score plenty of goals, but also concede a lot (19-17), so the result last weekend (0-0 against Swansea) was an anomaly. They played Lille in the Europa League on Thursday, and won comfortably, 3-0. The computer predicts a close game, with a very small advantage to Everton. I agree with that. I think a draw or away win are more likely than a win for Sunderland, but this is a risky match to be on. You might do better to keep your money in your pocket. I'll venture a small bet on Everton at 2.1, Away Win.
Tottenham v Stoke - Tottenham had a good start to the season, but have been unimpressive in recent games. They were beaten 4-1 by ManCity, and then 1-2 by Newcastle. Last weekend they beat Aston Villa 1-2. The goal tally 13-14 is worthy of mid-table. They aren't scoring enough goals to challenge for a top 6 place. Stoke are only 2 points behind Tottenham, and with a similar goal tally, 10-12. Their results lack consistency. They lost against Aston Villa, but beat ManCity, and then drew with QPR. In the last 3 games they beat Swansea, lost against Southampton and then drew with West Ham. It makes them difficult to guage. The computer views this match as a simple home win. The %chance isn't huge, but it is big enough. Historically Tottenham have been the better side, and they won the last 3 games against Stoke, so it makes sense to back the home side, but it is risky. I'll put a small bet on Tottenham at 1.71, Home Win.
West Brom v Newcastle - West Brom have won3, drawn 4 and lost 3, putting them comfortably in mid-table. Their results include a win against Tottenham, and a draw against ManU, which suggests they might be good enough for 8th place. However, the goal tally, 13-13, is mediocre and the computer is currently predicting 12th place. The most recent results were draws against ManU (2-2) and Crystal Palace (2-2) and then a win at Leicester (0-1). A month ago it looked like Alan Pardew was on his way out, but Newcastle's fortunes have turned around, and Pardew is now a 33-1 outsider in the sack race (Redknapp is favourite). A draw at Swansea was followed by decent wins against Leicester, Tottenham and Liverpool. The stats still show some problems, particularly in attack. They have not been getting many shots on target, so the goal taly is quite low (11-15). The biggest improvement has been in defence. They conceded only 1 goal in the last 3 games. The computer prediction for this match is slightly in favour of West Brom, but I think a draw may be the way to go. Draws are always risky, but I don't see any good reason to favour one side or the other in this match. I'll put a small bet on a draw at 3.4, Draw.
Swansea v Arsenal - Swansea started the season with 3 wins, but they have struggled since then to keep the points coming in. They have 4 wins, 3 draws and 3 defeats from their first 10 games, which is good enough for 7th place with a game in hand, but they are on a falling trajectory. The goal tally 13-10, is worthy of mid-table. In the last 5 games they have taken 1 win , 3 draws and 1 loss, which would be ok if these were against top teams, but they're not. Last weekend they drew 0-0 with Everton, despite Shelvey picking up a red (2nd yellow) card in the last 20 minutes of the match. Arsenal have gradually climbed up the table, but they are a long way behind the leaders. Chelsea are the only team to have beaten them (so far) this season, however they have taken 5 draws in the first 10 games. A couple of those are good results (ManCity and Spurs) but draws against Everton, Leicester and Hull can only be seen as missed opportunities. I pointed out previously that they were wasteful in attack, squandering good chances and failing to score. The attack has improved significantly in the last 3 games, but they remain wasteful. They made 50 shots, 26 on target, with 7 goals scored. The ratio we look for is 4:2:1, so 50 shots should give 25 on target and 12 scored. In a match where they get fewer chances they will struggle to score. For today's game the computer picks a draw and even gives better chances for Swansea, but I think Arsenal should be able to pick up another win. I'll put a small bet on Arsenal at 2.12, Away Win.
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