Featured post

NFL Week 14 Picks 2019 (December 5-9)

This is it. This is now the final stretch towards the PlayOffs and we have begun to see a number of teams being eliminated while others are ...

Friday, 14 December 2012

Weekend Football Picks (December 15-17)

December has started slowly, but profitably, so I can't complain too much... However, it feels like there has been a lot put into the picks for minimal reward so hopefully this week will see them kick on a little bit.

However, I don't want to be greedy in what has been a pretty good start to the season as we are fast approaching the half way mark of the season. I have already noticed the transfer rumours are beginning to swirl with only 3 weeks to go until the opening of the window, but there is still a lot to happen before we get to that stage.

That includes a number of games in the Premier League and the English Leagues during the hectic Christmas period, as well as the draw for the last 16 of the Champions League and the last 32 and last 16 of the Europa League (20 December).

Manchester United v Sunderland Pick: I make no secret of the fact that I am a Manchester United fan and I can say with great certainty that I am not the only one that has been waiting for the visit of Sunderland and really looking forward to getting a measure of revenge on those fans that thought it was right to goad our players at the end of last season.

Clearly the management and playing staff have also remembered this moment with quotes from Sir Alex Ferguson and Wayne Rooney giving us an insight into what this game means to United.

I think Sunderland could be blown over even without that extra incentive as they are coming off an emotional win over Reading that relieved some pressure on Martin O'Neill and they may just be seeing this as a blow-off game with a trip to Southampton next weekend being far more important to them in the long-term.

We saw Sunderland put in a limp display at Manchester City earlier this season and I think the United players are in a better place mentally after their win at the Etihad Stadium last weekend. There is a lot of scoring power in the United team and the return of Nemanja Vidic should make them that much more solid at the back and set up the team for a convincing home win.

Newcastle United v Manchester City Pick: While Manchester United should be flying around on Saturday afternoon, the entire country will get to see how Manchester City respond to their first home defeat in the League for 2 years as they visit St James' Park.

To be fair, this ground hasn't had the same mystery about it as last season when it was very tough for sides to come here and earn something from Newcastle United, but defeats to the likes of West Ham United and Swansea has made them feel more vulnerable. Newcastle have been in poor form all around since Alan Pardew signed an eight year extension as manager, while they were also crushed by Manchester United 0-3 here earlier in the campaign.

City have a strong record here in recent seasons with a 5 game unbeaten run at Newcastle, winning 4 of those games, but they may be vulnerable without Vincent Kompany who is doubtful. I think that gives Newcastle a chance to score, as does City's defending from set pieces, but I also think we will see a reaction from City in the game and they will likely be too strong.

I saw Newcastle on Monday night and they were poor for much of the game and I just don't think they are good enough to hold City here so backing the away side in a game filled with goals looks the call to me.

Queens Park Rangers v Fulham Pick: If ever Queens Park Rangers are going to get a win, this looks the perfect opportunity to do so against a Fulham side that have been a little out of form in recent weeks.

I know Fulham picked up the three points against Newcastle on Monday night, but they had lost 3 of 4 games before that, and I think QPR are playing better at the moment and have been close to picking up the win that has eluded them in the first 16 games this season.

It is getting to the point that if QPR don't win this game, I struggle to see them surviving- Harry Redknapp will know the side needs some momentum going into the hectic Christmas period and I think they were unlucky not to beat Aston Villa last time out at Loftus Road.

I would be surprised if the game isn't close, but QPR look the call even though they haven't beaten Fulham at home in their last 3 games when hosting them and were beaten 0-1 here last season.

Norwich City v Wigan Athletic Pick: How will Norwich City respond to their 10 game unbeaten run being snapped by a 1-4 loss to Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night. That would have been a big disappointment for the fans as Norwich could have easily found a way to Wembley from that competition with just Swansea, Bradford and Leeds/Chelsea left in the Semi Final stage.

Norwich had won 5 in a row at Carrow Road before that loss, beating the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United here, and I think they will have some success against a Wigan Athletic side that has a lot of defensive issues.

Wigan themselves should also cause some problems for Norwich with the way the home side defended on Tuesday and there are a lot of signs that we will see at least 3 goals in this game. However, both games between the sides finished 1-1 last season and I think they can be a little inconsistent in front of goals- I imagine there will be chances for both sides, but I will reduce my units because neither side is totally trustworthy in front of goal.

West Brom v West Ham United Pick: West Ham United have a number of injuries to contend with and it wouldn't be a big surprise if they have a poorer performance after coming through a four game stretch when they faced Tottenham, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool. Despite some very good performances, West Ham may take it 'easier' against a 'weaker' team and it happens often that teams can raise their game against the 'biggest' teams in the League.

Injuries to Mo Diame and Andy Carroll does hurt the West Ham team and I think West Brom have been unlucky to land in a 3 game losing streak, particularly at Arsenal where they were undone by a definite dive from Santi Cazorla.

West Brom have been very good at the Hawthornes this season and I think they can get on the front foot in this one and beat a West Ham team that has struggled for the most part on their travels. It could also be a high-scoring game as both sides have looked effective going forward so I'll have a small interest on the home team winning the game after a few goals have been scored.

Reading v Arsenal Pick: It has been described as the worst moment in Arsene Wenger's time at Arsenal as his side slumped out of the Capital One Cup against League Two Bradford City and it will be imperative that they bounce back in this one as the knives are out for the Frenchman.

This does look a good spot to recover from the defeat on Tuesday night as Reading are in a miserable run of form themselves- all the talk has been about Queens Park Rangers being in deep trouble, but Reading have just 2 points more and slumped to a heavy defeat at Sunderland on Tuesday night in a re-arranged game.

Both sides have look vulnerable at the back in recent games, yet both also have the players that should be able to create chances in this one. They recently played out a 4-4 draw here in regulation time in the Capital One Cup and I can see at least half of those goals going in again.

Reading were beaten 3-4 here by Manchester United with all the goals being scored in the first 35 minutes and have also drawn 3-3 with Fulham and 2-2 with Newcastle United and I think they will score and concede at least 1 goal in this one against Arsenal.

The Over 2.5 goals is rightly priced down, but I still think it is worth a small interest in seeing at least 4 goals in this game and that looks the call for this Monday night game in front of the TV cameras.

MY PICKS: Manchester United - 2 Asian Handicap @ 1.95 Pinnacle (4 Units)
Manchester City Win and at least 3 or 4 Goals Scored @ 3.50 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
Queens Park Rangers @ 2.45 Bet Victor (1 Unit)
Norwich City-Wigan Athletic Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.92 Coral (1 Unit)
West Brom Win and Over 2.5 Goals Scored @ 3.20 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
Reading-Arsenal Over 3.5 Goals @ 2.70 Pinnacle (1 Unit)

December Update11-11, + 2.64 Units (25 Units Staked, + 10.6 % Yield)

November Final8-21, - 8.25 Units (37 Units Staked, - 22.3% Yield)
October Final9-9, + 5.44 Units (27 Units Staked, 20.1% Yield)
September Final17-11, + 21.19 Units (46 Units Staked, 46.1% Yield)
August Final12-13, + 1.29 Units (40 Units Staked, 3.22% Yield)

No comments:

Post a Comment