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The English Winter Break is in play for the first time this season and I think it has not gone as well as the Premier League and the top clu...

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Weekend Football Picks 2013 (May 11-13)

Aston Villa v Chelsea Pick: Rafa Benitez knows he has around eight more days where he can call himself the Chelsea manager, but he can certainly leave his mark on the club in that time. Chelsea have a chance of winning the Europa League during the week, while they probably need another three points to guarantee a place in the Champions League for next season after a 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday night.

The Chelsea squad have certainly played well enough in recent weeks to think they can grab those three points from this trip to Villa Park, even though they have only won on 2 of their previous 14 games here. However, they could be facing Aston Villa at the right time as the home side are virtually assured of their place in the Premier League thanks to Wigan Athletic's 2-3 home loss against Swansea on Tuesday.

It won't be easy for the away side considering Aston Villa have won 3 of their last 6 games in front of their own fans and have picked up 16 points from the last 24 available in the Premier League to move out of trouble. This young team have certainly picked up a lot of experience from their battle at the bottom of the table, but they haven't quite been able to get the better of the top teams in the League at the moment.

I expect the home side to play with the freedom that comes with having a 5 point lead over Wigan with two games left to play and I think they will be able to cause Chelsea some real problems. But at the end of the game, I expect Chelsea to find a way to win the game and so I will back the away side to win the game in which both teams get on the scoreboard.

Manchester City v Wigan Athletic Pick: You would never have guessed that it is actually the FA Cup Final weekend with the coverage being reduced simply down to the news that Sir Alex Ferguson is stepping down as manager of Manchester United.

To be honest, I think the Cup Final has also been less of an interest to the casual viewer as it looks like a mismatch in terms of who should win this game. The problem is that Manchester City have been hit with rumours that Roberto Mancini will not be the manager of the club at the end of the season and so it is hard to guess how the players will be responding to his instructions ahead of this game.

On the other hand, Wigan Athletic had a devastating defeat to deal with on Tuesday, one that looks like it will be the defeat that sends them down to the Championship. How will the players be feeling ahead of the Cup Final is a tough question to answer as for many this will be the only real chance they of playing in this showpiece game, while others may just be thinking about their future.

The FA Cup Final has been competitive in recent seasons and no team has won by more than one goal since Manchester United beat Millwall in the 2004 Cup Final. Manchester City have dominated the results against Wigan Athletic in recent seasons, winning 7 in a row against them without conceding a goal and it could be worth backing them to do so again in the Final.

Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspur Pick: This is a must-win game for Tottenham Hotspur if they really have ambitions of getting into the top four of the Premier League and a place in the Champions League next season and I think they are playing Stoke City at the right time to get the win they desire.

Stoke have survived in the Premier League and a lot of the players could very easily begin to think of their Summer holidays, while Tony Pulis will be considering who needs to stay and who needs to go in a squad that had a huge slump over the last few months.

They are also facing a Spurs team that scores plenty of goals away from home where they get a little more space on the counter attack and I do think there will be goals in this one. With Tottenham scoring at least 2 goals in 6 of their last 7 away games in all competitions, it could be worth backing the away side to win this one after a few goals are scored.

Queens Park Rangers v Newcastle United Pick: Queens Park Rangers have struggled all season, while Newcastle United have really had a hard time on their travels and that could lead to a tense game at Loftus Road on Sunday afternoon.

While the home side don't have a lot to play for now, they don't create a lot of chances at home and have struggled for goals there all season. On the other hand, Newcastle will be desperate to get any kind of result to keep them a little further away from Wigan Athletic in the final relegation place and a draw here would put a lot of pressure on the Latics to get something from their visit to Arsenal on Tuesday evening.

That could lead to a tight game where they away side will spend more time trying to prevent Queens Park Rangers scoring and taking the under 2.5 goals option looks the best call.

Manchester United v Swansea Pick: It is going to be a highly charged and emotional day at Old Trafford as Manchester United get a chance to say goodbye to Sir Alex Ferguson for the final time at this famous stadium.

While that makes it tough to really know how the players will react, I think the man is a proven winner and will demand his team send him off on a high. There is no doubt that the players will want to do the same and while Swansea are clearly still playing their football after a stunning win at Wigan Athletic on Tuesday night, it could be a bit much for the away team to handle.

United have plenty of goals in the side and I think they can make that tell and I can see the home side winning this by a couple of goals and the entire crowd to be able to celebrate the 26 years Sir Alex has given with yet another win in the column.

MY PICKS: Both Teams to Score and Chelsea to Win @ 3.30 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
Manchester City Win to Nil @ 2.25 Bet Victor (1 Unit)
Tottenham Hotspur Win and Over 2.5 Goals to be scored @ 3.00 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
Queens Park Rangers-Newcastle United Under 2.5 Goals @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Manchester United - 1.5 Asian Handicap @ 2.15 Bet 365 (1 Unit)

May Update: 3-4, - 2.10 Units (9 Units Staked, - 23.33% Yield)

April Final10-21, - 9.15 Units (45 Units Staked, - 20.33% Yield)
March Final16-20, + 7.43 Units (55 Units Staked, + 13.51% Yield)
February Final14-23, - 2.81 Units (48 Units Staked, - 5.85% Yield)
January Final10-22, - 10.89 Units (45 Units Staked, - 24.2% Yield)
December Final17-24-1, - 0.83 Units (53 Units Staked, - 0.02 % 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)

Season 2012/13+ 3.42 Units (396 Units Staked, + 1.63% Yield)

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