Premier League Picks: Showdown at the Emirates

Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

Want a stat: In 20 minutes against Newcastle, Kun Aguero scored as many premier league goals as Diego Costa, Eden Hazard and Wayne Rooney have all season – 5

Want another one: Watford have the best record in the first half of games in the EPL so far.

I was at a Toronto Blue Jays game a couple of months ago. Sat next to me were an English couple from Leicestershire. The husband looked like Prince William, which had gone completely unnoticed by me until my friend said it out loud and we all had a nice laugh.

Oddly enough they were Spurs’ fans, and I thought our pleasantries would end when I came out as a Chelsea supporter, but they just shrugged their shoulders and said “at least it’s not Arsenal”.

These teams are blood rivals.

Arsenal v. Tottenham

Want a stat: Tottenham have not lost a premier league game since the opener at Old Trafford 3 months ago 

Want another one: Arsenal have won 5 premier league games in a row outscoring their opponents 16-3

The schedule makers have not done Poch any favors as his side had to play Monday, Thursday and now this Sunday.

But Arsenal also come into this game licking their wounds after Bayern smoked them mid week. They already have Ramsey, Walcott and Ox injured may be without Bellerin and Koscielny as well.

After getting humbled by Bayern and coming in undermanned, Spurs have a real shot. I like them to get at least a point.

Pick: Tottenham or Draw (+120)

Sunderland v. Southampton

No analysis needed. Saints win.

Pick: Southampton (-130)

Liverpool v. Crystal Palace

RANDOM FOOTY FACT             Crystal Palace have won two premier league games at Anfield. Alan Pardew played in the first (1991) and managed them in the second

After their 3 Europa League games this season, Liverpool have drawn the next game 1-1. They had to fly to Russia Thursday, and face a rested and ready Eagles. I have waxed on and on about how Crystal Palace are the best value play away from home under Alan Pardew, but they’ve let me down twice in this spot over the last few weeks, losing 1-0 games to Spurs and Leicester. They did win at Vicarage, but if they don’t show up for me this Sunday it may be time to lay off.

I know Liverpool just won at Stamford Bridge but so did Palace a few weeks prior.

Pick: Crystal Palace or Draw (+120)

Serie A Special: Roma v. Lazio

Speaking of blood rivals the Derby della Capitale or Eternal City derby takes place Sunday at the Stadio Olimpico and Mo Salah and Roma are on fire. I can’t understand why the line on them is so short. Lazio also had to travel Thursday for a Europa league game while Roma got to recharge after their thrilling Champions League win mid week. I don’t think this tie will be as close as the bookmakers do.

Pick: Roma (-105)

Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports /

La Liga Special: Sevilla v. Real Madrid

I watched Real Madrid squeak out a 1-0 victory over PSG on Tuesday, a game that was dominated by the French side.

If I may go off topic for a minute, the one thing that I love about the beautiful game is that it unites a global community. My teenage cousin lives in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and is a Real Madrid supporter. When we see each other once every few years we talk about soccer and are automatically connected once again as if we saw each other every week. This summer I took him to watch David Villa play for NYCFC, before Lampard arrived, against Toronto FC, and it made his trip.

So with that being said, Rahim, I love you buddy, and because it’s your birthday I’ll resist making fun of the El Classico match fixing scandal or Benzema getting arrested this week. But Rafa Benitez is your manager and you’re winning games in the Champions League that you have no business winning.

Congratulations – you’re Liverpool circa 2005

Pick: Real Madrid (-120)

Last week’s record: 4-0 (+4 units)

Overall: 21-23-3 (-2.55 units)