Manchester City, Barcelona Triumph: Premier League Picks


The Premier League returns this weekend so let’s see where the money should be headed.

After the International break and with midweek Champions League matches, there’s a lot to absorb.

Manchester City vs. Liverpool

Credit: Twitter account @Cityzens
Credit: Twitter account @Cityzens /

Raheem Sterling circled this one a long time ago. He’s that guy who left his plain Jane girlfriend and shows up a few months later with the hottest girl in town.

This hot girl also has David Silva back and is revving up for a run at the Premier League and the Champions League this season. Having already qualified for the knockout stages they don’t face the same stressful midweek exams that Chelsea and Arsenal do, and can field their best lineup worry free.

Liverpool may eventually come good under Jurgen Klopp, but unless he’s a magician, his defenders are still Martin Skrtel, Mamadou Sakho, Dejan Lovren, and Alberto Moreno. This will just not be good enough against an elite strike force.

Pick: Man City (-150) and over 2.5 goals (-150)

Crystal Palace vs Sunderland

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Crystal Palace may be in for a long night on Monday. If you watched Sunderland play Southampton in their last match Sam Allardyce drilled his back four and midfield to be compact and air tight. The Black Cats looked like they would play out a nil-nil but Yann M’Vila tripped Ryan Bertrand in the box. The Saints converted the spot kick and won 1-0.

Nevertheless we now know what Sunderland’s M/O will be for the time being; keep a clean sheet and go from there. This may actually work against an Eagles team who in six home games have only scored six goals. Alan Pardew’s men will huff and puff, but will they blow the doors down?

Pick: under 2.5 goals (-105)

Serie A special: Juventus vs. AC Milan

What a great narrative this match has going into it. AC Milan gave a senior debut to Gianluigi Donnarumma, a 16-year-old goalkeeper who this Saturday gets to face Juventus Legend Gianluigi Buffon, whom I believe played his first professional match when he was 17 (they even have the same first name).

Juventus have climbed to 6th place in the Serie A table but the problems have not been completely resolved. AC Milan sit two points above them in 5th and have not lost since their teenage phenom assumed the starting role in between the posts.

Furthermore the Old Lady also host Man City midweek and though they won’t overlook Rossoneri, this has all the makings of a very tight affair.

Pick: Milan + 1 (-130)

La Liga special: El Classico

Jan 9, 2013; Barcelona, SPAIN; Lionel Messi poses with his four Ballon d'Ors
Jan 9, 2013; Barcelona, SPAIN; Lionel Messi poses with his four Ballon d’Ors /

Ok, so if you want to get the low down on possible corruption in this fixture look no further than Sid Lowe of the Guardian. He has also written a book about the Barcelona/Real Madrid rivalry entitled “Fear and Loathing in La Liga” so he is as good as anyone to cover this.

The eyes of the world will be watching this game with a microscope. Any funny business will not go unnoticed. Barcelona actually stand to gain simply because the court of public opinion will be grading this game on a curve.

The Catalans also figure to gain because La Pulga is back! But don’t take my word for it. Adidas has a new pair of boots they made just for his triumphant return.

Pick: Barcelona draw no bet (+110)

Next: Chelsea FC: Fans In Favour Of Ditching Diego Costa

Last week’s record: 4-1 (+3.2 units)

Overall: 21-23-3 (+0.65 units)