Arsenal, Manchester United Upset: Premier League Picks

Credit: Alex Hannam on Flickr (
Credit: Alex Hannam on Flickr ( /

Another decent bunch of Premier League games are headed our way this weekend, so let’s see where the money should be going.

Having scored a goal in 11 straight Premier League games, breaking Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record, Jamie Vardy goes for an unprecedented number 12 this weekend against the Swans.

If you like the feel-good story and think that he’ll carry on his run you can wager Vardy to score anytime for a cool +140.

Speaking of strikers who make scoring look easy, Daniel Sturridge is back and we now go to live footage of him celebrating his first goal since returning from injury:

Daniel Sturridge Goal celebration
Daniel Sturridge Goal celebration /

On to this week’s selections, where I feel some big teams are walking into trap games…

Arsenal vs. Sunderland 

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Perception tells you that Arsenal are good and Sunderland are bad and that this will be an easy Gunners win.

Reality, however suggests otherwise. Arsenal have not won a Premier League game in over a month. Furthermore, they likely come into this game without several of their big names, and will be looking ahead to their midweek trip to Greece for their Champions League clash with Olympiacos, a game that they need to win by multiple goals.

Since taking over at Sunderland, a team he also used to play for, Sam Allardyce has taken this pack of under-performers and won two straight games against very respectable opposition.

The Black Cats have also kept two straight cleans sheets and it’s not unrealistic to believe that Arsenal will have similar troubles scoring against them as they will surely sit deep this weekend.

Remember a couple years ago when Allardyce managed West Ham? He parked the bus at Stamford Bridge and earned a 0-0 prompting Mourinho to label his adversary’s tactics as 19th century football.

We may go back in time again this weekend…

Pick: Sunderland +1.5 goals (+105)

Manchester United vs. West Ham

Like Arsenal, Man United are facing a must-win in Germany midweek against Wolfsburg, a team with a superb home record.

West Ham have already produced away wins at the Etihad, the Emirates and Anfield this season and now they go for perhaps the most impressive scalp of all – Old Trafford. United have only conceded one goal at home in the Premier League this season. But the style of play for both teams suggests that West Ham should not be this big of an underdog.

In their three high-profile road wins, West Ham have allowed their opponent to have possession and then looked to hit them on the counter, and it has worked.

United are a team that look to dominate possession but then have found themselves vulnerable to counter attacks. Take the Leicester game last weekend; Jamie Vardy’s goal came on the counter immediately after a failed United corner.

In the second half United once again dominated the ball, but Riyad Mahrez received it in open space and Leonardo Ulloa almost netted a winner on the counter and seemingly out of nothing. Diafra Sakho and Victor Moses will look to do the same. This stage is not too big for the Hammers.

Pick: West Ham (+700)

West Brom vs. Tottenham

Tottenham are not the naive, irresponsible team that we have seen in the past. Even after intense fixtures, short preparation times and hectic travel schedules, they still produce good-to-above-average performances.

Now they get a whole week to rest and prepare for the Baggies who we may perceive as a hard-nosed team that is tough to break down, because of the Tony Pulis effect. However, reality again is not so black and white.

Spurs are a much better defensive unit than their opponents who have shipped a whopping 13 goals in seven league games at the Hawthorns.

Can Spurs be drawn into a 0-0 again? Possibly. But I see them slugging out a win.

Pick: Spurs (-110)

More from Premier League

Bundesliga special: Borussia Monchengladbach vs Bayern Munich

Both of these teams have meaningless midweek Champions League games so there is no reason for either to look ahead. Gladbach couldn’t win a game at the start of the season, but their coach resigned and under a new regime they are playing exciting, competitive football.

I don’t expect them to win this weekend, but I can definitely see a shootout. Both of these teams have found an affinity for going to war. Six of Bayern’s last eight games have seen a minimum of four goals and they score an average of three goals per league game (but only two goals per game away from home).

Gladbach’s 14 league games have produced a total of 50 goals, averaging just over 3.5 goals per fixture. Hence it is not hard to envision a minimum of four goals this Saturday. I think the odds are actually in our favor.

Pick: Over 3.5 goals (+120)

Next: Chelsea FC Youngster Charly Musonda Considering Stamford Bridge Future

Last week’s record: 1-3 (-2 units)

Overall: 24-27-4 (+ 0.65 units)