Your Humble Handicapper did pretty well last weekend with the only glaring exception to his predictions being the shock, once in a generation, once in 13 years, result of Sunderland beating Newcastle at St James' Park. But other than that it was a pretty good set of results and a decent payday for Mrs Richardson and her shoe fund.
Enough with the self-satisfaction…WHERE’S THE MONEY MIKE?
First up out of the box there is Arsenal versus Everton and it's a big game for the Gunners in fact a big game for Everton and a big game for anybody who cares about the Champions League finishing.
I think despite the fact that Everton look like they are due a top four finish Arsenal have the top four experience and I think Arsenal and experience will win the day and will win the match I'm backing a home victory in this game at 10/11.
Wednesday sees three midweek matches to make up for the FA Cup games that took Chelsea, Wigan and Manchester City out of the running. First we get a preview of the FA Cup final when Manchester City take on Wigan. When a team that is second in the league takes on a team that is the bottom of the league is surely can be only one winner. Wigan are trying to pull off their annual escape act but I don't think they deserve any point at all and they will leave without any point at all from Manchester city. We are backing the home victory, which is available at soccer odds of 1/4.
At the same time Manchester City's cross city rivals Manchester united take a trip down to London to take on West Ham and I expect my them to do pretty much exactly predicted they would do against Stoke and comfortably beat West Ham, not in fantastically spectacular fashion but these three points are the safest bet for Wednesday at 4/6.
Fulham also host Chelsea and as the Blues have a lot more at stake in the league then the Cottagers I'm backing an away victory in this match at 10/11. I think Chelsea will take some of their FA Cup frustration out on the Cottagers.
Next weekend has a full dance card and Fulham host Arsenal in another London derby and I expect pretty much the same happen Arsenal are on a five game winning run at present Fulham or running hot and cold and would be very glad of a draw in this match but I think Arsenal will get it, so back another away victory at 5/6.
Norwich are slipping a bit and face Reading who are probably as good as down. It's worth noting that Reading are now 1/100 to be relegated while Norwich are 9/1. Norwich could theoretically slip up further and slide down the league but I don't think they will and I think this is the sort of game where a point from Norwich will effectively insure their Premier League survival. Bet on a draw in this game, which is offered by the sportsbooks at 14/5.
The dreaded dotted line.
There is another potential relegation six pointer when Queens Park Rangers take on Stoke and whilst the old Harry's boys are 1/14 to be relegated Stoke are 7/2. Stoke are having problems of their own not least the way they capitulated so predictably against Manchester United last Sunday. I think Stoke could be on the receiving end of a late season surge from QPR and therefore I'm throwing my wife's money behind Rangers to take all three points from this game at 13/10.
Sunderland looked to be clawing their way away from the dreaded dotted line and host Everton and I think regardless of what happens when Everton face Arsenal earlier in the week Everton have their eyes on a decent prize and will teach Sunderland a footballing lesson. Back another away victory in this game at 5/4.
Swansea host Southampton in a game that screams a draw, which you can add to your soccer picks at 5/2.
West Brom host Newcastle in a game that the Geordies really could do with winning, and therefore I think they will especially as they haven't had a tricky midweek European game to tire their legs with. Back another away victory in this game at 12/5.
The final game of Saturday is a battle of the W's as West Ham host Wigan. I think this game is that coin toss of the weekend but I think that Wigan might be a bit more desperate and I think home advantage will work in West Ham's favour and Wiggin will be beaten. Back a home win this game available at 5/4.
Sunday sees Tottenham host Manchester City and I think as city are pretty much assured second spot in the league this season Tottenham will cause another and upset and take the game, back Spurs at 17/8 to win this one.
And finally on Sunday late afternoon Liverpool take on Chelsea and I think it'll be a very similar story. Liverpool have drawn their last two games while Chelsea have lost their last two games but I think Liverpool will feel the need to reassert themselves in the league table the season and will take that out on Chelsea. I'm backing a home victory in that game as well at 5/4.
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