Friday, 22 August 2014

Michael Owens prize picks for this week’s Colossus

THE boys at Colossus Bets have set us a real poser this week by including seven devilishly difficult-to-call Premier League matches.

But these tricky games could maybe work in our favour by giving us an opportunity to narrow down our perms to mainly include draws and one-goal winning margins, and ignoring the tempting “Any Other” options for once.

Well, that’s my theory anyway, and I am putting it into practice!

First up is Crystal Palace v West Ham, and I have gone for a 1-0 home win as my main fancy, with 0-0 and 1-1 score lines as back-ups.

Palace deserved to get something out of their 2-1 loss at Arsenal on Saturday, when an injury-time goal denied them a point. But at least that showed their morale is intact after losing their manager days before the start of the season.

They won both of their matches against West Ham 1-0 last season, and the pressure will be mounting on Big Sam after his side conceded a late goal of their own at home to Tottenham on Saturday, made worse by the fact that they played against 10 men for a fair chunk of the match.

Sam would probably settle for a 0-0 right now, and he may set up that way, whether the Board want attacking football or not. Points are more important just now.

Swansea caused the first shock of the new season by winning 2-1 at Man United, and they are one side this weekend who I fancy to win by two clear goals.

Burnley got an eye-opening introduction to the Premier League when beaten 3-1 at home by Chelsea on Monday night, and they could be in for another painful examination here.

I go 2-0, with 1-0 and 2-1 as my other options.

Everton beat Arsenal 3-0 in this fixture last season and are very hard to beat at home, but the news that Ross Barkley is probably out for several months due to an injury picked up in training before their opening 2-2 draw at Leicester is a hammer blow to their Champions League hopes.

Now, Everton are no one-man band but I can’t think of many other players that are more pivotal to their team’s chances of consistent success than rising star Barkley. Maybe Sturridge’s importance to Liverpool now that Suarez gone, and Rooney to Man Utd.

But Martinez still has plenty of talent at his disposal and I see this game against Arsenal as very difficult to call. So I am hedging my bets and going 1-1, with 2-1 and 1-2, as well.  Sometimes it pays to have no firm opinion on a game, and stake and perm accordingly.

To read Michael's full predictions go over to the Colossus Bet Blog.

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