A quarter of the way there!
It feels like the season has only just started, but the reality of the matter is the Barclays Premier League is now one quarter finished for another season. OK, so that’s not strictly true. At half time in this week’s round of matches, the Premier League will be a quarter finished, but you catch my drift. And don’t panic! Those mathematicians out there will already have calculated that this means there are three quarters still be completed – that’s 29.5 matches, or 29.5 weeks of thrills, spills, shocks, tantrums, great goals, great saves, mistimed tackles, injuries, red cards, dodgy refereeing decisions, Jose Mourinho excuses/complaints/winning smirks and of course tantalising tips from the world’s finest football tipsters at Betadvisor.com. So, how does the quarterly report card read for the 20 Premier League clubs? This list is not based on league position alone, but considers cup competitions as well as performance compared to pre-season expectations.
Top Football Tipster Verdict – Unqualified Successes
West Ham – It’s not all been plain sailing for the Hammers, but with a new coach in SlavenBilic, and an early fixture list that would have caused a few sleepless nights to nervous supporters, 4th place in the table looks nothing short of remarkable. Let’s remember that this includes away wins at Arsenal, Manchester City and Crystal Palace. Oh, and a first win at Anfield since 1963.
LeicesterCity – 5th place and only one defeat under a new boss. Add the league’s top scorer (Jamie Vardy) and most consistent performer (RiyadMahrez) and you have a lot of happy Foxes.
Top Football Tipster Verdict – Looking Good
Manchester City – A fine start, a shaky run, followed by a good recovery. Top of the league and improved fortunes in the Champions League – if only they could keep all their key players fit?!
Manchester United – 3rd in the table and two points behind the leaders. 2nd in their tricky Champions League group with two home games to come. Signing of the season in Anthony Martial? Even a serious injury to Luke Shaw can’t dampen spirits too much at Old Trafford.
Crystal Palace – The Alan Pardew honeymoon period shows no sign of abating. 6th in the table and some sexy football to boot – life is looking fine for the Eagles.
Tottenham – No defeats in the league since an opening day reverse at Old Trafford, including arguably the performance of the season with their 4-1 win over Manchester City. OK, Harry Kane hasn’t been firing yet, but with the league’s youngest squad, the signs are promising.
Southampton – Only 8th in the league, and knocked out of the Europa League in the qualifying round, but 15 league goals, in-form players in GrazianoPelle and Sadio Mane, a win at Stamford Bridge and Capital One Cup progress secures their position.
Top Football Tipster Verdict – So Far, So So
Arsenal – Recent league form has been sensational, but their almost irretrievable position in the Champions Leagues deducts serious points. However, with Sanchez and Ozil clicking onto gear, the Premier League title looks a realistic opportunity. Shame again about Europe.
Everton – One step forward and one step back at Goodison Park. Keeping John Stones out of Jose’s clutches was a big plus though. Capital One Cup contenders.
Liverpool – Things were looking so bad that Liverpool sacked their manager. A second glance at the table, and Liverpool are only 4 points off 4th, should secure qualification in the Europa League group stages to match Capital One Cup progress, and now they have Jurgen!!!
Watford – It’s not been brilliant, and hitting the back of the net has been a problem – take five-goal OdionIghalo out of the equation and Watford only have one – but 15th and four points above relegation for a newly-promoted side is nothing to be sniffed at!
Bournemouth – For a team in their first season in the Premier League, survival is key. Currently the Cherries sit two points above the relegation zone . So far so good (just don’t mention the injuries!)
Top Football Tipster Verdict – Must Do Better
Stoke – 11th and one point behind Liverpool. However, it is a measure of how far the Potters have come that with signings like XherdanShaqiri and Ibrahim Affellay, we really expect so much more. They’ve got a great goalkeeper in Jack Butland too.
Norwich – Similar to Everton in that every step forward seems to be accompanied by another step back. Last week’s 6-2 drubbing at Newcastle really was horrific, though.
West Brom – Keeping SaidoBerahino was a big bonus and his goals have been invaluable in what has been a pretty lacklustre season so far for Tony Pulis’ men.
Swansea – What was a great start has now turned into a rather worrying run for the Welshmen. Only one win in their last five since beating United is not the kind of consistency Garry Monk is looking for, and he needs BafetimbiGomis and Andre Ayew to start repeating their early season form again soon.
Top Football Tipster Verdict – Shocker
Chelsea -OK, so 12th in the table and sitting 3rd in your Champions League group isn’t a complete disaster, is it? Well, if you consider this is the reigning champions, they have lost more Premier League games already this season that the entirety of last, there has been more falling outs between coach and various playing/technical/medical staff than in your average soap opera, and your Champions League group is pretty average, then, well, YES it is.
Newcastle – Newcastle won their last match 6-2. However, prior to that, they had no wins, six goals, no more Capital One Cup and still one big Mike Ashley-shaped shadow in the director’s box. One win doesn’t change what has been a rotten season so far for the long suffering Geordies.
Sunderland – 0 Wins + 0 Capital One Cup matches to come + 2 Managers + 3 Points = Shocker. Let’s hope Big Sam can do what he does best and unveil some fighting spirit at the Stadium of Light.
Aston Villa – Villa won their first game of the season 1-0 at Bournemouth. Since then they drawn one and lost seven of their subsequent eight games. Even a narrow 1-0 win over bitter rivals Birmingham in the Capital One Cup has done little to disguise the pressure Tim Sherwood is under.
Week 10 highlights
West Ham V Chelsea, Saturday 24/10/15 at 15.00 GMT
4th plays 12th at Upton Park, except probably not how you wouldhave expected it. A fiercely competitive London derby between an in-form West Ham side and a Chelsea side in seeming disarray – top football tipsters are licking their lips.
West Ham 3.60, Draw 3.60, Chelsea 1.95
Sunderland V Newcastle, Sunday 25/10/15 at 12.00 GMT
Another derby, this time of the Tyne and Wear variety. Two sides who have endured catastrophic starts to the season, although Newcastle at least have a victory under their belts after last week’s 6-2 win over Norwich. New Sunderland boss Sam Allardycewould dearly love to get one over his former employers, do the finest football tipsters think it can happen?
Sunderland 2.50, Draw 3.25, Newcastle 2.80
Manchester United V Manchester City, Sunday 25/10/15 at 14.05 GMT
Another big game and yet another big derby, this time at the top of the table as 3rd and 1st go head to head. A win for City would consolidate their lead at the top. Fierce rivals United will hope to be there themselves come Sunday evening (depending on 2nd placed Arsenal’s result). It’s in games like these which appear too close to call that the cream of football tipsters rise to the top.
Man Utd 2.50, Draw 3.40, Man City 2.70
Full week fixtures
Aston Villa V Swansea, Saturday at 15.00 GMT
Leicester v Crystal Palace, Saturday at 15.00 GMT
Norwich V West Brom, Saturday at 15.00 GMT
Stoke V Watford, Saturday at 15.00 GMT
Arsenal V Everton, Saturday at 17.00 GMT
Bournemouth V Tottenham, Sunday at 14.00 GMT
Liverpool V Southampton, Sunday at 16.15 GMT
All odds courtesy of Bet365 and correct as of 17.00 GMT on Wednesday 21/10/15
For the most accurate tips from the world’s finest tipsters the whole season through, visit Betadvisor.com.
By: Steven Paget