The Editors' Premier League Betting Battle 2013/14: Round 36

Will Everton get back to winning ways at Goodison Park?
Will Everton get back to winning ways at Goodison Park?
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Forget the Premier League title race, the Editors' Betting Battle is shaping up to be the closest run affair this season with less than £7 separating Joe Dyer, Dan Thomas, and Mike Norman at the top. Here's this week's selections...

"Out of the Champions League, no chance of finishing in the top four, the question I've asked myself is do United really want to be busting a gut between now and the end of the season trying to qualify for the Europa League?"

Joe Dyer
Back under 2.5 goals @ 2.56/4 in Chelsea v Sunderland 
Saturday, 17:30 
Live on Sky Sports 1

It's a purely value bet for me this week with a back of under 2.5 goals in Chelsea v Sunderland at a frankly ridiculous price of 2.56/4

The odds appear to be based around Sunderland's most recent visit to the capital - a 5-1 thumping at the hands (well feet actually) of Spurs - but there are signs that the Black Cats are rediscovering their defensive qualities. Gus Poyet's team were two minutes (plus stoppages) from restricting high-scoring Manchester City to just one goal on Wednesday night, while it took a Wes Brown own goal to split Sunderland and Everton last weekend. 

And a solitary goal may be all it takes for Chelsea to beat the 1.141/7 Premier league relegation favourites in the late Saturday kick-off. The Blues' success this season has been built around the league's best rearguard with just nine goals conceded at home, and 24 in total. It's entirely possible that Chelsea will keep a 17th clean sheet of the season - they've kept three in a row in all competitions coming into this game. 

Moreover, with Eden Hazard a probable absentee the home side's attacking threat is much reduced. We could well wait until the second half for the game's first goal, just like last weekend at Swansea. 

There are other games which look far more likely to feature goals - hello Spurs v Fulham - and I just can't understand why the markets are so skewed here. At a value price I'm backing unders at the Bridge for this week's battle bet. 

Joe Dyer 2013-14 P/L: + £14.00

Dan Thomas
Back Over 2.5 Goals in Aston Villa v Southampton @ 2.111/10
Saturday, 15:00

Well, my plan to blow everyone out of the water with a 4.57/2 winner in my game in hand was, well, blown out of the water by Tony Pulis and his impressive Palace side as they deservedly beat Everton on Wednesday.

With just four game weeks left in what is a hugely close Battle, I can't afford two defeats on the bounce so what am I doing? Betting on two of the most inconsistent teams in the league that's what!

You'd expect Southampton to have enough to beat an out-of-form Villa side, but at 2.245/4 they're too short to back, coming off the back of two defeats, at home to Cardiff and away to Man City.

Instead I'm looking at the goals markets. With both sides looking decidedly dodgy at the back in recent games, Over 2.5 Goals at better than evens jumps out as a very decent bet. It has paid out in four of the last six matches for both teams and I'm confident (hopeful) it will do so again on Saturday. 

Dan Thomas 2013-14 P/L: + £7.89

Mike Norman
Back Everton @ 2.526/4 to beat Man Utd
Sunday, 16:10
Live on Sky Sports 1

I'm not sure Everton can be as bad as they were on Wednesday night against Crystal Palace when Manchester United arrive at Goodison Park on Sunday afternoon. And equally, I'm really not convinced that United will turn up in the right frame of mind.

Out of the Champions League, no chance of finishing in the top four, the question I've asked myself is do United really want to be busting a gut between now and the end of the season trying to qualify for the Europa League? I sense not. Do their internationals want to be giving 100% in every game, risking injury ahead of the World Cup, just to get United into fifth or sixth? I sense not.

True, David Moyes' men might raise their game with no pressure on them whatsoever, but I'm of the opinion that you only have to drop off a few percent mentally and you get found out at this level.

It's hard to know where Everton's performance came from against Palace; they'd been in great form and perhaps they got a bit complacent. I can see them bouncing back here with a Champions League qualifying slot still to aim for and I believe 2.526/4 is a great price for them to do so.

Mike Norman 2013-14 P/L: + £7.20

Luke Moore
Back Fulham to beat Tottenham @ 7.613/2
Saturday, 12:45
Live on BT Sport 1

Well it was a barn-burner at Anfield last week as predicted, but neither team could manage that magical four goals to net me a winner in the Any Unquoted market, and I'm still scratching around for a big winner or two to make my P/L in some way respectable. Incidentally, I've delivered profit for five weeks in a row in my Premier League previews, but that's a different story!

I think I've spotted some value at White Hart Lane on Saturday lunchtime. Spurs are in poor form and I've not really been impressed with them since Tim Sherwood took over. It all seems a bit haphazard to me, and I wouldn't be surprised to see them slip up against a Fulham side in decent form, fighting for their Premier League status.

I don't want to call anyone's integrity into account but you wonder just how much of an appetite there is at White Hart Lane for qualifying for the Europa League next season anyway, and the Cottagers will be highly motivated. Basically, there's no reason they should be quite such a long price for this game, and so I'm leaping on it.

Luke Moore 2013-14 P/L: - £168.30

A £10 bet is placed on each selection on Betfair's Exchange. Profits are calculated before commission.

Season P/L

1. Joe Dyer: + £14.00
2. Dan Thomas: + £7.89
3. Mike Norman: + £7.20
4. Luke Moore: - £168.30

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