The Editors' Premier League Betting Battle 2013/14: Round 39

Mike expects another youthful team selection from Ryan Giggs
Mike expects another youthful team selection from Ryan Giggs
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It's the penultimate round of the inaugural Editors' Betting Battle - the guys finish off the season with an FA Cup Final pick next weekend - and the chasing pack need big winners to catch up with current leader Mike Norman. Here are their picks...

"The shot-shy Canaries are the league's lowest scorers with just 28 goals in 37 Premier League games and I think the 3.613/5 on a clean sheet for the Gunners is bordering on generous."

Joe Dyer
Back an Arsenal clean sheet @ 3.613/5 v Norwich 


Mike Norman
Back Southampton @ 2.6613/8 to beat Man Utd
Sunday, 15:00

I don't think Manchester United are bothered in the slightest about qualifying for next season's Europa League; Ryan Giggs' team selection in midweek told its own story and I sense that United could be even weaker at St Mary's.

Ok, United won in midweek despite giving debuts to James Wilson and Tom Lawrence, but they were at home to a Hull City side with nothing to play for and yet they still made hard work of getting the three points - Robin van Persie's late goal perhaps suggesting the victory was easier than it actually was.

If Giggs fields a similar line-up then I can see them being at the mercy of Southampton.

Like Hull, the Saints have nothing to play for either but they'll have at least three England players on the pitch desperate to impress Roy Hodgson before he names his World Cup squad early next week and I just sense that Mauricio Pochettino's men will have more fire in their belly than some of the United players.

Final day games - especially ones with nothing at stake - are always difficult to predict but I fear United will end the season in the way their whole campaign has been viewed; in failure.

Mike Norman 2013-14 P/L: + £27.40


Dan Thomas
Back Draw/Tottenham in the HT/FT market v Aston Villa @ 4.94/1
Sunday, 15:00
Live on Sky Sports 3

With Mike holding a healthy lead - and making a very solid selection - the question was whether I went for a big price this weekend or held off until the Cup Final.

With so few teams having anything to play for, even picking an even money shot felt difficult this week, so big price was the call and it's to the HT/FT market at White Hart Lane I'm heading.

Tottenham have been hugely inconsistent under Tim Sherwood - even during the course of individual games - but they have generally performed well against teams below them in the league, with wins against Stoke, Fulham, Sunderland and Southampton in the last month so I'd expect them to overcome Aston Villa on Sunday, as does the Betfair market, with the hosts trading at a skinny 1.528/15.

However - it could take a while. Opta tell us that Spurs are the only side to not score in the opening 15 minutes of a Premier League game this season and you'd expect a tentative start anyway, with north Londoners coming off the back of a dreadful performance last time out at Upton Park.

You sense that Villa will be glad to get this season out of the way, but they held title chasing Man City off until the second half in midweek and there's every chance they can do the same on Sunday.

Dan Thomas 2013-14 P/L: + £5.69


Joe Dyer
Back an Arsenal clean sheet @ 3.613/5 v Norwich 
Sunday, 15:00

My tipping radar is only locating losers at the moment and I need a couple of decent priced winners if I'm to overhaul the leaders or at least end the season in profit. 

With very little to play for in the final 10 fixtures and both Manchester City and Liverpool expected to destroy the opposition, this week's match odds don't hold much appeal so it's the sidemarkets for me. 

Norwich are ending the season with a pitiful whimper - scoring in just one of the last six games - and are up against an Arsenal defence in very good form. Since conceding at home to West Ham, Arsene Wenger's side have shut out Hull, Newcastle and West Brom to make a total of 16 clean sheets so far this season.

The shot-shy Canaries are the league's lowest scorers with just 28 goals in 37 Premier League games and I think the 3.613/5 on a clean sheet for the Gunners is bordering on generous. 

Let's just hope Wenger doesn't rest Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker et al ahead of the following weekend's FA Cup eh? 

Joe Dyer 2013-14 P/L: - £16.00


Luke Moore

Back Arsenal/Arsenal in the Half Time/Full Time market against Norwich at 3.02/1
Sunday, 15:00

Another big-priced winner for me last week means I have a slither, and I do mean a slither, of a chance of making an impression on this competition with just two rounds left. My plan is to now go for a moderate price this week and look to try and nail a correct score in the FA Cup final for glory!

I realise, as Joe has referenced, that Arsenal will have half an eye on Wembley, but they're still way too good for Norwich and I think this Half Time/Full Time bet is very generously priced at 3.02/1; it would have paid out in each of the Gunners' last three league games, and all three of the teams they played are better than Norwich.

So I'll back Wenger's boys to do the business for me here and hopefully go into the final week in fine form - paramount at this stage of the season!

Luke Moore 2013-14 P/L: - £60.30


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


Season P/L

1. Mike Norman: + £27.40
2. Dan Thomas: + £5.69
3. Joe Dyer: - £16.00
4. Luke Moore: - £60.30

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