The Editors' Premier League Betting Battle 2014/15: Round 9

Eden Hazard is approaching top form - can he power Chelsea past United?
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Mike Norman has built a handsome lead over his fellow editors in the Battle so where will he be deploying his tenner this week and how are Dan, Joe and Luke looking to catch him up?

"With the confidence QPR would have taken from that performance against Liverpool, I think they can notch up their second win of the season."

Luke Moore says: Back Queens Park Rangers to beat Aston Villa at 2.56/4

Mike Norman
Back Over 2.5 Goals @ 2.111/10 in West Brom v Crystal Palace
Saturday, 15:00

It's hard to call a winner in this game but what we should witness is goals, so fingers crossed at least three are scored on Saturday afternoon.

The Baggies have been much improved of late, winning at White Hart Lane before thrashing Burnley 4-0 at the Hawthorns. They were then unlucky not to take anything away from Anfield in a 2-1 loss to Liverpool and they twice led at home to Manchester United on Monday night. They seem to have found a way to score goals, but they're struggling to keep them out at the other end.

It's two defeats on the spin for Crystal Palace but they've performed with credit in both games, adopting their attacking style of play under Neil Warnock and I'm of the opinion that they're a side that will score their fare share of goals.

Crucially, both sides will see this as a winnable fixture and I always believe that sets the tone for an entertaining game.

Nine of the Eagles' 10 league and cup games this term have witnessed at least two goals with seven of those games going over 2.5. West Brom's last three league games have gone over the 2.5 goal mark, so everything considered I'm very confident this game will go that way too.

Mike Norman 2014-15 P/L: +£21.40

Dan Thomas
Back Sergio Aguero to score against West Ham at 2.26/5
Saturday, 12:45
Live on BT Sport 1

Chelsea got me back on track with a HT/FT win at Palace last time out and I'm sticking with the top two this weekend, although it's for an individual Man City player rather than the team.

I don't usually get involved in the scorer markets but when a player is in as hot form as Sergio Aguero is right now, it's worth making an exception, with 2.26/5 an attractive-looking price.

Opta tell us that the Argentine record of nine goals in his team's opening eight games has never been bettered in Premier League history, while his mins-per-goal rate 108 minutes is the best of any player who has scored 20 or more since the top tier was rebranded in 1992.

His four-goal performance against Tottenham last weekend was frightening and it's hard to see West Ham, for all their recent good form, keeping him out.

Dan Thomas 2014-15 P/L: -£2.70

Joe Dyer
Back Chelsea @ 2.56/4 v Man Utd 
Sunday, 16:00 
Live on Sky Sports 1 

I'm playing it really simple this week by backing proven quality over a promising but developing Premier League outfit. 

Only Manchester City have been able to hold Chelsea this season and they are rightful title favourites. Manager Jose Mourinho has assembled a fast, powerful and skilful unit, which is settled and confident and they have rarely been troubled on the home stage. The likely absence of leading strikers Diego Costa and Loic Remy (and let's not totally rule out a surprise start for the Spaniard) are a worry, but that's factored into the price. Eden Hazard, Oscar and Cesc Fabregas are all capable of finding the back of the net.   

Manchester United are getting there under Louis van Gaal but they're not the finished article yet, beaten by Swansea and Leicester already this season and victorious in just three of their eight Premier League games. There's a fallibility to them that Chelsea just don't have - it's very hard to imagine the Blues struggling like United did at West Brom in midweek. 

Put simply, given everything we've seen about these two teams this season, Chelsea are far better. You won't see prices as big as 2.56/4 about them every week and I think it's a bet that should pay off. One Opta stat offers further encouragement - United have won only six of their last 22 Barclays Premier League games against Chelsea.

Joe Dyer 2014-15 P/L -£4.10

Luke Moore
Back Queens Park Rangers to beat Aston Villa at 2.56/4
Monday, 20:00
Live on Sky Sports 1

Chelsea went very close for me last week in the handicap market, but a late goal conceded meant we didn't get a winner. Not to worry though, I still feel like I'm calling things pretty close so the best thing to do is to just carry on as normal and wait for the luck to change. 

I was very impressed with Queens Park Rangers against Liverpool, they were hugely unlucky to not get a result after dominating the first half, and Harry Redknapp and co will be targeting this game against Aston Villa (a team in absolutely woeful form) as a must-win. And I think they can do it.

Villa's record against London sides is utterly atrocious - nine defeats in their last ten games and failure to score in their last five Premier League games in the capital. Bobby Zamora was essentially unplayable against the Reds last weekend, and if he can replicate that sort of form he shouldn't have any trouble pulling Paul Lambert's men all over the place.

And with the confidence QPR would have taken from that performance against Liverpool, I think they can notch up their second win of the season.

Luke Moore 2014-15 P/L: -£28

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

Editors 2014/15 Season P/L

1. Mike Norman: +£21.40
2. Dan Thomas: -£2.70
3. Joe Dyer: -£4.10
4. Luke Moore: -£28.00

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