The in-form Dan Thomas bagged another winner last week, courtesy of a 93rd minute Paulinho back-heel, a win that takes him further ahead in the battle of the editors. Can Dan boost his P&L again, or will his rivals peg back the deficit this week?
"I'm heading to the Britannia Stadium for this week's tickle. Stoke have been largely impressive under Mark Hughes so far this season and even their defeat at the hands of Arsenal last week was harsh. What looked like a regulation win on paper for Arsenal hid what was a competent performance from Hughes' men and it was only set pieces that did for them in the end."
Back Under 2.5 Goals in Southampton v Crystal Palace at 1.991/1
A cursory glance at the Opta stats for this game quickly shows why the Sky schedulers have swerved it for the weekend.
There have only been five goals in Southampton's Premier League games this season, fewer than any other side; Crystal Palace have now gone three hours without a Premier League goal; Saints are the only side yet to net in open play this term. And I could go on.
I was surprised, then, to see unders at a touch below evens for the game and I'm more than happy to make it my bet for the weekend. The market is perhaps overreacting to Palace's woeful performance against Swansea last time out but, given Southampton's travails in front of goal, Pochettino would bite your hand off for a 1-0 victory. And you'd imagine Ian Holloway's experiment with an open 4-3-3 will quickly be ditched in favour of a more solid 4-5-1 making a goal fest unlikely.
Dan Thomas 2013-14 P/L: + £54.80
Back Manchester United -1.5 vs West Brom @ 1.9520/21
Last week's brave draw bet was kyboshed by a Romelu Lukaku winner just five minutes from time last week and the temptation is to play it safe this time round... and, yes, I have played it safe.
Manchester United were very ugly at the Etihad last Sunday, but they summoned up the right response at home to Liverpool on Wednesday night. Javier Hernandez slotted straight in with a goal, Wayne Rooney was in fine form once again receiving able support from Nani and Shinji Kagawa while the defence kept Liverpool's attack at bay.
I'm not expecting that to be a one-off performance and I like United at nearly even money to beat West Brom on the Asian Handicap. The visitors won last time out but opponents Sunderland have since sacked manager Paulo di Canio and it wasn't so long ago that the pressure was on Steve Clarke's shoulders.
The Baggies haven't been great this year and United should have enough about them to win this by two goals or more.
Joe Dyer 2013-14 P/L: + £2.60
Back Stoke to beat Norwich at 2.0621/20
My bet took all of about 45 seconds to be effectively over last week, and the only thing I can offer in my defence is that I had to write the preview before Swansea's monumental win in Valencia on the Thursday night. After that famous result, Laudrup's men obviously went into the game at Selhurst Park full of confidence.
Oh well, onwards and upwards, and I'm heading to the Britannia Stadium for this week's tickle. Stoke have been largely impressive under Mark Hughes so far this season and even their defeat at the hands of Arsenal last week was harsh. What looked like a regulation win on paper for Arsenal hid what was a competent performance from Hughes' men and it was only set pieces that did for them in the end after they kept the ball and dictated the tempo of the game for long periods.
I've been guilty of overrating Norwich thus far this season and I think now has come the time to oppose them. Chris Hughton will start to find himself under pressure soon if he's not careful and Stoke has never been an easy place to go. I expect the manager to go with Gary Hooper for his first start as a Norwich player ahead of Ricky van Wolfswinkel, Hooper offers more of a physical presence, but I think the home team will have too much for the goal-shy Canaries regardless and I'm happy to back them at an odds-against price.
Luke Moore 2013-14 P/L: - £31.40
Back Southampton @ 1.558/15 to beat Crystal Palace
Although results-wise it's getting pretty embarrassing for myself (five losers on the spin) I'm taking a leaf out of Paolo Di Canio's book and keeping my chin up. Let's just hope I don't end up getting sacked on Sunday evening!
I've just got to tell myself to keep doing what I believe in and the results, and luck, will turn around. Having gone for goals in the Norwich v Villa game last week on the basis that Villa hadn't kept a clean sheet in 26 games and Christian Benteke is in great form, it was galling to see Norwich miss a penalty, the woodwork get rattled, Benteke go off injured in the first half, and Villa keep a clean sheet.
That game just about summed up my luck so this week there'll be no in-depth reasoning, just a quick selection with a few words.
So my bet this week is a short price one, but one that will hopefully stop the run of consecutive losers. Southampton have recorded back-to-back clean sheets in the league and last time out went to league leaders Liverpool and won. Now they're at home to one of the worst teams you'll ever see at this level, and I can't see anything other than a comfortable home win.
Mike Norman 2013-14 P/L: - £50.00
A £10 bet is placed on each selection on Betfair's Exchange. Profits are calculated before commission
Editors' Battle P/L
1. Dan Thomas: + £54.80
2. Joe Dyer: + £2.60
3. Luke Moore: - £31.40
4. Mike Norman: - £50.00