Your pal Paddy is off to a rough start here. Two losing weeks in a row has shaken the confidence, but there isn’t any use in dwelling over the bad breaks of the past. This weekend’s Premier League slate contains endless opportunities for profit. We just need to look in the right places. Here are Paddy’s Picks for Week 6.
CARDIFF CITY v. MANCHESTER CITY
“I wish I knew how to quit you,” I heard someone say somewhere. Manchester City has lightened my wallet twice so far and yet their match with lowly Cardiff in Wales this weekend is too attractive to stay away from. Man City are almost certainly going to win this match — Cardiff was just promoted in August, and City have won 16 of their last 21 matches against newly-promoted sides. So we have to find value here somewhere. The handicap market is not much use to us because Cardiff has conceded 10 goals in their last three matches in all competitions. They are probably going to cough up a few to Man City, too.
Ultimately, then, the question is really this: Can Cardiff score even once at home? Even in the past three matches where they have had their heads handed to them, Cardiff scored in each of them. Additionally, Man City has conceded at least one goal in three of their last four league matches. With Man City reeling and exhausted from a mid-week loss in Champions League play, Cardiff has better than half a chance to at least score. So the pick here is Manchester City to win AND both teams to score at 2/1.
LIVERPOOL v. SOUTHAMPTON
Liverpool is unbeaten in their last 23 Premier League matches at Anfield, their happy home hunting ground. Southampton’s last Premier League effort saw the Saints blow a two-goal lead at home to a Brighton and Hove Albion side that is as nondescript and devoid of threat as Southampton is. The temptation is great here to see this as an easy 3-0 or 4-0 win for Liverpool, whose five wins in five league matches have them sharing the league lead with Chelsea (though the Blues lead on goal difference.)
Ah, but there’s that pesky Champions League again, getting in the way of what should be an easy day for Liverpool. The Reds expended a ton of energy at Anfield mid-week, beating Paris Saint-Germain in a thriller. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is almost certainly going to have to rotate his squad and sit some of his best players, at least at the outset of this match. There is no reason to pick Southampton to win or even draw this match, but there is definitely cause to temper expectations for how dominant Liverpool can be in this match. The pick: Liverpool to win AND over 2.5 goals at 4/6.
MANCHESTER UNITED v. WOLVERHAMPTON
Wolverhampton has been a nice story at the outset of this Premier League campaign. Wolves lead the newly-promoted sides comfortably in the table, having won twice already in five tries in league play (more wins than Cardiff City and Fulham combined thus far.) Wolves have also been great value, and helped your humble tout with a timely win at West Ham in Week 4. Wolverhampton is riding a three-match winning streak in all competitions and is unbeaten in four. So you should take Wolves, yes?
No. United have won the last six matches against Wolves at Old Trafford. Wolves have only managed to score twice in their last seven visits to the Theatre of Dreams. Perhaps most crucially, United manager Jose Mourinho has never suffered back-to-back home league defeats in his managerial career. He won’t lose this one either. Take Manchester United to win at 3/5.
Good luck this week.
LAST WEEK’S RESULTS:
$100 to win $240 on Watford/Manchester United draw: LOSS
$100 to win $83 on Arsenal over Newcastle: WIN
$100 to win $75 on Manchester City win over Fulham AND over 3.5 goals: LOSS
TOTAL LAST WEEK: -$117
TOTAL TO DATE: $-197