The Premier League, like every other league in every other sport, is ultimately about probabilities, not certainties. It seems likely that one team will beat another, or that one player will score a goal. Analysts make predictions and projections, not guarantees.
But sometimes, there is enough evidence supporting a trend that it seems safe to predict with confidence which teams will win in a given week or which players will find the back of the net. Here, I've attempted to do just that for Matchday 14.
|Top Teams to Wager|
|Pick||Opponent||Location||Odds to Win (via Bloomberg Sports)|
|Arsenal||Hull City||Emirates Stadium (Home)||65.8 percent|
|Liverpool||Norwich City||Anfield (Home)||62.6 percent|
|Chelsea||Sunderland||Stadium of Light (Away)||56.8 percent|
|Tottenham||Fulham||Craven Cottage (Away)||54.9 percent|
If this seems obvious, well, it should. Let's talk about teams to avoid first.
You probably shouldn't touch the Manchester United versus Everton game. That contest could go either way, and the safest bet might be predicting a draw.
The other obvious team left off this list is Manchester City, who travel to face West Brom. While the Citizens will be favoured, they are incredibly unpredictable on the road. While Manchester City has yet to drop a single point at the Etihad Stadium in Premier League play, they've won just one away match in the league this season, while losing four and drawing one.
For heaven's sake, they lost to Sunderland in that away fixture. The Citizens simply can't be trusted when they venture away from their home digs.
As for the other four teams on this list, only Arsenal face a top-10 side, and the Gunners have been in such fine form anything less than an easy win over Hull City would be a shocker. Feel confident that the Blues, Reds, Spurs and Gunners will roll this week.
|Projecting Top Scorers|
|Luis Suarez||Liverpool||Norwich City||Two|
|Loic Remy||Newcastle||Swansea City||Two|
|Romelu Lukaku||Everton||Manchester United||One|
|Olivier Giroud||Arsenal||Hull City||One|
|Aaron Ramsey||Arsenal||Hull City||One|
|Wayne Rooney||Manchester United||Everton||One|
|Sergio Aguero||Manchester City||West Brom||One|
Luis Suarez, Roberto Soldado and Loic Remy are all excellent bets to earn a brace this week. Norwich City has allowed 23 goals this season, so it wouldn't be shocking if Suarez earned a hat-trick, while Soldado should be able to take advantage of a Fulham defence that has allowed 24 goals.
Swansea hasn't exactly been stingy either, allowing 19 goals, so in-form Loic Remy should easily put his name on the scoresheet.
Either Olivier Giroud or Aaron Ramsey have seemed to score for the Gunners in every game. Don't be surprised if they each do so at home against an over-matched Hull City side.
It's pretty much safe to pencil in Sergio Aguero for a goal each week, as he already has 10 for the season. Ditto for Rooney and Lukaku in this week's premier matchup between United and Everton, as each have found the net eight times this year.
One team that will likely have several goals is Chelsea against a dreadful Sunderland side, but it continues to be difficult to predict where those goals will come from. Oscar leads the team with five in Premier League play, but it remains to be seen if he'll play after leaving Sunday's win over Southampton due to injury.