Something different this week, am experimenting by whacking everything to do with GW15 in one article… It’ll be a biggun! This’ll include team news, my score predictions, and a cheeky value bet if you’re looking to chuck something into a multi. There should be loads of rotation risks this week, so as always, take my teams with a grain of salt!
West Ham v Chelsea
Jaaskelainen; Demel, Reid, Tomkins, O’Brien; Noble, Nolan, Diame; O’Neill, Carroll, Jarvis.
West Ham should line up like this, with the only other alteration I can see being Collins to come in for Tomkins, who played in midfield during the midweek tie. Benayoun is unavailable to play v Chelsea so O’Neill will remain unchallenged on the right.
Cech; Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Cole; Ramires, Mikel; Hazard, Mata, Moses; Torres.
Benitez rotated midweek, including Romeu and Bertrand in his XI. They will definitely not start this time around, and I’m tipping him to give Oscar a rest in favour of Moses or Marin. Oscar hasn’t been playing terribly well lately, and looks a little tired. That said, Chelsea really bloody need a win, so Benitez will throw everything at it.
Given that West Ham have scored one goal in three games, and Chelsea haven’t scored a goal in 270 minutes, I’m tipping a tight one. A 0-0 is a real possibility, but I think a 1-0 to Chelsea is most likely. I think their biggest threat will likely come down the flanks, where neither Demel or O’Brien are terribly quick, meaning Mata or Hazard should be in the points. West Ham will likely not score, as Chelsea have kept clean sheets in their last two games v Man City and Fulham (both who score freely), so Cole and Cech should be set for a clean sheet.
Under 2.5 goals – $1.91
Both teams to score? NO- $2.08
Arsenal v Swansea
Szczesny; Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Wilshere, Arteta, Cazorla; Walcott, Giroud, Podolski.
Sagna is out which means that Jenkinson will slot in at RB. Koscielny will also miss, meaning Vermaelen jumps back to a CB spot and Gibbs will return at LB.
Tremmel; Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies; Ki, Britton, De Guzman; Dyer, Michu, Routledge.
An unchanged side after a stellar win over West Brom looks likely for the Swans. Michu has been favoured up front, while the form of Hernandez and Routledge has been too much for Dyer, who has featured mainly from the bench in the last few weeks. LATE MAIL- Hernandez is out.
Arsenal haven’t been overly convincing in coming weeks, but with Cazorla feeding Walcott and Podolski on the wings they should be too much for Swansea. The Swans have been in good touch, but I think an away trip to the Emirates, where Arsenal have been defensively solid will be a hard ask. 2-0 to the Gunners.
Under 3.5 Goals – $1.44
Fulham v Tottenham
Schwarzer; Riether, Senderos, Hughes, Riise; Duff, Sidwell, Diarra, Richardson; Petric, Berbatov.
Kacaniklic and Richardson are still out, which leaves Rodallega to fill their shoes on the left. Up front, Karagounis was used in the hole v Chelsea, but I’m guessing Jol will be looking to attack at home, which means Petric will most probably be utilised alongside Berb. Diarra may warm the benches in favour of Baird. LATE MAIL: Richardson is FIT.
Lloris; Walker, Caulker, Gallas, Vertonghen; Sandro, Dembele, Dempsey; Lennon, Defoe, Bale.
Lloris has started the last three and looks finally to have bettered Friedel. Elsewhere, not much else will change for the Spurs following their midweek victory over LFC.
London derbies are always tough to pick, but normally ones that include Tottenham are high scoring. Fulham at home are perennial scorers, so this match could go big. Berbatov should at least gather an assist, while Bale and Defoe are in for productive days. I’m tipping something like a 2-2 draw.
Over 3.5 Goals – $2.84
Liverpool v Southampton
Reina; Wisdom, Skrtel, Agger, Johnson; Gerrard, Allen, Sahin; Sterling, Suarez, Enrique.
Downing has started the last two games at LB… but has been woeful, so I’m guessing Wisdom will come in at RB and Johnson will jump over to the left. Henderson was used midweek, probably for rotational purposes, so I’m tipping Sahin to get another bite at it.
Gazzaniga; Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Shaw; Schneiderlin, Cork; Lallana, Ramirez, Puncheon; Lambert.
Southampton should go in unchanged as they have won their last 2.
This could get messy…Suarez is in for a big, big day. Southampton have kept ONE clean sheet, against a woeful Newcastle outfit last week, and will struggle to outscore the likes of Suarez and Sterling. 3-1 to Liverpool, perhaps even 4-1!
Suarez to score at least once – $1.57
Suarez to score at least twice- $3.60
Suarez to score a hat-trick – $9.50
Man City v Everton
Hart; Zabaleta, Nastasic, Kompany, Kolarov; Y Toure, Garcia, Nasri; Tevez, Aguero, Silva.
Nastasic has locked down the CB role, while against Wigan Zab started at LB rather than Kolarov. Garcia looks certain to feature, while Tevez should feature after missing out on a start v Wigan.
Howard; Hibbert, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Naismith, Osman, Gibson, Pienaar; Fellaini; Jelavic.
Coleman remains a doubt so Hibbert will line up at RB, while Baines is apparently struggling with a hamstring injury. Oviedo is on standby. Mirallas is still an injury doubt. Gibson should remain at CM.
I’m guessing this will be a hard night for Everton, who have struggled in the past month to keep their early season momentum. A trip to Man City is not what you want if you’re not in the best knick, especially when they are pretty much at full strength. Silva, Tevez and Aguero should all start and all cause havoc. For Everton, even if Baines plays, he’s looking more and more like being traded each week, and the lack of clean sheet points on offer here will deter many potential suitors. Never write Fellaini off either, all he needs is half a chance at a corner.
Man City -1.0 goal – $2.40
QPR v Aston Villa
Cesar; Bosingwa, Nelsen, Ferdinand, Traore; Diakite, Mbia, Granero; Mackie, Cisse, Taarabt.
Big ‘Arry has changed to a 4-3-3 formation, with Mbia and Diakite anchoring the midfield and Granero playing in an advanced role (something Hughes should have done from the start.) Bosingwa returns after a midweek virus, while Zamora is still apparently unfit.
Guzan; Lowton, Clark, Vlaar, Lichaj; Westwood, Bannan, Holman; Weimann, Benteke, Agbonlahor.
Bent is looking more and more like being sold in January, after being left out of arguably the least menacing fixture they’ve had all year. Holman could lose his spot to the more physical El Ahmadi, as QPR are a more physical team. Lichaj should continue over the doubtful Bennett, while Vlaar is doubtful also- Baker is on standby.
Anything could happen here, and I wouldn’t bet on the winner of this match as you just don’t know what Harry could bring to QPR @ home. I’m thinking a tight encounter will result, with a 0-0 or 1-1 draw the end result.
Perhaps a <3.5 goals – $1.43 is in order.
West Brom v Stoke City
Myhill; Jones, Olsson, McAuley, Ridgewell; Odemwingie, Yacob, Mulumbu, Brunt; Morrison; Long.
Mulumbu is back so Morrison moves back into the hole…YAY! Elsewhere not much change for West Brom.
Begovic; Cameron, Huth, Shawcross, Shotton; Whelan, Nzonzi; Walters, Adam, Etherington; Crouch.
Wilkinson is still out so Shotton will deputise. Etherington continues to start above Kightly. Crouch is a doubt after receiving a midweek visit from the tooth fairy.
A tight encounter will definitely be on the cards, as Stoke will shut up shop away from home. I can see West Brom slipping maybe one or two home, but I can’t see Stoke breaching the defences, especially at the Hawthorns. 2-0 West Brom
Under 3.5 Goals – $1.25
Under 2.5 Goals – $1.70
Reading v Man United
Federici; Cummings, Gorkss, Morrison, Shorey; Robson-Kanu, Tabb, Leigertwood, McAnuff; Le Fondre, Roberts.
Reading have no new injury worries, but you’d think after being beaten by Villa they were going to change something up… where? I don’t know! Perhaps Kebe will be returning from injury, or even Guthrie or Pogrebnyak being given a nod.
Lindegaard; Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra; Carrick, Scholes, Anderson, Rooney; Van Persie, Hernandez.
Lindegaard has started the last three… SAF frustrates me to tears. The midfield diamond should be back in full force, with Carrick anchoring it and Rooney playing behind RVP and Chicarito. Welbeck is also in contention for a start up front.
Man United haven’t been scoring that many recently, but they haven’t been conceding either. I can’t see Reading scoring at home, so Rafael should keep a cleanie, while RVP and Rooney, coupled with possibily Hernandez will cause a real handful for Reading’s mediocre back four. 2-0 Man United.
Man United to win to Nil – $2.44
Norwich v Sunderland
Bunn; Whittaker, Bassong, E Bennett, Garrido; Tettey, Johnson; Snodgrass, Hoolahan, Pilkington; Holt.
Turner is out so Bennett replaces him, while Blackburn transfer Bunn will again deputise for the injured Ruddy.
Mignolet; Bardsley, Cuellar, Kilgallon, Rose; Larsson, Colback, Gardner, Johnson; Sessegnon; Fletcher.
O’Shea is out, so Kilgallon will fill his shoes (he actually played very well last week), while Colback will replace Cattermole in the middle of the park.
When two teams like this meet, it is really anybody’s guess who will come up trumps. I’m going for a Norwich win, based mainly on their defence. Garrido looks like a good short term option, while Bassong will always play 90. Up front, Snodgrass, Hoolahan and Pilkington show why they are the UK version of Mahazcar most weeks. Fletcher will only need one chance to snaffle a goal, and with Sessegnon pulling the strings you’d back him to trouble the keeper. Norwich however keep plenty of clean sheets at home, which coupled with Sunderland’s poor offensive record, means a clean sheet is always on the cards here. Norwich 1-0.
Sunderland not to score – $2.60
Newcastle v Wigan
Krul; Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon; Anita, Tiote, Guitierrez; Sam Ameobi, Cisse, Ba.
Alarm bells for Pardew. Cabaye and S Taylor are out til February, while Ben Arfa is out for another week or so. Couple this with Ferguson and Sh Ameobi both missing this week, and he has very little through the midfield.
Al Habsi; Boyce, Piscu, Figueroa; Stam, McCarthy, Jones, Beausejour; Gomez, Kone, Di Santo.
Almost the same as last week for Wigan, with Gomez keeping his spot, and Maloney making way for Di Santo.
I’m tipping a Wigan win. Newcastle have just not looked at all threatening without their midfield maestros, and Wigan have this strange habit of turning it on when they’re playing away. Kone should be in the points, while Gomez will surely threaten after his stellar showing last weekend. Wigan 2-1 for me.
Wigan (WIN) – $3.70!
Anyway guys that does it from me. Let me know what you think of the new format! Good luck to one and all.