Weighing the Odds GW22

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FPL is a game of lucky picks. You don’t yourself score, assist or keep clean sheets–someone you guess might do does. So, happenstance may rule all, but an educated guess can at least increase those odds. An experienced tipper like FPLAddicts contributor ‘Blunty’ can help guide you to betshop success, FPL legend status or, if reality has forced you to recognize the unlikelihood of a top 10 finish, help you to maintain a semblance of FPL dignity.

By looking over Blunty’s shoulder at the test answers, sliding into the slipstream of the tipper’s advice, it all becomes so much less of a gamble, whether in FPL or on your next multi-bet. So, here goes. Blunty lays down the predictions, and I break down the breakdown for the upcoming fixtures.

If you wish to join the uMAXit tipping competition please read our earlier introduction to the idea.

The Teams:

West Brom (8th) v (19th) Sunderland

Head to Head:
West Brom: 54
Draw: 44
Sunderland: 57

This season: 1-1 at Sunderland (1 Oct)

Since promotions in 2006-07 (West Brom) & 2007-08 (Sunderland), they have faced each other in only league matches each year. In this period, Sunderland have won just two, West Brom 8 & 5 draws. Sunderland haven’t won at the Hawthornes since the 2006-07 season in their Div 2 (Championship) meeting.

Form Guide (last 10 games overall)
West Brom: 5W-1D-4L (7th best in league)
Sunderland: 3-1-6 (14th)

West Brom have won 5 of last 8 at home.
Sunderland have won just one of their last 8 away matches, losing 7.

Prediction:
West Brom (2-0)

Baggies to be too strong for the struggling Black Cats.

The Breakdown:
Phillips and Rondon look primed to get assists and goals in this fixture, after the entire team has come through a testing schedule in good shape. Brunt and McAuley also look solid picks. Defoe could upset the applecart, but Foster stands a good chance of keeping a clean sheet, with save points a potential bonus.

Middlesbrough (16th) v (12th) West Ham

Head to Head:
Middlesbrough: 24
Draw: 15
West Ham: 26

This season: 1-1 (1 Oct)

This season’s 1-1 draw at the Olympic Stadium is the only time the clubs have met since the 2011-12 season when both were in the Championship. That season also featured a 1-1 draw in West Ham’s home game & the Hammers won the away clash 2-0 that year. ‘Boro last beat West Ham in an FA Cup replay, at home in 2009 (sides have only met 4 times since).

Form Guide (last 10 games overall)
Middlesbrough: 2-3-5 (16th)
West Ham: 4-2-4 (9th)

‘Boro have only won 3 of last 8 at home, losing 4.
West Ham have won just 2 of their last 8 away matches, losing 4.

Prediction:
Draw (1-1)

Both sides in similar form home & away respectively. West Ham a bit better overall. Doesn’t seem much splitting the sides. I’ve gone for a scoring draw but very easily could be goalless.

The Breakdown:
Carroll comes into the match on a high, after his thunderbolt bicycle kick heroics. Payet continues his disgruntled self-exile, so Antonio will need to keep the creative juices flowing. The Boro backline may fare well, in either the scoreless draw or the 1-1 scenarios, with defenders consistently contributing value for price outlay.

Bournemouth (11th) v (14th) Watford

Head to Head:
Bournemouth: 37
Draw: 34
Watford: 39

This season: 2-2 (1 Oct)

5 of last 6 meetings have been draws (Bournemouth won Div 2 league meeting in Jan 2015). Last 3 meetings since gaining promotion in the same season have been draws.

Form Guide (last 10 games overall)
Bournemouth: 4-1-5 (11th)
Watford: 2-2-6 (18th)

Bournemouth have lost just 2 of last 8 at home, winning 4.
Watford have won just one of their last 8 away, losing 6.

Prediction:
Bournemouth (4-1)

The Cherries have been in decent form as of late, picking up some big results at home (win over Liverpool, draw against Arsenal). Watford’s gradual slide down the table has continued and they boast the 3rd worst points tally from the last 10 games.

The Breakdown:
Stanislas has both form and penalties. You would think he would feature heavily in a multi-goal scoreline. The Bournemouth defenders have been putting in solid shifts at both ends of the pitch at reasonable prices, which is always appreciated. Holebas may contribute in an attacking capacity for Watford, but the backline looks otherwise unappealing, with Gomes potentially out. Who will score a goal for Watford? That is a question Mazzari has been asking.

Manchester City (5th) v (2nd) Tottenham

Head to Head:
Manchester City: 58
Draw: 34
Tottenham: 60

This season: Spurs 2-0 at White Hart Lane (Oct 2)

Draws are uncommon when these two teams collide, with just 22% of the clashes resulting in points being split. Since their last draw in 2010 (never met outside of league since 2007), City have won 8 to Spurs 4. Tottenham, however, have won the last 3 meetings.

Form Guide (last 10 games overall)
Man City 6-0-4 (6th)
Tottenham 8-0-2 (2nd)

City have won 3 of last 4 & 4 of last 8 at home, losing just once.
Spurs have lost just 2 of last 8 away, winning 3.

Prediction:
Draw (2-2)

I’ve taken a bit of gamble with this tip. Everything suggests a result with neither team having a draw in last 10 matches and also no draws in the last 12 clashes between the sides. These kind of runs have to end at some point. Spurs have upper hand in recent times and I would suggest they’d be most likely to get a result. However, given City’s humiliation at Everton, you’d think they wouldn’t be in a mindset to lose two in a row.

The Breakdown:
Spurs have a great defense, but City have a lethal, if always changing, attack. Alli and Eriksen have produced a few double-digit tallies, new father Kane comes to the match with a hat trick in recent memory, and the City backline have chronically leaked goals under Guardiola (and Bravo). Agüero, de Bruyne, Silva, Touré, perhaps even Gabriel Jesus may feature. Or none. That’s how tricksy this Manchester City rolls.

Southampton (13th) v (15th) Leicester

Head to Head:
Southampton: 31
Draw: 27
Leicester: 25

This season: 0-0 (Oct 2)

Since Leicester’s promotion in 2013-14, the sides have faced off 5 times (all in league). Saints won the first but haven’t won since, 2 wins to Leicester & 2 draws. Foxes haven’t won at St Mary’s since Championship clash in 2012. (1L, 1D).

Form Guide (last 10 games overall)
Southampton: 3-2-5 (13th)
Leicester: 2-3-5 (17th)

Saints have won 4 out of last 8 at home, losing 3.
Leicester are winless in last 8 away, picking up just 3 points (3D, 5L).

Prediction:
Southampton (1-0)

Expect the Foxes’ poor away run to continue with Saints to get reward for effort with 3 points.

The Breakdown:
Van Dijk scoring, getting a clean sheet and bonus points? That would please FPL owners. Rodriguez offers promise, as does Cedric, acknowledging that perhaps neither are guaranteed a start, from recent history. Fonts may miss out, in light of transfer speculation. The Leicester defense thus far has failed to replicate the solidity of the second half of last season in the league, although they do boast a decent highlight reel in the Champions League group stage.

Bonus Match:

Crystal Palace (17th) v (7th) Everton

Head to Head:
Crystal Palace: 13
Draw: 14
Everton: 17

This season: 1-1 at Goodison Park (Sept 30)

Since the Eagles’ promotion in 2012-13, these sides have met 7 times (all league), with Everton winning just one. Palace have won 2 and there have been 4 draws, including last 3 clashes.

Form Guide (last 10 games overall)
Crystal Palace: 1-2-7 (20th)
Everton: 4-3-3 (10th)

Palace have lost 6 of last 8 at home, winning 2.
Everton have won just 1 of last 8 away, losing 5.

Prediction:
Everton (1-3)

A draw wouldn’t be surprising given the form guide; however, within that, draws are reasonably uncommon also. Everton were ominous against City last week & if they can put in even half of that performance, they’ll be too good for the struggling Eagles.

The Breakdown:
You could for all intents and purposes classify wingbacks Coleman and Baines as attackers for this fixture, especially with the latter on penalties. Lukaku has reawakened from giant sleep, and Barkley and Mirallas served notice in the whopping 4-0 victory over Manchester City. Meanwhile, Large Samuel likes himself a set piece, as do Benteke and Dann. Cabaye may step forward to deliver the assist.

Quick Tips:
LIVERPOOL v Swansea (4-0)
Stoke v MAN UNITED (0-2)
ARSENAL v Burnley (3-0)
CHELSEA v Hull (3-0)

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