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James’ Pick 15 – Solskjaer returns to Man Utd


Join James’ Pick 15 Syndicate here. 18+

Every week I will be previewing the weekend Pick 15.

The associated syndicate reference is: 364VVKCX

We will always be going for the Jackpot of £800,000 with a maximum of 64 lines (£128.00 stake).

We will not Cash Out – we will not fold to pressure – we will win this thing!

Not much to report from last week, it was neither close, nor too far away. Games were only a goal away from being right, but it didn’t quite go our way. Feeling much more confident about this week and getting a massive windfall just before Christmas – thank you very much.

Each week I will be highlighting some fixtures as bankers – games which carry my maximum confidence – and will be tallying up my success rate on these.

Last week I picked a huge 4 bankers and they all came in apart from SPAL. I mean okay, 2 of them were abandoned and given as free wins (so I won’t count them!); therefore it was a measly 1 out of 2, but it would have been 3 out of 4 for sure.

Bankers so far:  19 out of 40 (still beating a random generator – just)

Bankers this week: Manchester United. All day. Definitely. No doubt what-so-ever.

Anyway, onto this week…

West Ham vs Watford

West Ham have found their super powers down the back of the sofa and another convincing win over an admittedly poor Fulham side makes me want to back them again. They’ve dispatched Newcastle, Cardiff, Crystal Palace and Fulham, scoring 11 times in 4 games and although Watford is a slightly tougher test I think they’re up to it. But because I’m a little scared of a Watford return to form I’m covering the draw.

Selection: Home / Draw

Newcastle vs Fulham

Championship side Fulham can’t handle Newcastle at home. I think this fixture is just a Colossus Christmas present.

Selection: Home

Huddersfield vs Southampton

BOOM! Klopp of the Alps absolutely blasts out of the blocks by beating Arsenal at home. Huddersfield are no Arsenal, so I fancy Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton to continue the good work.

Selection: Away

Wigan vs Birmingham

Very tough to call this match – so I’m covering my bases with home and away. I fancy Birmingham as the stronger side though.

Selection: Home / Away

Sheffield Wednesday vs Preston

Preston have been pretty impressive against better teams than Wednesday, so it seems very likely they’ll be able to find a win here. I’m only covering the draw due to a gut feeling.

Selection: Draw / Away

Blackburn vs Norwich

Norwich didn’t overcome Bristol last time out, but Bristol were very much on form and O’Dowda scored an absolute cracker to take them into the lead. Norwich showed resilience to come back and level the match and with a goal disallowed and another couple of close misses they could easily have won. Pukki is a great prospect for Norwich and it might be interesting to see him play in the top flight next season.

Selection: Away

Nottingham Forest vs QPR

Very difficult match to call. Forest haven’t scored in the last two games, which I expect to change and QPR toppled Middlesbrough last week. Could go either way, so that’s what I’m backing.

Selection: Home / Away

Derby vs Bristol City

Derby are obvious promotion contenders but Bristol are a side growing in confidence which is why I’m taking a punt on a draw here. Bristol managed to get a draw against top of the table Norwich and they’ve won their last two away games. It would be foolish though not to cover the home win.

Selection: Home / Draw

Cardiff vs Man Utd

Another Colossus Christmas present here. There’ll be so much relief in the squad from the departure of Mourinho I expect this to end about 5-0 to United. And if it’s going badly Solskjaer can always bring himself on in the last 10 minutes to win it. Nailed on banker.

Selection: Away

Hull vs Swansea

Hull are grinding out some results and they are at home, so perhaps a surprise win is possible, but I really feel Swansea are much stronger and should grab the points.

Selection: Home / Away

Excelsior vs Heracles

I’m taking goal difference as my guide here and at -19 Excelsior have the second worst goal difference in the league.

Selection: Away

Athletic Bilbao vs Valladolid

Bilbao are struggling to find wins this campaign, but I have to back them to win at home against a weak team like Valladolid.

Selection: Home

Aston Villa vs Leeds

Leeds are coming into this game on the back of a 5 game winning streak, but Aston Villa have been absolutely whacking in the goals and Leeds have been winning by fine margins. It’s tough to go against the team topping the table, but I think Villa might undo their run.

Selection: Home

Everton vs Tottenham

I have a slightly bad feeling about this, but I’m not going to stop backing Spurs unless they’re at least facing one of the top 5 teams.

Selection: Away

Zulte Waregem vs Charleroi

I’m not going to pretend that I know that much about the Belgian Pro league, but Charleroi are going to win this and that’s that.

Selection: Away

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