Tackling the £2,000,000 Pick 6
Tackling the £2,000,000 Pick 6. This weeks Pick 6 comes fully loaded with Premier League fare and sneaky picks from the Capital One Cup and Serie A.
A heavyweight clash at Old Trafford is the pick of the coupon, one that for a £2 stake can give you a shot at the magnificent £2 million jackpot.
Go on, you know you want to…
Burnley vs. Everton
Sean Dyche’s hardworking outfit remain the only Premier League side without a win during this campaign, and only four goals scored in eight games tells it’s own story.
The Toffees by contrast have had no such trouble, with 16 scored being the highest in the division bar the top three teams.
Where Roberto Martinez’s side have let themselves down is at the opposite end of the pitch.
16 goals conceded (for a zero goal difference) is the second worst after bottom-of-the-table Queens Park Rangers and almost half of the amount let in throughout the entirety of the last campaign.
Despite a voracious attacking appetite, and goals galore, Everton have still only managed two wins, one on the road.
Swansea are the only opponents to have stopped them from scoring, whereas the Clarets haven’t registered in five of their eight games.
It’s hard to look further than an away win in this one, 0-2 or 1-3 my selections.
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Newcastle
Traditionally a tight affair, peppered with the odd big score, nine wins and eight losses for the north Londoners and the reverse for the Magpies indicate that this fixture really is up for grabs.
With no goalless draws in all competitions over the last 10 years, we are at least guaranteed goals, however they’ve been in short supply for both sides during the season.
Newcastle find themselves in the bottom three by virtue of an incredibly leaky defence, and a stoic backing of manager Alan Pardew by Mike Ashley is admirable but won’t last forever if fortunes aren’t turned around quickly.
Tottenham’s own form has been patchy at best. A win against Southampton and a draw with local rivals Arsenal has papered over the cracks.
With a goal or less in six of their last seven in all competitions, Mauricio Pochettino needs a big win to restore confidence, so he’ll no doubt be pleased to be facing a side that have won just once in six years at White Hart Lane.
Home win 1-0, 2-0 and if you fancy playing it safe 2-1.
Manchester United vs. Chelsea
Jose Mourinho’s table toppers head to Manchester looking to inflict further misery on Louis Van Gaal and his expensively-assembled group of players.
Unbeaten thus far, and with 23 goals in the bank, Chelsea have looked every inch Champions-elect, even at this early stage.
In Diego Costa they have the Premier League’s top scorer and Cesc Fabregas remains at the top of the tree for assists in European football’s top five leagues.
However, Old Trafford remains a relatively unhappy hunting ground for the Blues having only won twice there in all competitions in the last five years.
The Red Devils current problems in defence are well documented, and their routine failings were exposed again last time out against a less-than-experienced West Brom side.
Noting attack as being the best form of defence, Van Gaal could go all out for the three points, ensuring that all of the main protagonists are in-situ.
There is simply no point in sitting back and inviting pressure because Chelsea are as good as anyone right now at exposing any flaws or weaknesses.
Another special performance from the “Special One” here, 0-2 or 0-3 for your coupon.
With three selections remaining, if you’re still in the game at this point, consider our unique fractional cash-in facility. Bank a percentage of your original stake to ensure you win something, and play on with the remainder of your ticket.
AC Milan vs. Fiorentina
The Rossoneri against La Viola – a classic Serie A matchup for the Italian football connoisseur.
One loss all season in the league, agains table-topping Juventus, is no disgrace for a Milan side reborn and rejuvenated under Pippo Inzhagi. It remains the only game that Milan have failed to score in.
16 goals is the best in the division but 10 conceded is the worst in the top 10 alongside neighbours Inter.
There’s certainly a feeling around the San Siro that the glory days of the past could be on their way back, but Vincenzo Montella’s side will provide the stiffest test of Milans credentials.
Only one loss in all competitions since the first week of September is fine form indeed, albeit only five goals scored in the league may represent a problem.
The way in which the home side set up defensively will always give the opposition a chance and having beaten Inter 3-0 just two games ago, a Milan double will sit very nicely with the boys from Florence.
I’ll sit on the fence with a 1-1 and a backs-against-the-wall performance for the visitors, in the face of an attacking onslaught.
QPR vs. Aston Villa
The spat that has developed between Harry Redknapp and Adel Taraabt has significantly overshadowed the Hoops desperately poor form of late.
Some might suggest it’s another master stroke from wily old ‘Arry Boy, to deflect attention away from a disastrous start to the campaign.
One win and 18 goals conceded… such an expensively assembled squad need to do better than this. Much better.
Unlucky to lose against Liverpool last time out, Redknapp will be hoping for more of the same application and verve.
With Chelsea and Manchester City next up for Rangers, this is a game that the home side simply must win.
Fortunately they’ve every chance against an Aston Villa side that have lost the last four on the bounce, scoring none and conceding 11.
Relegation form and only a reasonable start to the season sees Paul Lambert’s side sitting relatively comfortably in 12th place before the start of proceedings.
December 1996 was the last time Rangers managed to beat their opponents at Loftus Road so history is against them, but the nature of the performance vs. Liverpool gives them the edge in my opinion.
Another high scoring game in West London, but this time the points stay at home with a 3-2 or AOH for your coupon and Taraabt nowhere to be seen.
Liverpool vs. Swansea City
What a game in prospect at Anfield, where Jonjo Shelvey will be looking to upset the apple cart against his former employers once again.
Just two points separate the teams in the upper reaches of the Premier League table and with both noted for an expansive passing game, we could be in for a classic cup tie.
Furthermore, whilst neither have had a problem in finding the net, their sloppiness at the back has ensured that each opponent has been given every opportunity throughout the 90 minutes.
Never better evidenced than in the last round when Middlesbrough took the Reds to a monumental penalty shoot-out after a last-gasp extra time leveller.
Evidently suffering from the loss of talisman Luis Suarez, “replacement” Mario Balotelli is still to find his shooting boots for Liverpool in the Premier League since his return to these shores from Italy.
Firing them into the quarter finals would be a good start to repaying back the summer spend.
Garry Monk possibly wasn’t everyones first choice to take over from Michael Laudrup when the Dane departed from the Welsh club, but he’s done as good a job as anyone in the managerial hot-seat.
Dispatching Everton comfortably in the last round should be a big enough wake up call to Brendan Rodgers and his troops that they won’t have it all their own way in this one.
With four straight wins in August things were looking incredibly healthy for Swansea, but only one win since has seen their footballing excellence stagnate somewhat.
I’ll take the home side to shade it by the odd goal, 1-0 or 2-1.