Top Tips for The Next £10,000,000 Colossus!
Everton v Aston Villa (Saturday, 3pm)
Everton and Aston Villa will each be hoping to end winless runs when they meet at Goodison Park on Saturday.
After a solid start to the season which saw them among the early pace setters, Villa have now lost their last three without scoring.
Paul Lambert’s men have already taken maximum points on the road at Stoke and Liverpool with 1-0 victories but they’ll need to improve upon their recent record against Everton if they are to get their third away win of the campaign.
The Toffees are unbeaten in this fixture in the last seven and have only lost once in the past 12 encounters.
Roberto Martinez has seen his side pick up only one win so far this season as they sit just outside the relegation zone in 17th with six points.
They’re yet to win at home but all three matches played at Goodison so far have provided fantastic entertainment with at least four goals shared in each.
This match could signal a turning point in Everton’s season given their upcoming games are against Burnley, Swansea, Sunderland and West Ham.
My selections for this match are 3-1 and 2-1 home wins and Any Other Draw.
3-1, 2-1, AOD
Newcastle v Leicester (Saturday, 3pm)
Newcastle will be looking to gain their elusive first win of the season when they host Leicester this weekend.
The Magpies have drawn four and lost three of their seven league matches so far as they join Burnley and QPR on four points at the bottom.
Papiss Cisse has twice come to the rescue of his teammates in recent weeks by bagging a brace in the 2-2 draws against Hull and Swansea.
Pressure continues to mount on manager Alan Pardew and it’s understandable given that his side have won just five times in 2014.
With matches against Tottenham and Liverpool just around the corner and a meeting with Man City in the League Cup, this is already turning into a must win game for the Newcastle boss.
Leicester, meanwhile, have adjusted well to life back in the Premier League and have 12 points to their name already despite playing the likes of Everton, Chelsea, Man Utd and Arsenal.
Nigel Pearson will be eager to put an end to their two-game winless run as the Foxes look for their first win over Newcastle at the ninth attempt.
The fact that the visitors have recently dropped points against teams that will most likely finish around them is a slight cause for concern, while the hosts have showed character to fight back for a draw in two of their last three league games.
My selections for this match are 2-0 and 1-0 home wins as well as a 1-1 draw.
2-0, 1-0, 1-1
Bradford v Sheffield United (Saturday, 5.15pm)
Saturday evening plays host to a League One Yorkshire derby between Bradford and Sheffield United.
The pair finished just eight points apart last term but it’s only one point that separates them so far this season.
The Bantams four game unbeaten run came to an abrupt end at Barnsley last weekend after they suffered a 3-1 defeat which leaves them in seventh place.
Despite a relatively strong start to the campaign Phil Parkinson’s men have picked up maximum points just twice in their six games at Valley Parade.
Meanwhile Sheffield United remain hot on their heels despite gaining one win in their last four.
Nigel Clough’s side have conceded the most goals of any top 14 team in the division with 18 goals shipped, 13 of which have come away from home.
The Blades have been making up for any defensive frailties at the other end though and have scored at least twice in six of their last seven games in all competitions and their last three away from home.
This should be another entertaining clash and I’m backing the visitors to win 1-2 here.
QPR v Liverpool (Sunday, 1.30pm)
QPR will be looking to move off the foot of the table when they host Liverpool on Sunday.
The Hoops have lost five of their seven league matches conceding at least twice in each of their last four.
Their record against Liverpool doesn’t give them much joy either as they’ve tasted defeat in all but two of the previous 14 clashes between the pair.
Liverpool haven’t had much to shout about so far as they find themselves in ninth place with 10 points from nine games.
They’ve been unable to gather any momentum due to their inconsistencies but this match could provide a much needed boost that may see them gain back-to-back victories for the first time this term.
With a crucial home fixture against Real Madrid in midweek, Brendan Rodgers may decide to bring off some of his key players earlier.
I’m backing 1-2, 0-3 and 1-3 away wins here.
1-2, 0-3, 1-3
Stoke v Swansea (Sunday, 4pm)
Swansea need a win at Stoke this weekend to put an end to their four-match winless win.
The Swans had a great start to the campaign winning their first three games and that early season run has kept them in their current position, fifth, despite going four games without victory.
Prior to the 2-2 draw with Newcastle last time out, Garry Monk’s men had not scored in three games in all competitions.
Stoke, on the other hand, sit just two places above the relegation zone on eight points and the Potters have been uncharacteristically weak in defence lately conceding two or more in two of their last three games against teams in the bottom half of the table.
Both meetings last season were drawn and I’m anticipating another close game here but I think Stoke can just edge it with a 1-0 win.
Inter Milan v Napoli (Sunday, 7.45pm)
Two sides in contrasting recent form meet on Sunday as Inter Milan host Napoli.
After going unbeaten for the first four league games, Inter are now without a win in their last two after losing to Fiorentina and Cagliari conceding at least three goals in each.
The San Siro side now sit in mid table after their inconsistent start with eight points and they’ll be looking to improve upon their recent record against Napoli which has seen them win just once in the last nine meetings in all competitions.
Rafael Benitez’s men haven’t exactly had a great start to the campaign either but three wins in their last three in all competitions has been an improvement after winning just two of their first seven including European games.
Five of Napoli’s last eight matches have been settled either way by a single goal margin and I think we could see another here.
I’m going for a 1-2 win for the visitors.
West Brom v Man Utd (Monday, 8pm)
The final match in this week’s Colossus comes on Monday night as Man Utd travel to West Brom.
Louis van Gaal’s men will be have been rejuvenated after picking up three wins from their last four following a dreadful start to the season which saw them go without a win in their opening four games.
The Red Devils remain winless on their travels though with Burnley and Leicester holding them to draws, while Leicester secured all three points in a thrilling 5-3 game.
United’s only clean sheets so far have come against the Clarets and QPR – the bottom two sides in the division and the lowest scorers.
Question marks remain over the Old Trafford outfit’s defence and, given that weakness, we should see goals at both ends here.
West Brom have also recovered from a bad start and have now won two of their last three in the league.
The visitors came out on top at the Hawthorns with a 0-3 win last term and I’m expecting a similar outcome this time around – I’m selecting a 1-3 victory.
By Andy Maynard