Aston Villa v Stoke City
After being linked with virtually every vacant job in England over the past six months (including a managerial post at my local Greggs) Tim Sherwood has finally been confirmed as new Villa boss. He was in the stands to witness their FA Cup win over Leicester on Sunday and was sporting a rascal overcoat on that occasion. I’m hoping he will celebrate his first game in the Villa dug0out by wearing a cloak and coming out of the tunnel holding a candelabra to the strains of ‘We are the Champions’ a la Bobby George.
Betting: Aston Villa to win at 7/4 (Coral)
Chelsea v Burnley
The Blues have conceded just six goals in their last 20 top-flight home games. That’s some record and the reason why I am steaming in to back them to win to nil here at an eye-catching 5/6. Huge, huge price that (nods head sagely).
Betting: Chelsea to win to nil at 5/6 (Stan James)
Crystal Palace v Arsenal
The Gunners haven’t lost to Palace in ten matches in all competitions and are 5/6 pokes for the win here. Instead I’m going to lay a few quid down on Mesut Ozil to score. Ozil, once famously trolled on Twitter by Radamel Falcao, who opined he ‘has eyes like The Simpsons’ has only managed to score four times this season. Three of those goals have come in 2015 however, so this punt is not without a squeak.
Betting: Ozil to score anytime at 100/30 (bet365)
Hull City v QPR
I’m reliably informed that Joey Barton is on a Premier League record run of seven consecutive yellow cards, so props to the Alice band-wearing Scouser for doing everything in his power to dispel the popular conception that he is a thuggish clogger.
Betting: Both teams to score at 11/10 (Coral)
Sunderland v West Brom
Talk to me. Gus Poyet’s post-match meltdown last weekend? Suggesting putting a ‘China Wall’ round the city? Eh? Gus my lad, have you been sniffing Wes Brown’s shin pads again? The Black Cats were absolutely sh*te at Bradford and are just two points outside the drop One. Poyet is a man on the edge and the Baggies could inflict more misery on the Wearsiders here.
Betting: West Brom to win (Draw no Bet) at 23/20 (Ladbrokes)
Swansea v Manchester United
I don’t envisage a classic but at least it will be nice for Man Utd fans to watch their team away in Europe again. Swansea have managed just nine goals in their last 11 league outings while the Red Devils are putting in steady if unspectacular shifts. LVG is coming under increasing pressure to play Wayne Rooney in a more advanced role but my gut feeling is Wazza will once again be asked to toil in midfield here. I’m convinced goals will be at a premium so am happy to take on Billy Hills, who go 10/11 that there are less than three of the ba*tards.
Betting: Under 2.5 goals at 10/11 (Hills)
Manchester City v Newcastle
I fancy the Premier League champions to cruise to victory here and while I won’t be winning any prizes for originality, I hope I’m winning a few pound notes after punting Sergio Aguero to score first. Put simply, he’s the best striker in the division and one of the very best in the world. The Geordies’ crude lunges and biffs should be no match for his tangy majesty.
Betting: Aguero to score first at 100/30 (Boylesports)
Tottenham v West Ham
Looks like the Hammers might be ditching Big Sam in the summer. I have no sympathy for a man who treats our domestic cup competitions with such disdain and whose teams play a brand of football that is about as pleasing on the eye as genital warts. Spurs to run right over them here.
Betting: Tottenham to win 3-1 at 14/1 (Coral)
Everton v Leicester
The Foxes have only kept four clean sheets in the league this season and even the most optimistic of Leicester fans will agree this one looks a tough ask. Everton are not the frugal side they once were however, so there could be goals.
Betting: Everton to win & Both teams to score at 29/10 (Coral)
Southampton v Liverpool
The Reds are unbeaten in their last nine league matches and are at last rising groggily from their post-Suarez malaise. This one should be an absolute w*nk-fest for the purists as Messrs Koeman and Rodgers go nose-to-nose and whip up a tactical sh*t storm. Booya!
Betting: Draw at 12/5 (Ladbrokes)
Aston Villa v Stoke City