I’m back for another go at predicting this Sunday’s pick 8 competition, and like my first attempt last week, the guys at Colossus have once again made it easy for me! Feel free to join my Syndicate where for just a few pennies we can have some fun and hopefully win back a few more pennies. Enjoy your weekend.
The first selection from the Premier League this week and on current form it is hard to split the teams. The Europa League win for Arsenal has kept their season alive for the moment, but having been drawn against Atletico Madrid in the semi-final, that might just have dampened their spirits. Playing on a Thursday in Europe and then again at the weekend tends to throw up problems for many teams, and with possible injury concerns surrounding both Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey, Arsenal may have to go with what some might call a ‘weakened team’, although Pierre – Emerick Aubameyang should return to the line-up.
Newcastle have been transformed in recent weeks having picked up 19 points in the calendar year, but their recent form against Arsenal is not good, having lost the last 10 league games against them. Having said that, Arsenal have yet to pick up an away point in 2018, losing all 4 games away from the Emirates. A draw looks the outcome for me in this one, but with Newcastle being just 1 win away from reaching the 40 point mark, they could claim an unlikely win.
Prediction Home Win/ Draw
Any game between the two Glasgow giants is always a bit special, but a cup semi-final at the National Stadium adds even more spice to this particular contest. Rangers have definitely improved over the latter half of the season but they remain 13 points behind their fiercest rivals in the Premiership table, and although there are no points at stake in this game, Celtic seem to be on their way to claiming a ‘double treble’. That will certainly be incentive enough for the Ibrox side as they will be going all out to prevent that from happening, but I think Celtic will be too strong, and make it through to another Scottish cup final.
Prediction Home Win
The game of the day in the Bundesliga sees second placed Schalke host third placed Dortmund as the home side look to bounce back after last weekend’s surprise reversal at Hamburg. Previous to that defeat, Schalke had won 6 games on the trot conceding just a single goal during that impressive run. They are the current form team in the Bundesliga along with runaway leaders Bayern, and Dortmund will have it all to do to take something from the game. The earlier fixture between the teams back in November produced one of the games of the season as Schalke recovered from being 4 goals down inside the opening 25 minutes to somehow score 4 second half goals, the last in the 90th minute to come away with a draw. Another close game is on the cards, and I’m taking a bit of a gamble with my choice.
Prediction Home Win
The top two clash at the Phillips Stadion where home side PSV hold a 7 point advantage over their opponents and knowing that victory over their closest rivals would just about give them the Eredivisie title. This game will certainly be their hardest one of their remaining fixtures, although Ajax are on good form winning 8 of their last 10 league games, including the last 4 on the spin. You have to go back 5 seasons to find a ‘double’ for either team, when Ajax won both games, and it was the team from Amsterdam who won the game earlier in the season. Another close game that tends to produce a winner, just 2 draws from the last 13 meetings which also suggests it could go either way.
Prediction Home Win/Away Win
Just 3 points and 3 places separate these two teams who sit mid-table with practically nothing to play for except pride, even both clubs leading scorers share the same total of 12 La Liga goals. The recent form of both teams is poor with both teams having only won once in their last five games, this is such a difficult game to predict so I will hedge my bets and hope that as defensively Getafe are a bit stronger, and Espanyol have only won once away from home, they might sneak a low scoring victory.
Prediction Home Win
The Rome derby is always a special occasion and as both teams are technically playing at ‘home’ these games are hard to call. Roma’s astounding Champions League victory over Barcelona will have them in high spirits, whilst Lazio’s Europa League exit will have the reverse effect across the other side of the City. Once again there is nothing between the teams with only goal difference – in favour of Lazio – keeping the teams apart in 2nd and 3rd place. I can’t pick a result so I suggest covering all three options.
Prediction Home Win/Away Win/Draw
At last, a game that seems pretty straight forward to predict, surely it can only be an away win, right? Is it really that simple? Well I think it is and I don’t expect anyone can find any reason to suspect that bottom team Malaga can get a victory off the team from Madrid. Malaga have won just 4 times all season, and their recent win at home to Villareal was their only win from their last 16 attempts. This is without doubt, an away win.
Prediction Away Win
My final preview comes from the Monday night Premier League game that sees second from bottom side Stoke make the trip to the London Stadium as they try to keep their feint hopes of Premier League survival alive. It is hard to see anything other than a West Ham win here, but if Stoke are to be playing in the Premier League next season, and with games running out, this is a game that they really must win. Having lost their last 4 league games, and with only one win from their last 14 games, the Championship is beckoning for Paul Lambert’s struggling team. The best I can see them getting is a draw, but with West Ham’s home form picking up recently – they have lost just once at home in 2018 – I fully expect them to complete the ‘double’ over Stoke this season.
Prediction Home Win