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James Davis’ Pick 15 Preview

Football is back

Football is back! We hope you are just as excited as we are for top level football to be returning this week with the Premiership kicking off on Friday evening. Syndicate Captain JimmyJamJom is back to preview his Pick 15. Join his ticket below for a chance to win a share of £800,000. 

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Every week I will be reviewing the weekend Pick 15.

The associated syndicate “Jim’s Pick 15 Banker” will always be going for the Jackpot of £800K with a maximum of 64 lines (£128.00 stake) – giving us 6,250 X stake when we win.

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

There has been a few requests to increase the syndicate to this size so we can squeeze a few more people in – so get in quick to avoid disappointment. I don’t want to make it any bigger than this, so that players with smaller stakes can still win a life changing amount of money.

I will be highlighting some fixtures as bankers – games that I would bet my house on and will be tallying up my success rate on these games.

Only one banker this week and that’s Anderlecht to beat Charleroi – get the season off to a good start.

Anyway, here we go, good luck everyone…

Watford v Brighton

Watford rejected a bid from Burnley for their striker Troy Deeney (who scored 6 goals last season) and won’t be entertaining any further bids. So it seems last season’s strike-force is likely to remain, but they have lost Richarlison de Andrade to Everton which will be a big blow for them.

Watford didn’t do too well against Brighton last season with a loss and a draw. Brighton have had a few minor players in and out over the transfer window, most notable being Leipzig’s Bernardo Fernandes da Silva who should bolster their defence. I’m going to back Hughton’s Brighton to come out the gates strong this season, but to add a bit of safety it’s probably wise to cover the draw too.

Selection: Draw / Away

Rotherham v Ipswich

Rotherham were lucky to get up from League 1 last season and they were convincingly thrashed by Brentford in the first game of the season. I fully expect Ipswich, who fought well to stay mid-table last season, to continue to wake Rotherham up to how tough the Championship can be.

Selection: Draw / Away

Aston Villa v Wigan

Aston Villa put in some great performances last season and they were unfortunate not to be playing Premier League football this year. Wigan’s first game of this campaign caught the eye as they put three away against a decent Wednesday side, but this will be an altogether different challenge.

Steve Bruce hasn’t brought anyone notable in yet (time of writing 6th August 2018), but he does have his eye on a couple of targets that may fill some holes by Thursday. A home victory seems very likely as Villa will be looking for automatic promotion, but due to Wigan’s bright start I’ll cover the draw too.

Selection: Home / Draw

Norwich v West Brom

Norwich scraped a draw in the dying minutes against Birmingham in their opener and West Brom did not live up to expectations against Bolton when they lost at home. I expect Darren Moore will be giving the team a firm talking to and there’s a good chance they’ll be a sharp difference on Saturday.

West Brom really should be challenging to come straight back up to the Premier League and Norwich will likely end up mid-table again. So this week I’m going to back West Brom to turn it around, but if they fail again then I will start to reconsider my views sharpish.

Selection: Draw / Away

Bolton v Bristol

Bolton dispatched with newly demoted West Brom in the opening game, but that was perhaps as much to do with a poor performance from West Brom as anything else. Bristol were impressive last season and were ok in their first game against Forest.

They look sure to lose Joe Bryan by the end of the week, and with Bobby Reid already having made a move to Cardiff earlier this year it’s tough to assess how good they will turn out to be. I’m going to take a chance on Bolton riding the confidence of their recent win and picking up the points here, covering the draw for safety.

Selection: Home / Draw

Fulham v Crystal Palace

Palace were banging them in towards the end of last season and climbed up to 11th place after looking like potential relegation candidates. But Cabaye is gone and maybe Zaha will go too, which will massively affect the outcome obviously. It seems possible that Chelsea might continue the loan of Loftus-Cheek if Zaha goes to Chelsea, so with all of this up in the air it’s very difficult to predict this fixture.

Fulham have bolstered their squad with Alfie Mawson from Swansea which will strengthen them at the back, but he’s likely to miss this fixture with a knee injury. Because of turmoil at Palace in regards to the transfer window I think they will need time to settle in, so I’ll back Fulham to charge into the Premier League with a home win.

Selection: Home / Draw

Blackburn v Millwall

Confidence is always high with teams who have just been promoted and Blackburn would have felt it was all going as expected until they let the points slip away in the dying seconds at Ipswich last week.

Millwall were consistently fighting for wins last season and I’d expect that to continue for a while, especially looking at the first 87 minutes against Middlesbrough. I suspect Neil Harris won’t stand for that sort of slip up again. So they might be playing away but I predict Millwall can deliver a wake-up call to Blackburn.

Selection: Away

Derby v Leeds

Derby perhaps should have done more last season to get promoted and it’s too early to predict whether Lampard will be able to get more out of them this year. Their win at Reading on Friday was perhaps a tad fortunate, but at least it showed they have determination in the team and will be fighting until the final whistle.

Leeds’ victory over Stoke though was by far a more impressive one, thrashing the promotion favourites. I saw weaknesses with the Derby squad and I think it might take Lampard a few games to iron them out, if indeed he can, so I’m backing Leeds to ride the wave of confidence and get another win on the board.

Selection: Away

Mouscron v Antwerp

Antwerp’s form – won 1 drawn 1. Mouscron – Lost 2. Bookies favourite: Antwerp. That’s all you need to know!

Selection: Away

Southampton v Burnley

Southampton barely survived last season and Burnley qualified for Europe, so I’m wondering why the bookies all have Southampton as odds on favourites to win this match. It could be because of Southampton’s considerable spending, bringing in Elyounoussi from Basel and Vestergaard from M’gladbach, whereas Burnley have added only Ben Gibson from Middlesbrough to help in defence.

I think Mark Hughes might give it a better shot this year, but I’m not convinced they’ll come out of the blocks firing straight away – teams can take time to gel. This looks good for a 1-1 draw to me.

Selection: Draw

KV Oostende v Genk

Genk destroyed a weak Lokeren 4-0, whilst Oostende lost to an unforgiving Anderlecht 5-2. So based partly on that confidence boosting last fixture I’m going to back Genk to edge it, but it will be very close.

Selection: Away

Arsenal v Man City

This is the moment many Arsenal fans have been waiting for – a season without Wenger. It’s a shame the first game is against Man City who look all but sure to walk away with it again this year. Emery may be the man to turn their fortunes around, but until further notice I think it’s wise to back Man City for the time being.

Selection: Away

Bordeaux v Strasbourg

Bordeaux finished 9 places above Strasbourg last season and at home should have no problem getting a victory, despite worryingly losing this same fixture last season.

Selection: Home

Charleroi v Anderlecht

Anderlecht are one of the top Belgian teams and this fixture will pose no threat to them. They beat them convincingly home and away the last two times they played, so this a confident away banker.

Selection: Away

Norrkoping v Hammarby

Swedish football keeps being my undoing. Hammarby are looking the better team stats wise, so I’m backing them to overcome the disadvantage of playing away. They have won the last 3 games in a row and are pushing to top the league. Norrkoping are only 1 place behind them so it will certainly be tight.

Selection: Away

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