Tackling The £1,300,000+ FreePlay6
Some classic Serie A fixtures are thrown into the Premier League mix on your Pick 6 Millionaire this week.
A few of the teams below haven’t had quite the start expected so picking out the correct score could be difficult. But then winning a lottery-sized jackpot was never going to be easy was it?!
Remember to stake a minimum of £2 to play for up to £2 million – good luck.
Hull v Arsenal
On only one occasion in the last eight years has this fixture ended goalless, and it also happens to be the only time that less than two goals were scored.
The balance is very definitely in Arsenal’s favour having won 10 fixtures against the Tigers in that time, losing just once back in 2008.
Despite Steve Bruce walking out on the club on the eve of the season, and the upheaval that followed, the ship has been steadied and only one loss in four from the hosts is as good as could’ve been expected.
The Gunners sit one place above their hosts with an identical goal difference, only there by virtue of having scored one more goal.
Santi Cazorla’s injury-time penalty will have given Arsene Wenger’s side some confidence, but a punishing midweek game against Paris Saint-Germain could take its toll.
I’ll plump for another narrow Arsenal victory by 1-2, but Hull will take them all the way.
West Brom v West Ham
Slaven Bilic’s side wiped the floor with the Baggies the last time they were at this venue but six losses from eight games to include their short excursion to the fringes of European competition, has left those at the London Stadium feeling that this could be a long, hard season.
That they are away from what many Hammers fans are calling a soulless bowl probably does the east Londoners a favour because they can at least rely on a fervent away support.
They are also the top scorers in the bottom half of the table so bring a goal threat at the very least.
West Brom haven’t really got going yet in 2016/17 and are overdue a decent performance. An early goal in this one is vital because if it goes to the hosts, West Ham are mentally in the right place at this point and it could be their undoing.
Simone Zaza should trouble the home defence, but what Albion lack in quality they more than make up for with grit and a steely determination.
An early season scrap which will go the way of the hosts – 2-1.
Everton v Middlesbrough
On their return to the top flight, Boro are making a reasonable fist of things. Aitor Karanka is learning on the job and patchy results would indicate that it will take him a few more games to bed in and really find his feet managerially at this level. He does at least oversee a side that play football the right way and on their day are a joy to watch.
Ditto Everton who are now schooled by Ronald Koeman. The Dutchman has the tools at his disposal via the likes of Ross Barkley, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas, to really trouble their visitors.
The Wearsiders have conceded as many as they’ve scored and will need to improve defensively for this one not to become too one sided.
I expect them to score at some point, but I don’t see Everton’s front men being kept out for long in this one.
Comfortable by the end, 3-1 to the Toffees.
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Crystal Palace v Stoke
Poor old Stoke. Who would’ve thought that after four games, not only would they have scored just two and conceded 10, but would be propping up the division and with just a single point to show for their endeavours.
This was a side last season that Mark Hughes had taken to the verge of European football but they look nothing like their 2015/16 vintage at this point.
A collapse against Spurs that was identical to the performance from the back end of last season wasn’t entirely unpredictable, but they look like a team that are devoid of ideas and any creative output.
That’s a description that probably sums up Crystal Palace throughout 2016, the win against Middlesbrough only their fourth of the entire year in all competitions. In Christian Benteke, Alan Pardew at least has a front man who will guarantee goals and if the right service is provided, then woe betide the opposition.
This could get embarrassing as the big man runs riot. Stoke will head home to the Potters with their tail between their legs thanks to an ANY OTHER HOME WIN here.
Inter Milan v Juventus
The Serie A table has an ominous feel to it with the ‘Old Lady’ Juventus already sitting at the summit and with maximum points.
Gonzalo Higuain, despite his weight issues, has been an inspired signing, and has taken the focus away from the loss of Paul Pogba to Manchester United.
Inter, recently taken over by Chinese investors, look very much the team, nay the club, in transition. Their time will come again, but it might be a little while yet.
Rarely a high scoring fixture, the Nerazzuri have only beaten Juve at the San Siro five times in the last 14 years in all competitions, spanning some 34 fixtures.
New Inter manager Frank de Boer will have better days but this won’t be one of them, even the mercurial talents of captain Mauro Icardi not enough to save them.
A simple, effective 0-2 away victory.
Fiorentina v Roma
Roma are sat nestled nicely in the top three thanks to Francesco Totti’s winner at the weekend, the 23 rd consecutive season he’s scored in the Italian top flight. The last campaign he failed to register was in 1993/94!!
Fiorentina won’t want reminding of their visitors formidable record in Florence either, just two defeats for the Giallorossi this century. Nine goals sees them as joint top scorers in the division and with the likes of Edin Dzeko and Mo Salah up front, they’re always going to pose a threat to opposing teams.
Compare that to just the two scored by their hosts and it’s obvious where the problem currently lies for Paulo Sosa.
Cristian Tello, signed from Barcelona on loan, has to play a specified number of games for Fiorentina or the Italians face paying a penalty to the Catalans. On his performances so far, his was a capture that may have been necessary but the youngster has some way to go to be the finished article.
Can’t see anything other than a 0-3 away win for my last selection this week.