Taking on The World’s Biggest Football Bet, The £10,000,000 Colossus by Andy Maynard
The £10,000,000 Colossus is back this weekend with some top games to look forward to with Arsenal v Man City, Liverpool v Tottenham and the Serie A clash between Napoli and Juventus being the highlights.
Remember you can play with 20p, 50p, £1 and £2 stakes. Here are my stats and selections…
Crystal Palace v Chelsea (3pm, Saturday)
Chelsea can pull clear of title rivals Liverpool and Manchester City when they face Premier League strugglers Crystal Palace on Saturday.
The Blues can go four points clear of Liverpool who play on Sunday and six points clear of Man City who are in action Saturday evening, although Manuel Pellegrini’s side do have two games in hand over the pair above them going into this weekend’s fixtures.
Jose Mourinho’s men effectively ended Arsenal’s title challenge last weekend when they put in an impressive performance at Stamford Bridge to breeze past 10-man Arsenal with an emphatic 6-0 win with three of the goals coming inside the first 17 minutes.
Prior to that rout, the Blues suffered a 1-0 loss at Aston Villa, so this will provide them with a chance to get back to winning ways on the road.
If they are to lose the title, then it’s their away form that will let them down – Chelsea are currently the seventh best team on their travels with Liverpool and Man City above them.
Their opponents this weekend, Crystal Palace, are just three points and one position above the relegation zone, however 18th place Sunderland do have a game in hand over the Eagles.
Tony Pulis’ men are on a winless run of five matches and have lost their last two at Selhurst Park without scoring.
Despite their poor form they remain resilient, conceding three goals in their last four matches.
They’ll be looking to bounce back following last week’s 1-0 loss to Newcastle in which they conceded in the final minute of the game but it looks unlikely to happen this weekend especially given their record against the top sides in the division.
Palace have lost 13 of their 14 matches played against the current top nine with the remaining match being a draw, while they failed to score in all six home matches against those teams.
Furthermore, Chelsea have won and kept a clean sheet on their last three visits to Selhurst Park and with this in mind I’m going for a 0-2 and 0-3 Chelsea win.
Southampton v Newcastle (3pm, Saturday)
Southampton and Newcastle meet at St. Mary’s this weekend in a mid-table battle where neither side realistically has anything to play for.
One point separates the pair in eighth and ninth and both teams come into the fixture following a defeat.
The Magpies tend to be one of the more unpredictable teams in the division with no real trend in their results.
On the other hand, Southampton have a great record against the lower placed teams, however when it comes to sides above them they tend to struggle.
Saints have won just one of their 17 matches played against teams currently 12th or above – that sole victory came on their travels against Liverpool, so their home record against those reads: P8 W0 D4 L4.
A lack of motivation could come into play here and I think the most likely result is a score draw so my two selections for this fixture are 1-1 and AOD.
Arsenal v Man City (5.30pm, Saturday)
Saturday’s final match on this week’s Colossus is a blockbuster fixture with Man City continuing their title push against an Arsenal side who must be low on confidence after seeing their hopes of winning the league seemingly vanish last week.
The Gunners’ humbling 6-0 defeat at Chelsea was followed up in midweek with a shock 2-2 draw at home to Swansea where they conceded a last minute goal.
There is a danger now that they could even finish outside of the Champions League positions with Everton six points behind but with a game in hand.
City, meanwhile, grabbed their fourth successive win in midweek over neighbours Manchester United and it’s worth remembering the title is City’s to lose as they’re three points behind leaders Chelsea with two games in hand.
The Etihad outfit swept aside Arsenal 6-3 in the reverse fixture this season and despite the Gunners going unbeaten for 14 home league games, I think that run could come to an end here.
Not only is there a gulf in class between the sides but there’s a complete contrast in terms of confidence so my selections for this match are a 1-2 and 1-3 away win.
Fulham v Everton (1.30pm, Sunday)
Everton will hope to build on their recent impressive form when they travel to basement club Fulham on Sunday.
The Toffees have won their previous four matches and are now closing in on Arsenal in fourth spot.
Roberto Martinez’s men won comfortably on the road last time after beating Newcastle 3-0, but they need to produce that kind of display on a consistent basis if they are to get a Champions League place.
Although they’re unbeaten on their travels against side’s seventh place and down, Everton have drawn four of the five matches they’ve played against teams currently in the bottom seven.
They’ve only won once in their last five visits to Craven Cottage a run which includes the 2-1 defeat in this season’s Capital One Cup.
Fulham won their last home game in the league, but they’ve lost all six home matches played against the current top seven.
The Cottagers scored in all seven defeats and all but one of those games went over 3.5 goals so I think we could see a high scoring match.
I’m going to cover AOD, and I’m also selecting 1-2, 1-3 2-3 and AOA wins for the away side.
AOD, 1-2, 1-3, 2-3, AOA
Liverpool v Tottenham (4pm, Sunday)
The Premier League’s most in form side Liverpool host Tottenham this weekend hoping to keep up the pressure on title rivals Chelsea and Man City.
The Reds are the last out of the three to play this weekend which may or may not work in their favour.
They grinded out a 2-1 win at home to Sunderland in midweek and although they weren’t at their best they managed to gain three points which is the trademark of champions.
A win against Tottenham would be their eighth successive victory and fifth straight home win, while they’re currently unbeaten in 12 at home and overall.
Spurs have won just once on the road in their last four games but they do have the second best record away from home this season.
Tottenham’s main downfall this term has been their record against the top sides – they’ve lost six out of seven games against the current top four conceding at least four goals on four occasions and failing to score in five.
Liverpool have already beaten Arsenal and Everton at Anfield by a four goal deficit this season while they demolished Spurs 5-0 at White Hart Lane in the reverse fixture.
AOH win is my only selection for this game.
Napoli v Juventus (7.45pm, Sunday)
The penultimate match in this week’s Colossus is the clash between two of the top three in Serie A as Napoli host leaders Juventus.
Juve have won 26 of their 30 games this season, losing just once during that run as they stroll on towards the league title.
Napoli will provide a stern test though as they’ve lost twice all season on their own patch where Juventus have failed to win on their last six visits.
The pressure will be off the away side and they would probably settle for a draw as there’s currently a 14 point gap between themselves and Roma in second.
I’m going for a repeat of this meeting last season which ended 1-1.
Sunderland v West Ham (8pm, Monday)
The final match in this week’s Colossus is back in the Premier League with Sunderland hosting West Ham.
The Black Cats are three points adrift of safety but they do have a game in hand and better goal difference than Crystal Palace in 17th.
Gus Poyet’s men are in poor form though and are winless in their last five games, four of which they have lost.
They put in a battling performance against Liverpool on Wednesday though which was promising but it’s their home form they need to improve upon going into the final stages of the season.
Sunderland have the worst home record in the league and have not scored in any of their matches at the Stadium of Light against teams currently in the bottom 10.
West Ham’s 2-1 win over Hull in midweek has given them breathing space and they look safe in mid-table.
Sam Allardyce’s men have five wins from their last eight games which has eased the pressure on his position at the club.
A win for the Hammers on Monday will go a long way to securing top flight football again next season and I think they can come away with the three points needed in a tight and nervy 1-0 win.
Good luck to everyone following!
By Andy Maynard