Had a below-par last round? The good news is that it’s straight back in the saddle for this next round of games.
According to Superbru the average of correct results submitted for the weekend was 3.85 out of 10. I managed to do better than that with my published predictions and even got the Arsenal draw with Manchester United, which went down as an upset result.
But, to catch Newcastle beating Everton away and Brighton taking three points off Tottenham was reversed for the real Nostradamus’s amongst us. Congratulations if you managed 5 or more correct results out of 10 this past round.
It’s right back into the thick of things, with another round starting tonight and going through to Thursday, with the next round arriving at the weekend already. It resembles a bleak cape winter with relentless cold fronts coming in quick succession.
Hopefully there’s some sunshine though. One things that again shone through was the number of 1-0 results – three of them. There were no 2-1s and as the trend from the season shows, 1-0 has been by far the most popular scoreline. Those crazy 7-2s and 6-1s from earlier this season seem long gone. So, if you’re on the search for exact scores, the statistics below don’t lie.
1-0: 43 times
2-1: 26 times
1-1: 24 times
2-0: 22 times
3-0: 16 times
0-0: 16 times
3-2: 7 times
Onto this round’s games.
Wolves 0 Arsenal 1: There’s something going wrong at Molineux. They haven’t won in 8 games and haven’t scored in their last 2. Arsenal meanwhile haven’t lost in their last 7 and have won 5 of those. They’ll be strongly fancied to take all 3 points here but even so, this is never an easy place to visit.
Sheff United 1 West Brom 1: The hosts are still doomed, but have won 2 of their last 4 and only went down 1-0 to Man City last time. Before that they beat Man United 2-1. The form of their last 4 games should actually be enough to win this match against fellow relegation certainties West Brom. But perhaps they’ll cancel each other out.
Man United 2 Southampton 0: Ole will have us believe they were robbed in the defeat against Sheffield United but his team weren’t great against Arsenal either. But the Saints have only won 1 of their last 7 (against Liverpool!) and have won 33% of their away games. United will expect all 3 points here.
Newcastle 1 Crystal Palace 0: Good luck! Newcastle broke a winless streak of 9 games by outplaying Everton at Goodison, while Palace haven’t been in back nick of late. But this game has all the hallmarks of a 0-0, although I’m going for one goal to nick it. Flip a coin. Oh look, it’s Newcastle.
Burnley 0 Man City 2: Burnley’s two-match win streak was halted at Chelsea but City go marching on, 8 wins in a row and 10 out of their last 12 games. They’ve also kept a clean sheet in their last 5 games and while Burnley are always tough opponents at Turf Moor, City’s form looks irresistible right now.
Fulham 1 Leicester 2: Fulham have lost 10 games and look relegation bound. They’ve actually lost the same number as Wolves and Burnley and fewer than Newcastle, but their draws (8) and only 2 wins have sucked them deep into the mire. Confidence is low and they come up against a Leicester side smarting from losing badly at home to Leeds. Allthough Leicester are much weaker without the injured Jamie Vardy.
Leeds 1 Everton 2: Leeds have found their mojo again and have won 4 of their last 6. They won their first round encounter 1-0 against Everton and the Toffees have become up and down again lately. This is a tough game to call, but with Leeds there’s invariably goals, so rather go +2.5 goals in the game if you’re betting.
Aston Villa 1 West Ham 1: The Hammers had their 4-game winning streak snapped by Liverpool in a 3-1 defeat, but like their 3-0 defeat at Chelsea, the scoreline didn’t really reflect the game. The first round game went 2-1 in favour of West Ham but Villa are playing well, with Barkley and Grealish at the heart of what they do.
Liverpool 2 Brighton 0: Liverpool strengthened their defence in the January window and Klopp has also stopped the bleeding, with 2 good wins in their last 2 games, both 3-1 scores. Brighton are always involved in tight games, with 1-0 being their scoreline in 4 of their last 6 games. They beat Tottenham by that last time. But Liverpool look full of goals again.
Tottenham 1 Chelsea 1: The match of the round, with the best saved for last. Chelsea will likely have most of the possession, given Tuchel seems to want a possession-based, strong press game. However, the visitors have been poor in the final third in their opening 2 games in the post-Lampard era and Jose will have a plan. The styles in the match could cancel one another out.