BIG FOOTY PREVIEW WEEK 17
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BRENTFORD (5th Championship)
FINAL OUTCOME: Brentford v Wolves (BRENTFORD WIN)
November has been a good month for Brentford, not just this year, it has been three years since the Bees tasted defeat in the penultimate month of the year, back in 2011. Four straight wins have seen Mark Warburton’s men move into fifth in the table, quite remarkable for a side that many thought would do well to survive at this level, and for a manager that has been in management less than a year. Brentford will be wary of Wolves, the team that inflicted Mark Warburton’s first defeat (in his twelfth match) as a manager, in February; then a top of the table clash in League One. The manager will be tempted to stick with the team that won last time out against Fulham, though match winner Jota and Stuart Dallas will both be pushing for a start after impressive substitute appearances.
Wolves have only won twice away this season, while Brentford have only lost once at home. Griffin Park has become a fortress in recent weeks, with last minute, come from behind victories against Derby and Fulham happening in the last two matches there. Wolves have lost their last three and with the home advantage and the good form that Brentford have, they look set to make it five wins from five in November.
BTTS W-D-W: Burnley v Aston Villa (BTTS & BURNLEY WIN)
WRITTEN BY: Jason Loewenthal, Brentford Season Ticket Holder, @Jazico7
NEWCASTLE UNITED (5th Premier League)
FINAL OUTCOME: West Ham Vs Newcastle (Draw)
Bottom of the league six weeks ago, The Magpies found themselves in a Champions' League place after their 1-0 victory over QPR last weekend only to slip to 5th after Man Utd's victory over Arsenal. The Geordies travel to one of their favourite away grounds, having lost there just once in the last eight. With no news on the availability or otherwise of both Taylors, Santon, Obertan or Aarons, the team that finished the game last week should be more than capable of snatching a point from the Boleyn Ground, perhaps even making it seven victories on the bounce? Big Sam is finally proving that he's not just a hit and hope manager, the Hammers showing much of what his old Bolton Wanderers team did over ten years ago.
With the born-again Downing and Valencia both doubts for Saturday, West Ham fans will be hoping both make the field along with Toon old boys Nolan and Carroll to make sure Pardew doesn't add to his impressive string of results recently. For me, this game has a 1-1 draw written all over it.
BTTS W-D-W: Burnley Vs Aston Villa (BTTS & Draw) WRITTEN BY: Peter Nuttall
(Author of 'Newcastle United's Worst Ever Players') @peter__nuttall
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN (14th)
FINAL OUTCOME: Bolton Wanderers v Huddersfield Town (home win)
A scrappy draw with Sheffield Wednesday last week was probably a fair result on the balance of play, with Huddersfield having more of the play, but Wednesday hitting the bar and having a strong penalty shout waved away. This week, Chris Powell takes his side across the Pennines to take on Neil Lennon's Bolton. Parallels can be drawn between the 2 teams first quarter of the season, with both having poor starts, before picking up under the guidance of a new manager. It will be interesting to see who Chris Powell picks in goal on Saturday, as Alex Smithies is back in contention, but Joe Murphy, making his league debut last week, had a fine game. Other than that, I expect the Huddersfield line-up to be similar to last week, and my hope is that the likes of Conor Coady and Diego Poyet can impose themselves on the game. However, with Bolton looking much improved under Lennon, I can't bring myself to back Huddersfield to get anything in this one until we show we're capable of being resilient away from home, unlike previous away games at Derby and Fulham. Narrow home win for me in this one.
BTTS: SWINDON to beat Fleetwood with BTTS
Sam Preest - twitter: @Victor_Htfc
STOKE CITY (11th in the Premier League)
FINAL OUTCOME: Liverpool v Stoke City - Draw
Stoke will travel to Anfield this weekend hoping to bounce back from a frustrating home defeat at the hands of Burnley where defensive errors were fully capitalised on by the Clarets. Away from home this season it has been a different story though with victories over Man City and Spurs already recorded so taking something back to the Potteries is realistic. Victor Moses will be on the sidelines for six weeks now and Oussami Assaidi is ineligible for this game. Several first team players have fortunately recovered from sickness this week with Glen Whelan also back from his injury. Eric Pieters and Marc Wilson should be available ,however, the game has probably come too quick for Robert Huth. The Potters will still have a lot of quality on show with the strength and depth at their disposal, but, Liverpool have to turn the corner at some stage after their poor run of form. Mark Hughes says his side have ‘gone to difficult places, which Anfield undoubtedly is, and had good results and good performances this season.’ For this encounter I predict a hard fought 1-1 draw.
BTTS W-D-W: For this encounter I predict a hard fought 1-1 draw.
WRITTEN BY: Sam Waddington TWITTER: @sjohnwaddington
Bolton Wanderers (21st Championship)
FINAL OUTCOME: Bolton vs Huddersfield (Home win)
FORECASTER'S INSIGHT: Fourth from bottom Bolton take on 14th placed Huddersfield at the Macron and despite the amount of places between the two teams, a win for Bolton will take them above their mid table opponents. They can go as high a 14th with a win, though it'll be unlikely. Since the last match, Mark Davies - arguably our best player - has been ruled out for the next four months, Jermaine Beckford has been sent to Preston, Paddy Kenney - a pointless signing tbh - has been sent to Oldham and a bunch of kids have gone out on loan. That lowers our numbers available, though it might give chance for the likes of Medo, Trotter and Wheater to actually return to the bench. Mark Davies actually missed the last game after being injured shortly before the game so we will probably retain the same XI as against Blackpool, though the bench will take quite the reshuffle with the loans out. Huddersfield strikers James Vaughan (calf) and Joe Lolley (hip) and winger Adam Hammill are not yet ready to return. Last season they beat us at our ground and we beat them at theirs so it's anyone's guess as to how this will turn out. We've won two of the last three however - the other being a draw - and Huddersfield have failed to win in the same period and have just the one win in the last six, though as seen in the past form barely matters for us. On the scoring front, Wells has a very impressive 9 goals for Huddersfield - we're going to have to mark him well! whilst our highest goal tally is still four, those being Mills, Mason and Craig Davies. We've won our last three home games on the spin and I believe we are capable of making it four home wins in a row to move us further away from the bottom three and with Huddersfield having not won in a while as well as them having conceded the most goals in the division, I'm going for a Bolton win.
BTTS W-D-W: Swansea/Palace should both score. Swansea win
WRITTEN BY: @MarcusRalphson
WEST HAM UNITED (6th in the Premier League)
FINAL OUTCOME: West Ham United v Newcastle United (West Ham win)
Newcastle United are the most in-form team in the English top flight at the moment, but West Ham will be looking to recover from their undeserved 2-1 defeat to Everton last weekend. The Hammers deserved to return from Merseyside with at least a point but they will now look to defeat Alan Pardew’s side, with the Magpies manager returning to East London. Andy Carroll will be looking to start his second Premier League game in succession against the side he began his career at. He will also be hoping to get on the scoresheet for the first time this season. Mauro Zarate will be pushing for a start having scored at Goodison Park last weekend, while the Hammers will be hoping to have Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho back in contention.
BTTS W-D-W: Liverpool v Stoke City (BTTS & Liverpool to win)
WRITTEN BY: Danny Rust @Danny_Rust10
Aston Villa (16th Premier League)
Final Outcome: Burnley vs. Aston Villa (Burnley win)
Normally fans don't bet against their own team, but when you're an Aston Villa fan it has become a weekly occurrence. We are only three months into the season, but this game already looks like a relegation six-pointer between two teams languishing in and around the relegation zone. Newly promoted Burnley have reinstalled some confidence by winning their last two games (1-0 against Hull and 2-1 at Stoke), in turn taking them off the bottom of the table. Danny Ings scored a brace against Stoke, his first ever goals in the Premier League and he looks likely to add to his tally on Saturday. The Lancashire outfit sit 19th with ten points and are 6/5 to win a third game on the bounce. Midfielder Scott Arfield is in contention to return to the starting line-up after missing the win over Stoke, but defender Michael Duff is a doubt with a calf-injury after limping out of the same game. But manager Sean Dyche is unlikely to make to many changes. On the other hand Aston Villa haven't won in eight games, that oversaw six straight defeats, unconvincingly ended in a 0-0 stalemate at West Ham on the 8th November. After a promising start to the season, where the club found themselves in the Champions League places, they have since fallen from grace to 16th position, now sitting only two points above the relegation zone. Statistically they are the worst team in the league on more than one level including goals scored (six, the lowest of all 92 football league clubs), shots on and off target and chances created. Roy Keane's shock and untimely resignation this morning left Villa without an assistant manager and an array of injuries including to captain Ron Vlaar and to energetic midfielder Fabian Delph have left the club in a more cautionary position. Christian Benteke also serves the final game of his three-match ban. Ciaran Clark and Jores Okore will once again be at the heart of the Aston Villa back-line as they were in Monday's 1-1 draw against second place Southampton.
BTTS W-D-W: Burnley Vs. Aston Villa (BTTS and home win)
Written by: Christopher Heath – Twitter: Heathy_25.
Final Outcome: Birmingham City vs. Nottingham Forest (draw)
Under new manager Gary Rowett Birmingham City look revitalised. Unbeaten in their last four games, picking up eight points, Rowett has successfully manoeuvred Blues out of the relegation zone. They have picked up eight points from a possible 12, including giving their fans a first victory at St Andrews since beating Brighton 1-0 on 16th August with a surprise 2-1 win against top of the table at the time Watford. They drew 0-0 at home to Cardiff and by the same scoreline at local rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers. Most recently they beat newly-promoted Rotherham 1-0 on the road last weekend. Under Lee Clark Blues looked certain relegation candidates helplessly losing week in week out, but after Blues were humiliated 8-0 at St Andrews by high-flying Bournemouth Clark was sacked and former player Rowett was hired and has taken the second city side out of the relegation zone up to 19th in the Championship with 19 points. 6ft 7” striker Nikola Zigic has in principle agreed to rejoin the club, but won't be available for tomorrow's game, but former forest player Guy Moussi is expected to make his debut after joining on a free transfer. After going 11 games unbeaten at the start of the season picking up 21 points, Stuart Pearce's side went five without winning, including four defeats, before getting back on track with a last minute 2-1 victory over Norwich and convincing 3-1 away success at Wolves last weekend. Club legend Stuart Pearce made over 400 appearances for the club scoring 63 goals and his years of experience as a player and manager at both club and international level and influence will be essential for his young, but talented side. With the Championship's joint top-scorer and six million record signing Brett Assombalonga, wingers Michail Antonio and Tom Ince (on loan from Hull City) and Newcastle's well-thought after loanee Jamaal Lascelles, you would expect Forest to be around the play-off scene around May. Forest currently sit eighth in the Championship with 28 points two points off the play-offs places and have no new injury worries ahead of the game at St Andrews. Blues looking like a completely different side under Gary Rowett and Nottingham Forest are finding their feet again.
BTTS W-D-W: Birmingham City vs Nottingham Forest (BTTS and draw)
Written by Christopher Heath. Twitter: Heathy_25.
Final outcome: Home win
Norwich fans will be looking forward to this home game against Reading with eager anticipation following Mike Phelan’s appointment as a first team coaching assistant. Phelan appears to have been appointed to the coaching staff in order to add a bit of experience into the mix, and with his history of assisting Sir Alex Ferguson, this has led to high expectations amongst fans. After only one win in the last nine league games, all I’m hoping for is that Phelan can help to arrest the side’s alarming dip in form, and get the promotion chase back on track. The last game saw the Canaries play out possibly the dullest 3-3 draw I’ve ever seen (!) against Brighton. Neil Adams’ lack of defensive nous is really starting to prove a thorn in the side of a team that have proven they can score goals, but just cannot hold on to a lead. Adams in his midweek press conference has already stated that one of Phelan’s first jobs will be to work on the defensive side of the game, so hopefully we’ll see some sort of improvement come late afternoon on Saturday. There are no fresh injury concerns; Alex Tettey didn’t train this week, but should apparently be fit for Saturday, and after making a goal-scoring appearance as a substitute last week, Gary Hooper may well have earned himself a place in the starting line-up, especially given the woeful form of Lewis Grabban. I’d expect a few goals in this game, mostly for Norwich who have no troubles on the attacking front. Although I hope for improvement defensively, I still expect the Canaries to concede, and as a result, I think an outcome of 2-1 or 3-1 to Norwich is most likely.
BTTS W-D-W: Derby County to beat Leeds Utd and BTTS.
Written by: Ray Tempesta (@raytempesta), Norwich City fan and devastating realist.
SWINDON (2nd in League 1)
FINAL OUTCOME: SWINDON vs Fleetwood (Home Win)
10th placed Fleetwood Town travel to 2nd placed Swindon Town in what is to be the first ever match between these two sides due to The Fishermen’s rapid ascendance up the leagues in recent years, having only made all their players full-time professionals before the 2010/2011 season. However, in more recent times, their performance on the pitch, especially away, has not been so fairytale-like. They’ve lost 6 of their last 7 away games, having won the remaining 1 match against Yeovil Town 1-0. Swindon on the other hand have won their two most recent games, both 1-0, against the teams currently positioned 1st and 3rd in the league and have got the added incentive of going top if league leaders Bristol City fail to secure 3 points at Peterborough on Friday night.
To conclude, given Swindon’s recent good form, especially against the teams higher up in the league, and Fleetwood recent poor away form, I predict a win for the home team.
WRITTEN BY: Oli Dernie (Twitter:@odernie)
PRESTON NE(3RD LEAGUE ONE)
FINAL OUTCOME: Yeovil v PNE (Score Draw)
After the highs of winning at league leaders Bristol City last week, we were hit by a sledgehammer with the news, on Tuesday, that talisman and top scorer Joe Garner will be out injured for the next 4 months, and on the same day, Aston Villa decided to recall the hugely talented, and second top scorer, Callum Robinson! We've managed to recruit Jermaine Beckford(from Bolton) and 18 y o Bradley Fewster(from M'boro), whether these two are adequate replacements, only time will tell. Struggling Yeovil(3rd bottom) won at Notts County last time out, and have brought in Tom Eaves, a striker, also from Bolton. We will be strong favourites for this one, but with new players settling in, I'll go for the score draw. Also by the "law of averages" we must be due one as we haven't drawn in the league for 12 games, although we did draw 2-2 at Oldham in the JPT on Tuesday night, before progressing 10-9 in a rather exciting penalty shootout, with our recalled 'keeper Thorsten Stuckmann hitting the winning penalty! On a side-note, I just hope that Paul Lambert utilises Callum Robinson, and doesn't have him wasting away sat in the stands. Definitely a name to look out for, and I reckon he's got a very big future - pacy, skilful and top notch attitude! Go on Callum son!
BTTS W-D-W: MK Dons v Colchester (MK win and BTTS)
PREVIEW BY: Tim Nye Twitter: felix_shannies
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