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Big Footy Preview: EPL + CHAMPIONSHIP (WK25) 30 January 2015

Big Footy Preview: EPL + CHAMPIONSHIP (WK25) 30 January 2015

Guy Luzon's first game in charge ended in a goalless draw away at Wolves, which was a huge improvement on the 5-0 defeat at Watford the week before. The Addicks stopped the rot by keeping a clean sheet but failed to score for the fourth game running. Marko Dmitrovic , making his debut , was the fourth goalkeeper used by Charlton this season. Luzon's home debut as head coach is against Steve Evans Rotherham , who beat Bolton 4-2 on Tuesday night , they are 21st in the league only 3 points behind Charlton. They have drawn 2, lost 2 & won 1 of there last five games compared to Charlton who have drawn 2 & lost 3. A Rotherham win would see them leapfrog the Addicks , the sides drew 1-1 back in September. Charlton are finding it hard to score of late , there last goal in the league was on Boxing Day , surely it is time for Tony Watt to start a match rather then coming on as a sub. Callum Harriot was impressive at Wolves & is a threat in front of goal. I think Charlton will win this one to kick start there season or they could find themselves in the relegation dogfight very soon.
Charlton to win 6/4 Rotherham 15/8 at William Hill, 1-0 Charlton & Watt to score 33/1 with Paddy Power, BTTS 19/20 WH
BTTS W-D-W: None
PREVIEW BY: Spencer Jay, Lifelong Charlton Fan

FINAL OUTCOME: Nottingham Forest V Millwall (FOREST WIN)
Forest went and pulled miracles by beating Derby a week last Saturday (2-1). A fantastic second half performance and a late winner had some Forest fans (not me) talking about the “p” word once again. Forest proceeded to come crashing back down to earth by losing to Fulham (2-3) in their last outing. The Derby win showed we have a good exciting squad whilst the Fulham match showed something is still missing.
Millwall are without a win six and sit in the relegation zone. Both teams are lacking form and are both having a miserable season but Forest are at home and do have the better squad so I expect us to steal it 2-1. Despite believing Forest will win my tip would be avoid this match on your accumulator; Forest are odds on but by no means can be seen as a “banker”. Lansbury did net two against Fulham, hopefully those goals will give him confidence; Betfred are offering 11/1 on Lansbury to score first, that may be worth a cheeky £1.
BTTS W-D-W: Celtic to beat Rangers, both teams to score.
WRITTEN BY: Daniel Jackson. Forest Season ticket holder of 11 years who has been suffering anguish since season 1. @djnffc.

FINAL OUTCOME: Brentford V Middlesbrough (BRENTFORD WIN)
Three wins in a row have put Brentford back to where they were before Christmas, two points off the top. The last of those victories, away to Norwich, was the most impressive and showed a team that was growing in confidence and belief. It will be a tough ask for them to extend the run this weekend as Boro will also be brimming with confidence after beating Man City in the cup. With that context, it would be reasonable to expect an easy win for Boro, especially after the drubbing they gave the Bees at the Riverside earlier in the season. But that would be a mistake. At that point, Brentford were still finding their feet at this level and this is a vastly improved team. At home, the Bees boast one of the best records in the league, they have also scored in their last fourteen league games with a number of different players getting on the scoresheet. At the other end, David Button has pulled off a number of match winning saves in recent weeks. Mark Warburton will once again stick with the same team as the last three matches, unless Alan Judge has recovered enough from injury to start. Middlesbrough would probably make themselves favourites, which will suit Brentford as they are still playing without the pressures of expectation that some of the other clubs around them in the table face. It will be a good match and Brentford at home should be able to get the three points.
PREVIEW BY: Jason Loewenthal, Brentford Season Ticket Holder, @Jazico7

A great FA Cup result for Blackburn against Swansea last week was somewhat marred by another league defeat at the hands of promotion chasing Derby County on Tuesday, alongside injuries to Tom Cairney and want-away striker, Rudy Gestede. This leaves Rovers 11 points off the play-offs, and pressure continues to mount on manager Gary Bowyer. His decision to leave out both Gestede and Jordan Rhodes from Tuesday night's starting line-up was met with absolute horror amongst the fans, however we are likely to see a return from at least one of these from kick off, with Gestede hoping to regain fitness for Saturday's match. So where's this one going to go? I've got the last two Rovers games correct, and I can see us getting back to winning ways with this one. The bookies are favouring the home side, with the best odds at 1/1 currently with Tote Sport and Betfred. Ross McCormack is finally looking to be worth his millions for Fulham, and I can see him grabbing Fulham's only goal here – 13/5 with PaddyPower looks to be a decent bet as anytime goalscorer. The aforementioned Jordan Rhodes is a (fairly) generous 7/4 with Betfred to score anytime too. Guaranteed money? I hope so. I reckon Blackburn will pip this one 2-1. Bowyer's men need to start stringing results together again, and this home tie is the perfect opportunity.
PREVIEW BY: David Hobbs @davidhobbs1990

FINAL OUTCOME: Bolton vs Wolves (draw)
FORECASTER'S INSIGHT: Following me eating humble pie following both Connor Sammon and Matt Derbyshire scoring against us in a completely dominate win for Rotherham, where at one point they were 4-0 up, 16th placed (would've been 10th/11th with a win :() Bolton take on 7th placed Wolves in the 'Wanderers derby'. Wolves have five wins in the last seven matches and so this will prove to be tough. We have to hope the slip up mid week was just a one off and that we can get back on track against Wolves. We lost against them earlier in the season but that was their only win against us in the last eight meetings so if that too was a slip up then we should be able to avoid defeat. We doubled them both season they were back in the Premier League but I suppose that doesn't mean as much now. We've only lost two in 16 but that last loss might hit hard. After being unable to play in mid week Adam Le Fondre is likely to make his debut and hopefully he can mark it with a goal, we're relying far too much on the 38 year olds and a 19 year old kid and none of them look likely of scoring, so we need this. Craig Davies looks no closer to full fitness so he's going to have to piggy back us over the line. Rochina, loaned from Benfica could also make his debut and he's apparently done well in training so we all hold out hope his loan spell is better than the last kid we got from Benfica, one Rodrigo Moreno. Following his goal in mid week, Mills joins Mason (who is back at Cardiff), Davies and Pratley on five goals. Sako has seven goals for Wolves and looks deadly but the biggest threat is probably the guy who I described as the worst ever striker I have ever seen when he was on loan for us, that being Benik Afobe. He scored goals for fun at MK Dons, has carried that on at Wolves and will probably end up scoring against us as it's the unwritten law of football. Hopefully he goes back to being terrible, even if it's just for one match. Golbourne returns from injury for Wolves. So yeah we're more than capable of winning but it depends on how we handle the mid week loss. Rotherham fan said to me "we wanted it more" and with Wolves being only two points off the play offs... hopefully they don't want it more than us.
BTTS W-D-W: Chelsea/Man City... with Chelsea missing Fabregas and Costa, it's probably a good time for City to face them.
PREVIEW BY: @MarcusRalphson

FINAL OUTCOME: Southampton v Swansea City (Home win)
It has been a tough few weeks for Garry Monk and co, and recent struggles were compounded by finishing with nine men in the FA Cup loss at Blackburn last Saturday. And it doesn’t get any easier with a trip to St Mary’s on Sunday to play in form Southampton. Swansea’s last two trips there have yielded just one point, and furthermore, since Southampton were last promoted to the Premiership, Swansea have not beaten them in five attempts. And the Swans travel without the in-form Gylfi Sigurdsson (suspended), Kyle Bartley (suspended), Wayne Routledge (injured), and Ki Sung-yeung (Asian Cup duty). The influential Ashley Williams should return, but expect Southampton, unbeaten in six Premier League games, to exploit Swansea’s recent uncertainty at the back, and sadly, the unproven Nelson Oliveira and unsettle Bafe Gomis are currently mot offering much in the way of attacking prowess. Hope I’m wrong, but Southampton to win 2-0 (6/1 with Paddy Power) is my shout, and a wager on them scoring in the first 10 minutes (also 6/1) could also be a shrewd bet.
BTTS W-D-W: Cardiff v Derby (Derby win and BTTS)
PREVIEW BY: Fraser Watson, sports journalist and Swansea fan. Twitter: @FraserMercsport

FINAL OUTCOME: Hull City v Newcastle (Draw)
One of two things can happen for Newcastle United now their long-serving coach John Carver has been promoted to head of all coaches, or whatever his job title is now. They can limp on to the end of the season and pick up just enough points to scrape into the top division for another year or the return of several key players for the rest of the season sees the Magpies catapulted into a top ten finish. The latter is extremely unlikely and Saturday’s war of attrition with Hull will underline this. Santon, Obertan and Abeid will travel, how far from playing they are is unclear but the return of Obertan would at least give the Geordies another dimension to their play sadly lacking for the last two months. There’s no de Jong or Ryan Taylor and Tiote hasn’t made it back from the African Cup yet so it’s pretty much the same team that showed promise at Chelsea last time out but were overrun in the end. Hull have their own injury doubts but there’s positive news on Nikica Jelavic who might start and like the Magpies, will be refreshed after a two week break from competitive action, taking in some warm-weather training in the meantime. The harsh reality of a sub-zero January afternoon kick about might just cause more than a little lethargy after their lovely little holiday abroad so expect this game to be a scrappy centre circle scuffle with no goals, no action and no football. Score : Hull 0 – 0 Newcastle United
BTTS W-D-W: Rejuvenated Palace will prove stern opposition for Everton – Palace 2 – 1 Everton
PREVIEW BY: Peter Nuttall (Author of Newcastle United’s Worst Ever Players @peter__nuttall)

FINAL OUTCOME: Huddersfield Town v Leeds United (home win)
After a win at Wigan last week, Huddersfield should be going into this West Yorkshire derby still full of confidence. The game at Elland Road earlier this season ended in a 3-0 win for Leeds, so hopefully Huddersfield will feel like they have a score to settle, and in front of a big home crowd, Chris Powell won't have to do much to motivate his players. The inclusion of James Vaughan (complete with face mask) at Wigan last week, certainly fooled me, and many other Town fans, after Powell's comments a couple of days earlier stating he would be "surprised if we saw him again this season". One slight disappointment is that we've not managed to get another striker in before Saturday, but if Vaughan can stay fit to partner Wells, I think we can cause problems for any team in this division. Powell has hinted it's an area he is still looking to strenghten so I wouldn't be surprised if there is a new addition before next weeks trip to Millwall.
Jonathan Hogg is likely to miss out through injury, with new boy David Edgar likely to step in for a home debut in midfield. Recent home wins against Bolton, and last time out at home against Watford, along with the away win at Wigan last Saturday, mean I'm quietly confident about this one, and despite the saying about the form book going out of the window in a local derby, I'm going for a narrow home win in the one.
PREVIEW BY: Sam Preest - @Victor_Htfc

FINAL OUTCOME: Man United vs Leicester (Man United Win)
United welcome Leicester back to Old Trafford with a score to settle after their 5 goal mauling of us at their place.
United toiled last week against Cambridge and I have to admit that predicting United's results is getting increasingly harder.
They have all the ingredients but it's just not working, I haven't worked out what Van Gaal is trying to do yet, but still keep the faith. I hope Di Maria plays deeper and out on the wing to play to his strengths. I hope Falcao plays and gets a little more luck in front of goal. But most of all I hope we play a defence that is a lot tighter...we look so nervy at the back.Personally I'd play Rojo with Blind as the CB pair with both Smalling & Jones lacking in confidence so much. Flat back 4, Shaw & Valencia as FBs Looking at Leicester, they may be bottom of the league but all of their recent results have been tight - last 4 have had 1 goal in them and Leicester have won 3 of those. So I can't see a repeat of the 5-3 earlier this season. I predict another tight game, but take United to edge it - 1-0. Under 2.5 goals at 6/5 with Bet365 looks appealing.
BTTS W-D-W: Chelsea vs City (BTTS & DRAW)
PREVIEW BY: Gary Heywood, Season Ticket Holder @Larruper

FINAL OUTCOME: Cardiff City V Derby County (DERBY Win)
As I write this I am filled with trepidation. This game has the same feeling as the forest game for the Rams. This week they come up against a mid table team, a team that has just 1 win in 8 and against a Derby team who have clearly put the loss to their Red neighbours behind them with 2 wins since then. Darren Bent has proved he has excellent poaching skills with 3 in the last 2 and you wouldn't bet against him scoring on Saturday afternoon. I don't deal in going against all odds so I have to go with an away win. Another potential nail in the Bluebird's coffin could be that today, boss, Russell Slade walked out of a press conference under increasing pressure about style of play and results. I would add that Cardiff, although they have been winning few games, they have been scoring goals so BTTS AWAY WIN would be a good shout.
BTTS W-D-W: Cardiff v Derby BTTS AWAY WIN
PREVIEW BY: Will Whitehead (Manchester Ram)

FINAL OUTCOME: Stoke vs QPR (Score draw)
Influential Spanish playmaker Bojan was ruled out for the rest of the season on Tuesday following an innocuous incident during the Potters FA Cup victory at Rochdale on Monday. Stephen Ireland is likely to start in his place.

But Mark Hughes should be able to recall striker Mame Biram Diouf after Senegal were knocked out of the African Cup of Nations in the Group Stages.

Erik Pieters is definitely out of this fixture but Hughes is hoping to be able to recall the Dutch international next weekend.

The Potters will be hoping to keep up their good form of late where they have only lost one of their last six in all competitions.

Glenn Whelan and Peter Crouch both extended their contracts at the club for an extra two years boosting giving the Potters after a difficult week.

Personally I’m unsure of how Stoke will approach this. Everyone is aware of QPR’s dreadful away form and think that the score draw is the way to look to side with caution (or my pessimism.)
Tip: Stephen Ireland anytime goalscorer – 11/2 Coral
BTTS W-D-W: Leyton Orient vs Scunthorpe (AWAY WIN)
PREVIEW BY: Matthew Kirby, Stoke Season Ticket Holder & Trainee Sports Journalist (@m_kirby95)

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