Welcome to 2017! You are now in a parallel universe where scorpion kick goals are commonplace, and Mondays are the new home of Premier League match days. But Trump is still president-elect. Sorry, chaps.
We kick things off at the Riverside, where the Barcelona of the Premier League, Middlesbrough, face Leicester. The Foxes are more, dare I say it, the Scotland of the Premier League, because they used to be good, but now they’re just sh*t. Boro’s recent record against Leicester makes for grim reading, like anything about Middlesbrough really. Aitor Karanka’s side haven’t beaten Leicester in 13 attempts, which means an even-money punt on the away side to win either half surely has to be the first leg on your acca.
Ronaldo Koeman welcomes his former side to Goodison Park when Southampton travel to Everton. The Saints were 1-0 winners in the corresponding fixture in late November, which as you know, means absolutely nothing. Both sides are in patchy form, but Southampton’s lack of rest time between games may prove costly. They’ve had just three days’ break between their loss to Spurs last Wednesday, their game against West Brom on Saturday, and this game. The Toffees, meanwhile, have had a couple of extra days to recuperate, and 6/5 for them to make that count looks like the smart bet. ‘No’ to both teams scoring at 10/11 with BoyleSports has potential too.
The Hollywood game in the 3 o’clocks is at the Hawthorns (obviously), where West Brom face off against a Hull City side that have lost their last five on the road without even scoring. The Baggies have won their last three home games against sides in the bottom half, so this bet nearly places itself. West Brom at 3/4 is irresistable, and 6/5 for Salomon Rondon to score anytime is screaming out to be my tip of the day.
West Ham-Man United is a game that usually delivers excitement, and the floodlit atmosphere of the London Stadium has been a special one ever since the Hammers moved in to the ground five minutes ago. West Ham’s charge up the table was halted by Leicester over the weekend, and the Red Devils’ dramatic victory over Middlesbrough is proof that Jose Mourinho’s men are well and truly back in contention for the top four. Like on Saturday, I can’t see Man U having all their own way, and I fancy a score draw, which you can get at 4/1 with Ladbrokes.
Hoping to face the likes of West Ham and Man United next season are Reading, and they travel to out-of-form Bristol City in the Championship. The Royals’ last game was abandoned at half-time, so there should be a bit of extra freshness in their legs when they face a side that have lost their last five games. 21/10 for Reading to follow the form book and take all three points is enormous, and scrapes past burly Rondon in the Tip of the Day stakes. Get on it.
Bournemouth-Arsenal is the pick of a pretty paltry trio of fixtures on Tuesday. Eddie Howe’s side have a Jack Wilshere-shaped hole in their side for this one. The England international (yes, I forgot too) is ineligible, and that missing midfield quality will probably prove the difference. 4/5 for the Gunners to tighten their grip on a Champions League spot is a pretty decent price.
We finish off with a relegation six pointer between Crystal Palace and Swansea. The away side *should* have Paul Clement in their managerial hot seat before the game, and as a supporter of his previous club Derby County, my advice for Swansea fans is not to get too excited. Sam Allardyce is new to the job himself, and it was this type of game that he was brought in for. Palace are winning this one, and Benteke is bagging. There, I said it. The Benteke wincast is 15/8. Put your house* on it.
*WantMyBet and ESPECIALLY James Capps cannot be held legally responsible for the loss of any property as a result of Crystal Palace failing to beat Swansea City.
El Capitano’s Tip of the Day: Reading at 21/10 to beat Bristol City in the Championship.
Cappa’s Acca: £10 on West Brom, Everton, Leeds and Sheffield Wednesday returns £104 with #LADbrokes. Back it here!
Check out what my fellow tipsters are backing, and bet on them yourselves here.