Football | StanJames Predictor Competition | Week 23

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Football | StanJames Predictor Competition | Week 23

After the distraction of the cups we're back at it as the Premier League returns, with SEVEN games this Saturday to sink our teeth into. This round of fixtures could serve up a classic between them. Reigning champions Chelsea host Leicester, rejuvenated Palace play Burnley, Hudersfield travel to West Ham, Newcastle battle Swansea, Watford go head-to-head with Southampton, and Brighton make the schlep to West Brom before Tottenham face Everton in the teatime televised game.   

The first match kicks off at 3pm, so make sure you get your scores in before then as we cover all SEVEN of Saturday's matches for Week 23 of the FREE-TO-ENTER StanJames Predictor Competition.


So, what do I have to do to enter this FREE COMPETITION

All you have to do is head over to our Predictor Competition, complete the quick registration form then simply enter your selections for the upcoming Premier League fixtures. Three points are awarded for a correct score and one for a correct result. The overall winner will bag a £25 Free Bet and anyone who finishes in the top 25 players will receive a £5 free bet.**

Don't forget, in order to collect your prize you must have placed at least one bet (any stake) in the 14 days prior to playing.  Full T&Cs can be found here!

A sexy seven Premier League matches to predict for Week 16. If you please, all predictions to be entered before 3pm on Saturday, December 30th. Don't have an account yet? Click here to open one.

** Free bets will be credited within 48 hours.


 

This season StanJames.com are going someway to help ease the pain with our 5+ Acca Refund

We’re refunding all 5+ accumulators, containing at least one PL selection, as a free bet up to £25 if just one selection lets you down. Click on image for full T&Cs.


  

CHELSEA 3 V 1 LEICESTER

Chelsea’s stalemate last time out against Arsenal showed that Conte’s Blues are starting to pay more attention to the defensive side of their game. True, they’ve never been the most giving of teams, but Chelsea really are starting to look solid at the back. Hazard’s late withdrawal from the FA Cup side who played out that 0-0 draw against Arsenal was ‘purely tactical’, and you get the sense that, after two 0-0 draws Chelsea will want to put a few goals on the scoreboard.

The 2016 champions, Leicester, are having a strange season… thrilling one moment, clueless the next. ‘Desperately needs to find consistency’ would be our half-term report. The 0-0 draw against lower league Fleetwood Town adds another game to the Foxes calendar and Claude Puel will be looking to a positive reaction from his troops, especially since they have taken just four points from the last 15 available. A tough game to demand satisfaction, for sure, but Leicester have a good record on the road this season, with only the top five in the league outscoring their 18. Add t that mix that Vardy, who loves a gal against the ‘big’ six should be fit to play after being rested and this game suddenly becomes a little more interesting.      

As we mentioned, new signing Ross Barkley is fit, though he may take a while to adjust to Chelsea’s style of play. Leicester’s old boys Drinkwater and N’Kante could feature for the Blues. Hazard and co. will be licking their lips when they see Leicester’s team sheet… Simpson, Morgan, and Huth are all absent from the Foxes’ backline, though Fuchs should be available after shrugging off a cold. Likewise, Adrien Silva and Vincente Iborra are also fir to play after injury worries.

What We Sayin'?

That Vardy loves playing against the big six is without question. However, the England International ma struggle against an improving Blues backline that has kept six clean sheets in the last eight fixtures, with just the one breach in six games at home. With that in mind, Chelsea to win to nil has some appeal (11/10). 

  • Vardy 1s GS | 15/2
  • Drinkwater 1st GS |10/1
  • Hazard 1st GS | 13/2
  • Chelsea to win 3-1 | 9/1

 


CRYSTAL PALACE 1 V 1 BURNLEY 

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Roy Hodgson. Roundly derided during his stint as England boss is performing nothing short of a miracle down in south London. True, he has some quality players at his disposal, but the way is he moulding them into a team is nothing short of phenomenal. The Eagles held champions-elect Man. City to their first goal-less draw of the season last time out and will come into this game believing they are a match for anyone on their own patch. With only two defeats in their last eleven games (Monday’s FA Cup defeat to Brighton being the second), optimism runs rife south of the river, and with good cause.

The Clarets are also having a stellar season. Sean Dyche’s team tick all the components of what a PL outfit should have: resilience, footballing nous, desire, and a sprinkling of stardust. They’ve had their own successes against the big boys, and sit comfortably in seventh in the league, just five points behind Arsenal. True, they lost their last two games, but many a side will fall to Liverpool and Man City. Burnley will be buoyed by the fact that they’ve won their last three games against palace. Will the ‘Ginga Ninja’ be sipping a celebratory glass of red come full time? Possibly.

Palace’s treatment room is quickly becoming standing room only, as the injuries start to pile up. Defenders Mamadou Sakho, Scott Dann and Jeffrey Schlupp are al long-term absentees, as is Jason Puncheon. Conor Wickham is a way away from starting, though Hodgson could welcome Joel Ward and Ruben Loftus-Cheek back to the fold. Loanee Georges-Kévin NKoudou could inject some pace into the Burnley attack, whilst Dyche could have Ben Mee and Scott Arfield available. ‘Keeper om Heaton remains a long-term absentee.   

What We Sayin'?

Tough one to call. Palace really impressed last time out against City, but the loss of Townsend is a big blow. Their makeshift back-line also causes doubt, thought Burnley aren’t the most prolific of scorers. Our gut says a cheeky 2-1 home win (8/1), but we’re going with our head on this one: 

  • Over 25 booking points | 1/4 
  • 31-45 points | 3/1
  • Under 11.5 corners | 4/6
  • 1-1 Draw | 5/1

             


HUDDERSFIELD 2 V 1 WEST HAM

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The Tigers find their bite at Kirklees and Huddersfield boss David Wagner knows his side could move back into the top half with a win on Saturday. They come into the game on the back of their first win in five, a 2-1 bettering of Bolton in the FA Cup. Having served his suspension, Rajiv van La Parra was on the scoresheet against Bolton and he could be a key man again.

Another manager seeking redemption is David Moyes, and he is on the way to achieving that after turning around West Ham’s fortunes. The Hammers are unbeaten in four and will be quietly confident heading into this game. They won the reverse fixture 2-0 in September and will want to add to the five points gleaned from their last three PL away matches. Marko Arnautovic has scored in his last two PL away appearances and if he can overcome a fitness issue he could earn his stripes in the Tiger’s de tonight.

Collin Quaner (thigh), Chris Lowe (foot) and Martin Cranie (ankle) have all been ruled out, though new signing Terence Kongolo could make his first start for Wagner’s men. 

It’s quicker to say who is fit, such is the length of West Ham’s injury list! Winston Reid is the latest worry after limping off against Shrewsbury. Sam Byram, Michail Antonio, and Aaron Cresswell could all make welcome returns as Moyes gears his walking wounded for battle once more. 

What We Sayin'?

Here’s a doozy of a stat for you: West Ham have never before won both league matches against Huddersfield Town in any of the previous 15 seasons they’ve met. We don’t think that’ll change today… 

  • Depoitre first GS | 19/5
  • Hudds, BTTS | 11/2
  • Hudds/Draw | 2/5
  • Hudds 2-1 | 9/1

  


NEWCASTLE 2 V O SWANSEA 

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Benitez’s battlers welcome the PL’s least scoring side to St. James’ Park hoping to make it three wins on the bounce, and to keep their unbeaten start to 2018 intact in the process. With just one loss in their last five the Toon’s commitment and effort are starting to pay dividends.  Ayoze Perez has scored three times in his two appearances for the Magpies in 2018, though it should be said that Newcastle have failed to find the net in five of their last six Premier League matches at St James' Park. For every Toon step forward…

Carlos Carvalhal’s appointment may have been a little left-field to some, but he’s certainly made an impact at Swansea, coming from a goal down to win 2-1 at Vicarage Road in his first game. That was the first win in eight (W1, L7) for the Swans and if they can win again today then that will be their first back-to-back Premier League wins away from home in 12 months. Will the Swans soar? Time will tell!

Rob Elliot is back I training, whilst Captain and leader Jamaal Lascelles has been passed fit. Florian Lejeune (foot), Jesus Gamez (ankle) and Aleksandar Mitrovic (back) are all sitting this one out. Leroy Fer is available to Caravalhal, Angel Rangel (calf) is out and Renato Sanches (hamstring) and Tammy Abraham (hip) are all extremely doubtful for this one. 

Benitez’s battlers welcome the PL’s least scoring side to St. James’ Park hoping to make it three wins on the bounce, and to keep their unbeaten start to 2018 intact in the process. With just one loss in their last five the Toon’s commitment and effort are starting to pay dividends.  Ayoze Perez has scored three times in his two appearances for the Magpies in 2018, though it should be said that Newcastle have failed to find the net in five of their last six Premier League matches at St James' Park. For every Toon step forward…

Carlos Carvalhal’s appointment may have been a little left-field to some, but he’s certainly made an impact at Swansea, coming from a goal down t win 2-1 at Vicarage Road in his first game. That was the first win in eight (W1, L7) for the wans and if they can win again today then that will be their first back-to-back Premier League wins away from home in 12 months. Will the Swans soar? Time will tell!

Rob Elliot is back I training, whilst Captain and leader Jamaal Lascelles has been passed fit. Florian Lejeune (foot), Jesus Gamez (ankle) and Aleksandar Mitrovic (back) are all sitting this one out. Leroy Fer is available to Caravalhal, Angel Rangel (calf) is out and Renato Sanches (hamstring) and Tammy Abraham (hip) are all extremely doubtful for this one. 

What We Sayin'?

Newcastle will be bullish about this one. They’ve won their last two Premier League matches against Swansea City, having won only one of their first nine against them, and will be confident of making it a hat-trick of wins. With Newcastle conceding more than a single goal in just one of their last seven matches, and Swansea netting just 13 goals from their opening 22 Premier League matches, the case for the defence rests, M’lord! In summary: 

  • Newcastle to win to nil | 15/8
  • Perez 1s GS | 17/4
  • Newcastle 2-0 | 7/1

 


WATFORD 2 V 1 SOUTHAMPTON

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Watford’s seductive football has waned in recent times, not surprising considering the number of injuries and suspensions they’ve picked up. Add to the fact their defending has been wanton and you can see why Vicarage Road is becoming an albatross around their necks recently. With one win in their last nine games, the Hornets will hope to put matters back on track, though the 3-0 FA Cup win over Bristol City should they could be working their way back. Troy Deeney will have a major say, one way or the other, we feel.

Playing away this season must seem like a never-ending version of The Road to Damascus for the Saints, who have been, quite simply, woeful on the road his term. How many sins they need to atone for is questionable, but they’ll be hoping for that turning point to come sooner rather than later! Considering just a superior goal difference is all that separates Southampton from the relegation zone, they need to start picking-up PL points, and quickly!     

Nathaniel Chalobah, Kiko Femenia and Tommie Hoban all remain sidelined for the Hornets, while Craig Cathcart is a doubt with a knee injury. Charlie Austin is a long-term absentee for the Saints, who also have problems at the back: Jeremy Pied, Cedric Soares, and Wesley Hoedt all face late fitness checks.

What We Sayin'?

This could be a stalemate, with both teams having issues. However, Watford’s 3-0 beating of Bristol City showed promise and Troy Deeney’s return is massive. Initially, we thought 1-1 (5/1), but instead we’ll take:

  • Deeney 1st GS | 4/1
  • Ward-Prowse anytime GS | 17/2
  • Watford 2-1 | 17/2

 


WEST BROM 1 V 2 BRIGHTON

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Alan Pardew was bought in to pull West Brom’s pants-up after the Baggies spent the early part of the season getting spanked. He’s not had the immediate impact he’d have hoped for and they continue to languish at the bottom of the pile. Only Swansea have less goals this term, and as Michael Owen might tell you, ‘Goals win games’. Without a win in TWENTY games, and with just 16 goals in 22 matches they’ll be hoping to put a few on the board against Brighton, a task easier said than done!  

Brighton arrive in the top half of the league and Hughton’s Seagulls are enjoying a fine debut dining at England’s top table. Hard to beat, they’ve proven a match for almost everything thrown at them and they’ll lie down for no-one. A battling draw against Bournemouth was followed-up by a good win against Palace in the Cup and the former Eagle, Glenn Murray, scored in both of those games. Third game in a row for the now Seagull to soar?

Craig Dawson and Jonny Evans are both doubtful, whilst both Kieran Gibbs and Matty Phillips are major doubts. Former Spur Nacar Chadli is also expected to miss this one. Izzy Brown’s season has come to an abrupt end after he suffered an ACL tear in his knee. He joins long-term absentee Steve Sidwell on the sidelines.   

What We Sayin'?

We’ve a feeling West Brom are doomed and Brighton will be the latest side to hammer a nail into their coffin. Bleak, we know, but…     

  • Murray 1st GS | 100/30
  • Rondon first GS | 19/4
  • Brighton 1-2 | 16/1
  • Brighton 1-2/ Murray 1st GS | 75/1

  


SPURS 3 V 1 EVERTON

ALL MARKETS

Spurs. Scintillating. Sluggish. Superb. Secondary. Which Tottenham team will turn-up for this intriguing game against Sam Allardyce’s much improved Everton? They were held to a 1-1 draw against West Ham in the first game of 2018, a result that saw the hosts have 28 shots to the visitors one! Expect wily old Big Sam to set Everton out in a similarly stifling manner, a formation which nearly paid dividends for the toffees in their cup game against Liverpool. Wimbledon did similar in Spurs’ own FA Cup tie, though the Lilywhites ran out eventual 3-0 winners in that game as the lower league side tired. Now they need to show they can also unpick better quality sides as well.   

Everton welcome new signing Tosun to the team and they’ll be hoping he can add goals to a side that has failed to score in three of their last four league games. They’ve also conceded 34 goals this season already, the fifth highest in the league, and face in Harry Kane the deadliest marksman in European competition. Can they keep him quiet that is the question!

Toby Alderwerild and Danny Rose both remain injured, though both are approaching fitness. Wanyama is back, which is a massive boost for the homes side who have missed his steel in midfield. Micheal Keane and Martin Stekelenburg are both doubts for Saturday, whilst Leighton Baines, Seamus Coleman and Funes Mori all remain sidelined through injury.

What We Sayin'?

This could be a tougher game than expected. Spurs won a fiercely-contested game 3-2 last season and it could be equally as tight. Sam will stifle, make no doubt about that, and Spurs have historically struggled against the Toffees. That said…

  • Kane 1st GS | 13/8
  • BTTS | 5/4
  • BTTS – Over 2.5 | 13/8
  • Spurs 3-1 | 10/1 

  


 

*All prices subject to fluctuation. Make sure to check StanJames.com for up to date prices.  

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