The StanJames.com Premier League Predictor Competition is back! That's right! After a dismal international break, the Premier League returns, just in time to save our sanity! Our hair may be thinning, and the clock's aging, but our passion's undiminished!
Our predicting skills left a lot to be desired last year, leaving many of you delighted as we dished out the free bets left, right and centre! Undaunted, we're back for more this year and hoping for a better performance ahead of the start of week two this Saturday, with the first game this time round a mouthwatering clash between Liverpool and Manchester United, which kicks-off at 12.30pm.
You'll need your scores in before then as we cover all seven of Saturday's matches for Week 9 of the Predictor.
New for 2017/18, as well as the weekly free bets we'll be giving away prizes for the top three players each month and the overall season. Additionally, there will be surprise prizes awarded on an ad hoc basis throughout the season, so make sure you keep up-to-date!
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 magnificent seven Premier League matches to predict for Week 9. If you please, all predictions to be entered before 12.30pm on Saturday, October 21st. Don't have an account yet? Click here to open one.
** Free bets will be credited within 48 hours.
Watford will go to Stamford Bridge confident of causing an upset this weekend and will have been boosted by their home win against Arsenal last week ahead of Saturday’s early kick off away at Chelsea. If we’re being honest, there probably isn’t a better time to play the Blues, who suffered a surprise defeat away to Crystal Palace last weekend and laboured to a draw in midweek at home to Roma in the Champions League. They also have a number of injury problems right down the spine with central midfield issues and defensive problems with the likes of N’Golo Kante and David Luiz.
With the hosts’ defensive crisis and Troy Deeney in good form after his cameo last weekend, Marco Silva may be tempted to give the Hornets’ talisman a game from the start to rough up a makeshift Blues backline, but the old saying is you can’t change a winning team, so maybe he’ll go with the same XI which started against Arsenal. Marcos Alonso has got a lot of praise for his attacking qualities but defensively he’s not been as secure. A battle with winger Richarlison could prove to be an intriguing prospect at the Bridge.
Manchester United may well have parked the bus at Anfield last weekend, but we hope and expect Jose Mourinho to take the shackles off this time around for the trip to Yorkshire and a first meeting with Huddersfield Town since 1972. A lot has changed with both clubs since then, but it’s worth noting that the Terriers haven’t beaten the Red Devils in the last 11, losing each of the last three meetings.
United have shown this season that they can really put pain into the so called weaker sides in the Premier League this term – and despite many showering them with praise after wins against the likes of West Ham and Swansea City, showed they are dour when mixing with the best England’s top tier has to offer; rarely threatening a pretty poor and mistake prone Liverpool defence last week. For Huddersfield, after a strong start to their campaign in the Premier League they’ve slightly dropped off in recent weeks, losing to the likes of Spurs on home turf and at Swansea last week. David Wagner won’t be expecting anything from this game against Jose Mourinho’s men, will he?
Big scorers this season, the same sort of thing happened last season for Pep Guardiola before they fell away. This City side, however, looks a different animal, despite the fact they’ll be playing Fabian Delph at left back to cover for the long-term absentee that is Twitter legend Benjamin Mendy. Kevin De Bruyne is in the form of his life and will be expecting at least one assist against a Burnley side who, whilst being good on the road this season, are beatable.
It’s been a good start to the campaign for the Clarets under Sean Dyche, who was linked to the Leicester City job this week, possibly because it’s much closer to his family home in Kettering than Burnley is, but also because they’ve had such a fine beginning to their second consecutive Premier League term. City though will have earmarked this one down as one which they’ll gain three points from, especially considering they’ve only lost once to Burnley in the last 16 matches and because the last time the Clarets won away to City was back in 1963.
Two of Alan Pardew’s former sides meet in the north-east with Palace buoyed by not just finally scoring one goal, not two goals, but by beating the Champions at Selhurst Park after weeks and weeks of looking absolutely awful. Football, eh? They head to the Toon on Saturday looking to ensure wins are like London buses but will be concerned that they’ve only been victorious against the Magpies in one of the last 13 meetings, with Newcastle coming out on top in nine of those clashes.
A win still won’t get Palace out of the bottom three, but could potentially lift them off the bottom of the league depending on Bournemouth’s result at Stoke. For the hosts, the three points could push them to just outside the top four, again, however, they’ll need other results to be handy.
Both of these clubs haven’t had the best of starts to the season with Stoke in 17th, just the two places above their visitors from Dorset. We won’t beat about the bush for this one, it t really won’t be a classic clash. It will likely to last on Match of the Day.
Stoke haven’t won any of the last two against Bournemouth, however they have won three of their last five against them. Both have the same record in the last five games which maybe tempts you into thinking this one will be a draw, but we fancy Stoke to just about have enough to find a way past a Cherries side who really struggle to score; finding the net just four times in the Premier League – only Palace have a worse goalscoring record than Eddie Howe’s men.
A Craig Shakespeare-less Leicester head to south Wales this weekend to take on a Swansea side who will have taken confidence in their comfortable win on home turf against Huddersfield Town last week and keeping a clean sheet, too. However, their record against the Foxes isn’t great – they’ve lost four of their last five games against Leicester.
We often see teams produce the goods just after a manager leaves his post and when you look at Michael Appleton, you feel certain he’ll ensure they give everything to get the win and push them further away from the drop zone. In the last 13 meetings, there hasn’t been a draw so we’re either due one or it’ll go with the form. We fancy Leicester to win this one though, which will push them out of the bottom three and leapfrog Saturday’s opponents.
We finish Saturday with the teatime kick-off down on the south coast as West Brom trek down from the Midlands to face Southampton at St Mary’s to finish off a day of what looks to us to be bang average matches. Seriously, pick one out that you look at and think “Corr, that’ll be a cracker!” You can’t. And this one will probably be the most drab of the lot, so pardon us for turning into someone with the outlook of Karl Pilkington.
But we’ll get to the stats. There’s no real correlation in the past meetings or any weird facts or figures that we can dig out. Both teams don’t score many but also keep things tight. 0-0 and as easy as that – you’ll probably be asleep by the time Gary Lineker says “We finish with Southampton against West Bromwich Albion, Jonathan Pearce, reporting.”
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