The StanJames.com Premier League Predictor Competition is back! That's right! After a summer of shopping centres, traffic jams and tennis 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 the clash between Swansea and Manchester United, which kicks-off at 13.30pm.
You'll need your scores in before then as we cover all seven of Saturday's matches for Week 2 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 2. If you please, all predictions to be entered before 1.30pm on Saturday, August 19th. Don't have an account yet? Click here to open one.
** Free bets will be credited within 48 hours.
You may well remember that Swansea surprisingly defeated the same opponents on the opening day back in 2014. Fast forward three years and a week (give or take) and the two meet again, and once again, everyone will be backing United for the win. It’s amazing what signing Nemanja Matic can do for United. One half decent game against a poor West Ham side at the weekend and the Serb has suddenly turned into a N’Golo Kante-Claude Makelele 6’4 hybrid.
The hosts will be without Gylfi Sigurdsson after the Icelandic international finally completed his protracted move to Everton at around the same time that the sun orbits the Milky Way (roughly 230 million years) and it remains to be seen whether a deal for Wilfried Bony will be completed on time. The Swans picked up a point with a 0-0 stalemate at Southampton on the opening day and will have to improve to take anything from this one.
What We Sayin’?
United may have kept a clean sheet against a shot-shy West Ham, but Swansea may prove to be tricky customers. A BTTS shout and over 2.5 Goals at 7/4 would be our pick.
Despite the game having a draw written all over it beforehand, Bournemouth somehow lost to West Brom on the opening day, meaning the pressure is on them this weekend, at home, to get their first goal and at least a point on the board in their third Premier League campaign.
But Watford showed they can score themselves in Marco Silva’s first competitive game in charge of the Hornets, drawing an entertaining game against Liverpool 3-3 at Vicarage Road. They have some good options in the forward areas with the power of Stefano Okaka and the pace of Andre Gray being things to consider against the Cherries this weekend for Silva.
What We Sayin’?
Six of the last seven games – including the last four matches – between these two have ended in draws. The last two have both been 2-2 and for a third same scoreline in a row it’s 12/1. The draw on its own is 13/5.
We doubt this will be one for the football purists out there, but without a World Cup or Euros this summer, it’s a football match and we’ll take it. Both sides won on the opening day, with hosts Burnley – whose home form was pivotal in their survival last season – surprisingly producing a coupon-busting surprise at Stamford Bridge against champions Chelsea.
Sean Dyche and Tony Pulis fighting it out for a second victory of the season won’t be pretty, but Dyche’s Clarets haven’t beaten the Baggies in a league meeting in ten years now – cue the Pulis cackle. The last two games against West Brom at Turf Moor have both ended 2-2, whilst the last two meetings at West Brom have ended 4-0 to Pulis’ men. Freaky.
What We Sayin’?
Let’s face it here; Dyche will take a draw, Pulis will take a draw. Draw all round means happy managers. 1-1’s a 19/4 shot.
Leicester will count themselves unfortunate to have not taken anything from their opening night game against Arsenal last Friday, losing 4-3, but there certainly were promising signs from the Foxes under Craig Shakespeare that they won’t be in a relegation battle, just as they were at time last season. These two had plenty of battles in League One and the Championship in the past but this will be the first ever Premier League meeting between the duo.
Visitors Brighton put up a decent fight on their own turf and in front of a record AMEX Stadium crowd against Manchester City last weekend but lacked possession, goals and concentration against the big spenders. They’ll hope for better this time around and have a pretty decent recent record against the Foxes, winning the last two clashes against them.
What We Sayin’?
How many times do we see a player come back to haunt his former club? Leo Ulloa is something of a hero thanks to his Brighton days, scoring plenty of goals which prompted Leicester to sign him for a then club-record fee. We’re tipping the Argentine striker to score last in a 2-0 home win at 28/1.
Now surely it isn’t just us that thinks of that famous night, midweek, under the lights? That’s right, the now legendary night christened ‘Crystanbul’. The evening Liverpool threw away a 3-0 lead and any real hope of winning the title back in 2014. Fond memories for all non-Liverpool fans. Who can forget that footage of Luis Suarez at the final whistle?
Anyway, back to the present day and Suarez is no more, both sides have new managers and this is just the type of game Liverpool have dropped points in time after time. Christian Benteke struggled for game time and goals at Anfield under first Brendan Rodgers and Jurgen Klopp, but came back to haunt the German manager with two goals in this fixture last term as Palace won 1-2. Can lightning strike twice? It’d be magical if it did and – typically – Klopp would blame it on the European trip to Hoffenheim in midweek.
What We Sayin’?
We’re covering our backside with a tip that could well have the best value here despite predicting Liverpool to produce the goods, but you just can’t trust them to get all the points. An 18/1 2-2 looks too good to turn down, even chucking a few quid on it.
Back at home for Southampton due to the athletics taking place at the London Stadium, but Saints fans will be thankful it’s not another home dose of Claude Puel’s boring football showing following the appointment of Mauricio Pellegrino, whose side’s displays must surely be better than the standard under the dour, charismatic-less Puel, right?
Actually, their last game – a 0-0 draw against Swansea – was the Saints’ sixth scoreless game in their last seven matches – no wonder their fans fall asleep by the time they’ve been shown on Match Of The Day, recently.
Speaking of falling asleep, how dull were West Ham last week, going down without a fight in their defeat up at Manchester United. They were without the likes of Robert Snodgrass, Manuel Lanzini and Chiekhou Kouyate in the north-west and are likely to be missing the trio for their trip to the south coast. Either way, after a 4-0 away defeat, expect changes from Hammers’ boss Slaven Bilic.
What We Sayin’?
West Ham turned Southampton over the last time they ventured down to St Mary’s Stadium and we’re going with a similar scoreline this time around. A 1-2 away win comes in at 14/1, which looks pretty decent value.
Cold, wet, Tuesday night in Stoke and all that? Well that famous old saying was made for the glove and snood-wearing Gunners who would more often than not trek to the Potteries on those said evenings. This was of course the place where Aaron Ramsey broke his leg, and once again, the Welshman will be sure of a hostile atmosphere with a chorus of boos for absolutely no reason. Happens every single year and we’ve no idea why.
Arsenal’s first opening day win in years last week against Leicester probably had Gunners fans crowing that things will be different this time around. However, Stoke have just signed Jese, who now makes them the side in the Premier League with the most Champions League winners in their squad. That’s right, folks… Stoke.
What We Sayin’?
Mark Hughes has lost 15 times from 27 games against Arsenal – with only Chelsea beating Sparky on more occasions. Arsene Wenger has the upper hand on Hughes and we reckon he’ll get another victory under his belt again on Saturday. Olivier Giroud to score first in a 1-2 Arsenal win at 22/1 looks to have a bit of value in it.
*All prices subject to fluctuation. Make sure to check StanJames.com for up to date prices.
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