The FA CUP semi-finals will grab the headlines this weekend, but Saturday's fixtures promise to be a real dog fight as those in the bottom half slug it out for survival. Sunday sees Burnley host Man United, whilst Liverpool welcome Crystal Palace to Anfield. For the first time this season, StanJames' Free-to-Enter Predictor Competition is spread over two days.
So, with Week 34 of the Predictor Competition upon us, it's time to take up the challenge once more; do you have what it takes to beat us and win free bets?
HOW TO ENTER
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 beats StanJames will receive a £5 free bet.** Free bets will be credited within 48 hours.
Bournemouth host Boro knowing they probably still need to grab a few points to be certain of survival, whilst Boro are now supping in the last chance saloon, their narrow defeat to Arsenal highlighting their shortfalls. The Cherries were thoroughly outplayed in their last outing, a 4-0 defeat away to rampant Spurs, but neither result should read into too heavily.
Eddie Howe has gone on record as saying that Spurs are the inspiration, the blueprint for his side and Bournemouth do play attacking, retention-based football, which could prove troublesome for Boro, as they find it hard retain possesion, especially away from home.
If Boro can somehow prevail here (and they really must if they are to have any hopes of survival), then it could potentially drag Bournemouth into the mix, and from that perspective, the more bodies down there scrapping, the better it is for the Teesiders. However, when you consider their ONLY away win this season was to relegation favourites Sunderland, it's hard to bet against a team who have drawn against Liverpool and Southampton in recent weeks.
What We Sayin’?
Steve Agnew's men have the best defensive record outside the top five. However, they can be breached and whilst a 1-1 draw seems shrewd (21/4), we're favouring Eddie Howe's men to grab a vital three points, taking the narrow 2-1 win (7/1).
Watford will certainly head in to the Tiger's lair when they face Hull, with The Tiger's hoping to keep up their excellent home form in their bid to escape relegation. Such has been their form that they have picked up 16 of their last 17 Premier League points at home and Marco Silva's revolution looks to be showing no signs of abating as his side bare their teeth. Keeping clean sheets isn't going to be their forte, as consecutive 3-1 defeats on the road, away to Stoke and Manchetesr City showed. The Tigers are better on the front foot and with Watford possibly planning their summer vacation, the KCom will be hoping for another three points.
Having reached 40 points in the 1-0 home win against Swansea, Watford will be far more relaxed, having (probably) secured survival for another year. Boss Walter Mazzarri has stated that he expects his charges to enter each game witha positive, winning mentality but you do get the feeling Watford might have an 'end-of-season' vibe about them.
What We Sayin’?
Swansea are in 'do-or-die' mode. Despite impressive performances, no more so than when they led Spurs 1-0 until the 88th minute. However, the pressure is starting to take its' toll on Paul Clement's charges and they face a Stoke team reinforced by the return of their more attacking players. Notwithstanding the undoubted skill of Siggurdsson and Llorente, with just one draw in their last six, the question remains: do the Swans have the mental strength for this fight? Only time will tell.
Stoke have been bolstered by the return of Shaqiri and Arnatuvic, the former scoring a beauty against Hull whilst the latter laid claim to his being the next Zlatan with a superb all-round display of attacking prowess. Mark Hughes' team have a little of everything. berahino is starting to resemble the player clubs had a £25 million bidding war over, whilst Peter Crouch has the experienceand guile to offer something different from the bench.
What We Sayin’?
Not one for the purists, maybe, but we expect Stoke to hammer another nail into Swansea's coffin. (23/20)
Everton head to London lying seventh in the table, a chance of Europe in the offing and a strong first season under the tutelage of Ronald Koeman. They haven't travelled especially well this term, but with just two defeats since Christmas, they must be relishing the prospect of facing a lacklustre West Ham, especially since the in-form Lukaku has scored in EVERY game he's played for Everton against the 'Ammers.
West Ham have found the transition to The London Stadium rather more difficult than they may have liked. Less intimidating than the Boylean they have struggled to contain teams. However, manager Billic seems to have steadied the ship somehwat, especially when they were dropping faster than an anchor at high sea, but one gets the feeling West Ham can't wait to see the back of this season, when management and the board can look at strengthening in key areas.
What We Sayin’?
Only Swansea and Sunderland have conceded less goals at home than West Ham and we can't see that scenario ending tonight. Everton, with Barkley and Lukaku in red-hot form, should have too much about them, with two or three unanswered goals a possibility. We're plumping for Everton to win to nil (3/1) and will have a punt on Everton to win 3-0: 18/1
Burnley have a great record at home, with 10 wins and two draws from 16 home games. Many of the top teams have struggled at Turf Moor and Sean Dyche's side have turned their home into a fortress. In Mee and Keane they have two international-class defenedrs, whilst Sam Vokes remains a threat against anyone. United have found points hard to find at Turf Moor and they could again here.
United arrive unbeaten in 22 Premier League games. Jose's men are starting to resemble one of his teams, and will surely be contesting the title again next term. However, despite the fact that they have added the world's costliest player, along with the genius that is Zlatan to their ranks, they are finding it hard to score. Of that unbeaten run, there have been ten draws...
What We Sayin’?
Two hard to beat teams, with excellent keepers, we'll take the 6/1 on offer for a 1-1 draw.
Crystal Palace arrive in good for, with three wins and a draw in their last five. Their sole loss was a 3-1 reversal away to Southampton, just a week after beating champion-wannabees Chelsea 2-1. They then followed that with a 3-0 drubbing of Arsenal before drawing 2-2 with champions Leicester. With Benteke and Zaha in form, they remain a match for anyone, though the loss of Sakho (a revelation since his loan move) who is ineligible to pklay against his parent club will be a blow.
Liverpool sit in third and will be desperate for the points to shore up their position. They have won their last two games, unconvincingly, against Stoke and West Brom. However, whilst they can look invincible going forward their defence remains a concern. They won 4-2 earlier in the season and this one could be equally as entertaining.
What We Sayin’?
Benteke to score against his old team sounds like a script waiting to be written, whilst the pace of Zaha and Townsend will frighten Liverpool's fragile defence. Sakho's absence could prove telling, however, and we'll plump for a (narrow) 3-2 home win (25/1) - Palace's first defeat at Anfield in a couple of seasons.
*All prices subject to fluctuation. Make sure to check StanJames.com for up to date prices.
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