After last weekend’s restricted schedule, due to the international fixtures, we’re back to a full set of matches this Saturday and are looking to celebrate in style with this tasty 13/2 treble at William Hill.
The next few weeks form a crucial part of the season and all teams will be desperate to keep the wins coming, starting with this weekend’s key fixtures. We’re backing the following three teams to pick up vital points on Saturday,
West Bromwich Albion V Everton
After narrowly missing out on Champions League qualification in 2013/14, the Toffees have faced a sticky start to the campaign. However, they should pick up a first win of the season with Saturday’s trip to the Hawthorns.
Despite picking up just two points from a possible nine, it is worth noting that Everton have already faced both Arsenal and Chelsea. Whilst the points tally won’t make the best reading for Martinez, he will be happy with the side’s attacking return of seven goals in three games. If they can begin to tighten things at the back then there is no reason that they can’t begin their ascent back up the table against West Brom.
The Baggies are largely expected to struggle under new boss Alan Irvine and their failure to win a Premier League match further cements those fears. Having played Sunderland, Southampton and Swansea, West Brom should boast more than two points and they could be set for another early season setback against the Toffees.
Christian Atsu, Samuel Eto’o and Aiden McGeady, who scored an absolute belter for the Republic of Ireland on Sunday, add further firepower to an already potent attack and those signings could provide the difference. Perhaps the most important summer recruit, though, is ex-Baggies striker Romelu Lukaku.
The big Belgian enjoyed a successful campaign whilst on loan at the Hawthorns in 2012/13 before further developing his talent at Goodison Park last term. Chelsea finally allowed him to leave on a permanent basis and he will be looking to cap his return to West Brom with a first goal of the season.
Everton’s season starts now – expect a big performance from Martinez’s men.
Blackpool V Wolverhampton Wanderers
Championship side Blackpool were always going to struggle this season due to catastrophic problems off the pitch and Jose Riga’s men have been equally disappointing on it. We suspect that Kenny Jackett’s high-flying Wolverhampton will become the latest team to inflict defeat on the Tangerines.
The hosts remain pointless after the first international break of the season and it is hard to see where the depleted squad are going to get a positive result. Riga had to cobble a team together and that has shown throughout the early weeks. Conversely, Wolves have adapted to life back in the Championship with consummate ease and already look like early candidates for consecutive promotions.
Bakary Sako has been a key figure for Wolves this term, hitting three goals from midfield, and the 26-year-old will be eager to perform at Bloomfield Road. However, he is just one of several players capable of tearing the Tangerines apart and a fifth win in six Championship matches looks likely for the visitors.
Sheffield United V Rochdale
League One side Sheffield United endured a difficult start to the season but Nigel Cloguh’s men have responded well and now seem to have put that early season dip behind them with a return of seven points from the last available nine. The Blades can continue their resurgence by cutting down Rochdale at Bramall Lane.
Dale have impressed during the early stages of their maiden campaign back in League One after last year’s promotion from the basement tier and have registered two wins from three away matches. However, Sheffield United will offer up a different test altogether and Keith Hill’s men could be in for a reality check during Saturday’s showdown.
The Blades remain one of the bookies favourites for promotion and a strong home form will be pivotal to their chances of securing a return to the Championship. They enjoyed a much stronger latter part fo 2013/14 and if they can keep their recent form going then they’ll soon be back amongst the division’s top sides. As long as they are in and amongst it come Christmas, Clough’s men will have a great chance of achieving their goal.
In Jose Baxter, the home side boast a talisman who should really be playing at a higher level and he’ll be hoping to clinch his chance of doing that by firing United to success this term. The youngster already has three goals and could be the match-winner once more against Dale.
Sheffield United have started the campaign with some particularly difficult fixtures and their lowly position in the standings isn’t really a fair reflection of where Clough’s men are at. We expect them to grab the win here.