We are now almost at the end of the busy Christmas period where the football has been as hot as the turkey. My last attempt at the treble on Sunday was just one goal short of landing a 60/1 return! Never mind, onwards and upwards!
We are now looking forward to the New Years Day fixtures where we could get huge returns for the start of 2014 if this Match Result where both teams to score treble comes in…
Sunderland v Aston Villa – 4.00pm New Years Day
Sunderland are desperate for points and each game is being treated like a cup final. Villa are their opponents today in what is a vital match for two sides who haven’t had the most perfect of starts to the season.
The Black Cats are starting to play in a way recently appointed manager Gus Poyet wishes them too and they’re beginning to get those points on the board. The Stadium of Light has had little to cheer about in the first half of the campaign having had some very tough fixtures at home. This is Sunderland’s best opportunity in weeks for three points and i can see them grabbing it with both hands.
Aston Villa are struggling lately having won just once in eight games however they seem to play a little more expansively away from home with 61% of their goals have been scored on their travels.
Villa will look to this game as an opportunity to turn their form around and they can boast finding the net against sides of quality including Southampton where they struck three, they also scored goals against Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal so I can see them snatching a goal in a very open tie. I can see the Villains playing with more endeavour but going down 2 or 3-1 to an improving Sunderland outfit.
Derby County v Wigan Athletic – 3.00pm New Years Day
Derby County continue to be the in form side across Europe having been unbeaten for nine games now which has propelled them up the league table into second place and in line for automatic promotion which would be an incredible feat. This strong form includes scoring in each of their previous 14 ties and you would struggle to find a side with more confidence in the country than Steve McLarens team.
Four home matches have been won on the bounce after initially having difficulties picking up many wins at Pride Park and with both strong home and away form recently I cannot see the Rams dropping points to a Wigan team with plenty of problems.
Having been relegated last season, after a campaign involving mixed emotions of being relegated and an inconceivable FA Cup win, Wigan Athletic are really struggling with life in The Championship.
The Latics have had to contend with Europa League duties as well as a very busy domestic schedule which has left the squad tired and lacking intensity. If you strip back all of the issues at the club has had they still have a very good squad including top players for this level including Nick Powell, Callum McManaman, James McArthur and Grant Holt.
Two games in a row has seen Athletic failing to score and even though i dont think they will get anything out of the game, they are due a goal with the players they have got.
Peterborough v Brentford – 3.00pm New Years Day
This should be a game full of chances and, more importantly, goals! Peterborough started the season flying and looked like they were nailed down for top spot with every side they played being on the receiving end of a battering, however the Posh have won just two of their previous 11 league games and are creeping out of the Play Off places lets alone grabbing on of those automatic slots.
You cannot deny the quality they have though and have showed signs of coming out of the rut they are currently in. Just at the weekend they lost 2-1 away to Carlisle after going down to 10 men at 0-0 and throwing away a 1-0 lead only to miss a penalty in the dying minutes. Peterborough have scored eight goals in their last three league games and I fancy them getting on the score sheet on New Years Day, even though they are likely to lose yet again.
Brentford are top of the League One form table having won their previous six matches which included victories against decent outfits of MK Dons, Swindon, Preston and importantly… Peterborough. In the reverse fixture at Griffin Park, the Bees won 3-2 and I am predicting a similar result here.
Having not lost in twelve games, Brentford are the side everyone wishes to avoid right now and with Brentford already having the better of the Posh i can see this ending one way. Striker Marcello Trotta on loan from Fulham has hit form too having found the net in each of his last three league games. Look out for an anytime goal there!