Paulsy’s Premier Picks – Match Week 26

Paulsy’s Premier Picks – Match Week 26

Last update: 18 February 2022 Categories: Premier League.

February is a great month with Valentines Day and Shrove Tuesday both taking place but this Match Week dwarfs so many others previously for quality, intensity and potential volume of goals. Football always returns with a vengeance during the second month of the year.

West Ham United v Newcastle United

From the last five games Newcastle have played four of them at home securing two wins and two draws. The only away game was also a victory against Leeds but they are a Jekyll and Hyde side, competing with the Hammers at the London Stadium is a completely different proposition. The Geordies best chance is on the break via Saint-Maximin or Fraser, set pieces could have been an area of joy but losing Trippier to injury lessens the threat from dead balls. Physically West Ham can hang with any Premier League team, they are imposing and the tone is set down the spine. The guile from the abundance of number 10s the irons possess helps deliver constant attacking movement. Czech international Soucek is due one of his Megaman games which occurred so often last season.

FPL One to Watch - Tomas Soucek £5.7m

Bet Select - West Ham win

Arsenal v Brentford

Revenge will be firmly on the minds of Arsenal players, coaching staff and fans following the opening day defeat to Brentford. Current form leans towards the home side but so often over the years when playing at the Emirates they have struggled to break down lesser teams. The Bees showed away to Manchester City they can defend for long periods , two lapses cost them that night but they bounced back not conceding at all to Palace. Arsenals paper thin squad means if they are losing its hard to turn it around, the main men are starting every game. The first goal in this game will see their team take maximum points not necessary by that one strike but the advantage will always push them away from the other. Lacazette intrigues me and if a contract is to be agreed on his terms the goals need to flow from his side. The return to fitness after a year out for former Gooner Josh Dasilva is a sub plot everyone should keep a eye on, he played great versus Palace last weekend and scored a hattrick during a friendly this week.

FPL One to Watch - Martin Odegaard £5.5m

Bet Select - Double Chance Arsenal or Brentford

Aston Villa v Watford

Both sides need the win after faltering form, the away side edging the requirement due to currently sitting within the relegation zone. Post 2015 in the Premier League The Hornets hold the upper hand in this fixture. Despite Roy Hodgson working towards tightening Watford’s defence it’s not going to help when facing Watkins, Coutinho and Ramsey to name a few. Combination wise the Villa forward line is very fluid and are enjoyable to watch. It’s sad to see the social media abuse being hurled by Villa fans towards their players, quite easily they could of gone down during the first lockdown if not for the goal line tech issue v Sheff Utd. Fans should be thankful where they are now and where the team is heading over the next few seasons. The returning Sarr from AFCON is a major bonus for Watford in regards to the rest of the season and he may have some joy Saturday if he can find himself one on one with Digne or Mings. It’s likely no player from the away side will score from outside of the box as they are the only side to fail from this zone in the top flight.

FPL One to Watch - Ismalia Sarr £5.7m

Bet Select - Aston Villa win and over 2.5 goals

Brighton & Hove Albion v Burnley

This game has nil nil written all over it, Brighton pass for fun but struggle for goals while Burnley are the low block kings. The Clarets hold so many games in hand but would rather pick up what points they can during periods when they play multiple games in a week, something is better than nothing. Weghorst and Cornet as a pair seem unlikely but till the end of the season will cause issues for defenders, I am sure this will happen during this match. Adam Webster has been receiving accolades for his performances but his safety blanket Lewis Dunk will miss this game which will leave him exposed considering Burn is now at Newcastle. I feel mad writing this but if any side will win, it will be Burnley!

FPL One to Watch - Maxwel Cornet £5.9m

Bet Select - Draw

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Crystal Palace v Chelsea

Being at Palaces last game was a eye opener, I did not realise how poor they are and reviewing the league table shows how precarious it could be if not for the fact so many sides will be worse than them. Devoid of ideas for long periods against Brentford it will not get any easier playing the European champions. Coupled with the fact Chelsea hold the best win ratio over the Eagles during the Premier League era it’s a scary proposition. Joel Ward does not receive much protection from his wide forward whether it’s Ayew or Olise, this could see the maligned Spaniard Alonso attacking from deep like he can and becoming a creative force during this match up. With Chelsea performing in the Champions League during the week that’s where the home side could earn a victory but this depends on the visitors taking one eye off the matter in hand.

FPL One to Watch - Marcos Alonso £5.6m

Bet Select -  Chelsea win to nil

Liverpool v Norwich City

Outplayed for periods in Milan during the week, Liverpool still came away with multiple goals, clean sheet and of course a win, what chance do Norwich have? In short they do not but this game will not decide the fate of the Canaries. Keeping the score down will boost morale for Norwich but Luis Diaz seems electric and whoever partners him upfront will stretch the away sides defence all over the pitch. With so many games being played this Saturday especially at 3pm this will stand out from the crowd due to the regularity of goals. Harvey Elliot playing again this season is a miracle, earning minutes in the week should mean he plays a large part in this match. The battle with Manchester United loanee Brandon Williams should be a season on season head to head for years to come.

FPL One to Watch - Harvey Elliot £5.3m

Bet Select - Liverpool win and over 3.5 goals

Southampton v Everton

St Marys last league fixture was a progressive, battling draw with Manchester City, no way will the crowd settle for anything less versus the Toffees. Impressive beating Leeds last weekend, Everton will be made to scrap for everything away from home on Saturday. Seamus Coleman seems to have been given licence to bomb on like his early days pre broken leg but this tactic could bring danger against Southampton. The pockets of space could be threatened by Broja or Redmond but mainly by Perraud via the overlap. The midfield battle is box office as Romeu and Ward-Prowse are currently at a nine out of ten levels  every week, Doucoure and who ever plays with him will need to bring the A game.

FPL One to Watch - Romain Perraud £4.8m

Bet Select - Southampton win

Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur

City’s midweek away win shows us all that they take it easy on their domestic rivals every week, we are all at the mercy of a thrashing but the Champions obviously flip down a few gears for large periods during the bread and butter matches. Conte doesn’t believe he has the players to compete, this is apparent with all the whinging about the squad, how can he earn the fans respect if he’s always negative. Kane and Son offer the hope of resistance but this is the extent of the away teams threat. Among this weekends match ups this like a few others provides a revenge narrative, which will surely be dished up.

FPL One to Watch - Ilkay Gundogan £7.1m

Bet Select - Man City win and over 2.5 goals

Leeds United v Manchester United

11-3is the aggregate score since Leeds earned promotion back to the top flight. Elland Road will present a atmosphere like no other in football this season during Sunday’s game, this is where the chance comes into it for the home side. Rocking and rolling the away side will create a toxic environment and in James or Raphinha they can capitalise on any gaps while the hosts are on the offensive. Bielsa is under some pressure currently but a win on a Saturday will ease this for a few weeks. This is a TV game any football fan should be watching,  Lancashire v Yorkshire is must see whatever sport it’s competing in. I fear for the home side though if they get too positive attacking wise, the pace held by the Red Devil’s is up there in the world in the counter.

FPL One to Watch - Daniel James £6m

Bet Select - Man Utd win

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Leicester City

The weekend culminates with this strange pick for the Super Sunday slot. The earlier game at 2pm would seem to be the choice of this time slot but you can understand why not due to the potential crowd issues. Both sides can beat anyone on there day but can also throw out a stinker at any time. Since his injury which potentially ruled him out of the Euros last summer Harvey Barnes seems to be reaching his true devastating form again. He gives the same threat from the left which former Leicester player Mahrez does for the right.  Jimenez on a larger scale injury wise is yet to find his form too, if Wolves are to win he will be the man that scores to clinch the victory.

FPL One to Watch - Harvey Barnes £6.5m

Bet Select - Leicester win BTTS

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The following games are bonus action and due to the COVID postponement rule in December and January. It’s fair to say many fixtures could have been different result wise if not due to the cop out ruling many sides took advantage of. With all the sides playing over the weekend too the script is variable so only a preview in brief for these matches.

Burnley v Tottenham Hotspur

If Spurs do not win this then the problem lays with Conte not the players.

FPL One to Watch - Harry Kane £12.2m

Bet Select - Spurs win

Watford v Crystal Palace

Vital three points on offer, Zaha could have a field day matching up to the Hornet fullbacks. Will Hughes is playing great and will show his old employers what he can do.

FPL One to Watch - Will Hughes £4.7m

Bet Select - BTTS

Liverpool v Leeds United

From one extreme top ranking game to another for Leeds after a weekend battle with Man Utd, this feels like a mission impossible.

FPL One to Watch - Naby Keita £5m

Bet Select - Liverpool win

Arsenal v Wolverhampton Wanderers

90 minutes of Emirates fan pain is on the table with this game, Wolves will nullify and one goal could decide.

FPL One to Watch - Nicolas Pepe £6.9m

Bet Select - Arsenal win to nil

The Bet Selects have been awful for me this season, fingers crossed this match week brings a bit of joy to us all especially with so many games, the odds with Sky Bet are as follows 45,266.26/1, GOOD LUCK and if you do not take have a punt just enjoy the action.