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So close, yet so far. In our first set of predictions we got 4 out of 6 correct, with Harry Kane, Olivier Giroud, Romelu Lukaku and Jamie Vardy all doing the business. Georginio Wijnaldum, Yannick Bolasie, shame on you. Nevertheless, congratulations to the 41 winners last week, we hope our article helped some of you reach the promised land that is the Predict the Six jackpot.
This week, we’ll once again start off by analysing some attacking and defensive statistics. With the following teams all scoring or conceding 2 goals or more per game over the past 6 games, we can begin to hone in on players with a better chance, statistically, of finding the back of the net this weekend.
|Team||Goals scored||Goals per game|
|Team||Goals conceded||Goals per game|
Following last weekend’s 4-0 drubbing at Goodison Park, we see that Everton and Aston Villa move into the form tables for goals scored and goals conceded respectively. The Blues (scoring 2.2 goals per game) travel to the South Coast to face a Bournemouth side who are currently the worst defensive unit in the league (2.7 gpg conceded over the last 6). This fixture looks like a profitable one for Everton, and their tormentor in chief, Romelu Lukaku, will no doubt fancy his chances after scoring 4 in his last 3 games. Arouna Kone, Ross Barkley and Gerard Deulofeu all offer viable alternatives to the Belgian striker, or viable partners if you fancy doubling up on Roberto Martinez’s men.
Another fixture which pits teams from both of the above tables against each other takes place at Carrow Road on Sunday as Norwich entertain Arsenal. Scoring an average of 2.2 goals per game recently, Arsenal, who have only been kept at bay twice this season, will fancy their chances of breaching a Norwich defence with just 1 clean sheet to their name this season and conceding 2 goals per game of late. Olivier Giroud scored again last weekend to make it 4 goals in 5 games for the Frenchman, and with both Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil netting in the Gunners’ midweek Champions League win, we are provided with a wealth of options for this fixture.
Tottenham, the most in-form attacking team in the league (2.5 gpg), host Chelsea in a London derby where Harry Kane will be looking to continue his superb form that has seen him notch 7 goals in his last 4 games. Meanwhile, up in Manchester, Sergio Aguero made a goalscoring return in the 4-1 reverse to Liverpool last Saturday. City’s Argentinian talisman and his teammates will be looking to get their title bid back on track as they welcome Southampton to The Etihad. At the other end of the form table, Newcastle and Aston Villa face low-scoring opposition in Crystal Palace (0.8 gpg) and Watford (1.2 gpg) respectively, so we recommend looking elsewhere for your Predict the Six selections this weekend.
Our fixture of interest this weekend is the top of the table clash between league leaders Leicester City and second placed Manchester United. Both teams are enjoying successful starts to the season, albeit arriving at the summit by playing completely different brands of football. Leicester have adopted a Real Madrid-esque footballing philosophy this term (“we’ll score more than you”), with a league-high 28 goals scored and 20 goals conceded. Manchester United, on the other hand, have been the best defensive unit in the league this season, conceding just 9 goals and recording 8 clean sheets in 13 games. They have, however, had well documented problems in attack, with United fans unhappy about the less than exciting style of football their team are playing. With 19 league goals scored, they sit 1 point behind the Foxes in the table.
As if the fact that this game features a pre-season relegation favourite and is for top spot in the Premier League isn’t enough, the sub plot (or is it the main plot?) is equally as fascinating. Last weekend, Jamie Vardy scored at St James’s Park to net for the tenth consecutive game in a row, equalling Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record, so it is extremely fitting that the England striker has the chance to break the record and write his name into English footballing folklore against the Dutchman’s old club. Vardy has taken his game to new heights this season and 13 Premier League goals is testament to that. Can United’s mean defence stop him and keep van Nistelrooy’s name in the record books? Or will the now familiar sight of Jamie Vardy wheeling away in celebration have The King Power Stadium in raptures on Saturday evening?
We’ve mentioned Leicester’s weak defence (just 2 clean sheets this season), and Louis van Gaal will be working on ways to exploit it. United have seen a slight uptick in their attacking output of late, scoring 2 goals in both of their last 2 games, having blanked in the previous 2. With both Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial hopeful of featuring for the Red Devils this weekend, along with Memphis Depay’s goalscoring return against Watford last time out, we again have a plethora of intriguing options for the highly anticipated Saturday evening kick off.
The bookies were spot on last week! Their favoured 6 all found the net and if you had played those selections you would have found yourself enjoying a share of last weekend’s Predict the Six jackpot! Once again, we have sifted through the odds for each fixture and selected the 6 picks with the lowest odds, or the highest chance, of scoring according to the bookies. To make our selections we look at the prices offered by all online bookmakers, and find the highest price for each player (the bookmaker that gives the player the lowest probability of that player scoring), and compare them to find the 6 likeliest scorers.
This weekend, the bookies favoured 6 are;
Sergio Aguero (home vs Southampton) - 2.00 (50% chance of scoring),
Olivier Giroud (away vs Norwich) - 2.1 (47%),
Daniel Sturridge (home vs Swansea) - 2.2 (45%),
Christian Benteke (home vs Swansea) - 2.2 (45%),
Alexis Sanchez (away vs Norwich) - 2.5 (40%),
and Romelu Lukaku (away vs Bournemouth) - 2.5 (40%).
Taking everything into account, our Predict the Six recommendation is…
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|1||point for playing in a round.|
|3||points for a correct prediction.|
|10||extra points for getting all six.|
Note: Only one point per round is allocated to each player for playing (regardless of how many times you play). Only your highest scoring slip in any one round counts towards your points, and in the event of tied points the player who placed their first prediction the earliest in the season takes the higher place. If you enter the competition mid-season, you will be allocated a starting score of the current average score for the season, less 1% for each round of the season you have missed.
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