Soccer

Double trouble second guessing Josť

  • Speed demon: Out-of-form Arsenal could struggle to handle the pace of Leicester striker Vardy (Photograph by Scott Heppell/AP)

This week is all about doubles. Not rum, or Jamie Vardyís lookalike but game week.

Thatís right, Fantasy friends, itís one of those weeks that, come next Thursday, will either leave you feeling like Cristiano Ronaldo: smug. Or like Jack Wilshere: broken.

Given the FA Cup semi-finals, the smart move is to bring in some extra Manchester United players, if you didnít blow your transfers last week. Like me. Iím already furious at my expected kicking. Like Carlo Ancelottiís wife after another refereeing mistake.

Anyway, the danger with that, of course, is trying to second guess Josť Mourinhoís selections with a Europa League semi-final on the horizon.

Best of luck.

11am kick-offs unless stated

Tomorrow

Bournemouth v Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough are without an away win in 15 games, while Bournemouth come into the game on the back of successive league defeats.

Bournemouth have the third worst defensive record which gives Boro, with the worst offensive record in the league a glimmer of hope.

Prediction: 2-0

Hull City v Watford

Hull are only one place above the bottom three and two points clear of danger. However, Marco Silva will welcome a return to home soil this weekend having not lost a domestic home match in over three years as manager. Impressive.

Prediction: 1-0

Swansea City v Stoke City

Swansea are in the doldrums after five defeats in six. However, Stokeís away form has been dire and this is a great chance for Swansea, who are very much in relegation last-chance saloon.

Prediction: 2-1

West Ham United v Everton

West Hamís are limping over the safety line and there is a feeling of disorganisation at the ĎAmmers. Andy Carroll ... wait for it ... is injured, again.

With Ross Barkleyís tail up and Romelu Lukaku in the goals, an away win is on.

Prediction: 1-3

Sunday

Burnley v Manchester United

10.15am

Double-week klaxon comes with a caveat: that United have to take on Burnley at fortress Turf Moor in their first game, and then Pepís Manchester City in their second.

Prediction: 0-1

Liverpool v Crystal Palace

12.30pm

Palace won on their previous two visits to Anfield, and thatís before you factor in the scar tissue from the 3-3 draw under Brendan Rodgers three years ago. Conclusion: this is no home banker.

Unfortunately for Palace, who now looks odds-on to stay up, Liverpool appear to have the bit between their teeth to secure a top-four spot. A nervy home win.

Prediction: 2-1

Tuesday

Chelsea v Southampton

3.45pm

Never saw the Chelsea wobble coming, Iíll admit.

And with a steely, impressive Spurs breathing down their neck they are in need of a strong win here to steady the nerves.

A few choice Antonio Conte words this week should ensure three points.

Prediction: 3-1

Wednesday

Arsenal v Leicester City

3.45pm

If I was ArsŤne Wenger, Iíd fear this one. Leicester did their club proud against Atlťtico and have restored all belief after strangely going Awol earlier in the season.

Not sure the Gunners have the self-belief for Vardyís pace right now. Stick my neck out and go for an away win.

Prediction: 1-2

Middlesbrough v Sunderland

3.45pm Two doomed clubs going head to head. One without a manager, one with David Moyes. Can football get any more depressing.

Prediction: 1-1

Crystal Palace v Tottenham Hotspur

4pm

We all know that Harry Kane loves a London derby and this is another tough assignment for Palace, despite their excellent form.

Spurs wonít want to fade away as they did last season.

Prediction: 0-1

Thursday

Manchester City v Manchester United

4pm

Familiar foes as Pep goes up against Josť once again.

United will surely look to suffocate Cityís attacking talent and catch them on the break.

Should be intense.

Prediction: 1-1