Harry’s Picks: Week 227 min read
Harry has been on with his “Harry’s Picks” Selections; the four premier league selections play Saturday 28th and Brentford who he says are playing some “proper stuff at the moment” go to Millwall on Sunday 29th
Confidence is growing for the Toffees
After flirting with relegation and bringing in new manager Carlo Ancelotti, Everton now look primed to start climbing the table and perhaps even make an attempt at breaking into the Top Six. The Toffees are only seven points adrift and a narrow 1-0 success over Burnley on Boxing day extended their unbeaten PL run to four matches. Confidence is growing and with fans excited by their new year prospects, the blue half of Merseyside can win on the road at Newcastle this Saturday. A useful point at Old Trafford on their last away trip can be improved to three in the North East with Sigursson, Calvert Lewin and Richarlison giving them a trio of extremely dangerous weapons. The hosts sit three points ahead and were beaten 4-1 at Manchester United during the week. Admittedly their form at St James has enabled them to retain a top half position but they are a side who struggle for goals and it’s hard not to see the visitors creating enough chances to take the honours here.
The Saints to march on
Southampton have been hovering around the drop zone most of the season but maximum points over the Christmas period from successive away victories has seen the Saints jump up to fourteenth position with high hopes of pulling away from the bottom three. Danny Ings has been the hero on many occasions this term and with eleven top flight goals has been an important clog. However he wasn’t on the scoresheet when the Saints had a wonderful 2-0 win at Chelsea on their latest outing and was given a late cameo off the bench. They welcome Crystal Palace to St Mary’s next who were buoyed by a 2-1 London derby victory over West Ham. The Eagles are enjoying a good season with some excellent results but have also been frustratingly inconsistent which has prevented them challenging higher. It would be no surprise to see Palace fail to repeat their latest form and Southampton can continue to build with maximum points.
Watford can continue their path to survival
Watford picked up the accolade they didn’t want when finding themselves bottom on Christmas day and with only three teams ever avoiding the drop after been in this position, history is very much against the Hornets. However all is not lost and the appointment of new manager Nigel Pearson has helped the club accumulate five points from his opening four games and climb one place further up the table. They are just six points adrift of safety and entertain the team directly above them this Saturday. Aston Villa arrive at Vicarage road with just the solitary win and four defeats from their last five outings and with talisman John McGinn suffering an injury likely to see him sidelined for three months. They did secure that one victory against fellow relegation threatened Norwich but Watford look to have gone up a level inspired by the return of captain and potent striker Troy Deeney to their ranks. A useful draw at Sheffield United followed a 2-0 home win against Manchester United and Watford can continue their path to survival with success here.
Tottenham to keep up the pressure
Tottenham came from a goal down to beat Brighton 2-1 on Boxing day and with their London rivals Chelsea suffering that surprise 2-0 home reverse against Southampton, the gap has closed to just three points between the deadly duo. Spurs have seen an uplift in form and momentum since Jose Mourinho arrived and now have high hopes of securing a top four final finish. A visit to bottom club Norwich in the live tea time TV clash gives them an ideal opportunity to keep up the pressure and playing against the sections leakiest defense should ensure more success. With only one clean sheet in their last ten PL matches, Norwich are finding it extremely difficult to stop opposing teams and although Teemu Pukki has performed miracles at the right end they don’t have the squad depth or quality to maintain enough pressure.
Brentford are playing some proper stuff at the moment
In the Championship, Brentford are one of the current form teams and will expect to make the playoffs this season at the very least. They have closed, what appeared to be an impossible gap on the top two guaranteed promotion spots, to eight points and their free flowing and easy on the eye football makes them a dangerous outfit to contain. The Bees were impressive 3-1 winners over fellow promotion hopefuls Swansea last time out where star striker Ollie Watkins bagged his fifteenth league goal of the campaign. They recently put seven past beleaguered Luton at Griffin Park and intend to make their final season at their famous home one to remember. They make the short trip over to mid table Millwall on Saturday afternoon and should have far too much firepower for a host team who have not won in front of their own fans during their previous three matches. A large away following can inspire Brentford who can maintain their promotion charge at the New Den.
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