Million Pound Picks: Gameweek 18 Preview
No Premier League this week means no Million Pound Picks, right? Wrong. Because we’re bringing you an FA Cup Special to give you a chance of winning £1M in cash.
First up, a word of advice. Although you have to lock in all your Million Pound Picks before the opening games – 7.40pm on Friday 8th January – you can still switch selections up to five minutes before each kick-off. And with managers often rotating their squad for cup ties, this could come in handy. So keep an eye on the team news and make sure your picks are playing.
Now for the juicy bit. Grosvenor Sport’s weekly game is free to play and it gives you the opportunity to become a millionaire simply by predicting 10 first goalscorers. Not bad, right?
Should no one get their hands on the top prize, there’s a £2,000 cash ‘consolation’ given out to our best predictor of the week. Last time out, it took just three correct guesses (and a tiebreak) to secure the prize. That’s right, just three.
For good measure, anyone who predicts three first goalscorers correctly will get a £10 Free Bet. We’re good to you.
And that leads us nicely on to our FA Cup 3rd Round Million Pound Picks. Let’s do this.
Two all-Premier League ties get us started, both coming in the West Midlands.
The game of the night WAS going to be Villa versus Liverpool but if the match goes ahead, it looks like the young guns from Villa Park will be stepping up.
You’ve got to fancy Liverpool now and it might be worth a look at Takumi Minamino. Jurgen Klopp is sure to rotate against youthful opposition and the Japanese forward will be keen to make the most of his opportunity.
As for the night’s other game, Wolves and Crystal Palace face off at Molineux and we’re siding with the hosts again. Daniel Podence’s goals for Wolves have all come against London clubs – Arsenal, Chelsea and… Palace. Twice. He loves it.
Carlo Ancelotti won the FA Cup with Chelsea in 2010 and he’ll be keen to avoid any shock against Championship outfit Rotherham. However, it’s likely he will make a few changes and one could see Cenk Tosun come in for Dominic Calvert-Lewin to ease the goalscoring burden.
We also have two all-Championship affairs at midday and the hosts’ quality should shine through when Norwich welcome Coventry to Carrow Road. Emi Buendia is surely going to be a wanted man in the January transfer window, he’s hitting top form and seems a good pick to guide the Canaries into Round Four.
The less said about Nottingham Forest and Cardiff the better. Neither side are in great form, both managers are known for their defensive approach, so we’re not expecting a goal-fest. But we’re going to go for Forest’s Lewis Grabban, a penalty-box poacher who knows where the net is.
Saturday Night Cup Fever
Four more games to wrap up the day. In the afternoon, we have Stoke versus Leicester and there’s one name that jumps out when you think of the Foxes’ fringe players – Kelechi Iheanacho. The Nigerian is a 4/1 shout to break down a stubborn Stoke in an away win.
QPR v Fulham is the other 3pm kick-off and we’ve got half an eye on an upset in this West London derby. The Super Hoops have some eye-catching talent, none more so than Bright Osayi-Samuel. If Scott Parker rests a couple with Fulham fighting relegation, QPR could take advantage and you can get Osayi-Samuel to score anytime with Grosvenor Sport at 19/5.
We’re also thinking fringe players in the next two, with FA Cup heavyweights Arsenal and Man Utd at home to Newcastle and Watford respectively.
The Gunners have hit an upturn in form and Brazilian forward Gabriel Martinelli is one of those giving Arsenal fans cause for optimism. Newcastle will dig in but are unlikely to pose a goal threat, so Martinelli – along with the likes of Nketiah, Balogun and Smith-Rowe – are all worth a look.
As for Solskjaer’s men, Edinson Cavani misses out again through suspension so Mason Greenwood can get a chance to lead the line and take the sting out of the Hornets.
Man City host Birmingham at the Etihad on Sunday lunchtime and it’s impossible to look past the six-time winners here.
Sergio Aguero has been working his way back to full fitness, and a match-up against a Championship side winless in six could be just the ticket for City’s all-time top scorer – he’s 12/1 to help himself to a hat-trick.
OUR MILLION POUND PICKS
Aston Villa v Liverpool: Takumi Minamino
Wolves v Crystal Palace: Daniel Podence
Everton v Rotherham United: Cenk Tosun
Norwich City v Coventry City: Emi Buendia
Nottingham Forest v Cardiff City: Lewis Grabban
Stoke City v Leicester City: Kelechi Iheanacho
Queens Park Rangers v Fulham: Bright Osayi-Samuel
Arsenal v Newcastle United: Gabriel Martinelli
Manchester United v Watford: Mason Greenwood
Manchester City v Birmingham City: Sergio Aguero
So that’s that. As we mentioned, make your original selections by 7.40pm on Friday 8th January but feel free to change your selections as the fixtures roll on.
If you’re unsure and just want to draw it out the hat, we’ve got an auto-pick feature available – or we flag up our most selected if you want a helping hand.
Whatever you decide, we wish you the very best of luck. If there’s one shock this weekend, we hope it’s one of you winning £1M!
And if you’re feeling really lucky, why not check out our Lucky 21 offer, where you could win £2,021 in cash every month for the rest of the year? This way for all the details.