Friday Five-Way: 23rd August

Last weekend the Premier League returned with a bang, giving us goals and controversy in abundance. The Impact Sport Five-Way returned also, with a respectable 3/5 giving us a solid base to build on as we go for a full house this time around.

Chelsea vs. Leicester City – Saturday 23rd August – K.O. 3pm

Prediction: HOME WIN

Odds: 1/6

Both of these teams made impressive starts to the season. Chelsea were the Monday night feature and they delivered a cool, collected performance to professionally dispatch Sean Dyche’s Prem new boys at Turf Moor. Despite going behind early, Chelsea were unfazed as new boy Fàbregas pulled the strings and picked the passes, allowing fellow debutant, Diego Costa, to add to his four pre-season strikes. Meanwhile, Leicester twice came from behind to earn an honourable draw with Everton which showed they’ve got the spirit and grit to make something of their season. However, the late equaliser to secure the point came from the man Nigel Pearson has been trying desperately to palm off all summer, the big Kiwi Chris Wood. Therefore I think his goal may cause more unrest than jubilance amongst the Foxes ranks. And, for me, that’s what tips the game in Chelsea’s favour – HOME WIN.

Derby County vs. Fulham – Saturday 23rd August – K.O. 3pm

Prediction: HOME WIN

Odds: 3/4 

As Championship new boys coming down from the Premier League, Fulham started the campaign as many people’s favourites for the title but after a disappointing opening day away at Ipswich they were made the first ever ‘BRAVEBET’ last week but again they couldn’t summon enough for the three points. On Wednesday night they hosted the new boys up from League One, Wolverhampton, and again came up short. Magath has overseen a lot of big name departures from the Cottage over summer and is building a squad based on youth and enthusiasm, which is admirable. But, so far the astute German has only managed a 20% win rate, with his side one of only two still on 0 points (penniless Blackpool being the other). Derby haven’t quite managed to harness the full extent of last season’s momentum but their start to the campaign has been steady, notching up four points and scoring three times as many goals as the Cottagers. Based on this, I’m going – HOME WIN.

On Wednesday night Fulham hosted the new boys up from League One, Wolverhampton, and again came up short.

Barcelona vs. Elche – Sunday 24th August – K.O. 8pm

Prediction: HOME WIN

Odds: 1/10

It’s the La Liga opener this weekend and its our first real chance to see what promises to be an exciting new look Barça side. Tata Martino’s reign last season was deeply under-whelming and left many asking the question of whether the Catalan’s supremacy was at an end. In order to ensure this isn’t the case, the boys at the Camp Nou have splashed the cash to the tune of £128m (more than any other club in the world this summer) bringing in the likes of Ter Stegen and Vermaelen at the back and Sevilla’s wizard Rakitic. And this is all without mentioning the enigmatic walking controversy that is Luis Suárez – the man banned from football that has ironically just signed for the club banned from making transfers. Elche had a challenging return to the big time last season and only evaded relegation by a single point. Financial restraints have severely hampered their attempts to strengthen over summer and I feel it will be business as usual for Barça – HOME WIN.

Thomas Vermaelen completed his move to Barcelona today and called it 'a dream'.

Real Madrid vs. Córdoba – Monday 25th August – K.O. 7pm

Prediciton: HOME WIN

Odds: 1/16 

The most expensive frontline in world football (Ronaldo, Bale, Rodríguez and Benzema) will be pitted against La Liga new boys who finished seventh in the Segunda Division last season and scraped through via the playoffs, in the opening set of Spanish fixtures on Monday night. No disrespect is intended towards Córdoba but they are relegation favourites for a reason and I feel a Real Madrid win may be as close to a sure thing as there is in football gambling – HOME WIN.

No disrespect is intended towards Córdoba but they are relegation favourites for a reason. A Real Madrid win may be as close to a sure thing as there is in football gambling.


Ipswich Town vs. Norwich City – Saturday 23rd August – K.O. 12.15pm

Prediction: HOME WIN

Odds: 17/10

The Canaries have lived up to their Premier reputation, winning two of their opening three fixtures. And they have continued to strengthen, with the unveiling of Stoke City frontman and one-time England international Cameron Jerome, on Wednesday evening. The Tractor Boys from Portman Road currently sit on four points and have consolidated the momentum instilled in them by the dangerous duo of Mick McCarthy and Terry Connor midway through last season. Ipswich opened their account with a resolute victory over ex-Prem boys Fulham and since then they have maintained an air of organised optimism as they have stayed strong in defence whilst always looking to catch teams on the break with the killer finishing ability of frontman David McGoldrick. So whilst the Canaries might be the favourites for this one, the brave ones among you should be looking to McCarthy’s men – HOME WIN.

Ben Wright

Odds sourced at (accurate at 12.00 21.08.2014)

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21-year-old Ameri-Czech student of Politics & Economics at the University of Nottingham. Sports Editor @impactmagazine. FFC worshipper. European.

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