The Football Jackpot: Venables’ Verdict


Former England boss Terry Venables gives his predictions on this weekend’s Football Jackpot matches, with Coral offering you the chance to turn £1 into £1,000,000.

Arsenal v Aston Villa
Arsene’s not got much time left to get more players but the Gunners will still be hoping for big things this year. Villa didn’t have a great season, finishing 15th, but a lot of their young players will be gaining confidence. After a hard opener, I’m expecting a better season from them.
Venables’ Verdict: Home Win

Norwich v Everton
Everton had a great year but Norwich didn’t do badly either and I think this one will be tight. Martinez is a good guy, great coach and did a marvellous job at Wigan where he worked under a terrific chairman. That’s very important to a manager and he’s got the same again at Everton.
Venables’ Verdict: Draw

Sunderland v Fulham
Paolo Di Canio needs to have a good start. It’s not an easy league to be in and he started with a bang when he took the job. It’s a good start being at home to Fulham, who defensively are very capable but need some goal power to do better than the impressive 12th place they secured last year.
Venables’ Verdict: Draw

West Brom v Southampton
The Baggies beat Saints twice last year, scoring five goals without reply and the South Coast side know if they want to stay in the league they have got to start working from today. Being in the England squad will make Lambert feel 10ft tall and West Brom will need to watch out for him.
Venables’ Verdict: Home Win

West Ham v Cardiff
This game is all on who has the best start. Promoted Cardiff had a fantastic season and can come out traps running because they are a good side. But Sam will have West Ham well prepared. They are good at home and I see them edging a tight one.
Venables’ Verdict: Home Win

Derby v Leicester
Two sides who both have a good chance of getting involved in the promotion hunt in the Championship. It’s a league where results are notoriously difficult to predict but I’ll take Nigel Clough’s side to nick the Midlands derby.
Venables’ Verdict: Home Win

Nottingham Forest v Bolton
Another two with play-off potential and both sides will fancy their chances of making it back into the top flight. Forest have made the perfect start but Wanderers are yet to be beaten, so there will be little to choose here.
Venables’ Verdict: Draw

QPR v Ipswich
Rangers have had a good start under Harry Redknapp and need to keep driving forward if they want to bounce back this year. I think they will be too strong for the Tractor Boys.
Vernables’ Verdict: Home Win

Reading v Watford
The Championship is so tight, again, this could go either way. Reading relish being at home but the Hornets are a very good side under Gianfranco Zola and narrowly lost out in the play-offs last season.
Venables’ Verdict: Draw

Hibernian v Dundee United
It’s difficult for teams in such a small league where they keep playing each other time and again. United finished a place above Hibs last year and I can see them winning this.
Venables’ Verdict: Away Win

Inverness v Motherwell
Motherwell had a strong season in finishing runners-up to Celtic but I like the look of Inverness, who have a great team spirit and also had a good campaign.
Venables’ Verdict: Home Win

Swansea v Man Utd
Swansea will give them problems but United will look in-form from the word go. The Rooney situation has gone on so long people get are getting fed up with it. The players will be thinking: “We’d love to have you back but if you don’t want to be here, we’ve got to get on with it.”
Venables’ Verdict: Away Win

Crystal Palace v Tottenham
I’m going for Spurs. Palace had a good year and have got a lot going for them. They have a good spirit and a manager doing a terrific job who always puts 100 per cent into it. Spurs won’t find it easy but I think they will just squeak through.
Venables’ Verdict: Away Win

Chelsea v Hull
Chelsea still need a striker, even more so if they don’t sign Rooney, and I also think they need a centre-half. The Tigers will be fighting but if the Blues don’t win this, they’ll be really upset with themselves as it’s three points for the taking.
Venables’ Verdict: Home Win

Man City v Newcastle
City are going to have a really good year and they will be delighted to play at home in the first fixture. I like Pellegrini’s style. He’s a good manager who plays a cool hand and has done a lot of good work over years. Newcastle know where they went wrong last year and will set out to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Venables’ Verdict: Home Win

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