As we enter the home straight of this Premier League season, we can only hope that managers will want to finish with a bang, meaning goals. With that in mind, I have landed my net-bulging predictions on Wigan Athletic v Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United v Liverpool and Arsenal v Manchester United.
Last week was an unmitigated disaster for an ‘over 2.5 goals’ enthusiast, with only one of the seven top-flight games on Saturday seeing more than two strikes fly in.
Good goalkeeping? Poor finishing? Who cares? Let’s just hope the most exciting league in the world reverts back to type this weekend.
If you want to place the free £20 bet you get for signing up to a bwin account on this treble, then you might just see a return of just over £100.
Which is better than a kick in the knackers, I’m sure you’ll agree (unless you’re a lady of course).
Over 2.5 goals in Wigan v Tottenham @ 18/25
I always feel obliged to select this fixture purely because I have never been able to get Tottenham’s 9-1 hammering of the Latics in 2009 out of my head.
Jermain Defoe scored five that day, and will likely be lining up at the DW on Saturday as Spurs chase a Champions League place following their impressive 3-1 win over Manchester City last time out.
Roberto Martinez has been doing his best to reproduce the Houdini act to drag Wigan away from the relegation zone, but promising performances have not been followed by positive results.
Good outings at Man City and West Ham last week still yielded zero points, and the FA Cup finalists will feel under immense pressure to get a win over Spurs to try to catch relegation rivals Aston Villa.
As a rare game featuring two teams who still need to scrap for points, I think both will score, and with Gareth Bale on the field, the away side will likely score more than once.
Over 2.5 goals in Newcastle v Liverpool @ 18/25
Newcastle let me down last week against West Brom. Their 1-1 draw was only the third time in the last 18 meetings between the two that less than 2.5 goals had been scored, but I’ll forgive them as long as they come through this week.
Liverpool visit St James’ Park in the evening kick-off on Saturday, hoping to put a rather tumultuous week behind them.
Brendan Rodgers will face the first of ten games without suspended star striker Luis Suarez, but will have been buoyed by the form shown by Daniel Sturridge when he came on at half-time on Sunday against former club Chelsea.
The Reds have seen 13 of their 17 away league games feature over 2.5 goals, while 12 of the Geordies’ home games can boast the same stat, leading me to believe there will be goals here.
Come on, this is the fixture that brought us two astonishing 4-3 scorelines in the 1990s.
Over 2.5 goals in Arsenal v Manchester Utd @ 18/25
When Sky decided that this would be their Super Sunday game, I bet they thought it would have more riding on it than it does, but it should still be a cracker.
Arsenal will not enjoy doing a guard of honour for the new Premier League champions, including former Gunners hero Robin van Persie, but they can get their own back by claiming three points in their quest for Champions League football next season.
Having said that, despite it essentially being a meaningless game for United, don’t expect Sir Alex Ferguson’s men to let up, especially Van Persie, who has the golden boot (and some Emirates boo boys) in his sights.
Four of the last five meetings between the sides have seen over 2.5 goals scored, and with both teams being far from convincing defensively, expect the goals to flow in north London on Sunday.
Follow David on Twitter @whichdave