Weblog: The football punter

More goals from strikers in red and white, please

Red was the dominant colour in the Premier League on Saturday with handsome home wins for Manchester United, Liverpool, Stoke and Sunderland.

I'm still kicking myself for not backing Stoke's Jonathan Walters to bag a hat-trick against QPR - it was obvious, wasn't it? - but hopefully a couple of other red-and-white clad strikers can make up for that disappointment today.

With Alexis Sanchez doubtful, Olivier Giroud could be the key man for an Arsenal side who should do some serious damage to Aston Villa's defence.

Giroud has looked in great nick since his return from injury and I reckon we could be seeing that smug lying-down celebration sooner rather than later against Villa. Back the Frenchman to open the scoring at the Emirates.

Another striker who looks as though he spends plenty of time doing his hair - sadly that's a distant memory for me - is Graziano Pelle, who can break the deadlock for Southampton against Swansea.

He had a cracking start to his Saints career, then went off the boil, but he notched first in the FA Cup humdinger against Crystal Palace last time out.

He seems like a streaky striker to me and Swansea's defence has shipped 16 goals in six games and they could make Pelle look like, er, Pele this afternoon.



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Match in Focus


Caen v St-Etienne

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • St-Etienne have conceded only two goals in their last nine league games – an own goal and a penalty
Expert verdict
St-Etienne's 12-game unbeaten run in Ligue 1 came to an end last weekend as Zlatan Ibrahimovic's penalty earned PSG a 1-0 win. However, lowly Caen are far less intimidating opponents than PSG and St-Etienne should have few problems condemning their hosts to a seventh defeat in 11 home league matches.