FIVE TO FOLLOW: DECEMBER 4

NEVER mind five to follow, the challenge this weekend is picking five games that don’t fall over.

In fact, here’s a great idea. Pick a line that involves games that go ahead and you get your stake back if you get one wrong. Bookies will love it (honest). Go on put it them in large numbers and see if they warm to it.

With Scotland wiped out and plenty of lower-league games off in England punters would be wise to focus their attention on the Premier League.

West Ham might look good to some at 17-5 with Chandler after their 4-0 hammering of Man United in the Carling Cup. It was a fine result but one handed to them by a young Old Trafford side who made a series of defensive howlers.

You won’t get a streetwise Sunderland making the same kind of errors when the sides meet at the Stadium of Light. Steve Bruce’s side were on a great run – including a 3-0 win at Chelsea – until last week’s loss at Wolves and I expect them to rebound with a victory.

Everton let themselves down last week by being hammered 4-1 at home to West Brom. It was a dreadful one and they must have winced when they saw what was next up – a trip to Chelsea. The Blues have stuttered in recent weeks but the return of skipper John Terry and key midfielder Michael Essien will give them a massive lift. Everton are without banned skipper Mikel Arteta and a lack of goals is hurting them. Back Chelsea at 4-11 across the board.

Stoke are a side on form and I expect them to return from Wigan with three points. They battered West Brom 3-0 on their last away trip then snatched a last-minute point at home to Man City last week to further lift morale. Stoke are streetwise and tough to beat and should wallop a Wigan side who are without main goal threat Hugo Rodallega.

You’ll need to check the Championship for call-offs but if it’s on I’ll be all over Cardiff at home to free-falling Preston. Cardiff crashed to leaders QPR but there was nothing in it and with the leaders’ game postponed they can close the gap to two points.

Darren Ferguson’s Preston are rooted to the foot of the table and are bottom of the form guides. There looks no way out for them at the moment and Cardiff should be taken confidently at the likes of 1-2 with William Hill and Ladbrokes.

And finally add Barcelona to beat Osasuna. This is one that will definitely be on and it’s tough to ignore the La Liga leaders after their 5-0 smash-hit show against Real Madrid on Monday.

Again Barca are a bit short at 1-4 with the likes of Coral and Ladbrokes so go minus one at 4-6 with Stan James. Osasuna are unbeaten at home this season but Barca have a 100 per cent record on the road with 21 goals in their six outings.

Lionel Messi was the star turn against Real without scoring. The little Argentine maestro will be determined to get on the scoresheet and is 9-4 with Betfred and Ladbrokes to score first.

Five to follow

  • Sunderland
  • Chelsea
  • Stoke
  • Cardiff
  • Barcelona -1
  • Perm any 4 and all 5 (6 bets)
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