First things first.
No-one won the Jackpot last time round, so that means it rolls over this week. As a result, the pot now stands at a whopping £300,000.
If you fancy getting your greasy mitts on that pile of cash, make sure to get your picks in by 3pm on Saturday or you risk missing out.
In order to make things easier for you, we’ve listed our own choices below. These are based on last year’s First Goalscorer statistics, so there’s method to our madness.
Newcastle v West Ham
Michail Antonio actually performed pretty damn well in the First Goalscorer market last season, notching five wins, so he’s not an unreasonable pick here – presuming he actually plays. However, given the uncertainty in that regard, Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez seems the safe pick. He’s already made an impact, bagging a brace in his last match.
Chelsea v Everton
Last season, Romelu Lukaku was the star man for the Toffees, and excelled at netting the first goal, which he did seven times across 2016/17. Sadly for Everton fans (but happily for the club’s accountants), the Belgian has moved on to pastures new.
For Chelsea, Diego Costa and Eden Hazard were the main men, notching 16 First GS wins between them.
But with neither of them likely to start, we’re left with a dilemma.
A tempting option would be Wayne Rooney, given his two goals in two starts so far, but because of home advantage we’re plumping for Chelsea’s Alvaro Morata. The Spaniard looks dangerous, and despite Everton’s good form, the Blues are a better team, so we’re backing their spearhead to do the damage.
Man Utd v Leicester
There’s no point beating about the bush here. As mentioned earlier, Romelu Lukaku was a first goalscorer machine last year. He’s also in sparkling form at the moment.
Don’t waste too much time considering other options. Pick Lukaku.
West Brom v Stoke
Ah. The El Pulisico.
Neither of these team’s players were particularly consistent when it came to bagging the first goal in 2016/17, and it’s quite difficult to choose a winner here.
It would be tempting to back Saido Berahino to return to haunt his old manager/club, but there’s no guarantee he’ll start. West Brom, meanwhile, don’t appear to have a host of players who you’d consider to be ‘lethal’ in front of goal.
For that reason, there’s no harm in going with form. Jesé looked dangerous against Arsenal and scored the goal that sank the Gunners, so – presuming he starts – he may well be the best option.
Liverpool v Arsenal
A tough one to call in the match that literally dozens of people are describing as the ‘Crisis Club Derby’. Alexis was excellent for the London side last year, winning the first goalscorer market nine times across the season. But, even if he does actually set foot on the pitch (which is 50/50), he may be off the pace.
For that reason, we’re going with Sadio Mane, who netted the opening goal on six occasions in 2016/17. Liverpool look a spicy attacking side, and Arsenal’s defence is as suspect as an unsolicited email from a Ugandan prince, so it’s not unrealistic to be fairly confident that the Merseyside outfit will do most of the scoring.
Tottenham v Burnley
Again, there’s little point in beating around the bush. If you’ve any sense, you’ll be picking Harry Kane here.
Spurs have been about as reliable as a marzipan dildo at Wembley, but should be able to cuff Burnley aside with relative ease. It’s hardly ludicrous to suggest that their star forward will be the man to break the deadlock.
Oh, and there’s the small matter of his ten first goal victories last season.
Hotshot Jackpot – Round 3 Fixtures
Newcastle v West Ham, 15:00 Sat
Chelsea v Everton, 15:00 Sat
Man Utd v Leicester, 17:30 Sat
West Brom v Stoke, 13:30 Sun
Liverpool v Arsenal, 16:00 Sun
Spurs v Burnley, 16:00 Sun