Month: October 2014

Weekend Preview and Predictions

@Originalfooty takes a look at the fixtures for the tenth weekend of Premier League football. Last weekend we got four out of ten predictions correct and one correct score. Will we do better this week? 

Saturday

Newcastle vs Liverpool (12:45)
Alan Pardew’s men recorded an excellent midweek victory over Manchester City in the League Cup and are looking a far more solid outfit. Liverpool also earned a League Cup win, although it was fairly unconvincing. The atmosphere in the northeast is far more positive and their side are picking up results. Liverpool are on a similar points total to all their top-4 rivals despite their poor start to the season and they should nick all three points here.
Prediction: Newcastle 1-2 Liverpool

Arsenal vs Burnley (15:00)
The Gunners returned to winning ways last weekend but were rather gifted the three points by some hopeless Sunderland defending. Burnley are still awaiting their first win of the season and it seems unlikely that they will get anything from this one.
Prediction: Arsenal 3-0 Burnley

Chelsea vs QPR (15:00)
Jose Mourinho will have been very disappointed that his side didn’t hang on to secure all three points against United last weekend but won’t be too concerned by the visit of their west London rivals. QPR earned a good win over a hapless Aston Villa side on Monday night and Harry Redknapp will have been pleased to see Charlie Austin finding the back of the net.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 QPR

Everton vs Swansea (15:00)
The Toffees have turned their form around and are right back in the frame for the all-important top-four places. Swansea also returned to winning ways and have two more points than their opponents this weekend. Garry Monk’s side won’t make it easy for Roberto Martinez’s team but Everton should find a way through.
Prediction: Everton 2-1 Swansea

Hull vs Southampton (15:00)
Hull have recorded two excellent recent draws against Liverpool and Arsenal and confidence will be high amongst the group. Southampton, on the other hand, have been the best side in the league other than Chelsea and there is talk of them being surprise contenders for a top-four berth. Whether they can maintain their form over the course of the season remains to be seen but they should be able to beat Hull this weekend.
Prediction: Hull 1-2 Southampton

Leicester vs West Brom (15:00)
Leicester’s form has been getting gradually worse since their excellent start to the campaign and they are in danger of sliding into the relegation zone should results go against them this weekend. The Baggies have been in decent enough form but were fortunate to earn a point against Palace last weekend. This should be quite an open and entertaining game and I’m backing both sides to share the spoils.
Prediction: Leicester 2-2 West Brom

Stoke vs West Ham (15:00)
The Potters have lost twice to Southampton in this past week but gave a decent account of themselves in both matches so should come into this match feeling fairly confident. The Hammers find themselves riding high in fourth place and have played some excellent football this season. West Ham will probably enter this game as slight favourites but Stoke are generally good at home and should be able to get a point here.
Prediction: Stoke 1-1 West Ham

Sunday

Man City vs Man Utd (13:30)
This is the biggest game of the weekend and one that shouldn’t disappoint. City have made a sluggish start by their lofty standards and United look very open at the back. Their defensive deficiencies should be exploited by the likes of Sergio Aguero, although United will fancy their chances of getting at City’s back line. It should be an end to end all-out attacking display from both sides with plenty of goals but City will expect to win.
Prediction: Man City 3-2 Man Utd

Aston Villa vs Spurs (16:00)
Villa are in free-fall and don’t look like scoring any time soon. Benteke looks off the pace and Andreas Weimann and Gabriel Agbonlahor are offering little going forward. Spurs suffered a poor defeat to Newcastle last weekend and their lapses in concentration at the back don’t appear to have been stamped out by Mauricio Pochettino. Having said that, Villa are the team everyone wants to play at the moment and Spurs should blow them away.
Prediction: Aston Villa 0-3 Spurs

Monday

Crystal Palace vs Sunderland (20:00)
Palace played well for large spells of the match against West Brom last weekend and will have been disappointed to let a two-goal lead slip late on. Sunderland, meanwhile, are full of errors at the moment and are gifting victory to opponents. They were improved at the back against Arsenal, errors aside, but look toothless going forward and Palace can scrape a victory.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-0 Sunderland

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Weekend Preview and Predictions

@Originalfooty takes a look at the fixtures for the ninth weekend of Premier League football. Last weekend we got six out of ten predictions correct and one correct score. Will we do better this week? 

Saturday

West Ham vs Man City (12:45)
West Ham maintained their excellent start to the season by beating Burnley and now find themselves sitting fourth in the table. City are achieving what people would expect of them in the league but seem to have lost the swagger of last season and the ability to brush past sides with heavy score-lines. Their midweek capitulation against CSKA Moscow could lead to an early Champions League exit, which makes every league game vital for them. West Ham have played well so far but this is a different calibre of opponent who should have too much for them.
Prediction: West Ham 1-3 Man City

Liverpool vs Hull (15:00)
The Reds are really struggling at the moment. A lot of the blame is being pinned on Mario Balotelli but, whilst he has been poor, it is ludicrous to hold him singlehandedly responsible for the clubs decline this season. Teams in the division believe they can beat this Liverpool team who look just as vulnerable at the back but without the attacking swagger provided by the likes of Luis Suarez. Hull are sitting 11th in the table, which is not far off where I’d expect them to finish at the season’s close. They will put up a fight but Liverpool should scrape a victory.
Prediction: Liverpool 2-1 Hull

Southampton vs Stoke (15:00)
Chelsea aside, Southampton are the form team this season and completely blew Sunderland away this weekend. Sunderland were very poor but The Saints played some great stuff and Koeman and his side deserve great credit. Stoke managed to come away with a contentious win over Swansea without playing particularly well – a good sign. They are a solid mid-table side but The Saints won’t fear them here.
Prediction: Southampton 3-1 Stoke

Sunderland vs Arsenal (15:00)
Sunderland will be determined to make amends for last weekend’s mauling at the hands of Southampton and will fancy their chances against an Arsenal side who aren’t in great form at the moment. Despite not playing well at the moment, Wenger’s side are showing great battle and determination to get a result and points that could be valuable come the end of the campaign. This should be close but Arsenal will most likely come out on top.
Prediction: Sunderland 1-2 Arsenal

West Brom vs Crystal Palace (15:00)
The Baggies have surprised many people with their recent performances and Saido Berahino is in stunning form. Palace, meanwhile, are struggling for a little bit of form but there still remains only one point between these sides and there shouldn’t be too much in it.
Prediction: West Brom 2-2 Crystal Palace

Swansea vs Leicester (17:30)
Swans boss Garry Monk was incensed at Victor Moses’ alleged dive last weekend but in truth he will be upset that his side didn’t put Stoke to the sword after dominating the match. Leicester have tailed off in recent weeks and teams are starting to work out how to play against them. This should be an entertaining game but Swansea should come away with all three points.
Prediction: Swansea 2-1 Leicester

Sunday

Burnley vs Everton (13:30)
Burnley are in desperate need of a win before they get completely cut off from the rest of the league along with QPR. Everton finally clinched three points at home against Aston Villa and were in complete control throughout the match. The return of Ross Barkley has come at a good time for The Toffees who, despite a poor start, are still within touching distance of most of their rivals.
Prediction: Burnley 0-2 Everton

Spurs vs Newcastle (13:30)
Spurs may have lost to Man City last weekend but they played some very good football and the likes of Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela are offering them a good attacking outlook. Alan Pardew’s job looks safe for the time being after some good recent form and he deserves credit for not hiding away in times of adversity. This should bring the end of their three-match unbeaten run, however.
Prediction: Spurs 2-1 Newcastle

Man Utd vs Chelsea (16:00)
This is the big game of the weekend and one that should be thoroughly entertaining. United still look vulnerable at the back but are a serious threat going forward and will be confident of scoring against any side in the league. Chelsea have been the strongest team in the division so far and no one looks close to matching them at the moment. Louis van Gaal will be praying that Diego Costa has not recovered from his various problems in time for the match as Costa would be licking his lips at the chance to play against United’s porous back line. Chelsea should win but it could be very high scoring.
Prediction: Man Utd 2-4 Chelsea

Monday

QPR vs Aston Villa (20:00)
QPR delivered their best performance of the season last weekend and if it wasn’t for three lapses in concentration they could have got something from Liverpool. Redknapp has since been embroiled with a public, and largely embarrassing, war of words with Adel Taarabt and there are questions arising over Harry’s judgement at the moment. Villa have just finished a terrible run of fixtures and this match should see Benteke closer to making an impact – bad news for QPR fans. Having said that, Villa’s performance levels have dropped in the last couple of weeks so this could easily end in a draw.
Prediction: QPR 1-1 Aston Villa

 

Everton 3-0 Aston Villa

Ross Barkley completed 65 minutes following a lengthy layoff as Everton strolled to a comfortable victory against Aston Villa.

England international Barkley tore his knee ligaments in a training session earlier this season that had ruled him out since August.

Phil Jagielka, Romelu Lukaku and Seamus Coleman all scored as Villa conceded their 11th consecutive goal without scoring.

Christian Benteke made his first start of the season and had a goal disallowed in the second half.

It was a comfortable afternoon for Everton who secured their first home win of the season.

Leighton Baines provided two assists as The Toffees returned to form following a poor start to the season.

Villa have now reached the end of their horrific run of fixtures that has seen them face last season’s top five.

Everton took the lead in the 17th minute as Jagielka headed home a whipped in cross by Baines from six yards out.

Nathan Baker limped off after blocking a Steven Naismith shot and was replaced by Ciaran Clark.

Alan Hutton almost equalised moments later with a curled left-footed shot from 25 yards but it flew narrowly wide.

Lukaku extended Everton’s lead as Brad Guzan let the Belgian’s tame strike slip under his body and into the back of the net.

Benteke then had an effort disallowed for shoving Antolin Alacaraz in the back before putting the ball past Tim Howard.

Seamus Coleman added a third after a good ball into the box from Baines.

Weekend Preview and Predictions

@Originalfooty takes a look at the fixtures for the eighth weekend of Premier League football. Last weekend we got five out of ten predictions correct and one correct score. Will we do better this week? 

Man City vs Spurs (12:45)
City have negotiated two tough away trips and we all know that they can go several gears higher against bigger teams. Unfortunately for Spurs, they often feel the full force of City’s might. The London club have a very poor record against the bigger sides and it’s hard to see that changing at The Etihad.
Prediction: Man City 3-1 Spurs

Arsenal vs Hull (15:00)
Arsenal suddenly look a bit depleted at right-back with Calum Chambers suspended and Mathieu Debuchy out injured so Hull will look to take advantage of that. Having said that, Arsenal still have a lot going forward and should be able to pick off The Tigers.
Prediction: Arsenal 3-1 Hull

Burnley vs West Ham (15:00)
Burnley are really struggling for goals but secured an important draw with Leicester next weekend. They will desperately need to secure a win somewhere before they get cut adrift along with Newcastle and QPR but West Ham have shown excellent recent form. Sam Allardyce has done a terrific job in galvanising his team’s style and they should continue their good run with another win here.
Prediction: Burnley 0-1 West Ham

Crystal Palace vs Chelsea (15:00)
Palace have done pretty well under Neil Warnock, despite sitting in a lowly position in the league, but Chelsea look unstoppable at the moment. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that they will remain unbeaten all season but they will certainly take some beating. Mourinho’s teams have a habit of grounding out away victories and whilst Palace will give them a game, a Chelsea win is very likely.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-2 Chelsea

Everton vs Aston Villa (15:00)
Everton have had a dreadful start to the season and will need to pick up points quickly to rise up the table. Villa, on the other hand, are coming to the end of one of the worst runs of fixtures any fixture machine could have thrown out and, although they have lost three on the spin without scoring, they have performed admirably against the big sides. Fabian Delph’s injury is a devastating blow, however, and Everton will be confident of recording a win here.
Prediction: Everton 1-0 Aston Villa 

Newcastle vs Leicester (15:00)
Leicester have made an excellent start to the season but they will have been disappointed to let their lead slip against Burnley last weekend. Newcastle, meanwhile, have made a terrible start and if they don’t pick up a result here, Pardew could be heading for the exit door. Newcastle have shown some good battling qualities to fight back in recent games but the crowd will get on their back at home if they don’t take the initiative and I fancy Leicester to hit them on the break and snatch a victory.
Prediction: Newcastle 1-2 Leicester

Southampton vs Sunderland (15:00)
Southampton have been a revelation under Koeman and the manager deservedly won the manager of the month award for September. Sunderland had a good result last weekend and are proving tough to beat but Southampton should have too much for them.
Prediction: Southampton 3-0 Sunderland 

QPR vs Liverpool (13:00)
The focus of this game will be on Raheem Sterling who was left out of England’s starting line up citing tiredness and returns to play against his childhood club. QPR have been one of the worst teams in the division this season and currently deserve to be languishing at the bottom of the table. This is a good game for Sterling to return to top form and Liverpool should edge victory.
Prediction: QPR 1-2 Liverpool

Stoke vs Swansea (16:00)

Stoke will be disappointed with how they’ve began the campaign and will be keen to regain the home form that has struck fear into sides for so many years. Swansea will be delighted with their start and yet there are only three points between these sides, which demonstrates the tight nature of the Premier League. Stoke need to start performing at home and they should get a point here.
Prediction: Stoke 1-1 Swansea

West Brom vs Man United (20:00)
Judging by recent United matches, this should be an excellent game. The Red Devils have an attack that can score against any team but sadly their defence does not match. Saido Berahino is performing ably for The Baggies and will fancy his chances of adding to his tally against United’s shaky back line. Having said that, United should have far too much going forward and this should be a comfortable victory.
Prediction: West Brom 1-4 Man United

On the whistle: Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal

Jose Mourinho extended his unbeaten record against Arsene Wenger to 12 matches as Chelsea battled to victory over Arsenal.

Diego Costa continued his excellent scoring record by notching his ninth goal in seven Premier League appearances.

Former Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas provided the assist for Costa’s goal to ensure it was a happy afternoon for the Spaniard after Eden Hazard had opened the scoring.

Hazard both won and converted his penalty to give Chelsea a first half advantage and extend their lead at the top of the table to five points.

The Gunners failed to register a single shot on target before the 90th minute, despite enjoying a decent amount of possession, and were outmanoeuvred by Mourinho’s men.

The match was delayed by fifteen minutes due to a flare being set off by an entrance to the away end.

Alexis Sanchez was denied a chance by an onrushing Courtois, who was flattened by the Arsenal winger for his troubles.

Gary Cahill earned himself a booking for a poor challenge on Sanchez that led to Mourinho and Wenger being involved in a heated exchange on the touchline.

Courtois was still suffering from his accidental clash with Sanchez and was replaced by Petr Cech just after the 21st minute. Courtois was taken to hospital.

Chambers was then booked, for the fifth time this season, for a challenge on Eden Hazard and now misses Arsenal’s next match against Hull.

Hazard was involved again moments later as he brilliantly skipped past three Arsenal defenders including Laurent Koscielny who subsequently brought him down and was booked.

Hazard casually rolled the penalty into the corner with Szczesny diving the wrong way.

Hazard caused Arsenal numerous problems and his drilled ball across the box deflected off Flamini to force Szczesny into an excellent save.

The Gunners were then incensed that they weren’t awarded a penalty after Fabregas blocked a Wilshire shot with his hands.

Costa scored Chelsea’s second by looping the ball over Szczesny after an excellent ball over the top of Arsenal’s backline from Fabregas.

Costa then missed an open goal in stoppage time that could have been his tenth goal of the season.

Weekend Preview and Predictions

@Originalfooty takes a look at the fixtures for the seventh weekend of Premier League football. Last weekend we got seven out of ten predictions correct and one correct score. Will we do better this week? 

Saturday

Hull vs Crystal Palace (15:00)
Crystal Palace lie seven places above Hull despite there only being two points between them. Warnock has steadied the ship extremely well during his brief time at the helm of the club and deserves great credit. Hull are without a win since the opening day of the season, although they have scored six goals in their last three matches. Steve Bruce will be concerned at the amount of goals they’re conceding and will hope to add more solidity. This should be a tight game and a draw seems the most probable result.
Prediction: Hull 1-1 Crystal Palace

Leicester vs Burnley (15:00)
Leicester’s brilliant start to the season stuttered as they were comfortably beaten by Crystal Palace. Burnley, meanwhile, are without a goal since the their first match of the season and Sean Dyche will be concerned at their lack of firepower. Conceding four goals to West Brom last weekend can only be viewed as a disaster. It’s hard to see anything other than a Leicester win in this one.
Prediction: Leicester 2-0 Burnley

Liverpool vs West Brom (15:00)
Liverpool are in terrible form and look toothless going forward. Whilst Sturridge was out injured, they lacked any runners in behind the opposition defence and attacked with no pace going forward making themselves very easy to defend against. The Baggies produced an excellent result last weekend and confidence will be high in their camp. However, with Sturridge set to return, Liverpool should stop the rot.
Prediction: Liverpool 2-1 West Brom

Sunderland vs Stoke (15:00)
Sunderland are proving tough to beat but, equally, are yet to win a match. The may have only lost once this season but their lack of goals are proving to be a real concern for Gus Poyet as they hover just above the relegation zone. Stoke have recovered from their poor start and will be confident of returning from the Stadium of Light with at least a point.
Prediction: Sunderland 1-1 Stoke

Swansea vs Newcastle (15:00)
The future of Alan Pardew will continue to be under intense scrutiny until Newcastle can produce a convincing victory and that is unlikely to happen in this fixture. The Swans have made a fantastic start to the season and Garry Monk is performing excellently in his managerial role. The Magpies need three points desperately but a convincing Swansea victory should be on the cards.
Prediction: Swansea 3-1 Newcastle

Aston Villa vs Man City (17.30)
Villa have now conceded six goals in their last two matches and they are struggling against the top sides. Christian Benteke is set to return to the bench this weekend and that will provide a massive boost to the Midlands club who currently lack ideas going forward. City dropped vital points against Roma in midweek and could easily have lost the match. The system that Pellegrini is trying to play at the moment isn’t working and their midfield is being overrun more often than not. Fortunately for them, they’re catching Villa at a good time and should return from Villa Park with all three points.
Prediction: Aston Villa 1-2 Man City

Sunday

Man United vs Everton (12:00)
This should be a fascinating match between two sides who are very shaky at the back. Everton have had a dreadful start to the season and only a late wondergoal from Phil Jagielka saved them from defeat to their bitter rivals Liverpool. They also faced a midweek trip to Russia that will add to their fatigue. United will score goals but there are still lingering doubts over their defensive capabilities. Fortunately for van Gaal, many of their rivals for the top four have made poor starts and they already find themselves ahead of Everton, Liverpool and Spurs. This should be a high-scoring fixture and United should be able to secure the win.
Prediction: Man United 4-2 Everton

Chelsea vs Arsenal (14:05)
This is a clash between two of the sides I firmly expect to finish in the top four this season. Having said that, only one of them can realistically win the title. There are no prizes for guessing which side are the odds-on favourite to win the league. Jose Mourinho’s side are a very efficient team who look a class above every other team in the division. Arsenal still have their defensive frailties and Chelsea are well equipped to expose them, although it won’t be such a heavy defeat as last season for The Gunners.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal

Spurs vs Southampton (14:05)
Mauricio Pochettino welcomes his former club to White Hart Lane on Sunday afternoon, which should add extra spice to an already tasty clash. Southampton are the form team in the league and are sitting pretty in second place in the league. Ronald Koeman has arguably turned them to an even stronger force than last season and Pochettino will be dreading the visit of his former side. Spurs are yet to really get going in the league and they could drop more points at home here.
Prediction: Spurs 1-1 Southampton

West Ham vs QPR (16:15)
The final match of the weekend sees a clash between two London clubs. The Hammers have had a decent enough start to the league and on their day look capable of causing any side problems. QPR are another side who are struggling for goals and are conceding too many as well. Not a good combination. West Ham should have too much for their London counterparts.
Prediction: West Ham 2-0 QPR