Loftus Road

Midweek Preview and Predictions

@0riginalfooty takes a look at the midweek fixtures for the 25th round of Premier League football. Last time out we got five out of ten predictions right and one correct score. Will we do better this week?


Arsenal vs Leicester (19:45)
The Gunners suffered a disappointing derby defeat to bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur having been ahead and, in truth, looked the weaker side. Leicester suffered another defeat and their mini-renaissance has come to a halt. There were further problems after the match after Nigel Pearson was reportedly sacked only for those rumours to be proved as false later on. In short, Leicesterface a very uncertain future. Arsene Wenger will be looking for a response from his side to keep them in the hunt for a top-four spot and they shouldn’t have too much trouble beating The Foxes.
Prediction: Arsenal 3-0 Leicester

Hull vs Aston Villa (19:45)
This is a huge match between two sides struggling at the bottom of the table but both will enter it with renewed optimism. Hull were moments away from leaving the Etihad with all three points and their performance has reduced the pressure on Steve Bruce, which will further decrease if they beat Villa. The Villans, meanwhile, produced a spirited display against Chelsea and if they can start performing like that against the sides around them, then they are more than capable of escaping the drop. It’s hard to predict which side will be boosted the most from their weekend endeavours but both teams will be desperate to not lose and a draw could be on the cards.
Prediction: Hull 1-1 Aston Villa

Sunderland vs QPR (19:45)
The Black Cats have started to pull clear of relegation trouble and the signing of Jermain Defoe has given the whole club a lift. On the other hand, QPR seem to be in big trouble. They conceded a late goal to lose to Southampton and could really do with a morale-boosting victory away from home. It’s hard to see that happening, though.
Prediction: Sunderland 2-0 QPR

Liverpool vs Spurs (20:00)
Liverpool missed a big opportunity to close the gap on a few of their top-four rivals with a goalless draw against Everton. Spurs had no such problem and Harry Kane emphatically fired them to victory over Arsenal to guide them into fifth. Liverpool thumped Spurs 3-0 in the reverse fixture but Mauricio Pochettino’s men have had success in their most recent matches against their rivals and you wouldn’t bet against them getting at least a draw at Anfield.
Prediction: Liverpool 2-2 Spurs


Chelsea vs Everton (19:45)
Jose Mourinho’s men may not have been at their best at Villa Park on Saturday but they did what every great side does and ground out a victory. Everton have improved greatly in the last few weeks but are still not playing at the level that Roberto Martinez would expect of them. Chelsea should earn a comfortable home victory.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Everton

Man United vs Burnley (19:45)
Daley Blind scored a late equaliser to earn United a point at Upton Park while Burnley let another two goal lead slip against West Brom. Burnley’s run of fixtures looks daunting and it’s hard to make a strong case for their survival given their tendency to drop points from winning positions. United have been very up and down all season and have rarely looked like the attacking force that most people were expecting to see. Having said that, they have enough to beat The Clarets.
Prediction: Man United 2-1 Burnley

Southampton vs West Ham (19:45)
The Saints recorded an impressive away win at Loftus Road to move into third in the table and Ronald Koeman’s side continue to battle for a top-four place. The Hammers dominated Man United but just came up short to land all three points. Both these sides have demonstrated throughout the season that they are no pushovers and this should be a tight game but I fancy Southampton to nick it.
Prediction: Southampton 2-1 West Ham

Stoke vs Man City (19:45)
Both these sides scored late on to earn a point this weekend. Peter Crouch nodded home to level for The Potters against Newcastle while James Milner’s free-kick salvaged a point against Hull. It’s very difficult to predict against Stoke when they’re at home but the fact that City will be desperate to bounce back after their weekend result coupled with their wanting to avenge their defeat to Stoke in the reverse fixture should mean that they come out on top.
Prediction: Stoke 1-2 Man City

Crystal Palace vs Newcastle (20:00)
This game will mean an awful lot to Alan Pardew, who will be desperate to record a win over his former side. Pardew’s short reign at Palace has been an unqualified success and they recorded another victory against Leicester to fire themselves into 13th and six points clear of the relegation zone. John Carver, on the other hand, has done ok in his brief time in charge of The Magpies but his spell at the helm has been largely unspectacular. The atmosphere should be intense inside Selhurst Park and I’m tipping Pardew to get the win.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 2-1 Newcastle

West Brom vs Swansea (20:00)
Both sides recovered from losing positions to earn a point at the weekend and Tony Pulis is yet to produce the airtight defence that many people were expecting of him. Swansea have enjoyed a very good season but I can’t see them finishing any higher than their current position in 9th but a mid-table finish would represent a success. A draw seems inevitable in this one.
Prediction: West Brom 1-1 Swansea


A First Time Footballer

This week our First Time Footballer reveals the results of the stadium quiz and takes a look at the tragic death of Albert Ebosse.

The results are in…
1. Who plays at Upton Park? West Ham
2. Crystal Palace play at which ground? –
3. The club that Alan Pardew manages play in which stadium? St James’ Park
4. The KC stadium is the home of which club? Hull
5. QPR play where? Loftus Road
6. White Hart Lane is the home of…? Tottenham
7. Brendan Rodgers’ team play where? Anfield
8. Leicester City play at which ground? King Power Stadium
9. Burnley play their home matches at…? Turf Moor
10. The Stadium Of Light is the home of? Sunderland

I make that an impressive 9/10 – an improvement on my last football knowledge quiz! A few of the stadiums have particularly memorable names, which made it quite easy to memorise them ‘KING POWER STADIUM’ and ‘STADIUM OF LIGHT’ sound especially grand and I would quite like to learn the stories behind the naming of these football homes.

Albert Ebosse. Not a name I’ve ever come across in football until two days ago. The Cameroonian, playing for Algerian team JS Kabylie, was last season’s top goal scorer in the Algerian league with 17 goals. He was only 24 years old and showed great promise as a footballer.

Albert Ebosse was tragically killed by fans throwing rocks

Albert Ebosse was tragically killed by fans throwing rocks

He died as a result of an object, thought be a rock or piece of concrete, that was thrown on to the pitch and hit his head. After Ebosse and his team lost 2-1 at home (Ebosse having scored his team’s only goal), angry and disappointed fans took to hurling objects onto the pitch. I have no doubt that whoever is responsible had no intention of killing anyone, let alone a star player, but how you can throw concrete slabs into a group of people and expect a happy ending? This certainly isn’t the first incident of angry fans acting unacceptably, but it is most definitely one of the saddest that I’ve come across.

I appreciate that fans may feel irritated and disheartened by a loss – but go and have a couple of drinks, punch a wall (gently) or shout about it (into a pillow)… There is no excuse for what the footballing world has seen this week.