Archive for December, 2011

EPL GAMEWEEK 19 PREDICTIONS

Posted: December 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

Mr. Claus came and went, the season was at a festive high and even the players had time to unwind and lay back. Never the less, here we are again, closing in… the January transfer window and perhaps a crucial period that determines the fate of most teams. Not only with strengthening squads in terms of depth but the return of a couple of Premier league stars from injury.

INTO THE NEW YEAR

Liverpool vs Newcastle…. a while back these two teams were slugging it out with Manchester for the top four bragging rights. But how things change! Liverpool are in a quagmire of racism charges against their star man Luis Suarez and their title hopes are as much as nabbing the pope with a pack of Dunhill cigarettes. Kenny Dalglish has rued his side’s lack of taking all three points but will even be more devastated by the loss of his most reliable front man. Suarez faces a one match ban before he even faces the 8 game charge that awaits. Newcastle on the other hand are trying to find their feet after a downward spiral trend. Demba Ba is the man to watch and Pardew will be worried what will become of his attack once the African cup competitions kick in-read Cheik Tiote . These two sides do battle at Anfield and with Luis Suarez, Lucas and Stevie G out of the fray, Liverpool are bound to struggle. Luis Enrique who has also been a revelation at Liverpool faces his former employers in what should be a close call. Though Liverpool have the home advantage I’m swinging for a paltry one all draw.

AVB somehow conceded that his team’s title chances are over but I for one, in a mathematical scheme of things, think The Blues still have a shot. Albeit a long shot! Fulham pegged Chelsea last time out in what was an under par display from JT’s BLUE army. Not even their new hero, one Daniel Sturridge could get them out of that one. The Blues host Aston Villa who to say the least depend heavily on Agbonlahor and Bent. If both get a nod, rest assured Chelsea’s back line will have things to ponder about. Albrighton is pacy as well as Agbonlahor and boasts of a good crossing foot whereas Bent in the box is as good as any top striker. Never the less I’m tipping Chelsea for 2 -1 win.

Norwich City take on Fulham and Paul Lambert will understand that Fulham are looking to put their demolition at the hands of Manchester United behind them. The Carrow Road side are starting to experience an indifferent run of from and should therefore start backing on home games to get crucial points. Fulham have two interesting lads in Moussa Dembele and Bryan Ruiz. Both are intelligent, can keep the ball under pressure and can provide a moment of genius with their bags of tricks. Martin Jol should harvest this as a platform for Dempsey’s goal mouth action and he would be wise as well to clear out differences with English forward Bobby Z. That being said, Fulham should see it out in a 2-1 win as well.

Westbrom have been getting surprise results lately most famously for holding Money City not to score for the first time this season. Roy Hodgson has definitely cemented his reputation as the ideal manager for less prestigious clubs. Many are still hoping Peter Odemwingie will start his goal scoring run sooner rather than later, however, Everton don’t seem the side to grant that wish. David Moyes as expected has seen his side through a difficult stretch and is enjoying a fine string of results. The fact that Tim Cahill has totally lost his head for goals, adds to the concerns of the lack of a real front man for Moyes. If Norwich summons their total footballing energies, a draw will pan out. Full time Everton 2, Norwich 1.

THE HIGHS AND LOWS

Bolton seems to be hitting rock bottom with every passing 90 minutes. One can only imagine what Owen Coyle is getting all wrong. This is that time of year when he has to continually question himself about Gary Cahill’s future, with the likes of Chelsea having their star man in their sights. Personally I don’t believe he is worth all that hype but that is not to say he isn’t a good player. Luckily enough all that could change when Wolves come to play ball at the JJB. Wolves are also swimming in the murky waters of relegation candidates and therefore everything is at stake for both sides. None will hold back. Wolves will be without key players and most recently, Milijas who got sent off for a lousy challenge on Arteta last time out at the Emirates. So, therefore, expect a barrage of goals in what I fancy will yield a draw.2-2. Taylor Fletcher, Kevin Hunt, Doyle, Eagles, Kevin Davies and Klasnic for the goals. Take a pick…

Manchester United are giving City a run for their money…literally. A burst of form has seen the Champions storm back to level points with City. This, even with injuries concerns to senior squad players. The Red Devil’s are scoring goals like its child’s play and one can only shake the head on behalf of Steve Kean when Blackburn come rolling. This will be seen as another opportunity to show intent by the Champions to all title challengers. United are the class act of bouncing back in English football. After a disappointing exit in the Champions league, United are back on track. You wonder if SAF’s famous dressing-room hairdryer pep talk has everything to do with it? Yakubu came to the fore with goals in previous games but the sizzle in him seems to have been put out. Samba and crew will pray to the gods for a favorable score line when 90 minutes are done. Prediction: United 3, Blackburn 0.

Before going into the not so relevant talking points, Stoke and Wigan will likely play to a 2-0 score. Tony Pulis will be happy the Europa league has little influence over their Premiership games lately. Roberto Martinez’ side is still struggling and even though Stoke are not in the same vein with The Red Devils they are a tough nut at the Brittania. Mathew Etherington has slowly started getting there whereas Walters has faded from the goals lately. Wigan pose able threats in Diame, Victor Moses and Gomez. If Stoke opt for total football, I would fancy Wigan getting something out of it. Never the less, if Stoke opt for their direct route-one football, their book of doing things, Shawcross, Delap, Huth, Crouch and company will be raining headers.

Manchester City boss Roberto Martinez was livid with his side’s inability to crack Westbrom’s backline last time out. For the first time in the season, City were pegged back to a goalless draw allowing their local rivals United to close the gap. He will however look to right the wrongs when they pay Sunderland a visit. Martin O’Neill is continuously winning over fans and turning haters alike at the Stadium of Light. Hosting league Leaders City will however dawn on him as the ultimate test for his achievement as this is not your regular courtesy call. I expect City to take out their frustration on Sunderland in a 4-1 win.

ADIEU 2011, BONJOUR 2012

As we roll into the new year, Arsenal have been sloppy of late, bossing the game when they have a lead but true to character, fail to exploit their advantage when need be. This sees them missing out on the top four slot which they keep on fighting for week in week out. Robin Van Persie is a hat trick away of ensuring a record is broken. I for one can tell the last time that happened; the lead scorer’s team won the league, at this stage, most unlikely for Arsenal. QPR visit the Emirates and Wenger will surely want to capitalize on this draw. The positives for QPR are that Helgusson penned a new contract but nothing else. RVP will surely get back to scoring books and if fit, Theo Walcott or even Ramsey. Full time scores: Arsenal 3-0 QPR.

Tottenham will be thanking God for the rise and rise of Gareth Bale. The Welshman singlehandedly ensured the White half of North London grabbed three points where all around them failed. He seems to be flourishing in his new role. Adebayor is also playing enviably well and a key figure for Harry Redknapp’s side. Harry himself will be hoping the forthcoming tax charges against him don’t encapsulate to anything tragic. Otherwise Tottenham are continuously proving they might finally have what a top four side requires. The return of England centre half Michael Dawson is a big boost for Harry and everything looks set when they visit Swansea. The hosts have a knack of not letting in too many goals at home thus Tottenham will have to work their socks off for a result. Swansea will definitely give it a go and therefore it will be a close call. Perhaps another ‘Bale heroic ‘will win it… or not. Prediction: Tottenham 2-1 Swansea.

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EPL GAMEWEEK 18 PREDICTIONS

Posted: December 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

Chelsea v Fulham

Chelsea play host to a Fulham side that was thoroughly humiliated by Manchester United in their previous game. Having played impressively against Tottenham, Chelsea will go into this duel with a lot of confidence and anything other than three points won’t be tolerated. Fulham on the other hand are out of pace and having been out witted by the defending champions, would not have wished to face another top flight team, especially Chelsea. Martin Jol’s spat with Zamora is not helping matters either and unless he sorts out this spat, they will be in for another rude shocker. A festive threesome of points is top of the wish list today for Chelsea if they want to play catch up with the Manchesters. Key battles:

John Arne Riise v Danny Sturridge

Juan Mata v Chris Baird

Bobby Zamora v John Terry

Clint Dempsey v Oriol Romeu

Prediction: Chelsea 3-0 Fulham

 Bolton v Newcastle

Bolton will be hoping to build on their impressive performance against Blackburn last week that saw them get all the three points to lift them off the bottom of the table. They will host a Newcastle team that has failed to win in their last six games after a high flying start of the season. Bolton will benefit a lot from the concentration of Gary Cahill in the midst of all the claims that he will actually be leaving in the January transfer window to Chelsea. As for Newcastle, its defence will do well if it stops conceding sloppy goals. Demba Ba goal scoring exploits will be much needed in this encounter if they plan on winning. Key battles:

Chris Eagles v James Perch

Ivan Klasnic v Mike Williamson

Demba Ba v Gary Cahill

Cheick Tiote v Fabrice Muamba

Prediction: Bolton 1:1 Newcastle

Liverpool v Blackburn

Though Liverpool have been anything but inconsistent, they face a side that is even worse, a side that plunges in deep crisis, Blackburn. Many people are thinking that maybe this is the year for Blackburn to face the drop. It will be a difficult call for Blackburn players to get anything from Anfield but they just have to put up their best game of the season to even get away with a point. Liverpool could see a return of their midfield maestro, Gerrard, but their most pressing concern is the Suarez saga that rumbles on and threatens to ruin their season. Well, until when they decide to appeal for his eight match ban, he remains eligible to play. Key battles:

David Hoilett v Glen Johnson

Yakubu v Daniel Agger

Charlie Adam v Steven N’Zonzi

Dirk Kuyt v Morten Gamst Pederson

Prediction: Liverpool 2-0 Blackburn

Manchester United v Wigan

Manchester United plays at home in a fixture that is as appetizing as, well, something appetizing at Christmas. They entertain Wigan, a side that has failed to get the better of them in all their encounters. At Craven Cottage, United ran riot on Fulham netting 5 goals without a reply. It was during that game that Ashley Young and Phil Jones picked injuries and even though the former will be out for weeks, chances for the latter to feature in today’s fixture is 75 per cent. Wigan have seen a change in fortune by gaining two crucial points in their last game against Chelsea and Liverpool. Seems their new strategy of packing the bus is working pretty well, but it is yet to face the stern test of a United side that is not shy of scoring goals, will they manage to hold the defending Champions? I guess we will have to wait and see. Key battle:

Wayne Rooney v Gary Caldwell

Nani v Steven Gohouri

Victor Moses v Rafael Da Silva

Connor Sammon v Jonny Evans

Prediction: Manchester United 0:0 Wigan

Sunderland v Everton

Sunderland seems to have gotten their groove back and they are a much better team with Martin O’Neill in charge. With the impressive form of Richardson and Sessegnon, they will be looking to edge this game. Everton on the other hand seem to be creating a lot of chances but lack the finishing worthy of goals. They however managed to get a crucial win over Swansea and will be hoping to continue on that note. Key battles:

Seb Larsson v Leighton Baines

Stephane Sessegnon v John Heitinga

Royston Drenthe v John O’Shea

Leon Osman v Titus Bramble

Prediction: Sunderland 1:1 Everton

West Brom v Manchester City

West Brom have managed to win their last two games with impressive attacking displays from Peter Odemwingie who has rediscovered his form. Roy Hodgson has managed to get the best out of this team but that won’t be enough when they face a Man city side that just won’t relinquish the top spot for their neighbours United at whatever cost. Manchester City are the favourites to win this game but with the freedom in which West Brom is playing, anything can happen. Key battles:

Shane Long v Vincent Kompany

Peter Odemwingie v Lescott

Sergio Aguero v Jonas Olsson

Chris Brunt v Gael Clichy

Yaya Toure v Yusuf Mulumbu

Prediction: West Brom 1-2 Manchester City

Stoke City v Aston Villa

Stoke have had an impressive run of games apart from the Manchester City one. They have managed four wins in their last five games; add to that their progress to the next round of the Europa league, and you have a team that is not short of confidence. Aston Villa were unlucky after playing beautiful game against Arsenal and hopefully they will give a good go in this one. Key battles:

Marc Albrighton v Robert Huth

Gabby Agbonlahor v Ryan Shawcross

Matthew Etherington v Carlos Cuellar

Peter Crouch v Richard Dunne

Predictions: Stoke City 2:1 Aston Villa

Arsenal v Wolves

Arsenal striker Robin van Persie is only two goals short of Alan Shearer’s record of 36 Premier League goals in a calendar year, and he has got two games left to break it: this one and the Gunners’ home game against QPR on New Year’s Eve. This fact will be motivation enough for RVP to get fired especially to a Wolves side that has struggled on their visits to the top teams. Arsenal have been playing well in the last couple of months and they are favourites to get the three points in this game. I bet that will be the best Christmas present to all their fans. Key battles:

Robin Van Persie v Roger Johnson

Mikel Arteta v Karl Henry

Matt Jarvis v Francis Coquelin

Stephen Hunt v Thomas Vermaelen

Prediction: Arsenal 2:0 Wolves

Swansea v QPR

QPR are currently on the downhill, falling like a stone and if they don’t get back to winning ways sooner rather than later, they will drop to the relegation zone. Swansea have been strong on their home turf and only few teams have managed to unlock their resistance. Their style of play since promotion has blended in well with the premier league. They play good attacking football and have one of the in-form goalkeepers at the moment in the premier league in Vorm. QPR will need something special to win this one. Key battles:

Scott Sinclair v Luke Young

Heidar Helguson v Ashley Williams

Shaun Wright Phillips v Gary Monk

Danny Graham v Danny Gabbidon

Prediction: Swansea 2:0 QPR

Norwich v Tottenham

Norwich have managed to get some points on the road in their last two games against Wolves and Everton and this has managed to give them some confidence going into this game and considering they are at home. The Canaries will exercise caution and will not plan on resting on their laurels. They will be careful and will draw lessons from Blackpool who were in a good position at the table on Christmas last season only to be relegated at the end of the season. Tottenham threat will come from the pace of Lennon and Bale, especially the latter who almost caused havoc for Chelsea in their last game. Tottenham players that are a doubt for this game include King, Kaboul and Defoe though they have been lifted with the news that Van Der Vaat can be able to play after sustaining a hamstring during the Chelsea game Key battles:

Grant Holt v William Gallas

Andrew Crofts v Kyle Walker

Gareth Bale v Russell Martin

Emmanuel Adebayor v Leon Barnett

Predictions: Norwich 1:2 Tottenham

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GAMEWEEK 17 PREDICTIONS

Posted: December 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

While other top flight leagues in Europe take a hiatus, the Premier League wheels turn a notch higher and ride to top gear before the January transfer season befalls us. Midweek fixtures are with us and probably we are bound to witness rotation of squads. Depth comes to mind, and the smart money is on the likes of City and other top dogs to shuffle their packs.

ANYTHING GOES IN A MINNOWS’ COMBAT

Norwich come knocking on Wolves’ door at the Molineux a fixture in which McCarthy will surely feel a fresh start is in order. Wolves have been plagued with an indifferent season , from own goals to kamikaze defending and feeble second half attempts to redeem three points that have eluded them from the onset. The Norwich camp will feel fortunate since the pressure is on good old Mick to turn his team to ‘cash cow’. No doubt Wolves will give this clash all they got in the tank and thus this minnows clash will witness goal mouth action. Kevin Doyle will look to make amends for his theatrics last time out, whereas Hoolahan’s Co. will look to bounce back. Back the home side to salvage at least a point at the worst but I fancy a 2-1 scoreline

Newcastle’s dream start to the season has finally been pushed back like front seats and the Magpies are witnessing results that would not bode well with their ambitions.They dared to dream, only that their dreams came to no fruitition. Flash in the pan? I daresay, which Taylor talked of a top four finish earlier on? Even Tottenham, in all their exploits thus far don’t engage in such casual talk. The days come and they go and it’s about bouncing back now. Alan Pardew will hope to emerge the victor in a duel that unfolds their foe in the form of Westbrom. The Baggies are slowly hitting stride with the festive cheer and they will not be looking to take a breather hoping everything will pan out. Odemwingie seems to have been invited to the goal party and you would expect him to spin his rifle chamber if given a nod. That being said, a sensible football conversation would call for an equal score line, even though Newcastle would be fancied for the three points in another 2-1 score line.

Blackburn vs. Bolton doesn’t strike one as an energy packed showdown. With both sides struggling, anything goes for this encounter. Blackburn will look to their talisman Samba and his goodwill for a massive win. Owen Coyle at the moment can’t put his finger on where it all went wrong for him. Never the less he can’t afford to pay attention for what he has no influence over. Everything is up for the taking in this clash and I for one would wish him all three points however he likes. One bright spot for his side has been Klasnic’s knack of goalscoring. He should be persuaded to keep knocking them in with every chance, for Coyle to have reason to smile when Santa comes round. Embracing an even, 2 all draw isn’t far off

The Super Hoops(QPR) will look to slug it out with O’Neill’s charges-Sunderland. Key men and key battles will originate from the midfield. Sebastian Larsson vs. Joey Barton will be one to look out for with the Swede seeming to be the safer bet for pulling one over the home side captain. While it’s no doubt that O’Neill is certainly the man for the Sunderland job, positive results would do him and his employers well to win over the Black Cats’ fans.Sunderland should take the bride home in 2-1 win.

 

 

MERSEYSIDE EXPLOITS AS RVP TAKES ON SHEARER

A romping Liverpool takes their title challenge to Wigan. The red half of Mersey side seem to be getting some goals in even when Suarez has made rattling the upright his practise. The Latics will look to the heavens for the point Petr Cech single handedly granted them with a last minute howler.That being that, I don’t think The Reds will set foot with such a sharing spirit, and Dalglish is no Mr Claus. I’m fully convinced of a Liverpool win unless logic, luck and the Fat Lady and ‘her song’ conspire in an unfathomable alliance, to outwit me. Victor Moses has been looking lively although I fancy an Agger-Skrtel combination to quell any mischief the big man will conjure. (Like a principal and his deputy with a notorious pupil.)Savvy a 3-1 end result in favour of Suarez and Co.

The blue half of Mersey side takes their turn in playing host to Swansea. I for one give due credit to Moyes. The man hardly spent a dime on summer transfers but has steered his side well clear of the bottom pit, not even after losing key men. If that’s not evidence of a good manager, I don’t know what is. As much as the Swans have a good season by their standards; Goodison Park really isn’t the front for goodwill hunting. Royston Drenthe is slowly but surely getting to his old self whereas Phil Jagielka in the heart of defence hasn’t been taking prisoners. Swansea’s reliance on their pacy wide men, especially Sinclair will bear no fruit if the hosts turn up with a brute defensive line.How about a 2-1 home win, even without an out and out front man?

RVP will look to get back his drive for getting to goal scoring history books when the 125-year-old Arsenal is entertained by the Villans. Beware Alan Shearer! Liverpool did a good job of dampening Villa’s spirit after a comfy 2-0 win. The guests themselves suffered an away loss to league leaders City in what was a tightly contested affair.Arsenal were unlucky not to go back to London with a point but as Arsene himself sadly said, they at least left with an encouraging teamspirit. Whether or not Bent and Agbonlahor play will be critical for the homeside, especially with Arsenal missing the services of Alex Song and all full backs.That is not to say an Arsenal win isn’t on the cards in a probable 3-1 end result.

MANCHESTER AND THE LONDON DERBY

After getting their season back on track, league leaders City will look to take a swipe at Stoke in what I believe will be a one sided show.Mancini will thank Joe Hart and captain Kompany for an immense defensive display to keep RVP and Thomas Vermalean in their Etihad encounter. Stoke don’t pose such a threat as the two but Englishman Etherington, has resumed where he left off with good performances lately. David Silva on the other hand is continuously winning hearts in the league over, and common sense tells he isn’t easily letting go that priceless ambition. However, Stoke set pieces are usually the type that will leave you scarred. A 3-0 win should do for City.

United, hot on the heels of their noisy neighbours, will look to put out the recent fire Fulham have gathered ever since bowing out of the Europa and Champions Leagues when they visit Craven Cottage. Previously Fulham have been a bad chalice for the 19 time champions and SAF will look not to stumble. Perhaps even more motivation for United will be the hope of being repatriated back to the Champions League after Swedish side Basel face a UEFA charge that could see them banned. Michael Carrick impressed last time out and should therefore secure a starting berth in the team sheet.United should see this one out in a 2-1 win with Wayne Rooney coming to the fore once again.

A London showdown befalls us this midweek when Chelsea are welcomed to the Lane. Tottenham have been superb thus far, forgetting the Europa League exit, whereas Chelsea are getting back to better days. This derby will surely be pulsating since all will go for the jugular. Injury concerns for Bale, Lennon and Defoe will come as a blow to Redknapp especially for the Welshman who has been influential in all Tottenham games thus far. Daniel Sturridge has been a revelation at Chelsea and the young English forward should be a handful for Assou Ekoto. AVB will be tempted to stick with the impressive Oriol Romeu, Ramires and Meireless in midfield although Lampard could be slotted in as well. Petr Cech by now should have exorcised the Almunia-Fabianski demons that possessed him last time out. A draw is most likely herein but Tottenham have been strong at home.Never the less, ceteris paribus a draw will precipitate in 1-1 score.

Follow us @skwalizzy and @Quenton53 on twitter or join fantasy premier league and challenge us in a public or classic league.Au revoir!

EPL PREDICTIONS GAMEWEEK 16

Posted: December 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

Following Friday’s draw at Uefa headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, the five remaining Premier League clubs (Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City and Stoke) face a potentially uphill task in the form of AC Milan, Napoli, Ajax, FC Porto and Valencia respectively. Perhaps Stoke faces the most daunting task among the English sides, i mean don’t get me wrong but one of the toughest grounds to go to in the Premier League is the Britannia Stadium but Mestalla is just something else. Eventually it will all boil down to the team with the mental strength and resilience to win.

And then they Were Beaten

Onto EPL matters, It had been coming for a while now, it was just a matter of when and by whom. Yeah, am talking about Manchester City, their unbeaten run just came to a sudden halt on a Monday night in the hands of Chelsea. Chelsea who seemingly went into the game as the underdogs pulled back a Barcelona stunt #el classico. They came from behind after going a goal down inside two minutes when Balotelli rounded Cech to score a superb goal. infact people were predicting a total rout after Chelsea were a goal down but it never were. Anyway as it stands, there is only one team that has managed to pull the invincible feat, and i need not mention it. Onto Game week 16, Manchester City will be looking to get over their disappointment but it won’t be that easy since they have to do that at the expense of an in-form team in the name of Arsenal. Manchester City though will be looking to welcome back Micah Richards from inury but will also miss the services of Clichy who was shown a red in their previous game against Chelsea, but i believe Zabaleta will slot in well in that position since Kolarov is out injured. As for Arsenal, Kieran Gibbs might make an appearance from injury but expect Vermaelen to be the solid rock at the back. Key Battle in that game includes:

Balotelli v Mertesacker

Song v Silva

Robin Van Persie v Kompany

Walcott v Zabaleta

Prediction is Manchester City 1-1 Arsenal

Who’s Hot

Chelsea are currently flying high, beating teams right, left and centre regardless of their reputation. Chelsea will be in a confident mood having been the first team to beat Manchester City this season, and with three wins in a row, they will want to extent their run into four games. Statistics also show they have been having a good time at the DW stadium. As for the Blues, David Luiz will be back from suspension and will be up for selection,so far no new injury worries for AVB apart from Essien. As for Wigan,their defender Antolin Alcaraz will be a doubt, this is after the Paraguay international suffered a rib injury in last week’s game against Westbrom. Key battles:

Juan Mata v Diame

Sturridge v Figueroa

Moses v Ashley Cole

Sammon v Luiz

Prediction – Wigan 1-5 Chelsea

Stoke is another team that is hot at the moment having won their last three games, their latest casualty being Tottenham. They mean business and will be looking to inflict more misery to Wolves, a team that suffered defeat in the hands of Manchester United last week. Injury concerns for Wolves boss Mick McCarthy include Matt Jarvis, the winger and Dave Edwards the midfielder. Tony Pulis will be prepared to field the same side that defeated Tottenham last week having rested all the eleven players of them during their mid week Europa league trip to Istanbul. their only injury concern is full-back Andy Wilkinson. Key battles:

Crouch v Roger Johnson

Etherington v Zubar

Steven Fletcher v Shawcross

O’Hara v Whitehead

Prediction – Wolves 1-2 Stoke City

Who’s Not

Bolton having lost their last four premier league games and sitting pretty at the bottom of the table travel to Craven Cottage where they will be seeking the three invaluable points. They will however face a torrid time from a Fulham side that also suffered defeat last week and also failed to progress in the Europa League. It will all go down to the team with the most lethal strike force as well as the most disciplined defence to win the game. The likes of Dempsey, Zamora and  Murphy as well as Klasnic, Davies and Eagles will prove to be the difference as well as match changers. Key battles:

Hangeland v Kevin Davies

Bobby Zamora v Gary Cahill

Eagle’s v Riise

Ruiz v Robinson

Prediction – Fulham 2-1 Bolton

Blackburn had it all going their way until Martin O’Neill’s side spoiled their party. After an impressive first goal, they became unlucky since Sunderland came from behind to clinch the win. This Game week provides them an opportunity to play host to West Brom, and they will need to play an impressive game if they plan  to exploit the home advantage aspect to their benefit. Steve Kean will have a tough time deciding who to replace the three first team defenders with, after they suffered injuries during last week’s game. its a major blow to him considering they are just one point adrift the bottom team. West Brom will also be looking for any points having lost in their last game. So expect a hard battle from both teams. Key battles:

Yakubu v Jonas Olsson

Formica v Mulumbu

Long v Samba

Brunt v Henley

Prediction – Blackburn 1-2 West Brom

After their unbeaten run came to an end, Newcastle has never been the same again, injuries have also played a major role in their current form. Infact, in their last three games, they have only managed to collect one point from a possible nine. Their backline lacks the co-ordination it had before injuries crept in. Injuries concern include Skipper Fabricio Coloccini, fellow defender Mike Williamson, Ryan Tylor and Cheick Tiote, the midfielder. They Magpies would need more magic from their Forward marksman Demba Ba who has been able to net eleven goals in his last ten league starts in order to beat their visitor’s Keeper Vorm of Swansea who is in great form. Swansea will bear in mind that a visit to the St James Park is no visit to the ‘Park’ and will have to sweat their socks off if they are to come out with any results. Key battles:

failed to win any of their last 3 games. Key Battles:

Michel Vorm v Tim Krul

Demba Ba v Monk

Danny Graham v James Perch

Cabaye v Allen

Prediction – Newcastle 2-2 Swans

Everton were stubborn last week and would have managed to get away with a draw had it not been for a moment of brilliance from a Van Persie’s magnificent Volley. Everton have lost their last two games and failed to score in any of them. It remains without a doubt that they are in dire need of a striker to fire some goals for them. That is why they have decided to seek once again the services of Landon Donovan on a short loan until February. Add to that loan deal the New long term contract that has been penned down by Ross Barkley and you have a manager who has been lifted and ready to face the opponent team. Otherwise, they will play host to a Norwich side that is full of confidence from their last week win against Newcastle. A moment of magic is all that is needed for David Moyes’ side to emerge winners in this encounter. Key battles:

Wigan. Both teams need 3 points in the start of the festive period as West Brom have now

Coleman v Tierney

Vellios v Martin

Morison v Jagielka

Bradley Johnson v Rodwell

Prediction – Everton 2-1 Norwich

With the win against Wolves last week, Manchester United looked the part of Champions, i mean the United of old. Injuries though continue to haunt them with the latest casualties being Fletcher and Gibson. They are however slowly gaining momentum and i just can’t see them losing the next three games. They will have to travel to Loftus Road to play against QPR for a chance to move up at the top of the table, that is until Manchester City play Arsenal later on Sunday. QPR’s Injuries concern include defender Ferdinand but more players are expected back from injury including one DJ Campbell, a striker. Expect fireworks from Luis Nani and Rooney.  Key battles:

Rooney v Gabbidon

Jones v Faurlin

Wright Phillips v Evra

Helguson v Ferdinand

Prediction – QPR 1-2 Manchester United

Aston Villa will have to face Liverpool without the pace of Agbonlahor who is suspended. The game is expected to be an entertaining one with both teams expected to get the better of the other in order to get into the festive season with some points. I expect individual players to dictate the rhythm of the game with their brilliant play though Liverpool will have to play without Lucas and Gerrard in midfield, any makeshift will still do the job. Key battles:

Bent v Agger

Albrighton v Enrique

Suarez v Dunne

Bellamy v Hutton

Prediction – Aston Villa 1-1 Liverpool

Martin O’Neill seems to be getting the grips of the Black Cats. After suffering defeat in his first game in charge of Sunderland, he came back for the second game on top, i mean victorious with a late winner from Larson to condemn Blackburn into more misery. This week the Black Cats face a different kind of opponent, a wounded opponent, first they lost to Stoke under controversial circumstances, then during the mid-week they were eliminated from the Europa League. I am talking about Tottenham, they will put one hell of a fight and O’Neill’s side will have to be on top of their game to avoid the wrath of Tottenham. Key battles:

Adebayor v Brown

Bale v O’Shea

Wickham v Gallas

Larsson v Assou Ekotto

Prediction – Tottenham 3-1 Sunderland

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EPL GAMEWEEK 15 PREDICTIONS

Posted: December 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

TWISTS AND TURNS

Our chenga-funga blog would not lynch one for mistaking this for the customary rainy season that befalls us midyear, and with it no flair from the beautiful game. No sir, we would not. Never the less the festive season and cheer draws neigh and with it the league’s twists and turns. However the beautiful game should spark the otherwise dull, cold days with thrilling European nights and domestic league competitions.

To Premier league matters now; how about the show down at the Bridge? The league’s big spenders do battle. Chelsea takes on Manchester City. Abramovich, the impatient Russian oligarch welcomes the money laden Sheikhs of City. Both sides will go for the jugular but just who will come out on top, hero or villain? Chelsea has responded well after the double drubbing from Liverpool, with a seemingly resurgent ‘Top-Drog’. City on their part will curse the Fat Lady and her song, after a disastrous maiden bow in the CL, despite beating an under strength Bayern Munchen and with ten points in the bag. Key battles are set to feature in the middle of the pack. Silva, Toure, Barry takes on Mata, Frankie Lamps and Ramires whereas the ever present JT will go tete-a-tete with Dzeko-Aguero strike force. The other side paints a certain Daniel Sturridge setting up Drogba for a fair fight with Joe Hart. The hosts have stuttered then sparked, while the guests have marshaled their campaign with devastating efficiency. Logic calls for going for a City win but strong emotions (however misplaced) endear me to back Chelsea for a draw at the least. Strange…but a two-all score line should settle it. ‘Strange’.

Owen Coyle should surely be shifting uneasily in the Bolton hot seat. In fact, Coyle is being fronted by punters as being the next likely boss to face the chop in the league, never mind the healthy competition he faces from Roberto Martinez and Keegan of Wigan and Blackburn respectively. The Villans’ bandwagon will be looking to stem the rot taking shape in their season, and they will be raring to go for a result at the JJB. McLeish will look to rally his troops to muster a much needed win and going by the home side’s woeful form, it should be an easy one.2-0 to the Villans and Bent on the score sheet.

Liverpool and the weather seem to be in tandem with regard to character. In one word…unpredictable. One minute they are soaking Chelsea in misery within a fortnight, and the next, stumbling over themselves against Fulham. It is as if they call a hiatus on their form depending on circumstance and whims. However, taking on QPR will be a start for righting their wrongs, whims regardless. The loss of inspirational skipper and most recently, Lucas, could be costly for Dalglish’s side when the big boys come calling. So snatching the life and three points out of the minnows should be a concern for the Anfield outfit. You wouldn’t fancy QPR pulling a rabbit out of a hat on this one so a 2-1 score line for the home side should suffice. Notice how Liverpool struggle when former Ajax hero, Suarez, is off color?

OUT WITH WEDNESDAYS, IN WITH THURSDAYS

Surprises don’t come any bigger than MUFC, the league’s most successful, side choking in the Champions League group stage. Another team…Yes, not United. But there we have it; the Red Devils will be riding dirty in the Europa League. Personally, I’m done with lavishing the Old Trafford side with comments on their mental strength and bouncing back abilities, if they were not good enough to qualify, they were just that. Not good. They have been woeful, even an ardent fan will submit, ever since the Citizens scarred them on home turf. Then again, this woeful side entertains another-Wolves. Ceteris paribus, no upset is due but if Wolves strike when the time is right they might just go back to their den the happier lot. With Vidic, Anderson, Clevery and Chicharito as absentees, Mick McCarthy will be wise to take advantage of the situation. Bold and far-fetched it may be, but if United’s recent exploits are anything to go by, a goal apiece could do.

Other Thursday night compatriots for United come in the shape of Tottenham and Stoke at the Brittania. This one is a no-brainer. No offence to Stoke, but Tottenham is riding high at the moment, credit to Parker, Bale and Adebayor.  Enough said. Walters might show some steel for the home side but a 2-1 score line for the white half of North London should do the trick.

The other Euro-ally is Fulham, who lately have been getting their act together. Never the less a trip to the Swans hasn’t turned out to be a picnic for visiting sides. Therefore this one has fight in it. The likes of Zamora, Dempsey, Riise and Dynamic duo, Sinclair and Dyer should snatch the headlines. Expect Fulham to nick it, 2-1, when the full ninety is done.

ARTETA, EVERTON & THE CL

After being outdone by Arsenal in all means, Wigan takes the struggle to WestBrom. Wigan is playing Russian roulette with relegation and come April, their bleak fortunes could be a reality, if the Baggies are blessed on a good day to cause them more harm. The guests have an appalling away form and Westbrom should see this one out 2-1. Soon after, expect vultures to circumvent Martinez’ head baying for his job.

Yakubu particularly impressed last time out for Blackburn. He seems to be pulling a Dimiter Berbatov stunt of the season passed. Not that anyone at Blackburn minds it. A new look Sunderland will thus be keen to halt his roll in form, and what with their new boss –Martin O’Neill. An able gaffer that one. Whether he rings new changes to his side is another matter but if his record is anything to go by, the Black Cats should dock safely at the harbor when April comes.2-2 score line I daresay.

Newcastle should be getting accustomed to tasting defeat by now. Admittedly, Pardew has overseen a good run for the Magpies up to date, but maintaining that in the coming months will be key. So when Hatem Ben Arfa, Cabaye and Ba take on Norwich, nothing will be further from their thoughts than a win. In contrast, if they go all out attack, chances might pip Norwich as frontrunners for the win. Guaranteed, we will have a winner here and putting money on Newcastle for the win, 2-1, is acceptable. Indeed it is

Game week 15 sees admittedly, an Arsenal side that has bore the brunt of early season criticisms with a positive comeback take on Everton. It is a surprise that ‘Arsenal and Europa’ were synonymous back then on everyone’s’ lips, (not me), but look at them now. Manchester will be envious of them, but then should see it as a lesson learned, as Na$ri himself submitted. The hope of forfeiting Arsenal for City in search of success has turned on its head, and now he has to live with that. Goodison faithful return to the Emirates and former crowd favorite, Arteta, plays host to Merseyside. However, the Spaniard will be keen not to let old relations get in the way of executing duty. The lack of a potent, lethal front man will cost Everton, if it already hasn’t. With no one to equal Van Persie upfront, Arsene’s backline shouldn’t have a hard time. Thus why not opt for a 3-0 win for the North Londoners? RVP, Walcott, Gervinho and Vermalean. Watch these spaces.

Follow us on twitter @skwalizzy and @Quenton53.Sayonara!

EPL GAMEWEEK 14 PREDICTIONS

Posted: December 3, 2011 in Uncategorized

Despite being dumped out of the Curling cup by Mancini’s City. Arsenal looked the better side in the midweek clash, featuring fringe players who by Le Professeur’s analysis impressed. In particularly, is one Alex Ox-Chambo. Going into this clash with the Latics, Arsene Wenger will be fielding his top guns at the DW Stadium. The gunners have never beaten Martinez side at the DW, with all due respect to this statistic, this should not be a hindrance to the current belief that Arsenal has at the moment. Gervinho and Walcott will surely give the home side a test with their sprinting abilities and RVP is sure to test Alhabsi’s skills between the sticks. The midweek rest for these stars hopefully gave them enough fitness to do the good job. Wigan will play open football, thus this will be a game full of chances. It is not far off to suggest a 3-1 win for the North Londoners’.

The Red Devils succumbed to a shocking defeat to championship side Crystal Palace at old Trafford during the mid week. It was a disappointing defeat, just as the gaffer admitted it. Since the 6-1 drubbing at the hands of Man city, the champions have had a not so convincing run. United this game week will be up against a stern opponent in the form of Aston Villa, and in a must win CL clash later on mid next week. Sir Alex will take on Aston Villa at the Villa Park, where Ashley Young will be making a return to the grounds in which he plied his trade so well before moving on to Manchester United last summer. It will be a tight 90 minutes and United will have to work their socks off, and Villa will definitely look to throw a spanner in the works. However, a United win will do in order to keep pressure on league leaders, Man City. 2-1 win in favour of the Red Devils will be enough to start off December on a high note.

When Fulham take on Liverpool at Craven Cottage, Martin Jol will be wary of the Anfield outfit that has made light work of Chelsea twice in a span of two weeks at the Bridge. The guests will be riding high on confidence, and if the last encounter at West London is anything to go by, Fulham have a good cause to worry. Luis Suarez has taken time to find his goal scoring touch but that is not to mean that the Uruguayan will not come armed with a bag full of tricks. The loss of Lucas for Liverpool comes as a big blow but there is an able replacement for the Brazilian in the form of Jordan Henderson or Jay Spearing. Liverpool seems to be the favourite in this clash with a 2-0 score line most probable. The Home side will be look for inspiration from the likes of Dempsey and Zamora to cause the Anfield side some damage.

Blackburn entertain the Swans at home in a clash that the guest will look to capitalize on, talk about home advantage, in order to bag the three points and lift some weight over the under fire manager Steve Kean. The duo of Dyer and Sinclair will look to use their pace to cause havoc to the shaky Blackburn defence. Results are becoming crucial at this point and now more than ever the pressure is become more for Kean and his men to produce the goods or face the same fate as Steve Bruce did. Though Swansea play attractive football, they lack the killer instinct to finish off their opponents therefore i will go for a 1-1 draw.

Wolves take on Sunderland at the Molineux and this clash will be coming at the wrong time for Sunderland after a dismal performance in the past few weeks. Mick McCarthy men will look to pile more misery to Sunderland and what an opportune time for them, especially now when Sunderland are coping with life without Steve Bruce. A 2-1 win for wolves is mine prediction.

Everton will play against Stoke, a side whose league form hasn’t been good enough so far. Stoke will surely find the trip to Goodison Park to play against Everton a very tough game to break. My prediction is a 1-0 win for Everton. QPR will have to battle West Brom this game week in order to get the three points. QPR is a very interesting team whereby the games that they are expected to win, they don’t and the games that are tough, they manage to win. Statistics have it though that West Brom attack has scored six goals in the first 15 minutes of their games so far this season. The only team that has managed a feat close to that is Chelsea and Tottenham with five each, therefore West Brom on a good day are a difficult team though I predict a 2-1 win for QPR.

Tottenham will play host to Bolton, a team that has yet to settle into a rhythm, certainly shows how much they miss Sturridge and Tottenham will be looking to take advantage of their slow start so far. A win for Tottenham will prove precious especially with teams like Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, and even Newcastle all waiting for them to slip. I am counting on Tottenham to win this one with a 3-1 win considering the great chemistry that the team is enjoying at the moment.

Roberto Mancini’s men will be looking to extend their unbeaten run as well as their lead at the top of the table with a win against Norwich. Mancini has world class players at his disposal to choose from which means that whatever team he fields for this game, a win is almost assured. In fact, City will play this game bearing in mind their mid week clash with Bayern Munich which will be a must win if they have any hopes of progressing to lift the Holy Grail. A win for the noisy neighbours will be a safe bet with a score line of 3-0.