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.

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

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