Archive for January, 2012

EPL PREDICTIONS GAMEWEEK 23

Posted: January 31, 2012 in Uncategorized

Straight to the football, the AFCON is up and running and so far disappointments and surprises have been the norm. National sides like Senegal, Mali ,Morroco would have loved an extra round of football. Too bad they suffered K.O ‘s in their bouts. Back here (Kenya) our premier league ball is steamrolling our way and alas! Local football leeego! Chenga-funga will to its best cover the local action in the coming season.Call it broadening our horizons.

    STARTING THE COUNT…

At present, you will allow us to horizon the broads…lol. Number one on our read unfolds in the form of ever running Swansea welcome Chelsea to Total Football-courtesy of a one Brandon Rodgers. Not Arsene Wenger. The Swans are formidable at home, a factor playing handsomely to their top flight survival. Whereas Chelsea might be over their stop start campaign, and with new blood at Cobham training grounds(Gary Cahill and Essien) per se, their funk might be in the right mix. Nevertheless there is no underestimating the proposition Swansea bring to the table. One thing is for sure Chelsea fullbacks should have some supercharged turbos to combat the over speeding Sinclair and Dyer. Godspeed Bosingwa! Trivia for all Chelsea fans; If both Swansea wingers were rides, how many speeding tickets would they have amassed? In a game full of running Ramires would have a perfect fit in the Chelsea midfield, but being that he is injured, expect Essien or Oriol to feature. Torres and Sturridge will have to be razor sharp to trouble Michel Vorm.Im shooting for a drawhere.Most likely two-all

Secondly, Tottenham continue propelling their campaign when Wigan drop by. Now Bale just proved why whoever will want his signature in their summer will whoop out a mega size cheque book. That lad is just something! Other danger men for the homeside could be Lennon, LukaModric,Van Der Vaat and Adebayor. Wigan have confirmed Rodallega could be leaving the DW stadium (not a good idea) but not Victor Moses. Going by form Wigan will have it rough and Spurs should wrap it up in a 2-1 win. If I were Martinez, I’d try rocking Harry’s nerves by sending him pun-tax forms; see how he takes it (just for the heck of it). Nevertheless I have a feeling Harry will escape the taxman unscathed.

Thirdly, Liverpool have earned a reputation for giant slaying. They have United’s, City’s, Gunner’s and Chelsea’s scalps in their hunting bag. Their recent win over bitter rivals United will give them huge belief when they visit the Molineux. Steven Gerrard I must say has been instrumental to Liverpool’s success. Arsenal loanee ,Frimpong should start this one for the home side and with the hard tackling Henry , they should rough up Adam and crew sufficiently so.  Taylor-Fletcher has been good for Wolves thus far and ruling him out of the score sheet isn’t ‘Solomonic wisdom’. The Anfield side to knick it 3-1 with Gerrard and Bellamy in the thick of things.

  THE DOUBLE FOR MANCHESTER

Fourthly, City and United now have two swipes at success this season.  The Premier and Europa leagues. Momentarily Everton stand in the way of Mancity for the domestic prize.City have been pushed to the edge in recent games. They have been exposed by the missing stalwarts in the name of YayaGneneriToure and captain Kompany. Everton are mischievous for giving City anything but three points. This should hold given that the Mersey-side outfit play host. Nasri should make the cut once again considering his recent displays. Barry should too and my favourite, Super Mario should make the bench. Kompany should feature as well underlining the fact that Everton will have to be top game to poke Hart’s goal. Moyes will be hoping his strikers will start hitting the bulls eye sooner rather than later. Never the less the likes of Drenthe, Saha,  Jagielka and Rodwell could do the job. City 2- Everton 1.

Counting on, United lick their FA cup wounds and have their spears and shields up when the rogue warrior from the Brittania bring their guerrilla football flair to OId Trafford. They will be having an eye out for Spurs and City since the two make Sir Alex chew more gum than a gum factory would yield in working hours. FYI, To mark United’s strength,if the league results were to be tallied on cup basis, they would have sent Arsenal packing in a 10-3 aggregate score-never mind am A Goonertil I D-I-E! So naturally the home side are favourites in this encounter. United will be hoping to have Rooney and Nani fit, though there are able deputies in the United team sheet, not De Gea as far as goalkeeping goes. The likes of Etherington, Walters and Crouch, Delap and Huth will look to have a go at the Spaniard should he get the nod ahead of Lindegaard. Similarly, United should knick it 2-1.

Aston Villa entertain QPR when the Super Hoops under Hughes come calling. Villa are a great side who unwittingly were determined to effortlessly knock themselves out of the FA cup. Blowing a 2-0 lead wouldn’t have been on McLeish’s new year resolutions for all OI know. QPR will come out a different side under Hughes so McLeish should be wary of his team’s habit of giving freebies for goals. Darren Bent and Agbonlahor could prove game changers in this one just as Wright-Phillips, Taraabt (if available) and Barton (if he doesn’t get sent off). Putting my ,money where my mouth is…I fancy a one-all draw.

CLOSING IN…

As January fades and as we close in on February, Newcastle wiil be hoping Senegalese duo, Demba Ba and PappisCisse will be available to try out their new partnership against Blackburn. Newcastle are assembling a decent side; read Krul, Cabaye, Ban Arfa, Obertan, Santon. Not that it is a title winning side, but a decent side altogether. Blackburn will be missing the services of Naija boy Yakubu so Formica should lead the line again. Keane will look to Gamst and Dunn to secure points against the Magpies as Samba will do the marshalling from the back. I trust Newcastle to get away with this a point at least in a goalless draw.

For the brave, nothing is too difficult.That is the mantra at Arsenal Football Club. January has been a miserly period for the North London side. Consecutive losses to Fulham, Swansea and ManUnited sees the Gunners slip further from the coveted CL spots. However they look to put things to perspective after a hard fought win over Villa. So playing Bolton will be a welcome relief for Arsene Wenger. The Frenchman welcomes his country man Sagna, Arteta and The King-Henry back to the squad. You feel that a full strength Arsenal side is a goodside. Having to do without first team regulars has taken a toll on the Gunners, and the latest setback came in the form of Wilshere’s injury setback. However RvP has moved to ease the troubles at the Emirates with exquisite performances and the Dutchman will be at it, rest assured. Bolton move on and are learning to adapt to life without Cahill and possibly Kevin Davies.That said Arsenal should win 3-1.

 

Fulham beat the oomph and dust out of Newcastle thanks to a hat trick from American Clint Dempsey. Fulham could only get better with Duff, Zamora, Ruiz and Dembele makingJol’s side tick. Craven Cottage will be riding high with confidence when former boss Roy Hodgson brings his side, The Baggies to London.WestBrom could struggle if Fulham settle to style, as Newcastle witnessed firsthand. The Baggies will be missing Chris Brunt dearly nut Odemwingie and Co will fill in the void. They have to. It’s not a matter of choice, they just have to for Roy to dampen his former employers’ spirits. Whether or not his stint at Fulham will play to his advantage remains to be seen, though Fulham should see it out in a 2-0 win.

Lastly, Sunderland and Martin Oneill slug it out with Norwich at the Stadium of Light. Sebastian Larsson has gone off the charts with lack lustre displays compared to early season form.However,m Stephen Sessegnon has come through in a big way of late. That should be key for Oneill to get things going at the ref’s whistle. Linking the strike force and midfield will be crucial for The Black Cats to fire on all Sunderland cylinders. Norwich will have the likes of Pilkington, Hoolahan and Morrison to look up to for stellar perfomances. HeidarHelgusson has been sorely missed by the Canaries encapsulating to a lack of goals for Norwich. Being at home, I fancy Sunderland to get the best of Norwich and snatch the three points out of the guest’s reach. 2-1 final score!

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EPL GAME WEEK 22 PREDICTION

Posted: January 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

Sorry folks… our avid readers, we were off the charts last time out with no blog update. Unseen circumstances. Our apologies. Well then, another weekend of the beautiful game is with us and as we have made it our norm, here are our thoughts for the games’ eventualities.

NEW BOYS, NAIJA BOY

Norwich takes it up with Chelsea, with the Londoners on the road. The Blues seem to be getting to the right frequency as mid-January hits. Add that to Gary Cahill’s signing and the F-50 (Torres) moment of the week (spectacular bicycle kick), and there! Seems there is much to look forward to with Drogba’s departure to the African cup of Nations. Norwich on the other hand has done fine. No injuries to the squad mean consistency in the team and therefore they will be looking forward to the game already. Whether Gary Cahill makes an appearance is plausible and I’m sure the Blues’ faithful are eager to know what their backline would look like with his arrival. Upfront is sure as hell going to be El Nino, Sturridge and the supporting cast, whilst AVB could ring some changes to the midfield…with Michael Essien-The Bison-back in business. The likes of Hoolahan and Pilkington could provide the necessary fireworks for the Canaries setting this up nicely for what should be an entertaining game. Petr Cech could get away with a clean sheet if the plausible JT-Gary Cahill partnership rolls of the tongue in a 2-0 win! Sturridge, Torres to score?

Blackburn fans, all and sundry, should have stopped with all the hissing and sideways talk of getting Kean’s head. How about a win over the Champions and another over Fulham with a man less! They will surely have missed Yakubu enough as the Naija boy has been key to all their bright moments thus far, though Junior Hoillet is another. Mauro Formica could do the job on a good day.They visit Everton with quite some belief about them. The Mersey side themselves have done alright considering their early seasons blights. They will be boosted by Anichebe’s recent return from injury and the signing of Former United midfielder, Darron Gibson. Tim Howard has shown good form recently and surely Baines, another Everton along with Fellaini and Neville hero should be joining the party soon enough. After all is taken care of Everton should scrap the three points even with a vulnerable backline that might let in a few. 3-2 for the home side.

Fulham will be wholly irate that a struggling, relegation threatened side, Blackburn, skinned three points off them even with a man less. Quite upsetting for any for any side with hopes of a Europa league spot. It gets even trickier when Newcastle say hello at Craven Cottage. Alan Pardew has secured Pappis Demba Cisse in a five year deal to partner with break out star Demba Ba. This will be an interesting partnership when the two forwards make a comeback. Martin Jol should get accustomed to losing points after letting his side get sloppy after hard fought wins over sides like Arsenal. This should be a tight contest however and goals are abound as The Magpies have barely kept a clean sheet in their last 8 away games. Having Duff back to the side will be awesome were the likes of Zamora to make it too. Fulham have the manpower to get past the Magpies…Ruiz, Dembele but so too Newcastle…Cabaye, Ben Arfa. A 1-1 score line is fitting.

POINTS! PLAY BALL

QPR look for points as Wigan come rolling. The Super Hoops could do with a new manager (Mark Hughes) as even Joey Barton is excited at the prospect. Hughes can muster some results if things work to his liking since he might have a better resume than his predecessor. The Latics on their part have made an impression of themselves lately, keeping it tight at the back. That gives them a platform for rolling a flush on the table if QPR are caught ball watching. Victor Moses, Diame, McCarthy and Rodallega are ones to look up to for killing the game in contrast to Joey Barton, Wright-Phillips, Helgusson (if picked ). This round could precipitate another draw, a goal apiece. Though Wigan could have their wheel of fortune in it.

Stoke held off a misfiring Liverpool who I for one don’t think cut for top four honours. I mean Liverpool haven’t had a season slump or injuries like Arsenal/ ManUtd, yet their best efforts rank them six in the league. Get it? Westbrom visit The Brittania for some hard ball. Stoke have been defensively astute ever since the Europa league pressures backed out a little and their brute backline should the basis for another win. Westbrom will have to throw everything at their foes or else they will be under siege when Delap gets to flexing. Magic in this one is at an equal platform as both sides haven’t had a Superman persona in their ranks to pinpoint. However, if guessing is your thing have a go with Etherington, Walters, Crouch for Stoke whereas The Baggies have Mulumbu, Odemwengie. Stoke should leave it at 2-1.

Sunderland handle the total footballers in their Game week 22 bout as Swansea, a pretty good passing side run through The Stadium Of Light. After O’Neill secured stability in The Black Cats this one should give some electricity. Swansea emerged victorious over Arsenal last time out, and will be craving that winning feeling again. Well, O’Neill could be just the buzz kill. The likes of Dyer and Graham have recently come out as the cast doing damage alongside Scott Sinclair and the Sunderland boss should be very aware. That being said, Sessegnon, Nicklas Bendtner and Korean forward could smash the Swans passing skills. Oh yes, leaving Cattermole out of that list seems odd as he is the ‘go-to-guy’ in literal ‘smashing situations’ for Sunderland. (With a long stare through the window into the horizon) I feel Sunderland should emerge winner and with the first goal as well. 2-1

Wolves will be looking for redemption after a shock exit in the FA cup to Birmingham City club. That redemption is a likely probability factoring in Aston Villa as the target in the crosshairs. But then again The Villans will be having the ‘Wolves pack’ in their crosshairs instead. So, Bent, Agbonlahor and Albrighton could be the marksmen for Villa as Wolves will be reliant on their main man Taylor-Fletcher. Kevin Doyle has remained in the side lines this season and Jarvis has not been himself thus far. Stiliyan Petrov could be the X-factor in the game since the Villa captain is one whom you can’t really put a finger on. Emmanuel Frimpong, Arsenal loanee, is doing well for Wolves and ‘DEEENCH boy” could have a thing or two in determining where the three points go. I will go for an away win never the less in a 2-1 result.
LONDON – MANCHESTER BATTLE*REVENGE*

Bolton have finally let go their most prized asset, Gary Cahill to Chelsea. It would be interesting to see who Coyle turns to for filling in when misfiring Reds stop over. Liverpool will be missing Uruguayan star, Suarez when kick off begets the game.In his place will be Welsh forward Craig Bellamy, riding alongside Downing, Henderson and Gerrard. Former Blackpool skipper Charlie Adam will have another shot at making things tick with Gerrard and at the back Old Jamie will have a place on the bench. Bolton have their danger men in Klasnic, Davies but they shouldn’t put up much of a fight when they let in the first one. Not after Cahill’s departure. Not even Muamba or Davies could save them.Liverpool 2-Bolton 0.

Last time out Bosnian international Edin Dzeko discovered his scoring boots at White Hart Lane when Tottenham played host to City. Luka Modric to Chelsea rumours had left Tottenham with bad vibe and City skinned them whole. But how things change! Tottenham are playing the best football thus far, earning them a spot with the big shots at the top four round table but City is the ultimate beast of this jungle. We will probably look at this one as one of the potential title deciders in the long haul. On paper it should be a fantastic one and we all hope it plays out that way.Like in every clash of the Titans the small things will make the biggest difference. Bale will be closely monitored by the city department of defence, if Mancini’s tactics are anything to go by-read Nigel de Jong! Never the less VDV, Lennon and Modric could do the trick. However, City being themselves, with Silva and, or Kompany in the fray, things might turn out different. Adebayor is ineligible in this one but it would have been something if he’d make the cut. Aguero and Dzeko should punch the holes in the Tottenham shirt if the Blue moon of Manchester shines. Keeping an eye on Nasri and Johnson will be critical (if they start) for Harry Redknapp. City wins 3-1.

Arsenal vs. Manchester United! BAM BAMBAAM! This one is full of pedigree. Every sort of headline will feature when Sunday catches up with proceedings.’ REVENGE! KING HENRY vs. SCHOLES, RVP vs ROONEY, SAF and Le PREFESSEUR’ eye catching captions are definite. In recent years United have dominated Arsenal and more so the 8-2 mauling! Arsenal will be looking for revenge if not gratification after the full ninety as United will be keen to underline their top dog status as well. With injuries afflicting both sides, a couple of stars could miss this one out. Ashley Young, Rio Ferdy, Vidic, Cleverly, Fletcher for United and Vermalaen, Wilshere, Arteta, Sagna, Santos and Gibbs for Arsenal. Squad players will therefore feature but that doesn’t change anything. No sir. Not at all. However another high score is highly unlikely (sorry all Arsenal fans wishing revenge-me included) The Old Trafford scenario is one in a million to happen but I am positive the game will be blessed with goals. Key figures- Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, de Gea, Scsezcny (spelling anyone?) Ramsey, Nani, Koscielny and Jones. This is definitely a title decider whether you believe it or not. Rest assured it is. Not even the fans(12th man) can be overlooked. Arsenal will take positives out of being in the Last 16 of the CL compared to United while United will enjoy the memories of the first leg master class. It is impossible to capture the atmosphere in this on but this will do. Stupendously high charged! I leave you to imagine the rest but I have a reserved soft spot for Arsenal. (#Goonerfamily) That being that, 2-1 for Arsenal at the Emirates.

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