Friday, January 16, 2015

EPL 2014/15 - Week 22

Man City fired the first salvo of the transfer window by snatching Bony from Swansea. The Ivory Coast striker has very well adapted to the demands of the EPL and has proven a clinical striker; it will interesting how he fares in a star-studded team where he will not necessarily be the main focal point of the attack. I nurture some doubts as to how well he will fit in the scheme of things at Man City but he could very well prove me wrong and be a success. Here are my selections for this week-end.

Aston Villa v/s Liverpool. The Villains have a problem of scoring but are also tough to score against. Liverpool will have Sterling back after he was rested in their last league match; the England winger has a few goals in him if at his best for the remainder of the season. This should be a tight one and a draw looks a likely possibility. Draw.

Burnley v/s Crystal Palace. This is a 6-pointer game for 2 struggling teams. Burnley need to make the most of these home matches and with striker Ings in good form, they have a live chance to win this. I am interested to see the impact of new manager Pardew on this Palace team. I see the odds of him improving the team as good as the odds of him making them worse. I will go for a home win by the minimum margin here. Home win.

Leicester v/s Stoke. Stoke were uncharacteristically poor in their last away loss to Arsenal last Sunday. I was expecting a better showing. Leicester is on the up slightly and it may be that the draw they snatched at Anfield a couple of weeks back, have opened doors for them. If Stoke play poorly again, Leicester are in with a big shout for the win. Probably a draw is on the way here. Draw.

QPR v/s Man Utd. Man Utd were horrible in their last home loss to Southampton. The talk of Falcao being unsettled is one of the many topics during this transfer period. Obviously, if they are playing at their best, this should be a walk in the park for the visitors, but their last couple of performances have been far from convincing. Rangers need to pile the points at home because they cannot do so on the road. Striker Austin will certainly cause havoc up front and Redknapp's men will battle all the way to get something out of this match. This match looks tight and I will go for the draw here. Draw.

Swansea v/s Chelsea. The fact that the hosts lost their best player Bony does not bode well for this encounter or for the rest of the season for that matter. I don't see their forward Gomis having the same kind of impact as his predecessor. After stuttering of late, Chelsea need to get full points out of this encounter to get their momentum going. I think they will win, probably by a slight margin. Away win.

Tottenham v/s Sunderland. Newly-arrived striker Defoe might suit up against his old club Spurs. The home team have enough talent to break down any defence, as they proved by banging in 5 goals against Chelsea. I think with high-flying Harry Kane, they will be too much for Poyet's team. Home win.

Newcastle v/s Southampton. After getting Man Utd's scalp at Old Trafford, it won't be a surprise iff the Saints beat the Magpies at St James Park. They will be missing 3 key players for this match but Koeman is such an astute manager that I see them getting something out of this match. Probably another win for the visitors. Away win.

West Ham v/s Hull. This is a glorious opportunity for West Ham to continue their great form and add another 3 points to their tally. Hull are in deep trouble at the moment and with the loss of their 2 strikers in their last match, it's hard to see how they are going to score in this match. I have a suspicion that Hull are ripe for the drop if one wants a long-term punt. Home win.

Man City v/s Arsenal. The Citizens have done well to close the gap with leaders Chelsea lately and they look set to keep the momentum going against an Arsenal side that struggles to beat the big teams. Man City will welcome Aguero back and the Argentinian brings them to another level. Arsenal have their own talisman of their own in Chilean winger Sanchez, who to me, is the EPL player of the year so far. Even though they will be missing Yaya Toure for their next few matches, their form dictates that they will be too much for the Gunners who have been over-reliant on Sanchez. Home win.

Everton v/s WBA. Tony Pulis teams are tough to break down and Everton are not playing with any confidence at the moment. This looks set to be a dull Monday game, and the end result might very well be a draw. Draw.

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