Friday, March 1, 2013

EPL preview

Here's hoping this weekd-end's selections turn out to be as good as last week's.

Everton v/s Reading. While the title is already decided, the fight to avoid relegation is very much up for grabs. Reading is one of the favourites to go down and my belief at the moment is that they will indeed drop. They have found it hard to find consistent good form all season and unless they can come up with a string of good results, I fear they don't have what it takes to stay in the Premier League. They can score boat loads of goals on their best day, but they can equally concede in multiples. This is a must-three points for Everton if they are to fight for a Top 6 finish. The good news for the Toffees is the return of Fellaini; without him, they lack that sparkle up front. Everton is a Win recommendation.

Man Utd v/s Norwich. It does not take a rocket scientist to know that the Red Devils will not be at full strength against the Canaries. Most of their thoughts will be on the upcoming UCL match against Real Madrid next Tuesday. Ferguson will be keen not to suffer any stupid, last-minute injuries against the visitors, given that the league is already in the pocket. I don't expect a vintage Utd display and while they might have to work for it, it's hard not to see Man Utd win at the end. It might be best to avoid this game altogether, but if you need a go at it, a win on the Mancunians is the selection.

Stoke v/s West Ham. The hosts will be missing defensive lynchpin Robert Huth due to suspension and this might play to the advantage of Andy Carroll for the visitors.Although the Potters have been disappointing of late, they are still a good force to be reckoned with at home. Stoke are a draw-no-bet selection.

Sunderland v/s Fulham. It seems that Sunderland are a team that need to be re-built as Martin O'Neill does not seem to be able to improve them any further. I believe they will end up in the middle of the table. Fulham also will have major questions to answer after a disappointing season, their only highlight having been their recruit ace Berbatov. Home advantage speaks here and Sunderland are the value draw-no-bet of the week-end.

Tottenham v/s Arsenal. Who's the best 3rd player in the world after Messi and Ronaldo? Many will say Iniesta or Neymar. I say Gareth Bale. As he showed against West Ham earlier this week, he can win a match on his own. His current form is spectacular and he's only going to get better. If he leaves Spurs for better skies, Tottenham will certainly a much weaker team. If they cannot control the Welsh wizard, Arsenal look set to have a long afternoon in front of them. As in previous editions, this match looks destined to have many goals. Both sides have potent attacks and quite generous defences. I will side with the home team as a draw-no-bet here.

Win: Everton, Man Utd
Draw-no-bet: Stoke, Sunderland, Tottenham


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