Friday, August 16, 2013

EPL Week 1

My takes on the first week-end of this new EPL season.

Arsenal v/s Aston Villa. Although they will be without Arteta and possibly Walcott, I cannot see Arsenal losing their opener at the Emirates. They should be able to edge this encounter and use it as a confidence builder.

Liverpool v/s Stoke. This is a new era for Stokes under Mark Hughes. It remains to be seen whether keeping clean sheets remains a reference for the Potters. Liverpool will be without Suarez to suspension and will rely on a minorly-crocked Sturridge for ammunition. It will be more a matter of watch and learn on this one but if one really needs a punt, a Liverpool win looks the likelier outcome.

Norwich v/s Everton. This looks to be one of the most even games of the week-end and it would be no surprise if this ended into a draw.

Sunderland v/s Fulham. Same as above. Draw prediction.

Swansea v/s Man Utd. Last year's fixture ended in a draw, although the Red Devils should have won the game in a canter. It's going to be tougher for them this year. At current odds, I am inclined to go with Swansea with a +1 goal advantage so that it would take Man Utd to win by 2 goals for the proposition to fail. I just cannot see Laudrup's team going down by that many goals at home.

West Brom v/s Southampton. Staying on the sidelines on this one as it's hard to assess how the Baggies will do without Lukaku although they now have Anelka in their ranks. Southampton are nursing a few major injuries, so it remains to be seen in what kind of disposition their current team is compared to last year.

West Ham v/s Cardiff. This match can go either way. To avoid.

Chelsea v/s Hull. It would be mad to go anywhere against Chelsea here. Straight win, and it should be a big one too, for the hosts.

Crystal Palace v/s Tottenham. Although most of the summer news about Spurs has been about the departure of Bale, they are still a strong squad. They should have too much firepower for the hosts and should start the season on a winning note.

Man City v/s Newcastle. Straight win for the Citizens.

Win: Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, Man City
+1 Handicap: Swansea.

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