Friday, August 23, 2013

EPL Week 2

The main question this week-end is whether Chelsea can land a title blow to Man Utd's hopes early in the season. Although it's only the second week, it's still a 6-pointer game. Mourinho has traditionally found it hard to beat Moyes' old Everton team and I think that he will encounter similar resilience on Monday. I believe there's every reason for this match to end in a draw.

Here's my view of other matches.

Aston Villa v/s Liverpool. Benteke is on fire and Villa have impressed against the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea. Liverpool have been impressive at home as well against Stoke. I think this game comes a tad too early for the hosts following their midweek exertions at Stamford Bridge. It might be worth chancing with Liverpool as a draw-no-bet at current odds.

Everton v/s West Brom. This is a good chance for the Toffees to open their home debut with a win here. West Brom will be reeling from the bombshell news regarding striker Anelka in mid-week. It's still unknown whether he's terminated his career or if he's only out for this game but the fact that he was the club's main attacking weapon means that they could be well short in this area for the game. Everton should edge this.

Fulham v/s Arsenal. I fancy Fulham to do well this year and think they will be in the first 10. Martin Jol can lead them well and they are a good force at home. Arsenal have had a topsy-turvy week; after having been rocked in their opening game, they went to dominate Fenerbache in Turkey. The Gunners will be keen not to let themselves too much early on in the season. I think they are a good draw-no-bet selection despite missing a few key players.

Hull v's Norwich. The hosts will certainly be more attack-minded than during their trip at Chelsea. I still think that will not be enough against the Canaries that managed to put 2 past Everton last week-end. I see Norwich as another good draw-no-bet selection.

Newcastle v's West Ham. This looks to go straight as a bore draw but I have no confidence in the prediction since it could be edged one way or the other as well.

Southampton v/s Sunderland. The Saints look as good and enterprising team as last year and should be a force to reckon with at home again. Sunderland lost their first match at home and it would be no surprise if they found the hosts too much to handle. Quality should prevail in this one and Southampton are backed to pick up 3 full points.

Stoke v/s Crystal Palace. Got to go with the Potters here as they should be able to show the same resilience at home under new boss Mark Hughes as in previous seasons. I have a feeling that Palace's chances to stay up will principally depend on points picked up at home as they won't get too many on their travels. I'll go for the Win for the hosts.

Cardiff v/s Man City. It would be a brave person to go against Man City here. They were rampant against Newcastle on Monday, and this team is going to get better and better under Pellegrini. Dzeko is due to score after missing so many chances in their last match. The Citizens should prevail comfortably in this one.

Tottenham v/s Swansea. Both teams registered easy wins in the Europa League in mid-week. Spurs have home advantage but will definitely not have an easy game against Laudrup's men. It would not be surprising if the visitors caused a minor surprise here. Better to avoid.

Man Utd v/s Chelsea. As mentioned above, it might be worth chancing a draw here if one has to punt.

Win: Everton, Southampton, Stoke, Man City
Draw-no-bet: Liverpool, Arsenal, Norwich.


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