Friday, April 4, 2014

Week-end football

I cannot believe that Liverpool are leading the League at the moment. I genuinely got them wrong this year and they are championship material, no doubt. Suarez is the difference and it's rare that one player can make such a difference to a team by making his teammates elevate their play beyond expecations. Still, Man City are the favourites with their 2 games in hand.

Man City v/s Southampton. The Citizens need to win this so that they can go to Anfield next week with the title firmly within their control. The Saints won't be run over easily, although their away form is not as good as their home form. The hosts will be without Aguero again but they have enough quality from everywhere to score. This match will set their mood and disposition for the Anfield clash in a week. I see them as a Win selection against the Saints.

Aston Villa v/s Fulham. The hosts have lost striker Benteke for the rest of the season and might be without a designated striker for this match. Fulham will hope that this plays in their hands but they are such a woeful team that it is hard to envision them taking any advantage of the Villa's predicament. I have a feeling this is going to end in a drab draw and am not overly convinced on the outcome.

Cardiff v/s Crystal Palace. I think Cardiff are going down and this is a huge chance for Palace to make a big statement about retaining their standing in the top division. I've been saying for a long time that Pulis is doing an admirable job at Palace and their undoing of Chelsea last week showed that they can deliver a big performance against anyone. At current odds, the Eagles look like a fantastic value draw-no-bet.

Hull v/s Swansea. Chances are that this could very well end up in a draw.

Newcastle v/s Man Utd. Whether they openly admit it or not,  it seems that the Red Devils will have their minds more on the upcoming 2nd round clash against Bayern in mid-week. It is very probable that some of their first-team players will be rested, and Rooney is definitely out with a toe injury. The Magpies have been a struggling team since losing Cabaye and their woes could deepen if Man Utd can unleash some of their potent firepower. The Red Devils are a draw-no-bet selection.

Norwich v/s WBA. Got to go with the Canaries here because of their home record. WBA are not showing signs of a team that can avoid the drop and this match is set to further deepen their woes. Home win selection.

Chelsea v/s Stoke. After their disillusion of the past week where they lost 2 matches, Chelsea are in urgent need to right the ship to avoid a trophy-less season. I think they are up for a big match against Stoke and are a Win selection as well.

Everton v/s Arsenal. Although they will have Ramsey back, I don't see Arsenal winning this. Everton have impressed me even more so during the past weeks where they set off on that record winning sequence. The Gunners will very probably end in the crucial 4th spot, but it is a tough ask to see them win at Goodison Park without players like Walcott, Diaby and Ozil. Everton is a draw-no-bet selection.

West Ham v/s Liverpool. Unlike many pundits, I am not so sure that Liverpool's recent winning run will be stopped at West Ham. The Kops have momentum in their favour and although the Hammers have an enviable record at home, they are a mid-table team at best. They might well sneak up a draw but Liverpool should be in the driving seat in this one. The visitors are another draw-no-bet recommendation.

Tottenham v/s Sunderland. No confidence in any result.

Win: Man City, Norwich, Chelsea
Draw-no-bet: Man Utd, Everton, Liverpool

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