Friday, September 19, 2014

EPL 2014/15 - Week 5 Predictions

QPR v/s Stoke. Stoke are the most un-reliable team to follow at the moment. They got beat at home by Leicester last week-end after having won against all odds at Man City. Their best form seems to be on the road where they managed a win and a draw in 2 matches. Rangers got thrashed, as expected, at Old Trafford last Sunday and it was disappointing to see that they did not offer more opposition to the Mancunians. It's as if they went into the match already beaten. Even with Redknapp and Hoddle at the helm, from what they are showing so far, they look set to play a major part in fighting relegation. This could end in a dour nil-nil, and a draw is probably the most probable outcome. Draw.

Aston Villa v/s Arsenal. The Villains are the surprise package so far this season and their last win at Anfield tell a tale that they should not be taken lightly. It seems that new assistant manager Roy Keane is having some kind of influence on the squad. Arsenal were greatly disappointing in their mid-week UCL loss at Dortmund. Rarely have I seen an Arsenal side so poor in a European game. Newcomer Wellbeck is creating chances but cannot score a goal but he should be on the scoreboard shortly. The Gunners really need to kick-start their season if they are to contend and I see them edging this contest by just. Away win.

Burnley v/s Sunderland. Burnley have racked up 2 consecutive scoreless draws but should be confident to at least score one against the Black Cats' leaky defence. Sunderland were arguably lucky to snatch a draw against Tottenham last Saturday but will look to this match to finally garner a win. I think there's value going with the away side here. Away win.

Newcastle v/s Hull. Newcastle's Pardew is the man in the hot seat at the moment and the coming of Hull might give him and his side some reprieve. It is however, hard to have any sort of confidence on the Magpies side that got thrashed at Southampton in their last match. Hull will be true to their colours and play tight at the back and rely on counter-counting forays. A draw looks probable. Draw.

Swansea v/s Southampton. Swansea gave Chelsea a fright last Saturday and will welcome back striker Bony. I have to say that Chris Monk is doing a fine job managing the side and they look like a top 10 team. Southampton too have done a pleasing start under new coach Koeman and are not feeling the ill effects of major key player departures. Another draw on the cards, in my opinion. Draw.

West Ham v/s Liverpool. Although they flopped at home to Villa and were lucky to win their UCL match in mid-week, it's hard to see Liverpool get overturned in this one, particularly with West Ham being hard-done by a string of injuries. The difference in class should tell and the Kops should get the 3 points. Away win.

Leicester v/s Man Utd. It is a measure of the way things have gone bad at Old Trafford since the glory days when a thrashing of lowly QPR heralded that the Red Devils were back. Back in the good days, it would have been business as usual, not a title-grabbing headline. If they hope for the fervour to continue, then Van Gaal's men need to dispatch Leicester in a convincing fashion, which is far from a done deal. The Foxes gallantly matched Arsenal at home before scoring an important away win at Stoke last Saturday. LVG has a fantastic strike force to choose from and it remains to be seen who of Falcao or RVP will partner Rooney. I think there's lots of goals in the offing here and most possibly might end up in the Red Devils outscoring the home team. Away win.

Tottenham v/s WBA. This should be a Spurs win even though they might feel the effects of their Europa league game. WBA have no major injuries but they've just been playing badly as a team for the past weeks. They will need major improvement in them to avoid the drop but it won't come overnight. Definitely not in this game. Home win.

Everton v/s Crystal Palace. Everton are gaining stride at the moment and have won in mid-week in the Europa League. They must however phase out horrendous defending like they did against Chelsea a couple of weeks back. They should have too much for this Palace side and home advantage should prevail here. Home win.

Man City v/s Chelsea. Man City cannot afford to lose this match and set Chelsea free sailing at the top. The Citizens lost a heart-breaking match at Bayern in the UCL losing Dzeko to injury in the process. Still they have a formidable squad and I cannot see them losing this 6-pointer match. Chelsea are relying much on the goal-scoring exploits of Diego Costa and will be encouraged by the fact that they won this fixture last year. A draw will be good enough for Mourinho whose team had an excellent record when playing the top sides last year. This could swing either way but I have a feeling that the urgency coming from the hosts will see them win this. Home win.

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