Friday, February 6, 2015

EPL 2014/15 - Week 24

Chelsea and Man City are playing 2 teams that are prime for relegation this week-end, so it should be statu quo at the top of the table with 5 points still separating the two. My thoughts on the upcoming matches.

Tottenham v/s Arsenal. I thought Spurs would stumble against WBA last game week but they came up trumps with a thumping 3-0 win. They should be pumped up for this always-tense derby. Harry Kane is simply the hottest striker in the league at the moment and will definitely cause problems to the Gunners defence. I think Arsenal are a team on the up. With the return of Walcott and the confident play of Cazorla, Ozil and Rocisky, they can open up the stingiest defences. Not mentioning that the return from injury of Alexis Sanchez gives them attacking options that makes them dangerous from the opening minute. This looks set to be a high-scoring affair and a draw could be a likely result. Draw.

Aston Villa v/s Chelsea. The naysayers will say that Mourinho has never won at Villa Park. I think this is bound to change tomorrow. I can't see anything other than a Chelsea win. Villa are finding it hard to score and that means that they will be fighting relegation this year, Away win.

Leicester City v/s Crystal Palace. I really think the Foxes can win this match. Palace were brought back to earth last week-end after winning all its matches under Pardew. I thought they were quire flattered in some of these wins. Leicester needs to win these kinds of home matches to survive; they are in the middle of a good run-in and they are a good value-bet for the outright win. Home win.

Man City v/s Hull. No contest here, this should be 3 more points for the Citizens. Could be a high-scoring contest too with Aguero prime to end his goal-scoring drought following his recent return from injury. Home win.

QPR v/s Southampton. Rangers have been rocked this week of the departure of Redknapp. They look vulnerable for a home loss here and I think the Saints will pounce here. Away win.

Swansea v/s Sunderland. Hard to gauge Swansea at the moment; they were in a terrible rut following the departure of Bony. They managed to win at Southampton last week-end although I wouldn't say that they deserved the 3 points. Gus Poyet might have gotten one of the best deals of the January window with the coming of Jermaine Defoe. The ex-England striker is always a scoring threat and will certainly pose problems for Swansea. I am juggling a draw or an away win here. Away win.

Everton v/s Liverpool. The Kops are definitely on the up and this is the kind of match where Everton wished it had keeper Howard back. The Toffees managed to win at Palace in their last match but that hardly puts them in season-winning form. With the return of Sturridge, Liverpool have gotten their mojo back. Coutinho and Sterling are playing with renewed confidence and if motivation counts for anything, Gerrard should have it in abundance for his last Derby match. It should be a tight match and it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Kops smiling at the end. Away win.

Burnley v/s West Brom. If there is to be a scoreless draw, that would be it. Draw.

Newcastle v/s Stoke. The hosts won this fixture 5-1 last season and although I don't think the gap will be that high, I think they will win again. The Magpies are playing pretty neat football under John Carver and although their last home match ended in defeat against Southampton, they created chances galore but simply couldn't convert. With Papiss Cisse back, they should not have this kind of trouble. Stoke are usually hard to break down but will be missing Shawcross at the back. It's advantage to the home team for me. Home win.

West Ham v/s Man Utd. This tough match was made a little easier for the Mancunians given that the Hammers will be playing with only one recognized centre-back. That means that the likes of Falcao, RVP, Rooney and Di Maria are going to have goal-scoring chances; it will be a matter of taking them. Still, the Hammers are a tough nut to crack, particularly at home. A draw could settle this, although Man Utd have enough quality to bag the 3 points particularly with the return to form of Di Maria. Away win.

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