Friday, December 18, 2015

EPL 2015/16 - Week 17

Chelsea v/s Sunderland - Draw
Everton v/s Leicester City - Away win
Man Utd v/s Norwich - Home win
Southampton v/s Spurs - Draw
Stoke v/s Crystal Palace - Away win
WBA v/s Bournemouth - Home win
Newcastle v/s Aston Villa - Home win
Watford v/s Liverpool - Home win
Swansea v/s West Ham - Away win
Arsenal v/s Man City - Home win

Jose Mourinho has finally been sacked. Deservedly so, given how he was losing the plot and the locker room. This resets Chelsea's season and it remains to be seen what kind of form they will show from now on. My opinion, as I've been maintaining since the start of the season, is that they have been a regressing team for a while now and even though they had a great last hurrah winning the league last year due to the failings of the other teams, they need to renew the team to get back to their levels of a few years back. Man Utd has been going through the same process in the past couple of years. In effect, Mourinho is certainly the main culprit for their precarious position but not the only one. The Blues are still too good to face relegation but they are no longer a force week-in week-out. The choice of next manager will be crucial in properly picking up the pieces left by the Sacked One.

I see Man Utd winning against Norwich. The pressure is such on Van Gaal that I think he will have to throw caution to the wind and get goals for the Old Trafford faithful. The number of drab 0-0's is certainly ruffling the supporters' skins. The hosts need a win to shut down any dissidence and they have a huge chance to show their attacking prowess against lowly Norwich. If Van Gaal starts the same team as against Bournemouth with the bunch of inexperienced youngsters, then this advice can be thrown out of the window. If the team selected looks competitive on paper, then the Red Devils should win this.

I like the chances of Newcastle at home to Aston Villa. Maybe the Magpies have turned a corner with 2 consecutive wins against non-negligible opposition such as Liverpool and Tottenham. Papiss Cisse is getting chances and if the back four can limit their customary mistakes, then the hosts must have a leading chance against struggling Villa. 

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