Friday, December 31, 2021

EPL 21/22 - Week 21

 Arsenal v Man City - Draw

Watford v Spurs - Away

Crystal Palace v West Ham - Away

Brentford v Aston Villa - Away

Everton v Brighton - Home

Leeds v Burnley - Draw

Southampton v Newcastle - Away

Chelsea v Liverpool - Home

Man Utd v Wolves - Draw

Happy New Year 2022!! Wish it to be very healthy and prosperous to all!

This new year starts with a bang with a monster clash between title chasers Chelsea and Liverpool. It seems that Man City has it all sewn up, so would many believe. But their 8 point lead is certainly not unsurmountable and the afore-mentioned above are the likeliest to offer the fiercest opposition. Chelsea have lost pace lately and their late abdication against Brighton in what looked like a sure 3 points have definitely dampened the mood at Stamford Bridge. They might live to regret those 2 lost precious points in the end. The return of Lukaku at the front gives them an extra edge although it is hard to make any sense of the striker's recent media outburst regarding his situation in London. The guy announced it was his dream to be back at the Bridge on his return a few months back, yet he is now whining about never wanting to leave Inter. It's an understandable wtf-wtf from the Blues fan-base. As long as he delivers on the pitch, I guess no-one would really care what is wired in his head. Liverpool have also lost a step lately, losing to Leicester in their last match, one in which they had ample chances to close and keep pace at the top. Their profligacy in front of goal, including a missed penalty was their undoing and they might live to regret these lost points. This will be Salah's last match before heading to the African Cup and it will be interesting to see if he can go out with a flourish. His level of form has slipped slightly in the recent matches, which is why I give the Blues a slight advantage in this encounter. I think they will be the hungrier team, and certainly the more dangerous one at home with an unleashed Lukaku up front. Siding with an outright Blues win could be rewarding here.

Win: Chelsea

Sunday, December 26, 2021

EPL 21/22 - Week 19

 Man City v Leicester - Home

Norwich v Arsenal - Away

Tottenham v Crystal Palace - Home

West Ham v Southampton - Home

Aston Villa v Chelsea - Away

Brighton v Brentford - Draw

Newcatle v Man Utd - Away

It sure hasn't been fun seeing the growing round of matches being cancelled lately and having clubs playing with decimated squads definitely has an incidence on results. Matches are kicking off in less than half-hour so I will lay out some quick pick here. Man City should continue on their title-winning form by overcoming Leicester. The Foxes have been out-of-sorts for a while now and I cannot see them getting anything from this trip. Arsenal are on a good roll and should be able to overcome lowly Norwich. I really like Spurs chances against visiting Palace, who will be without manager Viera for the match. Son and Kane have been clicking well lately with the arrival of Conte and I see them winning this match hands-down. Finally, I see Man Utd starting an unbeaten sequence as they visit relegation-threatened Newcastle. The vibes look positive with interim manager Rangnick but the Red Devils will need to translate it on the pitch. 

Win: Man City, Arsenal, Tottenham, Man Utd

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

EPL 21/22 - Week 17

Norwich v Aston Villa - Away

Man City v Leeds - Home

Brighton v Wolves - Draw

Burnley v Watford - Away

Crystal Palace v Southampton - Home

Arsenal v West Ham - Draw

Leicester v Tottenham - Home

Chelsea v Everton - Home

Liverpool v Newcastle - Home

David Moyes did a fantastic job at West Ham last season and if anyone thought that was a fluke or a on-off, think again because the Hammers are doing even better this year sitting in 4th spot ahead the likes of Man Utd and Arsenal. They have proven a tough team to break down even for the top teams. And they can score as well with Antonio and Bowen leading the charge up front. The Hammers are simply a delight to watch and although they have a difficult away match against the in-form Gunners, they cannot be dismissed in the slightest. The home team have enjoyed a good spell lately and Arteta is no longer the "next manager" to be fired as the papers had peppered for a while. They currently have au Auba issue on their hands but their newly-ex captain has not been as influential to their recent success as in previous years. It is the coming of keeper Ramsdale between the posts that have kicked off their season and provided them much-needed solidity at the back to build on. This match is going to be tight from the get-go and I see it ending into a hardly-fought draw.

Draw: Arsenal/West Ham

Friday, December 3, 2021

EPL 21/22 - Week 15

 West Ham v Chelsea - Home

Newcastle v Burnley - Home

Southamton v Brighton - Away

Wolves v Liverpool - Away

Watford v Man City - Away

Leeds v Brentford - Home

Man Utd v Crystal Palace - Home

Tottenham v Norwich - Home

Aston Villa v Leicester - Home

Everton v Arsenal - Draw

The leading teams may have been on a tear lately but I reckon there could be some surprising results in the offing this week-end. Chelsea are in dangerous waters at West Ham. While they have been racking up positive results in the past weeks, it seems the Blues are squeezing by rather than really coming up with dominant displays. The return of Lukaku should ease things up front but I think they might be up for a rocky spell in the upcoming matches. Playing the Hammers is never easy these days and it won't be surprising to see Moyes' team eke out at least a point out of Saturday's encounter. At current odds, it might be worth siding completely with the hosts and go for the all Hammers win.

I believe Newcastle are apt to win their first match of the season against visiting Burnley. The Magpies are arguably better off since Howe came over as manager but I persist in thinking that they will be busy playing the relegation battles all season. However, Burnley are a shadow of the solid team of the past seasons and it is a glorious opportunity for the hosts to finally bag 3 points. 

Finally, Aston Villa should see off visiting Leicester. The Foxes are an inferior team of the past seasons and they can no longer keep clean sheets as before. Very uncharacteristic of Rodgers' teams, particularly with Schmeichel in goal. They have no consistent form since the start unlike Villa, who are enjoying a nice spell since Gerard has taken over. While I don't expect their purple patch to last long, I still think the Villains are playing with better confidence than the Foxes and will make home advantage pay in this one.

Win: West Ham, Newcastle, Aston Villa