Officially across the half way line of what has been a very exciting and challenging Premier League. It felt weird to type “2014” in the title but it is officially upon us. Happy new year to all our readers and hope 2014 brings you much joy and happiness. Sentiments aside, LETS GET BACK TO PREDICTING!
Previous Matchday Scores:
Here’s a reminder of last week’s scores and a recap of how we stand midway through the season. Bernie is in the lead by 8 points over Mohaned. Rishay has been clawing back recently and has closed the gap on Mohaned to only 12 points. As usual, a correct outcome warrants a point while a perfect score holds 3 points:
Wednesday January 1st, 2014:
Swansea vs Manchester City:
Bernie: Swansea play well but unlike last season they don’t get enough points. It’s been a little tougher on Laudrup this season. The City championship train is finally starting to get going. I think they’ve put their away woes behind them and Swansea will be in trouble here. 3-1 City
Mohaned: Swansea, Swansea, Swansea. Its been an up and down season for them. On paper they have immense quality and try to play football the right way but it just hasn’t been coming off this season as it did last. City are starting to steam roll their way through the league and should win this one AWAY from home. 2-0 City.
Rishay: City have emerged from some hard fought victories against Liverpool and surprisingly, Crystal Palace. Their free scoring runs have stalled recently and they are due a blip. Are they going to come out at full pace or are they tired from the cluttered holiday season schedule? This fixture will be a test of their title credentials and although I expect Swansea to give them a scare, City should pull through.1-2 City.
Southampton vs Chelsea:
Bernie: Southampton just aren’t the team they started off being. Maybe they’ve been figured out or maybe it’s a case of running out of steam. They are still playing well but they aren’t blazing any trails. However, Chelsea don’t play well enough for me. They grind out results and against a good Saints’ side they will need to do better especially away from home. It’s going to be close and I think I’ll go with Mourinho’s men. 2-1 Chelsea
Mohaned: Is it Chelsea right now or Hazard FC lately? Hes been carrying them on the attacking front big time. Southampton will be tough opposition thats for sure. How tough, is the question. This predictions game messes with your head. I dont know whether to call it safe and go with a Chelsea win or gamble. Ill go with a 1-1 draw.
Rishay: Something tells me that Chelsea have shored up their back line and are ready to outscore their opponents in typical boring fashion on their road games. This game is the one that is most likely to be an upset, given that the Saints have held City to a draw at home and they were seconds away from doing the same to Everton. I think that after holding the Gunners 0-0 at the Emirates and beating Liverpool, Chelsea will have enough in their locker to handle Southampton, who are by all means one of this season’s tough customers. 2-1 Chelsea.
Liverpool vs Hull:
Bernie: On paper and considering the form of Luis Suarez, this should be a mauling. In reality this is unlikely. Hull have been solid and quite plucky this season. They gave United a real scare in a losing effort and gave Fulham a real beating 6-0. I do feel that Liverpool should win this one at Anfield though and keep their remarkable season going. 3-1 Liverpool.
Mohaned: Skrtel will be having nightmares before this game. Two own goals in the corresponding fixture will haunt him, that’s for sure. A less interesting fact, Tom Huddlestone will be playing WITHOUT his trademark Afro after scoring last matchday! Thats something to look forward to I guess. Ok back to the game. Liverpool to win this one, there will be no repeat upset by Hull. 2-1 Liverpool.
Rishay: Liverpool will be disappointed with their back to back losses against teams in their vicinity in the table. Their retaliation will be vengeful, in the form of Suarez tearing the poor back line of Hull City. Henderson’s form has also been steller. The combination of Henderson, Coutinho, and Suarez has looked outstanding and they will be ready to show the Kop that they are for real. When is Sturridge supposed to come back? People have forgotten that he also has 9 goals to his name and hasn’t featured in weeks! 4-1 Liverpool.
Arsenal vs Cardiff:
Bernie: Arsenal really should walk away with this result. It’s a perfect time for them to take advantage of the uncertainty at Cardiff right now. Arsenal haven’t played the same free flowing football we’ve become accustomed to in the past few weeks. The plus side is they are getting points and grinding out results which potential champions need to know how to do. This game won’t be a grind though, Arsenal will beat Cardiff and Vincent Tan won’t be happy about it. 3-0 Arsenal
Mohaned: Finally a relatively easier fixture for Arsenal. Complacency cant creep in but Im sure Arsene Wenger will make some changes to give players a rest. Maybe Bendtner will start? Arsenal should win this game as long as they show up and keep up their high levels of concentration as of late. Regardless of the team sheet this should be 3 points to the Gunners. 2-0 Arsenal.
Rishay: The Gunners have shown admirable battling quality to get a victory away at high flying Newcastle, although they were stalled by Mourinho’s Blues in their previous home fixture. They will be happy with their table topping position coming into this game and I expect them to be in charge against Cardiff for the full 90 minutes. The second half of the season is about to begin, and Wenger doesn’t have Ferguson in his way anymore…will Arsenal keep up their form? 3-0 Arsenal.
*Game of the week: Red Devils vs Spurs*
This match up is usually a certain for goals and excitement. Both teams go at each other to always win the game. Using an old football cliche, this is a 6 pointer for both teams. They currently sit 6th and 7th in the table both on 34 points. The winner of this encounter would gain a well needed 3 points gap and get much closer to those coveted champions league spots. The “first leg” of this fixture at White Hart Lane ended in a 2-2 draw. Below are the highlights of what happened that day.
Manchester United vs Tottenham:
Bernie: If this game is anything like the last game played then it will be passionate and exciting. United were sluggish at White Hart Lane and Wayne Rooney got them out of jail as he’s done all season. Tottenham are a team that is unsure of themselves with a rookie manager and players whose commitment has often been questioned. A draw may make sense here but I think Spurs will be a bit nervous, United are in form and it’s likely that Rooney and RVP possibly will be back. 2-1 United.
Mohaned: I always enjoy this fixture as both teams, in my eyes, don’t play through their central midfield what so ever. This usually leads to end to end action with a lot of wing play and just straight out fitness battle. Manchester United and Tottenham always set up for wing play with over lapping full backs who send crosses into a crowded 18 yard box. Lots of action comes from this with less boring possession play. It may also be as both these teams aren’t in a form where they can fully control a game. Opposition always has a chance. ill go with a repeat of last game. 2-2 draw.
Rishay: Tim Sherwood’s appointment should by all means bolster Tottenham’s performances, and it seems that things might change for the better on the surface. Spurs have had the upper hand against United in recent fixtures, famously winning 3-2 at Old Trafford last season. There have been two successive draws between the two sides since then, with both games dominated by Tottenham. United are on a four game (six in all competitions) win streak and have handsomely outscored their opponents in the process. Both these sides have exceptional away records, which on paper should favour the visitors. However, United seem to have turned a corner, and with their stars expected to come back, we might be in for a thriller, with United showing their mettle. Aren’t they expected to kick on at some point? 2-1 United.