The FA Cup gave us a lot of action last weekend while the Capital One Cup entertained us in midweek. Now we return to the lights and glamour of the Premier League! A lot of exciting match-ups this weekend! Lets get to it!
This is the first predictions since the new year. In our latest podcast, in the first half, we go over the FA Cup action and follow it up with our best footballing moments of 2013. You don’t want to miss it!
Previous Matchday Scores:
Here’s a reminder of last week’s scores and a recap of how we stand. Bernie is in the lead over Mohaned. Rishay is slowly but surely making up ground. As usual, a correct outcome warrants a point while a perfect score holds 3 points:
Saturday January 11th, 2014:
Hull vs Chelsea:
Bernie: Realistically Chelsea should win this but the KC Stadium is a tough place to go. I think the Chelsea train is starting to get going once again. Huddlestone has finally cut his hair. Does this mean he’ll score more goals? NOPE! Hazard should tear the Tigers apart and provide numerous chances for Fernando Torres to squander. 2-0 Chelsea
Mohaned: As much as I have a soft spot for Hull and their endeavors this season, I don’t see them upsetting Chelsea here. Chelsea have been playing slightly better recently, although they will be upset for being knocked out of the Carling cup. They will want to get their revenge at the KC stadium. Lets just hope there are no more dives this game, I’m looking at you Oscar and Ramires. 3-1 Chelsea.
Rishay: Despite the criticism that Chelsea have endured pertaining to their “struggling” to close out games, they have put together some decent results in recent weeks, picking up 4 out of 6 points to Arsenal and Liverpool as well as picking up 2 consecutive clean sheets away from home coming into this fixture. Much has been speculated about Juan Mata’s future coming into this one but the Chelsea camp won’t be affected by the rumour mill. Mourinho’s men are strong favourites for this one and with a four point gap between third and fourth places in the table, a three horse title race may be taking shape. Hull will do well to get on the scoresheet, but won’t get a result. 2-0 Chelsea.
Tottenham vs Crystal Palace:
Bernie: Crystal Palace have a spring in their step now that Tony Pulis is in charge. Chamakh is showing that he’s the striker Wenger saw in Bordeaux (SIKE!). Tim 4-4-2 Sherwood should use this game to continue the building upon the momentum they gained since he got the job. Adebayor should have a good day here. 2-1 Tottenham
Mohaned: Its a LONDON DERBY! Okay so its not the biggest one but nonetheless. Tottenham will want to regain their good form which they had before getting completely outplayed by Arsenal in the FA Cup. You don’t get a better chance to do that than playing a bottom 3 team. At home they should be Spurred on by their home support. 2-1 Spurs
Rishay: Spurs have dug out some wins recently – notably, a 2-1 raid of Old Trafford. Sherwood’s old school tactics were quelled at Arsenal in the FA Cup, but a home game against Crystal Palace is an ideal time for Spurs to show that they mean business. Palace have their own in form striker – Chamakh. They were able to put in a dogged performance at the Etihad Stadium recently, losing by an admirable 1-0 scoreline, and with a similar performance against Spurs, they may be able to create a few decent chances. All in all, I think Spurs should take this one. 2-1 Tottenham.
Man United vs Swansea:
Bernie: Zero wins out of 3 in 2014. It’s been a terrible New Year for Moyes’ men. Old Trafford and United fans all over the world are numb. Without reinforcements in January and a return to the pitch for Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie, the season will be a disaster. The Red Devils this season just aren’t good enough and I expect nothing to change here except that they won’t lose. They won’t win either though 1-1 draw
Mohaned: Aaaaah the Man United dreaded prediction. Every game its “I’m sure they will get back to winning ways in this one”. That’s three losses on the trot now in 2014. They just played Swansea in the FA Cup a week ago, also at Old Trafford. This, then, should be the easiest prediction ever, but that’s not how football works. If Rooney is back it might swing the balance in ManUtd’s favor. Ill predict a draw in this one. 2-2 draw.
Rishay: A woeful run of form for the Red Devils, with three consecutive 2-1 losses. One of which was to Swansea in the League Cup at this same venue. Swansea will know exactly what game plan to implement and will look cause the shaky Devils some trouble. United on the other hand are looking for a much needed win to gain some momentum and grow some confidence. Will this be an unthinkable fourth loss in a row? Or will United exact revenge on the team that knocked them out of the FA Cup? The pressure is mounting on Moyes and his injury stricken squad and under fire players. Its times like these that truly reveal what a team is made off. 2-1 United.
Sunday January 12th:
*Game of the week: The Magpies vs The Citizens*
Newcastle vs Manchester City:
Bernie: This should be a tough game. It’s the pick of the bunch and I’m happy it’s at St. James’ Park. Best atmosphere in the league and it’s always a fast, physical game up there. If City win this, which they should they procession to the title officially begins. They are putting together better away performances and a win at Newcastle will cement their place as favorites. 3-1 City
Mohaned: City will know this is no easy game, they have to look no further than last week when Arsenal struggled to get a 1-0 win at St. James’s Park. Newcastle, on their day, are a very good team with a good balance between defense and attack. City will for sure come out all guns blazing. Ill call this as a narrow city win. 2-1 City.
Rishay: Arguably the most mouth watering fixture of the weekend’s clashes, Newcastle have shown that they are capable of going on winning streaks. The recent visit of Arsenal saw the Gunners hanging on and braving the onslaught of pressure from the Magpies to grind out a 1-0 at the Sports Direct Arena. Newcastle have since lost to West Brom, and been eliminated from the Carling Cup by Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s Cardiff City. Will they continue to under perform or will they step up for the visit of the most lethal strike force in the EPL this season? Man City have had their share of success against Newcastle in recent times but their defensive frailties are the only source of weakness they have coming into this fixture. I expect a tough battle in the middle of the park, with City coming out on top over the course of 90 minutes. 2-1 City.
Stoke vs Liverpool:
Bernie: Stoke want to pass the ball around. Liverpool pass it around better than them. That is exactly how this game will go down. It won’t be a demolition but it won’t end well for Mark Hughes’ boys. Sturridge should at least be on the bench and Suarez will run riot. Perhaps Charlie Adam will come in like a wrecking ball again to save Stoke’s blushes. 3-0 Liverpool
Mohaned: This should be very straight forward. Even if Stoke frustrate Liverpool for periods of the game, I don’t think they can keep it up for the full 90 minutes. Liverpool will have many players returning to the starting lineup after fielding a slightly weaker side in the FA Cup. Suarez will definitely start and a possibility that Sturridge makes the bench. Liverpool should win this comfortably. 3-1 Liverpool.
Rishay: Stoke will have to put in a performance for 90 minutes to be able to get something from this fixture. They have been able to irritate Liverpool in the past, but the Reds are looking like a confident lot this season, coming off back to back 2-0 victories in League and Cup going into this fixture. Stoke were able to hold Everton to a 1-1 draw at home recently, but were saved by the woodwork on more than one occasion in that game. Liverpool will be eyeing three points from this one, with Suarez already reaching the 20 goal mark in the league this season, you can only expect him to be instrumental at the Britannia Stadium once again. 2-0 Liverpool.
Monday, January 13th:
Aston Villa vs Arsenal:
Bernie: Arsenal will want revenge here. Giroud and Ozil should come back to the side to alleviate the pressure of losing Walcott to injury and I expect Arsenal to be motivated. After the opening day defeat at the Emirates to the Villains Arsenal fans were irate. Then Wenger brought in Ozil and they’re contending ever since. Perhaps Gooners should thank Paul Lambert for making Wenger splash the cash. That being said I see this one going to the Gunners easily. 2-0 Arsenal
Mohaned: The whole media coverage for this one will be centered around the loss which Arsenal suffered on the first day of the season at the hands of Aston Villa. Villa are on a bad run of form currently and have already been eliminated from all the cup competitions. Arsenal will have Giroud and Ozil back and should win this game if they want to keep City at bay. 2-0 Arsenal.
Rishay: Aston Villa started this campaign with a 3-1 victory over Arsenal at the Emirates. Arsenal have gone from strength to strength since then and you wouldn’t be crazy to say that we can see a reverse scoreline this time around. Villa have been inconsistent and seemed destined for a harmless mid table finish. The Gunners will be hard to break down, considering they are coming off 3 consecutive clean sheets. I expect no surprises here. 2-0 Arsenal.