The midweek’s action saw Manchester City advance in the FA Cup third round. That was as expected as us continuing with our weekly EPL predictions! So, lets see how we do this week!
Previous Matchday Scores:
Here’s a reminder of last week’s scores and a recap of how we stand. Bernie is the first to reach that 100 point mark! As usual, a correct outcome warrants a point while a perfect score holds 3 points:
Saturday January 18th, 2014:
Manchester City Vs Cardiff:
Bernie: Solskjaer has come in to a new job with Vincent Tan, the bond villain, as an owner. Mackay was fired after doing a decent job and Ole will have it even tougher. The fixtures don’t get any tougher than this one. City are the best home team in the league and my goodness Cardiff are in for one hell of a beating. 4-0 City.
Mohaned: City will win. The question is by how much and will Pellegrini rest players or not! This is why predicting is tough. I could go 5-0 while Cardiff pull a Palace and only lose by 1 goal! Aguero is back which should spice things up. I will go with 3-0 City.
Rishay: City have plundered 99 goals in all competitions this season and its only the middle of January, which is an exceptional feat! Cardiff City did win the reverse fixture 3-2 at the start of the season but a similar result at the Etihad would be a true David v. Goliath story. I fear that Cardiff will lose this game pretty heavily considering City have their talisman Aguero back for selection. Ole Solskjaer will have his work cut out for him but there is nothing for Cardiff to lose from this game, which they can take solace from. 4-1 City.
Arsenal Vs Fulham:
Bernie: Fulham have looked better under Rene Meulensteedn recently but Arsenal have been very consistent. Arsenal are a team with a game plan that will easily over power Fulham. Fulham need to be resolute and defensively sound but I don’t think they have the players to do so. 2-0 Arsenal
Mohaned: These are the games where Arsenal need to rack up goals and improve their goal difference. But we all know they will make it hard for themselves and win by one goal or so as they have been depending on a strong defense as opposed to a strong offense lately. Having said that, 3-0 Arsenal.
Rishay: Arsenal and City’s dogfight at the top of the table is enthralling. A London derby on the surface has roots that grow deep, however, and we can expect a struggling Fulham to put in a performance that belies their recent form. With Mertesacker and Koscielny on the same pitch, Fulham might not find a way through and the forward line of Arsenal will definitely exploit their chances at home at the Emirates. 3-1 Arsenal
Liverpool Vs Aston Villa:
Bernie: I hate the word but I’ll say it, hopefully for the last time. The SAS is back. What a game Stoke vs Liverpool was. Wonderful feast for the eyes, littered with class and klutz all over the pitch. In this game I expect Liverpool to simply overwhelm Aston Villa. Lambert is already on borrowed time and I feel he’s run out of ideas. Suarez and Sturridge on the other hand, are just getting started . 3-0 Liverpool
Mohaned: Aston Villa put on a good show against Arsenal last week but that was at home. Away to Liverpool is a different story. Gerrard is back now, who I think makes Liverpool play worse, so they should score a couple of penalties. Suarez and Sturridge will bring back the much hated use of “SAS” so that should be fun! 2-0 Liverpool.
Rishay: SAS is back and highly potent, along with the backbone of Red Merseyside in the form of Steven Gerrard. Any team in their firing line should be very afraid, and I believe that team this week is Aston Villa. I expect a typical first half blitz from Liverpool followed by a stroll through the second half with the job done by half time. 4-1 Liverpool.
Sunday 19th of January:
Swansea Vs Tottenham:
Bernie: Swansea have flattered to deceive this season. They have the most possession of any team in the league but they don’t keep teams out. It’s a surprising statistic considering where they are in the table. They need to kick start their season and I feel that they can do that against Spurs. Sherwood has Spurs playing better but they still aren’t convincing. I feel the Liberty Stadium is a step too far in their quest for 3 points. 1-1 draw
Mohaned: Aaaaaah possession football vs counterattack. Which will prevail! Tottenham are in a relatively better patch of form recently but its so unpredictable. The worst team to predict results for are Spurs. Swansea haven’t been their old self lately. People will point out that they beat ManUtd in the cup, but who hasn’t! SO! Ill go with a draw here. 1-1 game.
Rishay: Spurs have now claimed 13 out of a possible 15 points since their home drubbing to Liverpool under their old boss, AVB. Will the new manager effect that Tim Sherwood has brought continue in Wales? I have a feeling Tottenham have kicked on and have increased odds of breaking into the top tier of the table. Swansea are looking to bounce back from their defeat at Old Trafford, where they had 62% of the possession. This is not surprising, since Swansea have the highest possession stats in the EPL this season. Tottenham will be playing a counter attacking game and could potentially grab the points. 2-1 Tottenham
*Game of the week: Chelsea vs ManUtd *
Bernie: The first one was a drab affair and that’s being kind. I don’t expect this one to be anything but exciting. Manchester United must come out to win this game if they are to keep their top 4 dreams alive. Chelsea want to prove they are title contenders and they can’t keep playing with the shackles on. United may have ended their slide against Swansea but Chelsea are organized and disciplined, something United have only shown once this season against Arsenal. Tight win for Chelsea here 1-0
Mohaned: Game of the week no doubt! Rooney might just miss out on this game which will be make or break for ManUtd. Mourinho, hopefully, will play more expansive football since this is at the Bridge. Lets hope its not another drab Chelsea affair where Hazard bails them out as usual. Chelsea need the points to keep up with the leading pack! Ill go for a Chelsea win here. 2-0 Chelsea.
Rishay: Chelsea have defied their critics this season and have quietly asserted themselves in the title race, waiting for the opportune moment to strike and stake their credentials over the more prolific Arsenal and Man City. Jose Mourinho has masterminded his tactics to perfection in the league, playing for a draw away to Man United and Arsenal and winning against City and Liverpool at home. United will very much be on the backfoot in this one, since it will be a game of too much midfield vs. no midfield. This is a must win for both teams: For Chelsea, to keep the pace at the top, and for United, to push on for a top 4 finish which they desperately need to avoid cataclysmic damage. I think I will be proud of the effort that United will show, even if they play with their backs to the wall for 90 minutes. If Moyes wants to show what he is worth, a good time and place to start would be at the Bridge. 1-1 draw.
Man City vs Cardiff: 3-0
Arsenal vs Fulham: 4-0
Liverpool vs Aston Villa: 3-1
Swansea vs Spurs: 1-2
Chelsea vs Man U: 2-1
Man City vs Cardiff: 4-1
Arsenal vs Fulham: 2-0
Liverpool vs Aston Villa: 3-1
Swansea vs Spurs: 2-2
Chelsea vs Man U: 0-0
Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 United. Mata to be subbed on and scores/assists the winner. Hazard and Lampard to do brilliant jobs as well. Smalling to choke if he’s in the first team.
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Man City vs. Cardiff: 3-0
Arsenal vs. Fulham: 3-0
Liverpool vs. Aston Villa: 3-1
Swansea vs. Spurs: 1-2
Chelsea vs. Man U: 1-0