The Premier League is back! This was our intro last week: “Knowing City’s squad, they could’ve still fielded two different teams and won both games (Manchester derby and Carling Cup final).” How wrong we were. Now City are also out of the Champions League and according to Samir Nasri, “Must win the League”. Two more huge games this weekend; the North London derby and the battle of the reds. Let’s see how everyone does, but most importantly how WE do with our predictions!
A recap of last weeks games is in our latest podcast:
Previous Matchday Scores:
Here’s a reminder of last week’s scores and a recap of how we stand. As usual, a correct outcome warrants a point, while a perfect score gets three points:
Saturday March 15th:
Hull City v Manchester City:
Bernie: Things must be a little strange for Manuel Pellegrini this season. City’s EPL form has not been great recently and they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Wigan and then the Champions League by Barcelona. Their Quadruple dreams crashed and burned in the blink of an eye. On paper City should win this game, but ever since Hull signed Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic they have looked the business. This will be a tough game as Hull never back down from a fight, but I think City will respond to the disappointments they have suffered recently. I’m going 3-1 City.
Mohaned: This is a crucial game for City as they are coming off two defeats in a row. It was expected in the Champions League against Barcelona, but the Wigan loss in the Capital One cup will hurt. They need to get back on track. Hangovers can happen after CL nights especially against a team like Barcelona that run you into the ground. Ill predict that City get out of their slump here as long as Pellegrini doesn’t make too many changes. 2-1 City.
Rishay: City finally get back into Premier League action! They now have 2 games in hand over Arsenal and Liverpool and 3 games over Chelsea. They’ll have to win all those games to get back on par in terms of points! The question is whether they will be lethargic after their midweek exit to Barcelona or whether they will be angry and smash Hull completely. I think that despite Hull being cautiously optimistic about their strength in depth, City will win, but only just. 2-1 City.
Aston Villa v Chelsea:
Bernie: Many are dubbing Christian Benteke the next Didier Drogba. He has a ways to go and he’ll have to fall in line, but he is a player I rate quite highly. He should trouble the Chelsea back line but Chelsea defend from the front and this will frustrate the Villains. Chelsea will swarm them and dominate the middle of the park. Villa will have no answer at all for Eden Hazard. Not too much more I can say about this game, I really see Mourinho’s men running away with this one. 3-0 Chelsea.
Mohaned: Chelsea, with a win, can keep their lead at the top of the league table. Something Mourinho doesn’t think they are favorites to do come May. Everyone else disgrees. With players rested for two weeks now (they barely broke a sweat against Tottenham), they should be refreshed and ready to go. Villa wont give them too much trouble. 3-1 Chelsea.
Rishay: Chelsea have had their way with Villa over the years and I don’t expect Villa to do much damage to the leaders of the pack this weekend. Besides Christian Benteke, I don’t see any other threats to Cech’s goal. A comfortable fixture for Chelsea, and should be a routine win. 2-0 Chelsea.
Sunday March 16th:
*Game of the week: The battle of the reds*
Manchester United v Liverpool:
Bernie: Any week this game is on it’s far and above the game of the week. The two most historically successful teams in England have reversed their roles this season. Liverpool are the in-form team and the favorites here. United go into this in “decent” league form but the Theatre of Dreams has seen its fair share of nightmares this season. Can we really expect the Red Devils to overcome the Anfield men? To win this game David Moyes must go 4-2-3-1 and drop Robin Van Persie who has been ineffective in recent weeks. He won’t do this and United will be exposed and lethargic in attack. Suarez and Sturridge will be too dynamic for Jones and Smalling and Fellaini will have to be at his best. United’s hopes rest on Wayne Rooney being superhuman. 2-1 Liverpool.
Mohaned: Big big game regardless of the league position of the respective teams. Liverpool want to continue their push for a top four spot and even overtake Arsenal for third. United will not want to lose to Liverpool on a pride basis alone. These teams have been rivals since time began. I worry for United’s defence against Liverpool’s attack. Unless Moyes plays a smart tactical game, this could get ugly on the counterattack. I’ll go with a 2-0 Liverpool win.
Rishay: Liverpool will be quietly confident about their chances of victory in this one. It could be a big one too, if SAS deliver. Liverpool’s attacking players have been lethal and they have been scoring freely. United will need to be on their game and have to make sure that they don’t give the ball away, because it will probably end up being very costly. Sometimes, form goes out the window for games like these, and it will be interesting to see how things play out at the Theatre of Dreams this weekend. 2-1 United.
Tottenham v Arsenal:
Bernie: If not for United v Liverpool this would be the game of the week. Arsenal’s confidence can’t be very high after going out of the Champions League. However, Spurs’ confidence is lower than a basement floor. Sandro confirmed that the team argued for 2 hours after their defeat to Chelsea, and that they will hold themselves accountable for their poor performances. What a game to turn their fortunes around! Arsenal will be without Mesut Ozil and some people are happy about that. Arsenal have an identity though and Spurs don’t know the meaning of the word. This makes me lean towards the Gunners in this one. The player to watch here is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and I also expect Santi Cazorla to put Spurs to the sword. This story will end 3-1 to the Gunners and Tim Sherwood will not retain his job past this season.
Mohaned: The north London Derby is always one of the most exciting games of the season. Always filled with passion and flair as well as a huge rivalry between the fans. Tottenham are not in the best run of form especially against teams above them in the table. Arsenal played well against Bayern Munich and once again came away undefeated at the Allianz Arena. These form factors won’t come into play much come Sunday, though. Arsenal’s quality in midfield, although missing Ozil, should shine through. 2-1 Arsenal.
Rishay: Tottenham have been absolutely battered by the big sides this season (with the exception of Arsenal and United), but by being on the wrong side of 6-0, 5-1, 5-0, and 4-0 scorelines, they are making themselves heavy underdogs for this fixture. Arsenal have just drawn with Bayern at the Allianz Arena and will probably be comfortable with any threat Tottenham can throw at them. Adebayor will be the one to watch for Spurs. 3-2 Arsenal.
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