Another classic weekend of football is on the books. Before we go on to this week’s games and predictions, let’s round up last weekend’s action.
The Manchester derby ended in a scoreline that didn’t surprise many. Manchester City overcame their neighbours Manchester United 1-0. Manuel Pellegrini will be worried however by how United – with 10 men after a senseless Smalling sending off – looked the better team with 30 minutes left to play. Chelsea fended off QPR 2-1 after Oscar’s golazo but Jose Mourinho wasn’t happy with the performance, or the crowd. Arsenal huffed and puffed for more than an hour of play before finally blowing the Burnley door down thanks to the irresistible force that is Alexis Sanchez. His two goals saw Arsenal win 3-0. Shocking to us but not to Rahim Kheir who predicted it, Everton and Swansea managed to play out a 0-0 stalemate. Alan Pardew is firmly out of the sack race for now and may have brought in Brendan Rodgers as his replacement after they blanked out Liverpool 1-0 at St James Park. Mohaned and all the Tottenham fans have been calling for Harry Kane to start over Adebayor, and after his faux-Bale deflected free kick winner vs Aston Villa, we don’t see any reason why not. Spurs were lucky to scrape to a 2-1 victory.
The story lines in the Premier League keep on coming. This week we have a classic tale of teacher vs. pupil. It’s Jose Mourinho vs. Brendan Rodgers. It’s Chelsea vs. Liverpool and we can’t bloody wait. Last time we saw these two go at it, Liverpool slipped up and Man City profited from it. Right now, Liverpool need Chelsea to slip up to avoid slipping into crisis mode and regain momentum in the race for a Champions League spot. Against Crystal Palace, Manchester United will look to convert a resilient performance into three points for the first time in the last three games. Manchester City – after another loss in Europe and shaky performance against United – need to dominate a game and prove to themselves that they are indeed the best team in England. So far they’ve looked far from it, but QPR should provide them that opportunity. Everton’s season picked up two weeks ago and then stalled at Swansea last week. They’ll need to find their attacking verve once more, away to Sunderland. Speaking of Swansea, they are Arsenal’s next opponents. How strong is Alexis Sanchez’s back? Can he keep carrying the Gunners and taking them over the line in matches? Will Harry Kane finally start for Tottenham against Stoke, after saving their blushes against Aston Villa? It’s going to be a great Premier League weekend. No need to set your alarms… your body won’t let you sleep through it.
Elsewhere in Europe: Ligue 1 is sexy again thanks to the resurgence of L’OM. Bielsa’s boys are officially a team to be wary of. Big money PSG will need to be at their best. If not they’ll be run off the park. In Germany it’s the Borrussia battle as Monchengladbach play dismal Dortmund. Can Wolverine a.k.a Klopp get his team’s season going? In Serie A it’s the battle for the third Champions League spot as Benitez battles Montella. It’s Fiorentina vs. Napoli and it’ll be a firecracker. For all of you who think Serie A is down and out, think again, because this will be football at it’s tactical best.
Summary of Matchday 10:
Predictions from our Pundits:
Predictions from our Contributors:
FOR THE SECOND WEEK IN A ROW this round was dominated by Rahim, with 10 points and two perfect predictions. Everybody else remained fairly consistent with their scores. The overall lead goes to Bernie while Nahel is still within striking distance. If Rahim keeps this pace up he could take the lead soon enough. Among our pundits though, Alexander came up big with his first match-day win for a long time.
Matchday 11 Predictions:
Games of the Week:
Mohaned: PSG vs. Marseille: The clash at the top of the Ligue 1 table. Marseille have been taking us on a wonderful drive so far, leading Ligue 1 with an impressive 28 points from 12 games. PSG have not been at their brilliant best, and missing Ibrahimovic a lot this season, but are still only four points behind in 2nd. That’s scary in itself. Once they find a patch of good form, they will be a serious contender to retain their title. This will be a sizzling encounter at the Parc Des Princes. I think Cavani and Gignac will share the spoils. 1-1 draw.
Alexander: Swansea vs. Arsenal: The Swans have been impressive for the most part this season, and what they lack defensively they make up for going forward. You have to fancy Bony et al up against a defence that conceded three in half an hour to Anderlecht, and Swansea’s wingers can certainly exploit the gaps in behind Arsenal’s kamikaze fullbacks. That said, the Gunners have been gaining fluidity up-front too, and Alexis is simply irrepressible right now. Welbeck has been really unlucky not to get on the score sheet in the last few games, and I think he’ll get back to it this weekend. 3-2 to Arsenal.
Bernie: Man United vs. Crystal Palace: 2 points out of the last 9 sounds pathetic. However, for a team that capitulated so many times last year, one trait that we’ve all seen more recently is resilience. Came back from defeat twice to draw with West Brom and Chelsea and almost doing so with ten men versus City in the derby, United are improving……slowly. Crystal Palace come to Old Trafford weak but with a chance of an upset due to the severely depleted United back line that could feature Michael Carrick and young Paddy McNair. Considering this game is at Old Trafford and the attacking talent at Louis Van Gaal’s disposal I’ll go with a United win 2-0.
Rishay: Liverpool vs Chelsea: This was the fixture last season that turned the title on his head and thwarted yet another voracious assault on the Premier League title for the Reds. It is unlikely that we will see another Gerrard slip as the stakes are not as high this time round. Liverpool played Real Madrid in midweek and while they put up a spirited display in the Bernabeu, it was more damage control than anything and they will need to be sharp against Chelsea. Chelsea have so far picked up points from all of their title rivals with a home win against Arsenal, and draws away to United and City. It is possible that Mourinho will play for the draw, although you would expect Chelsea to hit their opponents on the counter. I expect a Chelsea win because Liverpool are still without Sturridge and Chelsea are in supreme form. 2-1 Chelsea.
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Categories: Matchday Predictions