Another international break has come and gone. Some may think its good for the players to get a break from their club schedules and others think that international fixtures disrupt club form. It’s an arguable concept that could go either way, and really boils down to how your team’s form is before the break. One thing is for certain – the league is back on this weekend and there could be some great matches in store.
On the previous match day, Chelsea bagged the spoils at Anfield with a come-from-behind 2-1 victory against Liverpool. Manchester United laboured to a 1-0 victory against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford, and QPR held Manchester City to a 2-2 draw in which dozens of goals were disallowed for Charlie Austin. Sunderland and Everton shared the points with a 1-1 draw at the Stadium of Light, while Tottenham and Arsenal sank to 2-1 defeats to Stoke City and Swansea City respectively. Chelsea have a comfortable gap atop their perch, while Southampton and West Ham continue to show the other big guns how its done. In fairness, there is only a four point gap between 12th place and 4th place, so things can change quickly. Teams like Liverpool, Everton, and Tottenham will take solace from this and look to kick on, while Manchester United and Arsenal have the tough task of outdoing each other to gain some valuable league form.
This coming weekend has the fabled Arsenal v Machester United clash at the Emirates. Chelsea host West Bromwich Albion, and Everton host West Ham United. Manchester City will host Swansea City, and Tottenham travel to Hull City. Liverpool travel to Crystal Palace, in a rematch of the famous “Crystanbul” fixture at the end of last season. Manchester City against Swansea City is a tricky one, in which a dangerous Swansea are fresh off the scalp of Arsenal and will have nothing to lose against the Citizens.
Elsewhere in Europe, Barcelona host Sevilla, Lazio and Juventus play out an interesting match for the neutrals, and AC and Inter Milan battle for bragging rights in what will be a typically fiery derby. Lots to think about when predicting this weekend and as usual, the points will be up for grabs!
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Summary of Matchday 11:
Predictions tally for our Pundits:
Predictions tally for our Contributors:
To summarize the scores from the past week, Rishay amassed the most points among the Coshboys, and has overtaken Mohaned to claim second place. Bernie manages to keep an overall lead, which has not changed. Zee had the best score this week with 10 points, while Rahim’s recent streak of points cooled down. Nahel and Daniyal both had off weeks, but you could count on them to pack a punch this weekend.
Matchday 12 Predictions:
Games of the Week:
Bernie: Arsenal v Manchester United: If this were 15 years ago we’d be talking about this game in the same vein as El Clasico. In fact it might have been bigger and better than the Spanish headlining match. Why? Two long serving managers at the peak of their powers, two outstanding teams at the forefront of European football and in the most watched league in the world, no less. Thierry Henry vs David Beckham. Fast forward and you have two quality but underachieving teams, Ferguson has been lost to retirement while Wenger has just lost it. Both sides have sold strikers to each other in the last two years which previously would’ve been unheard of. Both are reliant on South American superstars at the moment, despite spending more than they have in recent times. For these reasons we should have a fascinating match. Arsenal no longer beat Manchester United but this is a different United side. It’s so hard to call and I can’t separate them. 1-1 draw.
Alexander: AC Milan v Inter Milan: In the slowly crumbling ruins of the Guiseppe Meazza, two former heavy-weights now vie for the ‘most incompetent Milan club’ award. While Pippo Inzaghi was supposed to be the saviour at AC, Inter have returned to a former favourite in Roberto Mancini to save them. Mancini may galvanize his side somewhat, and will likely do better than Walter Mazzarri, but Inter are still a shambles. Milan are also totally dodgy – brilliant one week, utterly useless the next. This match will essentially be a football version of Big Brother. Put the nutcases in a box, let them run around and see what happens. I’ll go 1-1 draw.
Mohaned: Barcelona v Sevilla: This should be a mouth-watering encounter. We get to see the trio of Messi, Neymar, and Suarez start a game at the Nou Camp in the league. The focus will be on Lionel Messi breaking the all-time La Liga scoring record, something he could’ve done for the past two games now. On the other hand, if Sevilla get the three points, they leapfrog Barcelona, possibly into second place. The Liga table has been very compact at the top this season with the top five separated only by four points. The international break will surely affect the Barcelona squad harder than their counterparts in the Sevilla camp, but they should still see this one out. I’m going 3-1 Barcelona win.
Rishay: Crystal Palace v Liverpool: The scene of the famous “Crystanbul” event at the end of last season where Liverpool had one of two sheer meltdown performances that gifted the title to Manchester City. On that day, three goals were conceded in nine minutes at the end of the game to erase a 3-0 lead for the Reds. This time around, the stakes are not nearly as high and the story is very different. Liverpool are struggling for form and Crystal Palace are tricky and unpredictable opponents for the Anfield side. One should expect Liverpool to use this game as a stepping stone to kick on and gain some form. For my view, Liverpool will win this one, but Crystal Palace will run it close. 2-1 Liverpool win.
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Categories: Matchday Predictions