Louis Van Gaal has been complaining about the December fixtures list, but I think that we share his complaints as well. Conjuring up perfect predictions is not an easy business, and having to perform optimally without adequate resting periods can seriously affect one’s output levels. Here we go again!
Recap of Scores from previous round (Matchday 13):
West Brom 0-1 Arsenal: Neither side exceptional but Arsenal did enough to gain the points.
Liverpool 1-0 Stoke City: Glen Johnson takes one on the chin to saves the Reds from dropping another 2 points.
Manchester United 3-0 Hull City: No Di Maria? No Problem! Says Ander Herrera with his MOTM performance.
Sunderland 0-0 Chelsea: Complacency is Chelsea’s weakness, as exploited by the Black Cats.
Southampton 0-3 Manchester City: City leave it late but the goals pour in eventually. Southampton hard done.
Tottenham 2-1 Everton: Pochettino 1-0 Martinez, and both sides still around the mid-table mark.
AS Roma 4-2 Inter Milan: Roma keep pace with Juventus at the top.
Valencia 0-1 Barcelona: Late Busquets winner masks Barcelona’s attacking woes.
Seattle Sounders 2-1 LA Galaxy: LA Galaxy advance on away goals to yet another MLS Cup final.
NE Revolution 2-2 NY Red Bulls: NE Revolution advance to the final and Thierry Henry may retire.
Matchday 14 is the start of a new month, and with it, the beginning of a hectic run of 9 games in 36 days. Leicester City host Liverpool this week. The foxes are coming off a 3-2 loss to QPR in what was arguably the most exciting game of the previous round. Liverpool will have their work cut out for them and will be the favourites to gain back to back wins and improve their confidence. Manchester United host Stoke City, and will look to continue on their recent form. Arsenal host Southampton, in a fixture that has a lot of uncertainty for the Gunners. Southampton will be looking to get back on track after a late mauling against Manchester City while Arsenal are not looking their usual selves. Yet another London Derby happens on Wednesday, as Chelsea host Tottenham. Chelsea are firm favourites for this one although Tottenham have broken their jinx against the big clubs with a valuable 3 points against Everton in the previous round. Who will park the bus in this one? Everton host Hull City, and judging by the performances of both these sides, Everton are firm favourites. Hull looked awful and can only improve, but Everton will feel hard done by a loss to Tottenham and want nothing but three points from this one. The Black Cats (Sunderland) host the Sky Blues (Manchester City) in the final match of the 14th round of fixtures. Sunderland held Chelsea to a scoreless draw but a more remarkable achievement would be to do it again against Aguero & co. (Kompany – pun intended). Let’s get on with our predictions!
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Summary of Matchday 13:
Predictions tally for our Pundits:
Predictions tally for our Contributors:
What a great advert for the predictions race (pun intended)! There is a real barnstorming race between the pundits now, with Bernie, Rishay, and Mohaned only within 6 points of each other. Alex, meanwhile, is really winding up hardcore, and waiting for the second half of the season to launch his assault to the top. Rahim has solidified his position and is within striking distance of Bernie. Daniyal, meanwhile, has dropped from 2nd to 5th, after being overtaken by Zee. Nahel has lost a bit of steam, but he should be back soon.
Matchday 14 Predictions:
Games of the Week:
Bernie: Chelsea v Tottenham: This London derby should hold special significance to Tottenham. They are miles behind and need to prove something to the world but most importantly to themselves. Beat Chelsea and you send a message to the rest of the league. Let’s not be ridiculous here! Chelsea are winning this game and it will be comfortable. Tottenham don’t have the quality in attack to get through Matic, Terry and Cahill. Even without Diego Costa, I’m not sure Fazio and co. can stop Hazard, Oscar and one of Remy or Drogba. Good win last week but back to reality for Tottenham. 2-0 Chelsea.
Alexander: Sunderland vs Manchester City: Sunderland are a generally poor team, but as we said on our latest podcast, they do seem to step it up against big teams, as demonstrated in their 0-0 draw with Chelsea last week. Man City are no exception. In the last five meetings between these two sides, City have won only once, Sunderland have won twice, and there have been two draws. A very good recent record for the Black Cats. That said, it feels like Manchester City are finally hitting some kind of stride, especially with Yaya Toure scoring for two consecutive weeks. Sunderland will have to sharpen their slingshots if they are to upset Goliath again. 1-1 draw.
Mohaned: Leicester City vs Liverpool: These are two teams currently low on confidence, who are not scoring as much as they would like. Leicester had a good attacking game vs QPR ast week and scored twice but also conceded thrice while liverpool were in need of a last gasp 90th minute winner to beat stoke at Anfield. Liverpool fans right now will not put too much emphasis on their style of play, but rather will focus on just getting those three points on the board. Gerrard should be back in the line up, amidst a lot of split in the fan base on wether this is the right move. An important game this for Liverpool and Brendan Rogers, to show that he can adapt and cope with the fixture pile up, something he didnt have to deal with as much last season without the Uefa Champions League. 2-0 Liverpool win.
Rishay: Manchester United v Stoke City: No matter what the scoreline of Manchester United games these days, there is always a great editorial on them. If they lose, there is uncertainty, but if they win, there is progress. Stoke City have been unpredictable in recent weeks, bagging a 2-1 win away to Tottenham while marginally losing 1-0 to a struggling Liverpool over the weekend at Anfield. Manchester United will have to be sharp to get their points from this match. Given the performances from the attacking members of the squad, the injured Di Maria won’t be missed. What the starting back four will be though, is anybody’s guess. At Old Trafford, it is starting to look like home again. 3-0 Manchester United.
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