Here comes Matchday 16! Some leagues have just a few more games before winding down for the much discussed winter break, while the EPL kicks into high gear. With games every 3-4 days, squad rotation is key and this is when managers experience a real test of their adaptability. So far this Premier League season, nobody has been sacked yet. Depending on the run of fixtures from now until just after the new year, that might just change. Let’s recap the scores from the previous weekend and preview the upcoming games!
Recap of scores from Matchday 15:
Newcastle 2-1 Chelsea: Shock win for Newcastle (or was it?) and Chelsea are no longer unbeaten.
Liverpool 0-0 Sunderland: Liverpool not good enough in front of goal and Sunderland’s spirit earns them a point.
Stoke City 3-2 Arsenal: Nowhere to hide for the Gunners as Stoke nearly blow a 3-0 lead. How will they react?
Manchester City 1-0 Everton: A scrappy game and a deserved result.
Tottenham 0-0 Crystal Palace: Not sure who’s side should be more disappointed, but Spurs abject in attack.
Southampton 1-2 Manchester United: Untidy from United, unlucky for Saints as the best team lost.
Bayern Munich 1-0 Bayer 04 Leverkusen: Only one goal in this? Bayern not good enough, clearly!
Fiorentina 0-0 Juventus: A potentially exciting game ruined by impotent attacking quality.
LA Galaxy 2-1 NE Revolution: LA Galaxy win the MLS Cup and farewell to legend Landon Donovan. Great season!
Matchday 16. The pick of the lot is the much awaited Manchester United v Liverpool clash at Old Trafford. Form goes out the window for this game and it will be an early kick off. It is the first clash of Van Gaal v Rodgers and there could and should be fireworks. Arsenal v Newcastle is tricky game for the Gunners, who have been inconsistent in the league and face a Newcastle side high on confidence after beating Chelsea. Swansea v Tottenham could be a match with several goals in it. Spurs have had some problems in attack but it could come together against the Swans, who are very potent in attack themselves. It is hard to pick a clear favourite. Chelsea host Hull City and this game should be a formality. Chelsea will want to pick up the points as they have Manchester City breathing down their necks all of a sudden and the gap between 1st and 2nd doesn’t seem so large anymore! Leicester City v Manchester City could get ugly for the Foxes, as the Sky Blues have picked up some vital wins recently and shown great resilience to get themselves back in the title race as well as UCL knockout qualification. Leicester find themselves at the bottom of the table. Everton v QPR rounds up the Premier League fixtures, and both sides are capable of scoring goals but Everton should be considered favourites. One wonders when QPR will be rewarded for their bravery? Over on the continent, AS Monaco v Marseille will be an intriguing game to follow. Juventus v Sampdoria will be another test of the Bianconeri’s title credentials and perhaps another chance for AS Roma to narrow the gap on the leaders. AC Milan host Napoli, and the winner of this game could finally see one of them kick into some consistent form. Let’s get on with our predictions!
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Summary of Matchday 15:
Predictions tally for our Pundits:
Predictions tally for our Contributors:
No change in the standings, as Mohaned and Rishay continued to be tied. Zee has a good week, and accumulates the most matchday points along with Bernie. Daniyal also crosses over the 100 point mark and Rahim and Nahel are close. Tactics have been employed during predictions now, and everybody is looking for the edge!
Matchday 16 Predictions:
Games of the Week:
Bernie: Swansea v Tottenham: This game intrigues me because Swansea have a forward that Spurs could really do with and this can be seen as his audition. The man in question is Wilfried Bony. Mohaned didn’t rate him last season for some reason. As usual, I’m right and hes wrong and he’s now eating humble pie (I wish I baked it). Adebayor has gone back to Togo to battle the juju his mother allegedly placed on him so all hope rests on a young Harry Kane. Gylfi Sigurdsson will also have something to prove against the team that let him go and I think they’ll do it. Tottenham do not have an identity or even enough strength of character to win this game. 1-0 Swansea.
Alexander: Manchester United v Liverpool: The two sides could not be in more different form at the moment. United – while not playing brilliantly and keeping their leads largely through the heroics of David de Gea – have won five in a row, while Liverpool come into this game off the back of a draw to Sunderland and being knocked out of the Champions League by Basel. As much as Liverpool will want and need to bounce back, I just can’t foresee it here. Defensively they are too much of a shambles, and United’s strikers should have no trouble capitalizing. Meanwhile, even Smalling and Rojo should be able to manage a lonely Ricky Lambert, and if not, De Gea will be there to deny the Scousers. 2-0 Manchester United.
Mohaned: AS Monaco v Marseille: AS Monaco are coming off the high of finishing top of their Champions League group when they welcome league leaders Marseille. Sitting in lowly 7th, Monaco will see this as an opportunity to gain some confidence but also climb the table towards those coveted Champions League spots. If they can replicate their CL form, they have every chance. Unfortunately, I feel Marseille will be too strong for them with Bielsa’s men firing on all cylinders. I predict a narrow win for L’OM. 2-1 Marseille.
Rishay: Arsenal v Newcastle: No Arsenal supporter will take their 4-1 midweek mauling of Galatasaray as a change in fortunes. Arsenal were three goals down at halftime to Stoke City last week, who were a much sterner test than their midweek opponents. Newcastle will prove another worthy opponent, as the Magpies have just ended Chelsea’s unbeaten run and have been one of the major form teams over the past month. Arsenal will need to use their home advantage to the full extent to pick up the three points. I believe that Arsenal will have a bit more in the tank in the last 15 minutes of this one and just shade it. 2-1 Arsenal.
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Categories: Matchday Predictions