Season’s Greetings everyone! It is now Matchday 18, which brings us to the famous Boxing Day fixtures. Between now and New Years day, three matches will be played. Are you ready for all the action? Historically, the look of the league table after this period is a good indicator of how things will end in May. Let’s quickly review the scores from last week, before getting into the upcoming matchday’s scorelines!
Recap of scores from Matchday 17:
Manchester City 3-0 Crystal Palace: No strikers, no problem. City have enough firepower to gun down Palace.
Aston Villa 1-1 Manchester United: Ten men of Villa did themselves proud with a result.
Southampton 3-0 Everton: Big win for the Saints against an Everton team that has lost it’s way.
Tottenham 2-1 Burnley: Extremely good goals in this game ultimately won by Tottenham.
Liverpool 2-2 Arsenal: Only Liverpool looked like they wanted to win, but somehow they had to snatch a draw from the jaws of defeat.
Stoke City 0-2 Chelsea: Predictable result, Chelsea on top on Christmas Day.
Newcastle 0-1 Sunderland: Sunderland with a 90th minute winner at the home of their great rivals.
AS Roma 0-0 AC Milan: Poor game from both teams who left their shooting boots at home.
Inter Milan 2-2 Lazio: A topsy-turvy game that could have gone either way, but an even result was fair.
Matchday 18: Boxing Day 2014. The day begins with a London Derby; it’s Chelsea v West Ham. This game should be a hell of a battle. West Ham’s good form will end soon….won’t it? I wouldn’t be surprised if this game went right to the death so Chelsea should not be complacent. Burnley v Liverpool is our next game, and let’s be real Burnley are firm contenders for this one. The sack race pundits will be watching with intent. Liverpool should have momentum after the drama against Arsenal right? Everton v Stoke City is a game that could go either way, but one would expect the Toffess to get their act together. Is Martinez just a pretender to Moyes throne? Let’s see what Mark Hughes has to say about that. Leicester City v Tottenham is a fixture that should not be forgotten. The Foxes may be at the bottom of the table but they are always in for a fight. Tottenham will probably narrowly squeak by this one if we are to go by recent form. Manchester United v Newcastle is the one nobody wants to miss. At home, Old Trafford looks menacing as ever, while Newcastle are unpredictable as ever, so there will be goals. West Brom v Manchester City will be interesting. City don’t have too many options up front because of injuries but should have enough to handle the Baggies. Arsenal v QPR is our last Boxing Day match and is another London Derby. It should have plenty for the #wengerin crowd, as QPR can only lose away from home (0-0-8). Let’s get on with our predictions!
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Summary of Matchday 17:
Predictions tally for our Pundits:
Predictions tally for our Contributors:
Rishay pulls ahead of Mohaned into second place overall, just one point ahead of Zee. Bernie continues to enjoy a 6 point advantage. Alex refuses to cross over the 100 point mark while Rahim and Nahel are tied on 108 points each. Daniyal is on 116 points, and surprisingly, is within striking distance of the top. Plenty of games over the next few days and we should expect to see some moves!
Matchday 18 Predictions:
Games of the Week:
Bernie: Burnley vs Liverpool: Brendan Rodgers can welcome back Mario Balotelli for the trip to Burnley. However, he doesn’t feel that Super Mario fits into his football philosphy (definitely the word of the season). So in all likelihood Brendan will persist with Raheem Sterling up front. I’m not sure how this will work out against this incredibly relentless Burnley team. Burnley are intense in defense and clock more kilometers on the pitch than any other side. Sean Dyche has them moving in the right direction and I feel Liverpool will have a tough task ahead of them. Against Arsenal the merseysiders showed in spurts what they are capable of and I think they will ultimately just have a bit too much for Burnley. 2-1 Liverpool.
Alexander: Chelsea v West Ham: This might be the match of the weekend. The corresponding fixture last season saw Mourinho blast Allardyce’s brand of “19th century football”. Chelsea sit atop the league for good reason, but West Ham are in mighty good form. Usually Chelsea’s defence is miserly, but when Andy Carrol is on form there isn’t a back four that has a great way of dealing with him. Chlesea will wish they had Robert Huth back for this one! Meanwhile Carrol’s strike partner, Sakho, offers a pacier threat that might trouble old man Terry. All that said, Chelsea are still pretty irresistable going forward, and I expect Costa to get back on the scoresheet here. My thing to watch out for? An epic battle between the league’s two best defensive midfielders, Nemanja Matic and Alexandre Song Billong. 3-2 Chelsea.
Mohaned: Arsenal v QPR: ‘Twas the night after Christmas, when all through the world, Not a league was stirring, not even a bounce; The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Premier League soon would be there; The Cosh cast were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of Arsenal-QPR danced in their heads … so ya. You get the idea. Arsenal have won one of their last three matches losing to Stoke (obviously) and drawing at Anfield with a thrashing of Newcastle sandwiched between them. They now play a relatively in form QPR who have Charlie Austin firing on all cylinders. Arsenal SHOULD win this one but how many times have we said that before? If Cazorla and Sanchez arent too bloated from the Christmas turkey, Arsenal should run rings around this QPR defence. 2-0 Arsenal.
Rishay: Manchester United v Newcastle: Old Trafford seems like a fortress again as Man United have the second best home record in the league (behind Chelsea). Newcastle picked up a scrappy 1-0 win here last season but fortunes have changed a great deal since then. The Red Devils have been winning games but have not been dominant enough according to their manager. Newcastle had a streak of five wins in a row, before going into another slump (barring their recent win over Chelsea). Although the variables favour Manchester United in this one, they cannot afford to be complacent against an unpredictable Toon outfit. Newcastle will be looking to avenge their loss last week to their bitterest rivals Sunderland, but Manchester United should have this one covered. 3-1 Manchester United.
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Categories: Matchday Predictions