Louis Van Gaal may not be thrilled with his team having to play two games in forty-eight hours, but we sure as hell have no complaints about it. While all the other leagues have a winter break, the Premier League keeps chugging along. Boxing day was full of goals and drama, let’s recap all the action.
Recap of scores from Matchday 18:
Chelsea 2-0 West Ham: Allardyce’s men huffed and puffed but at the end of the day, Chelsea get their compulsory 2-0 victory.
Burnley 0-1 Liverpool: No striker, still problems. Sterling scores the winner for Rodger’s side.
Everton 0-1 Stoke City: Bojan can’t do it in Italy, Spain or Holland but England’s cold wet nights are just for him.
Leicester City 1-2 Tottenham: Tottenham should’ve lost but didn’t. Must be groundhog day.
Manchester United 3-1 Newcastle: Rooney brace and an assist, RVP goal. Falcao assist. Van Gaalacticos?
West Brom 1-3 Manchester City: No striker for City, no problems. Brendan are you watching?
Arsenal 2-1 QPR: Sanchez is class, Giroud is crass. Arsenal hold on to win 2-1.
Matchday 19 Preview: Manchester United travel south to face Mauricio Pocchettino’s Tottenham side. Both teams have had a penchant in recent times for getting victories while playing badly. Perhaps United have played better recently but this should be a battle of attrition.. Southampton host Chelsea and they will hope to finally beat a top side this season. So far they haven’t managed it and Mourinho’s 2-0 merchants are the most difficult team to face right now. Probably not a good idea to bet your mortgage on an upset. Manchester City vs Burnley will be interesting only because we will likely see the false nine formation lead to an almighty thrashing. West Ham welcome Arsenal with both teams eyeing a place in the elite top four. If the Gunners are going to make a run for it they need to start now. There’s going to be even more weight on Alexis Sanchez’s shoulders now that Giroud is suspended for the next three games. Everton travel to Newcastle hoping to get their season back on track. Newcastle, fresh off a beating in Manchester will look to do the same so this game may well be a cagey affair. Brendan Rodgers lays out the red carpet for his former side. It’s Liverpool vs Swansea. Last season you’d have bet on the reds but this season you can’t be so sure. Keep Sigurdsson and Bony at bay and Liverpool have a good chance. Can their false nine system be their saving grace? We’ll have to wait and see.
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Summary of Matchday 18:
Predictions tally for our Pundits:
Predictions tally for our Contributors:
Slowly but surely Rishay gains ground on the overall leader Bernie. Can Bernie hold on to defend his title? Mohaned needs to have a strong week to stay in the title race. Alex FINALLY crosses the 100 point mark. Let’s see if he can kick on from here. Amongst our contributors, Daniyal makes the biggest leap and is still in the title picture as well. Zee isn’t too far behind while Rahim and Nahel battle Alex to avoid relegation.
Matchday 19 Predictions:
Games of the Week:
Mohaned: Liverpool vs Swansea should be a very good game to watch! Liverpool are in a bad patch of form and Swansea will take the game to them with their fast paced passing and speedy wingers. Liverpool’s wingbacks are not defensively sound in Markovich and Henderson. Montero and Routledge should have a good game against them. In the middle three, Sigurdsson and Ki should be equal to, if not a better match, to Gerrard and Lallana. Overall, it will be an equal game where Liverpool will find an opposition that plays very well in tight spaces while creating chances from very little. Sterling will have to be on point for the Reds in this game if they are to get something out of it. Mignolet … needs to catch the ball once in a while too. Im going with an upset at Anfield; 1-2 to Swansea
Bernie: West Ham v Arsenal: I bet Alexander $30 that Arsenal wouldn’t get into the top four this season. Do I believe they won’t? A bit of me does but I’m not sure. I mainly bet him to get under his Arsenal skin. That’s what Sam Allardyce will need to do in order to win this match. Get under their skin by playing the old school Sam physical game. If they can do this I think they’ll get a result. The result could give credibility to the Hammers push for European football. Delusions of grandeur perhaps? That’s probably the case because Alexis Sanchez is a one man wrecking ball and for the most part Arsenal are now able to string results together without being convincing. West Ham will annoy the Gunners and might even injure them. All that being said, Arsenal have been a safe bet for the top four since Wenger took over. Betting against them would be a bit foolish (so why did i do it?). Their run to fourth place starts now. 2-1 Arsenal.
Alexander: Tottenham v Man Utd: Both teams are on very good runs of results, but of the two, United are the team with the performances to back it up. Spurs have put together some gritty wins, especially away from home, but have often ridden their luck. United were doing the same until recently, but now their football is free flowing and potent. While I’d back Tottenham to get a goal against a still-wobbly Man Utd defence, there is just no way Fazio and Vertonghen will keep Rooney, Van Persie, Falcao and Mata at bay. Ultimately, this will be a convincing win for the Red Devils. 1-3
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