Happy New Year to all, and best wishes! The second half of the season officially begins and we can all use our much-needed wildcards for fantasy football. 2014 featured some absolutely epic football. We can only hope that 2015 will bring more of the same, though I have a feeling that it will be even better! Let’s quickly recap the scores from last week before getting on with predictions.
Recap of scores from Matchday 19:
Tottenham 0-0 Manchester United: No goals! Unbelievable. United will feel that they left their shooting boots at home.
Southampton 1-1 Chelsea: Great performance from the Saints, and not a surprising result.
Manchester City 2-2 Burnley: What a comeback from Burnley to claim the result!
West Ham 1-2 Arsenal: West Ham looking good but Arsenal with enough ammunition to win.
Newcastle 3-2 Everton: Game of the matchday, battle of the flailing teams.
Liverpool 4-1 Swansea: Swansea and Shelvey in particular gift Liverpool an inflated victory.
Matchday 20: New Years Day, 2015. The day begins with Stoke City v Manchester United in the early kick off. Cruel as can be to make the fans in the Americas wake up at 7.45am EST to watch this game. We can only hope that the players themselves are well rested and raring to go. The next match is Hull City v Everton. Everton have lost a lot of confidence and Martinez’ initial lure appears to be diminishing. Will the Toffees be able to begin the year with a bang? Liverpool v Leicester City is next and the previous meeting between the two sides ended 3-1 for Liverpool. This should be a regulation victory for the Reds. Manchester City v Sunderland next, and City will be looking to get over the blip in the previous match against Burnley. Sunderland have been able to pick up some points off the big teams and we cannot count them out here. They tend to do well against City. Southampton v Arsenal is a cracker of a game. The Saints have rediscovered the form that took them to the top spots in the league and are coming off a 1-1 draw against Chelsea. Tough to call. In the final fixture, Tottenham v Chelsea at White Hart Lane seems like a formality. Spurs capitulated in the last encounter against Chelsea and were second best in their last game at home against Manchester United. Chelsea are firm favourites. What do you think? Let’s get on with our predictions!
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Summary of Matchday 19:
Predictions tally for our Pundits:
Predictions tally for our Contributors:
The biggest point earner this week was Rahim with 8 points. With the reduced fixtures, it was difficult to accumulate many points. Nahel scored 5, and Rishay scored 4. Bernie, Mohaned, and Daniyal accumulated 3 each, while Alex and Zee ended up with 0. A four point gap still exists between first and second place.
Matchday 20 Predictions:
Games of the Week:
Bernie: Stoke City V Man United: Last season in what was a cagey affair, Stoke pulled off an upset (or was it?) against Moyes’ boys. Charlie Adam scored a goal that Mr. Moyes labelled a “worldy”. This season Man United are in a much better position and will be tagged as favorites. However, in former striker Mame Biram Diouf and the young journeyman and wonder kid Bojan, Stoke can upset the apple cart. United have the second best home record in the league but they are far from convincing away from Old Trafford. The Brittania is an intimidating place for any football player. Can Radamel Falcao and Angel Di Maria (if he plays) do the business on a cold Thursday night in Stoke? I think so, but only just. 2-1 Man United.
Alexander: Southampton v Arsenal: Southampton have stopped the rot recently with a good win against Everton and a hard-fought draw against Chelsea. Arsenal meanwhile have put together a good run of results, as they always do at some stage of the season. Essentially, I think this will come down to how well each defense can cope. Having Koscielny back makes the Gunners a lot stronger a proposition at the back, and I think he will deal with Pelle quite well. At the other end though, Welbeck, Sanchez, Cazorla and The Ox are clicking as an attacking unit, and I see them having a fruitful outing here, especially if they can isolate the not-so-speedy Southampton centre backs. 2-0 to Arsenal.
Mohaned: Man City Vs Sunderland will be an exciting match. Some would say Sunderland are in a good run of form. Some would also say they are City’s voodoo team! City have come off a surprising draw to Burnley at home after surrendering a two goal lead. Dropping more points to Sunderland would be a disaster for Pellegrini. City, with the return of Jovetic as a boost, should get the three points here. 2-1 Manchester City.
Rishay: Tottenham v Chelsea: Both teams are coming off draws, but inn the last encounter between these two, Chelsea blew out Spurs 3-0 in a no contest at Stamford Bridge. Tottenham have struggled with the big sides yet again this season, and looked second best to Manchester United at home in their last game. Will they improve to match the Chelsea juggernaut? The Blues have looked imperious and will be comfortable favourites for this game. A fresh start to the second half of the season with a 3 point lead can be considered an advantage. Chelsea will take this game comfortably. 2-1 Chelsea.
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