Matchday 23 is here. The FA Cup fixtures provided several shocks, and perhaps those results could stir the pot for the league games coming up. The Bundesliga gets back up and running this week after a five week layoff and the final push for league titles goes into overdrive, now. Bring it on!
Recap of scores from Matchday 22:
Aston Villa 0-2 Liverpool: Markovic with a hot streak and Liverpool with 3 more points. Not a surprise here.
QPR 0-2 Manchester United: After a poor first half, United score two good goals to quieten the critics (temporarily).
Swansea 0-5 Chelsea: What on earth happened to Swansea? Chelsea score five here, but then lose 4-2 to Bradford City.
Tottenham 2-1 Sunderland: Another 2-1 result for Tottenham, now the easiest team to predict a scoreline for!
Manchester City 0-2 Arsenal: We just had an inquest on Arsenal’s performances, and now we will inquire about City.
Everton 0-0 West Brom: Everton’s hope continues to fade into the darkness under Martinez. Is he a pretender?
Lazio 0-1 Napoli: Benitez’s men looking good. Lazio not consistent enough.
Matchday 23: Chelsea v Manchester City is the biggest game this weekend, made even bigger by the return of Frank Lampard to Stamford Bridge, should he play. The Blues hold a formidable record at home, although Bradford City came up with one of the most unlikely results at Stamford Bridge over the weekend. Manchester City are coming off two back-to-back losses and will be desperate to get a result. The winner will be the early favourite for festivities come May. Liverpool v West Ham is a big game for both teams. The Hammers are hot and Liverpool have performed more consistently in recent weeks. Andy Carroll returns to his old home, and perhaps he is a completely different player this time round. Tough one to call. Crystal Palace v Everton is next, and after Everton’s dismal season to date and Palace’s hot start under Alan Pardew, Everton are very much the underdogs.
Manchester United v Leicester is a rematch of the famous 5-3 result at the start of the season that was tentatively labelled as game of the season so far in our mid-term report. This time at Old Trafford, with the Red Devils desperate to finally get things right, things could end up very differently. West Brom v Tottenham is a tricky fixture for both sides and we could very well see a flurry of goals coming late in this one, as seems the norm with Spurs these days. Arsenal v Aston Villa rounds up the fixtures from the EPL. Arsenal are playing some excellent football and Aston Villa are hardly a threat. It could very well be another week of Sanchez as fantasy captain!
Over on the continent, the Bundesliga gets back underway after a decadent five week holiday. Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Borussia Dortmund is the big one, and it could very well be a cracker as Dortmund are running out of time to save their season. AS Monaco v Lyon is the game to look forward to in Ligue 1, and Real Madrid face Real Sociedad as David Moyes will once again be under the spotlight. The weekend could hardly come sooner…let’s get on with our predictions!
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Summary of Matchday 22:
Predictions tally for our Pundits:
Predictions tally for our Contributors:
Matchday 23 Predictions:
Games of the Week:
Bernie: Real Madrid v La Real of Sociedad. La Real beat Los Galacticos earlier in the season before Moyesey became the boss. However, this victory came at home. Playing at the Bernabeu is a different prospect altogether. Cristiano Ronaldo is suspended after his sending off in the last fixture. This puts the spotlight firmly on world record signing Gareth Bale. If he’s going to prove that there is life after Cristiano, now is the time to do it. I’m starting to like Moyesey more and more but all he cares about is survival and winning a game like this surely isn’t something he expects. Ancelotti needs to win to keep the title chasing locomotive moving along. As a result I see Real Madrid winning this one 2-0.
Alexander: Liverpool v West Ham: West Ham have the advantage of a few more days’ rest here, given Liverpool’s mid-week Carling Cup exertions. The Irons have also maintained their decent form, and as they have all season, I expect Carrol and Sakho to really test the opposition back three. Ready for some cheap psychology? Carrol and Downing may also feel that they have points to prove against the manager that let them go. Perhaps that might spur them on. All that said, ready for some cheap stats? West Ham have only picked up 36.1% of their points away from home. They’re far inferior when they hit the road. With Liverpool also struggling for goals – though Sturridge may return, here – I’ll opt for a 1-1 draw, leaving both managers smugly satisfied that they out-managered the other manager.
Mohaned: Crystal Palace v Everton: This will be an intriguing match. Crystal Palace – managed by the mighty Pardiola – have gone on a five gazillion game winning streak. They are bringing the chaos with Sanogo, Chamakh, Zaha, and Puncheon. In the other corner, Everton are in a bad run of form. They cant buy a win at the moment. Their forward line is stalling, while their defence is leakier than an iPhone battery. Martinez needs three points, and he needs them quick but playing away to a rejuvenated Crystal Palace will not be an easy task. Lets hope, for the sake of Evertonians, that Baines takes the penalties this time. I think these teams will match up quite well. 1-1 draw.
Rishay: Chelsea v Manchester City: City have lost back-to-back games 2-0 at home to Arsenal and Middlesbrough respectively. Perhaps it is a good time for them to take a trip. This week’s opponent will be their fierce title rivals, who have a perfect record at home in the league (10-0-0). Perhaps the Sky Blues will come up with the goods in this one if they play a perfect game, and if he plays, the return of Frank Lampard to Stamford Bridge will be fascinating. Jose Mourinho’s Blues also had their own midweek blip, losing 4-2 to Bradford City in the unlikeliest of circumstances. You won’t bet on them losing a second straight game in a row at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea are the favourites for this one and could put some breathing room between themselves and City with a win. It would be a huge psychological advantage as well. As it stands, Chelsea should win this game 2-1.
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Categories: Matchday Predictions