After a bit of a break to soak in the romance of the FA Cup, the Premier League is back and we are as happy as Kurt Zouma’s parents were when they gave him his middle name (look it up if you don’t know).
Matchday 26 is here and as Sir Alex used to say, it’s squeaky bum time now. Let’s recap the scores from the biggest games in Europe since the last time our predictions blessed your lives.
EPL run of form since Matchday 24
Tottenham: Beat Arsenal 2-1 and lost to Liverpool 3-2
Arsenal: Lost to Tottenham 3-2 and beat Leicester 2-1
Chelsea: Beat Aston Villa 2-1 and beat Everton 1-0
Everton: Drew with Liverpool 0-0 and lost to Chelsea 1-0
Liverpool: Drew with Everton 0-0 and beat Tottenham 3-2
Manchester City: Drew with Hull 1-1 and beat Stoke City 4-1
Manchester United: Drew with West Ham 1-1 and beat Burnley 3-1
Highlight of the last two weeks: Mario Balotelli of course! He got his first Liverpool league goal as he came off the bench against Tottenham. Well done Mario!
Notable Results Across Europe
Real Madrid took an ass kicking that we watched live at Cosh HQ. That aside, there have been some other crazy results since the last time we did the predictions. Our new favourite player is Bas Dost!
Atletico Madrid 4-0 Real Madrid, Feb 7th
Bayer Leverkusen 4-5 Wolfsburg, Feb 14th
Lyon 1-1 Paris Saint Germain, Feb 8th
Matchday 26: Fresh off a spirited performance but ultimately a loss away to Manchester United, Burnley travel to Stamford Bridge where Chelsea await them. Sean Dyche’s men may need to make nice to lady luck for this one. Chaotic Crystal Palace host Arsenal without the ineligible harbinger of confusion that is Yaya Sanogo. Perhaps ex-Gooner Marouane Chamakh can come up with the goods against a revitalized Mesut Ozil and co. Barcelona await Manchester City in the Champions League but first Pellegrini’s men need to focus on Papiss Cisse and his Newcastle colleagues. This could be a tricky fixture, but with Yaya Toure back and possibly Wilfried ‘Daddy Cool’ Bony, perhaps it’ll be business as usual at the Etihad.
Gary Monk’s Swansea inflicted pain on Manchester United on opening day. Louis Van Gaal won’t have forgotten that day at Old Trafford. Without Wilifried Bony it’s up to Gylfi and Jonjo Shelvey to stop the rudderless pass masters of England. We’re curious to see what LVG dreams up this time. In what may be the game of the week Tottenham and West Ham face off in the Adebayor Cup. If not for Daniel Levy’s reluctance, Emmanuel Adebayor would be a West Ham player right now. Expect this one to be a bit feisty.
Nigel Pearson was sacked and then re-instated by Leicester in the same hour apparently. Now he takes the Foxes to Goodison Park where Everton await. Both teams need a win to gain some confidence. Someone will be happy and someone will be singing the blues after this one. Southampton A vs Southampton B part II is what I’ve dubbed Liverpool vs Southampton. Funnily enough, none of the players that Liverpool signed from the Saints have proven to be worth a cent. Southampton are in 4th while Liverpool are 7th, but only four points off the Champions League spots. Expect fireworks in this one!
On the continent there aren’t any super clashes to report but we’ll be rooting for Bas Dost to cement his place as an elite European striker. Bas Dost for FIFA President!
Summary of Matchday 24
Predictions tally for our Pundits:
Predictions tally for our Contributors:
Bernie extends his lead over Rishay to five points with solid showing. Mohaned loses a bit of ground while Alex is having a great time. Round of applause for Alex.
On the contributors side it’s all so tight as they compete for 4th place. Seems similar to the Premier League if you ask us. Daniyal and Nahel are the MVP’s of the match day with eight points gained each.
Matchday 26 Predictions:
Games of the week:
Mohaned: Tottenham v West Ham: This may be the lesser of the London derbies, but it should still be feisty. Spurs will be coming off their Thursday night Europa League game and their EPL record post-Europa League nights isn’t the best. That said, Pochettino has his players playing their best football yet this season. On the other side, Sam Allardyce is facing a drop in form from his West Ham players, and the fans are starting to get on his back again. Andy Carroll is injured and Valencia hasn’t scored in a while. I think this will be a tough game for both sides and a draw is a likely outcome here. 1-1 for me.
Alexander: Manchester City v Newcastle: I think this will be more interesting and a closer game than some may expect. Will we finally get to see Wilfried Bony in a City shirt? I hope so. Despite being a slightly ridiculous man, the truth is that John Carver has Newcastle playing pretty well, and in Sissoko and Cabella they have players that can trouble anyone, especially Gael Clichy. That said, I do expect City’s firepower to win out. Milner has been dragging the Citizens along recently, and the English Yaya Toure deserves a leading role this weekend. 2-1 Manchester City.
Rishay: Chelsea v Burnley: Chelsea get away from their Champions League duties with a return to domestic football against minnows Burnley. Speaking of minnows, Bradford City have won at Stamford Bridge this season shockingly, and I won’t put it past the Blues to slip up given their exhausting continental duties midweek. However, Burnley do not really have the firepower of PSG – Danny Ings and all. Chelsea might just prepare for the arrival of the Parisians by smashing Burnley into oblivion. This will end in a 2-0 Chelsea win and both goals will probably come in the first 15 minutes.
Bernie: Southampton v Liverpool: Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert were three of the best players at Southampton last season. Now they play for Liverpool and not one has had a good season so far. The Saints are clearly better off without them as they are right up there in the Champions League fight. On opening day Liverpool won and we thought that Southampton could be fighting to stave off relegation. Thank God for Ronald Koeman! The return fixture should be a cracker. Southampton will be fighting to maintain their top four push and earn Liverpool’s respect. Liverpool have Sturridge back and the penny seems to have dropped for Mario Balotelli. I can’t wait for this one and the safe bet is what I’ll go with. 1-1.
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