Matchday 29. The fixture list has become an absolute nightmare as cup games (both domestic and continental) have taken over the scheduling. League games have now been played on weekdays and cup games on weekends. This weekend however, we revert to the norm. There are now nine games to go in the season and one can learn a lot from how the league tables currently look. A lot of contenders are challenging for a few prized spots in the tables and it will come down to who is consistent and who is not.
Recap of scores from Matchday 28:
Manchester City 2-0 Leicester City: Regulation win for the champions, albeit without Kompany.
QPR 1-2 Arsenal: Another three points for the Gunners although QPR were once again brave and unlucky.
Newcastle 0-1 Manchester United: What a scrappy way to end the game but a mammoth three points for Van Gaal.
Stoke City 2-0 Everton: Everton are in a relegation battle and in danger of losing their best players.
Tottenham 3-2 Swansea City: Spurs once again edging a close battle.
West Ham 0-1 Chelsea: Chelsea steal victory from their London rivals.
Liverpool 2-0 Burnley: Continued good form for the Anfield outfit as they continue to climb.
Matchday 29: A London derby (again) as Arsenal v West Ham takes place. The Gunners will be flying after their FA Cup win at Old Trafford. West Ham had a narrow loss to Chelsea in the previous week and perhaps the quality of the deep squads is now shining through with the run-in firmly upon us. Burnley v Manchester City is the next match and City will look to thrash the daylights out of this team in preparation for their big game coming up in the Champions League. It is hard to fathom any other result but on many occasions this season City have surprised us.
Chelsea take on Southampton and all the teams looking to finish third or fourth will be cheering for Chelsea in this one. It is evident that the title is a two horse race (if not a given that Chelsea are going to win the league), and Southampton dropping three points will open up the door for a lot of other teams. Everton v Newcastle is next and this one has lost a bit of its edge. Both teams are looking average (especially the Toffees) but the Magpies seem to be ahead on recent form. Not one to ignite your imagination. Manchester United v Tottenham is arguably the biggest game of the weekend. Both these teams are within a stone’s throw of each other in the table, and it will be a pleasure to watch how this game plays out.
Finally from the Premiership, Swansea City host Liverpool, and with Swansea comprehensively out of form and Liverpool the exact opposite, this one should be an easy prediction.
In France, Marseille v Lyon is the game to watch and with Ligue 1 being equally close in terms of competitiveness, this result could have a massive impact on the title race. Last but not least, the new MLS season has started and Toronto FC face Columbus Crew. How will Giovinco, Altidore et al perform this week?
Think you can predict any of these games? Have a go yourself!
Summary of Matchday 28:
Predictions tally for our Pundits:
Predictions tally for our Contributors:
Matchday 29 Predictions:
Games of the Week
Bernie: Manchester United vs Tottenham: I’m not one to bet against Manchester United but I don’t see how they’ll win this game. Good teams have come to Old Trafford and shown absolutely no fear. Tottenham will do exactly the same in this encounter. Harry Kane has been in sensational form and I do not expect the woeful defending of Chris Smalling, Antonio Valencia and Phil Jones to repel him. With Di Maria suspended and Ashley Young potentially injured, the pace needed to win this game is gone. All roads point to a Spurs victory. 1-0 Tottenham.
Alexander: Arsenal vs West Ham: On the face of it this should be a routine win for Arsenal. In form and brimming with confidence after dispatching Manchester United in the FA Cup, I’d back a rested Giroud to get on the score-sheet here, and expect to see Walcott finally get some minutes, and probably a goal while he’s at it. That is, after all, all he does. West Ham often give Arsenal a tough game, but less so at the Emirates, and the Hammers are quite simply not in form. A season that started so well for them has quickly faded into mid-table irrelevancy, prompting questions about Allardyce’s future that nobody would have dreamed of asking in December. Even the signing of Winston Reid to a massive 6.5 year deal can’t lift West Ham’s spirits at the moment. 2-0 Arsenal
Mohaned: Chelsea vs Southampton: This should be a very exciting and close encounter. Chelsea will have the disadvantage of having lost a tough, midweek, 120-minute Champions League game against PSG, which will definitely take its toll on the players. We will be hearing some moans and groans from Mourinho, that’s for sure. Southampton on the other hand have gone on a team bonding trip where they went skiing, snowboarded, and played ice hockey. They should be refreshed and ready to get some important points on the board to keep their top-four spot alive. I feel this will be a close game where Mourinho would take a point. 1-1 final score.
Rishay: Everton v Newcastle: Martinez has now officially admitted that his men are in a relegation battle. This has been an extremely disappointing season for Everton, and in stark contrast to the team that was flying high last season. What has happened to all their hard work? Newcastle have had a season of ups and downs (as usual), but will feel robbed by their home defeat to Manchester United last week, in which they were unlucky not to claim a share of the spoils. The Magpies definitely put in a better performance last week than the Toffees, and form could play a part in this one.Martinez is definitely Under The Cosh. 2-1 Newcastle.
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Categories: Matchday Predictions