It’s Week 3 of the EPL and after 2 games Spurs leads the way with Chelsea and Man City level on points in hot pursuit. As ever there are a whole bunch of mouth watering games for EPL fans to tuck into – with Tottenham v Liverpool the pick of the bunch, so get your knives and forks ready for an EPL feast of football A.K.A. soccer.
Rooney named new England captain
Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney has been named England’s new captain by coach Roy Hodgson.
The 28-year-old replaces Steven Gerrard who retired after England’s first round eliminations at the World Cup.
It is the second time this month that Rooney has been selected to lead his team—the forward was named Manchester United’s club captain by Luis van Gaal earlier this month.
“It is something I will take massive pride in doing. To be appointed captain is beyond my wildest dreams. “, said Rooney on his official site.
Rooney made his England debut against Australia in 12 February 2003, at just 17 becoming England’s youngest ever player. Since then the forward has notched up 95 appearances for ‘The Three Lions’ and scored 40 goals.
Speaking on Rooney’s appointment England boss Hodgson said: “I gave it a lot of thought but Wayne is an obvious choice.
“He’s the right man and he’ll show enormous enthusiasm and responsibility.”
Hodgson added: “I’ve had a long conversation with him and he’s prepared to accept the pressures that the England captaincy brings.
“In the two years that we’ve been working together I’ve had no reason to question his character, desire to play for the country and wholehearted willingness to offer himself in every situation.”
Rooney has captained England twice before – in a pre-tournament friendly with Brazil in 2009 and a World Cup qualifier against San Marino in 2012 – as well as having previously had a stint as vice-captain.
Rooney added: “As a kid I always loved the occasion of watching a big England game on the television. Back then I had a burning ambition to play for my country. Now to be appointed captain is beyond my wildest dreams.
“I would like to thank Roy and the coaching staff for having the belief and confidence in me to do the job.”
Warnock returns to Palace
Crystal Palace has appointed former boss Neil Warnock as their new manager.
Warnock, who was previously at Palace between 2007-2010, has a two-year deal after being chosen ahead of ex-West Brom boss Steve Clarke.
Palace chairman and co-owner Steve Parish has chosen Warnock as a successor to Tony Pulis after Malky Mackay was ruled out last week.
“He is the right appointment. He did a great job when he was here before and he understands the club,” said Parish.
Warnock revealed he discussed the possibility of rejoining Palace last season before the club eventually appointed Tony Pulis.
“Before Tony came there was a possibility that he wasn’t going to and we talked then. But then he changed his mind and they did fantastically.”, said Warnock.
“[Chairman and co-owner] Steve Parish has always known that I am available.”
Palace was sitting bottom of the EPL last November when Pulis joined and many pundits gave them little chance of surviving. However, Pulis managed to help turn the club’s fortunes around and led them to 11th place, which led him to be named the Premier League’s manager of the year award last season.
Warnock, who faces Newcastle in his first game in charge on Saturday, did not think he would work again after leaving Leeds in April last year, but grateful for a second chance at Selhurst Park.
“I wasn’t really looking to get back into management, but it’s not often you get a chance to repay a club that’s really helped you, so it’s great to have that chance.
|Aston Villa v Newcastle||0-0||1-0||0-1||2-0|
|Chelsea v Leicester||2-0||4-0||3-0||4-0|
|Crystal Palace v West Ham||1-3||1-1||1-2||1-1|
|Southampton v West Brom||0-0||3-1||1-0||2-2|
|Swansea v Burnley||1-0||2-1||1-1||2-0|
|Everton v Arsenal||2-2||2-2||2-2||2-1|
|Hull v Stoke||1-1||1-0||2-1||1-0|
|Tottenham v QPR||4-0||2-0||3-1||3-0|
|Sunderland v Man Utd||1-1||0-1||1-2||3-1|
|Man City v Liverpool||3-1||3-1||2-1||2-0|
A correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth ONE point. Getting the exact score correct earns THREE points.
Last week two people decided to try their hand at predicting the EPL scores and they did okay, with James scoring FIVE-points and Samuel scoring SEVEN-points.
However, they were unable to top my score of NINE-points for correctly predicting FIVE results including TWO perfect score, which just goes to show that predicting the scores is not as easy as it seems.
But Samuel, James and anyone else are welcome to challenge me again this week, so good luck to all and get predicting.
|Burnley v Man Utd||1-2|
|Man City v Stoke||3-0|
|Newcastle v Crystal Palace||2-1|
|QPR v Sunderland||1-0|
|Swansea v West Brom||2-1|
|West Ham v Southampton||1-2|
|Everton v Chelsea||1-1|
|Aston Villa v Hull||1-0|
|Tottenham v Liverpool||2-1|
|Leicester v Arsenal||1-3|
Burnley v Man Utd
Both of these sides are still looking for their first wins of the new season and will be hoping to get one at Turf Moor this Saturday.
Burnley lost 1-0 away to Swansea last week, but rallied late on and were unlucky not to leave the Liberty Stadium with a point. The Clarets then lost 1-0 at home in the League Cup during the week to make it three losses in a row.
Burnley’s opponents Manchester United haven’t been much better so far this season, the Red Devils staggered to 1-1 draw away to Sunderland last week, before being humiliated 4-0 away to MK Dons during the week in the League Cup. United did rest a number of players, but there were no excuses as the MK Dons took advantage of some school boy defending to easily win the game.
Burnley has a full squad to choose from and could name the same side that lost to Swansea last week.
Manchester United are likely to hand British record ($99M) signing Angel Di Maria his debut on Saturday.
However, fellow new recruit Marcos Rojo is still awaiting a work permit so will not feature.
This is the 121st meeting between the sides. Manchester United has won 57 times, Burnley 44 and there have been 19 draws. Manchester United won the last encounter 3-0 at Old Trafford, but Burnley did win the last meeting at Turf Moor.
Manchester United look like a team in disarray at the moment and do not look comfortable playing the 3-5-2 system van Gaal has employed. However, the Red Devils do have an abundance of attacking talent up top and that is why I think they will edge this game.
Man City v Stoke
Manchester City sent a message out to the rest of their EPL rivals last week with a convincing 3-1 win over Liverpool.
The game was actually quite even for large periods, but City just have so many class players to call upon and that eventually made the difference. Stevan Jovetic scored two and will be a handful for defenses if he can stay fit, while Sergio Aguero came off the bench to get his first goal of the season.
Stoke drew 1-1 away to Hull last week and are looking for their first win of the season. However, they will probably settle for a point, as they have a dismal record in Manchester—the Potters have endured six defeats at City and six defeats at United since promotion in 2008. Indeed, they haven’t even managed to score at City!
Edin Dzeko has recovered from a thigh injury picked up against Liverpool, while reports of an injury to Sergio Aguero have been dismissed. However, Eliaquim Mangala is not ready to play.
Phil Bardsley is a doubt with a knee problem and fellow defender Geoff Cameron could be out for a two weeks due to injury. However, summer signing Bojan Krkic is fit again and should be involved.
City have been immense at home the last few seasons and when you couple that with Stoke’s poor away defensive record. The Potter have failed to keep a clean sheet for 12 consecutive Premier League away matches—I think this game can only go one way.
Everton v Chelsea
Everton looked odds on for three points last week, but managed to throw away a two goal lead against Arsenal with less than 10 minutes to play, to end the game with only one point.
The Toffees bossed the game for 80 minutes, and look like they will once again be challenging the big boys for a spot in the Champions League. But they ran out of energy in the end and will need to learn how to see games out if they want to secure a spot in the top four.
Chelsea, meanwhile, maintained their good start to the season with a 2-0 home win over Leicester. Diego Costa scored another goal and already looks like he has settled into the hustle and bustle of the EPL.
Everton’s new signing Samuel Eto’o could make his debut against his former club, while Fellow former Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku could also feature despite picking up a knock against Arsenal last week.
Diego Costa is a doubt for Chelsea after picking up a hamstring strain, meaning Didier Drogba could be given his first start of the season.
Chelsea have looked strong so far this season, but they face their sternest test yet with a trip to Goodison Park, where they have lost four of their last five games. In fact, since the 2009-10 season, only Manchester City have beaten Chelsea more during that period with five victories.
I think this game will be close, competitive and end in a draw.
Tottenham v Liverpool
Tottenham continued their perfect start to the season last week with a convincing win over London rivals QPR.
It was the second week in a row that Spurs had faced a London side. While they were fortunate to win against West Ham in Week 1, they thoroughly deserved their 4-0 over QPR in Week 2.
One of the biggest pluses for Spurs was the performance of record signing Eric Lamela. The Argentine struggled with injury and form last season, but was at the heart of much of Spurs’ good attacking play and created two of their goals.
Liverpool has not looked like the side they were last season, but has still been decent enough. They lost 3-1 away to Man City last week, but matched their opponents for a large part of the game before City got their goals.
Tottenham will assess Roberto Soldado, who missed midweek’s game because of neck and back problems, while new signing Federico Fazio is available.
Liverpool will assess injured defenders Glen Johnson, Alberto Moreno, Martin Skrtel and Jose Enrique, but could hand debuts to new signings Mario Balotelli and Adam Lallana
Prior to last season, Spurs had won six successive home games against the Reds in all competitions. But they lost both their meetings against Liverpool last season, including a 5-0 loss at home.
However, I think this game will be a lot closer and I think with Spurs will just edge this one.