Kane and Pulis bag monthly awards
Tottenham forward Harry Kane and West Bromwich manager Tony Pulis have been awarded for their performances in February with the Barclay monthly awards.
Kane picks up the award for the second month in succession after also winning the player of the month award for January. The 21-year-old has scored eleven goals in the EPL so far this year, nine of which came in January and February.
“It’s an honor to get this award once in a season, let alone twice in two months,” he said.
“Winning against Arsenal and getting both goals was a special day for myself and for the club.”
Kane could make history by becoming the first player to win the award three months in a row, having already bagged two goals this month.
“To make history would be special,” he said. “I’ve scored a couple of goals this month and there are still a few more games to go so hopefully I will be able to get a few more goals and we will see what happens. I am looking forward to the games ahead.”
Meanwhile, West Bromwich manager Tony Pulis was named manager of the month after steering the Baggies to an unbeaten month of results in the EPL in February.
Pulis, who only took over as manager of West Brom in January, guided his side to a 2-2 draw at Burnley, a 2-0 victory over Swansea at home, before drawing 0-0 away to Sunderland and finally a 1-0 win over Southampton.
“I’m very happy and honoured,” said Pulis upon receiving is award. “Since I came to the club everyone has made me feel welcome: that’s the players, the training ground staff and, most importantly, the fans.
“What we need to do now is make sure we finish the season on a high.”
Pulis receives the award for the second time in his career after claiming the award last April when he was manager of Crystal Palace.
Votes for the awards came from the Barclays Panel, a group of former players, journalists and key football stakeholders.
Evans branded ‘simply disgusting’ by FA report
Manchester United defender Jonny Evans’ actions of spitting at Papiss Cisse have been described as “simply disgusting” by an FA panel that found him guilty.
Evans, 27, was involved in an incident with Newcastle forward Cisse during United’s 1-0 win over the Magpies on March 4. Television footage suggested the players had spat at one another, with Evans the instigator.
Senegal international Papiss Cisse accepted the initial charge and apologized for his behavior. However, Evans denied spitting at Cisse and fought the charge. Nevertheless, he was found guilty along with Cisse of spitting and the reasons for the punishment given to Evans and Cisse, 29, were released by the FA on Thursday.
“The ordinary man in the street will find his action to be simply disgusting,” said the three-man panel about Evans.
“It should not be allowed in any walk of life, let alone any football field.”
Evans was given a six-game ban by the FA, whilst Papiss Cisse was given a seven-game ban, Cisse was give one game extra as he was already suspended in December for violent conduct.
“It is clear that Mr Evans is looking directly and indeed aggressively at Mr Cisse. His lips are ‘pursed’ and he is close to Mr Cisse,” added the report by an independent regulatory commission.
“If he was, as alleged to be the case, a person who ‘habitually spits’, then the commission were concerned as to why he did not turn his head away from Mr Cisse when so spitting.
“If that had been a family member or indeed another team member or his manager in front and below him would he still have carried out the same manoeuvre?
“Mr Evans had (and has) a duty of care, if spitting for whatever reason, not to direct the same in the general direction of an opponent, or indeed anyone else. The video clips clearly show that he failed in his duty of care.”
The six-game ban means Evans will miss United’s crucial games against Tottenham, Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea and Everton.
Bruce signs extension with Hull
Steve Bruce has confirmed a three-year extension to manage Hull City.
“I’m delighted to have signed,” said Bruce. “This season has been difficult at times but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed managing this club.”
Bruce took charge of the Tigers in 2012 leading them to promotion to the EPL and their first ever appearance in the FA Cup final last season, where they finished runners-up to Arsenal.
The former Manchester United player started his managerial career at Sheffield United in 1998 and has since managed Huddersfield Town, Wigan, Crystal Palace, Birmingham City, Sunderland and Hull.
Week 28 Predictions
|Aston Villa v West Brom||2-1||1-1||2-1||1-2|
|Hull v Sunderland||1-1||1-0||1-1||1-0|
|Southampton v Crystal Palace||1-0||2-0||3-0||2-1|
|Man City v Leicester||2-0||3-0||3-0||4-0|
|Newcastle v Man Utd||0-1||1-2||1-1||1-2|
|QPR v Arsenal||1-2||1-2||0-2||2-3|
|Stoke v Everton||2-0||1-0||1-1||1-0|
|Tottenham v Swansea||3-2||1-0||3-1||2-1|
|West Ham v Chelsea||0-1||0-2||0-2||0-2|
|Liverpool v Burnley||2-0||2-0||4-0||2-1|
A correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth ONE point. Getting the exact score correct earns THREE points.
Last week I got EIGHT correct results, including TWO perfect scores, to give me a grand total of 12-points. However, it was not enough to beat challenger LUKE who also managed to score 12-points.
The challengers have brought a new dynamic to the predictions and forced me to up my game. Do you think you can have what it takes to beat me and the rest of the challengers in Week 29?
If so, feel free to leave you predictions below.
Week 29 Predictions
|Crystal Palace v QPR||2-1|
|Arsenal v West Ham||2-0|
|Leicester v Hull||1-2|
|Sunderland v Aston Villa||0-1|
|West Brom v Stoke||2-1|
|Burnley v Man City||0-2|
|Chelsea v Southampton||2-0|
|Everton v Newcastle||1-1|
|Man Utd v Tottenham||2-2|
|Swansea v Liverpool||1-1|
Arsenal v West Ham
It’s another London derby for Arsenal this week, as the Gunners from north London take on the Hammers from east London.
The Gunners edged past west London rivals QPR last week with a narrow 2-1, but were not at their most convincing. However, they followed that victory up with another 2-1 away win, but this time at Old Trafford against Manchester United in the FA Cup.
They gave up possession to their United, but defended well and looked devastating on the break, and could well have scored a couple more goals if not for the heroics of United keeper David De Gea.
Meanwhile, West Ham’s miserable run of 2015 continued with the Hammers losing 1-0 at home to EPL leaders Chelsea. West Ham were actually the better side against Chelsea, but you don’t get points for being the better side and the Hammers have now only won once in their last 11 games since Christmas.
Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlande-Chamberlain looks set to be out for a month with a hamstring strain, however, Mathieu Flamini is back in contention after recovering from a similar problem.
West Ham seem likely to be without striker Enner Valencia, who suffered a deep laceration after stepping on a broken teacup at home, while Alex Song is also a doubt with a knee injury.
The Hammers also have defensive troubles with James Tomkins and Winston Reid both out and Arsenal loanee Carl Jenkinson ineligible to play against his parent club. However, midfielder Morgan Amalfitano returns after a three-game ban.
Arsenal are in good form this year winning 11 of 13 games since New Year’s Day, including seven wins from eight league matches, and will be brimming with confidence following their victory at Old Trafford earlier in the week.
The Gunners have a great record against the Hammers, having won their last nine league and cup games against West Ham, including eight Premier League matches.
Earlier in the season I may have gone for a West Ham victory, but they have recorded just one victory in their last 11 Premier League games since Christmas Day (D5, L5).
Burnley v Man City
Burnley lost last week and needs to start picking up points quickly if they want to stay in with a chance of avoiding relegation. The Clarets lost 2-0 at home to a good Liverpool side and have now only won one game in their last 12 Premier League games (D4, L7), earning seven points.
City beat Leicester City 2-0 last week to maintain their pursuit of EPL leaders Chelsea. However, the EPL champions still remain unconvincing and have won just three of their last 10 games in thee league and cup (D3, L4).
Burnley will be without midfielder Matt Taylor who is not quite ready to return from an Achilles injury.
Manchester City could recall club captain Vincent Kompany and full back Pablo Zabaleta, who were both unused subs against Leicester.
Burnley are winless in their last 13 league and cup games against City (D4, L7). However, they did fight back from two goals down earlier in the season to earn a draw away to City, so the Clarets have what it takes to match the champions.
City do have an important game against Barcelona on Wednesday and may have one eye on that games, however, I don’t think they want to let Chelsea get any farther away from them and I expect them to do everything to win this game.
Chelsea v Southampton
Chelsea won 1-0 away to West Ham last week to maintain five-point lead at the top of the EPL. However, the Blues did not play particularly well and were fortunate to leave with all three-points.
They had no such luck in mid-week though, as they were dumped out of the Champions League by French side PSG. Chelsea actually took the lead twice against a 10-man PSG side, but look nervy and in the end the better side went through.
Southampton stopped their mini slump with a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace. The goals have dried up for the Saints recently and they look like they lack the stamina to keep up in the race for Champions League places. Nevertheless, new coach Ronald Koeman has done a terrific job with a side many thought would be relegated this season.
Southampton have shown they are a good side and have what it takes to play the big sides, and may feel it is a good time to face Jose Mourinho’s side. However, even though the Blues experienced disappointment midweek I don’t expect them to have the ‘blues’ and I predict they will win this one.
Man Utd v Tottenham
This is arguably the biggest game of the weekend as Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspurs battle it out in a game that could prove decisive to who finishes in the top four at the end of the season.
Manchester United beat Newcastle 1-0 away last week to stay within one point of third place Arsenal. However, they lost on Monday night to Arsenal in the Cup and suddenly look like they could struggle to finish in the top four.
The Red Devils have been on quite an impressive run, but without looking convincing. In fact, in most games they have looked rather fortunate to be on the winning side and their luck may be beginning to run out.
United have a tough schedule ahead of them facing Tottenham, Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea and Everton in their next six games and with only four-points separating fourth from seventh, the Red Devils know they cannot afford to have any slip ups.
Tottenham bounced back from defeat in the Carling Cup first with a 3-2 win at home to Swansea and then with a 2-1 win away to QPR. Harry Kane surprisingly didn’t score in Spurs’ win over Swansea, but made up for it with a brace against QPR.
Manchester United will be without Angel Di Maria and Jonny Evans, who are both suspended. Robin van Persie remains out with a calf problem, while Marcos Rojo is a doubt, but Ashley Young should be fit to play after shaking off a knock received on Monday.
Manchester United have not been playing well and may be short of confidence having lost to Arsenal earlier in the week. However, Old Trafford is never an easy place to go, especially for Spurs, who have won only once there in 24-years last season.
However, the Red Devils’ defense has looked leaky all season and I expect Harry Kane to give them a torrid time, but Manchester United simply cannot afford to lose this game and I don’t think they will.
Swansea v Liverpool
When Swansea sold Wilfred Bony to Manchester City many, including myself, thought they would really struggle, but the Swans have done relatively well and Liverpool will not be looking forward to the task ahead of them on Monday night.
Swansea lost out narrowly 3-2 to Spur last week, but did tremendously well to work their way back into the game, especially after striker Bafetimbi Gomis collapsed early in the game needing four minutes of attention before going off on a stretcher in a conscious state.
A number of players were visibly upset but despite seeing their attacking strength greatly depleted Swansea still managed to give Spurs a tough game and score twice.
Liverpool’s great run in 2015 continued as the Red saw off Burnley 2-0 at Turf Moore to move with two-points of rivals Manchester United in fourth place. The Reds remain the only side in the EPL yet to lose a game in 2015, having won 7 of the 9 EPL games they have played in 2015.
However, their legs looked tired in their 0-0 draw at home to Championship side Blackburn in the FA Cup and they were recently beaten in Istanbul in the Europa Cup, so they are beatable.
Nevertheless, I don’t think Swansea possess enough attacking might to beat Liverpool so I’ll go for a stalemate.