EPL Week 32 – Top Picks and Predictions
EPL Week 32 – Top Picks and Predictions avatar

NEWS

Sterling heckled at Liverpool kit launch

Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling has been heckled by a supporter during the launch of the club’s new kit.

Sterling was at an event on Friday to promote Liverpool’s kit for the 2015-16 campaign when a supporter shouted: “Make sure we see you in it next season.”

The 20-year-old England international recently rejected a $150,000-a-week deal with Liverpool, saying he would discuss contract talks at the end of the year.

However, teammate Daniel Sturridge defended Sterling as he insisted money was not the winger’s primary motivation.

Skirtel, Mignolet, Sterling and Sturridge at the kit launch a Anfield (Getty Images)

Skirtel, Mignolet, Sterling and Sturridge at the kit launch a Anfield (Getty Images)

Sturridge, 25, said: “As long as he is playing regularly he will be happy. I don’t think it is anything to do with anything other than that and I hope he will stay at the club.

“It is important, regardless of who you are, to show what you can do, not just for Raheem but any young player.

“It is important to play games and gain experience so whatever decision he makes, I am behind him 100%.”

 

Ballon d’Or bad for the game – Wenger and Mourinho

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger and Chelsea Jose Mourinho believe the Ballon d’Or prize is bad for the game.

Earlier in the year Wenger told the Guardian newspaper he would refuse to vote in the Ballon d’Or if asked, as he believed the fundamental premise of the award was in opposition to his views on soccer.

Wenger are Mourinho very rarely see eye to eye. (Getty Images)

Wenger are Mourinho very rarely see eye to eye. (Getty Images)

“I would not vote for any Ballon d’Or,” Wenger said. “I’m totally against it. I’m a team lover and a specialist of somebody who loves team work. I’m completely against it. I would not vote for anybody.”

And yesterday portuguese coach, Jose Mourinho, who has not always seen eye to eye with Wenger said he agreed with his french counterpart.

“He is against the Ballon d’Or and I think he’s right,” Mourinho, 52, said.

“In this moment football is losing a little bit the concept of the team to focus more on the individual.”

In an interview with British paper the Daily Telegraph Mourinho said it was ‘the group that wins, not the individual’.

He said: “For me, football is collective. The individual is welcome if you want to make our group better. But you have to work for us, [it’s] not [a case that] we have to work for you.

“When the top player arrives, the team is already there. It’s not him who comes to discover the team, like Columbus discovering America. No, no, you are coming now to help us be better.”

The 51-year-old, who has won seven league titles in four different countries and the Champions League twice, also revealed that the experience he gained while working as a teacher with children with Down’s syndrome and mental disabilities has helped him in his coach of some of the world’s top stars.

“I wasn’t technically ready to help these kids,” said Mourinho. “And I had success only because of one thing, the emotional relation that was established with them.

“I did little miracles only because of the relationship. Affection, touch, empathy – only because of that.”

Mourinho added, “Of course you need the knowledge, the capacity to analyse things. But the centre of everything is the relationship, and empathy, not only with the individual but in the team.”

Chelsea currently lead the EPL on 70-points after 30 games played, while Arsenal sit in second on 63-points with 31 games played.

 

Chelsea bid for Young Japanese striker

 Chelsea are reportedly after young japanese forward Yoshinori Muto.

Japanese news agency Kyodo News says the EPL leaders have made an official bid for FC Tokyo player, though Muto is yet to decide whether to move to Stamford Bridge in the summer.

Yoshinori Muto. in action for Japan. (Getty Images)

Yoshinori Muto. in action for Japan. (Getty Images)

Muto, who scored 13 times last season and was named in the league’s select XI, played for Japan during their run to the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup.

The 22-year-old has burst out of the blocks this year scoring three times in four games at the start of the new J-League season.

In February, Premier League leaders Chelsea announced a new shirt sponsorship deal with a Japanese tyre manufacturer worth a reported $60m a year.

 

Redknapp: people were against me at QPR

Harry Redknapp has said he suddenly resigned from QPR in February, as he felt people inside the club had an agenda against him.

Redknapp, who resigned the day after the January transfer window, originally said his decision to leave QPR was due to crippling knee problems. However, he now says that was not the only issue.

In an interview with the BBC that is due to air on Saturday Redknapp described how the final months at QPR descended into a ‘Soap Opera’.

Harry Redknapp revealed his true reasons for leaving QPR in his recent BBC interview. (Getty Images)

Harry Redknapp revealed his true reasons for leaving QPR in his recent BBC interview. (Getty Images)

I always thought I had everyone pulling with me and suddenly I felt some were and some weren’t,” he said. “Behind the scenes, I always thought there were one or two people with their own agendas.”

Redknapp underwent knee surgery earlier in the year and is currently in rehabilitation, but claims the rumours about other managers were a bigger problem.

He said: “There was talk about Tim Sherwood coming in. QPR was in the paper every day. I’ve been at lots of other clubs, big clubs as well where you didn’t get that.

“That got on my nerves. That was the big problem for me.”

“As soon as we lost a few games, it would begin. I always thought there was someone mischievous causing it. I’d never had that before at any club I’d been at.”

“I didn’t see the teams below us getting the same sort of headlines every other week. It wore me down a little bit.”

Academy coach Chris Ramsey took over as boss in February and the Hoops are now two points off safety in the table.

Predictions

Week 31

Results

My Predictions

Neil’s Predictions

SATURDAY

Arsenal v Liverpool

3-1

2-0

2-2

Everton v Southampton

1-0

1-1

2-1

Leicester v West Ham

2-1

2-1

2-1

Man Utd v Aston Villa

3-1

3-0

4-1

Swansea v Hull

3-1

1-1

2-0

West Brom v QPR

1-4

2-0

2-0

Chelsea v Stoke

2-1

2-0

2-0

SUNDAY

Burnely v Tottenham

0-0

1-2

1-3

Sunderland v Newcastle

1-0

2-1

1-2

MONDAY

Crystal P. v Man City

2-1

1-2

1-3

TOTAL SCORE:

7-points

7-points

 

Last week I got FOUR correct results, including ONE perfect result, to give me a combined TOTAL of SEVEN-points.

This week’s Predictions

Week 32

My Predictions

SATURDAY

Swansea v Everton

2-1

Southampton v Hull

2-0

Sunderland v Crystal Palace

1-2

Tottenham v Aston Villa

3-1

West Brom v Leicester

1-1

West Ham v Stoke

1-1

Burnley v Arsenal

0-2

SUNDAY

QPR v Chelsea

1-2

Man Utd v Man City

2-1

MONDAY

Liverpool v Newcastle

2-0

Previews

SATURDAY

Burnley v Arsenal

Burnley drew 0-0 with Tottenham last week and now face another north London club when they face Arsenal on Saturday.

The Clarets played well and had their moments, but they just lacked that little bit of quality that would have earned them all three points. The draw allowed QPR to draw level on points with Burnley, and the Clarets have now only won once in their last 10 games (W1, D3, L6) and scored once in their last five. However, they are unbeaten in their last EPL games of Turf Moor.

Arsenal moved into second place last week after comfortably seeing off Liverpool at the Emirates. The Gunners beat Liverpool 3-1 and have now won their last seven EPL games, scoring 17 goals in the process.

Giroud has been on fire for Arsenal.(Getty Images)

Giroud has been on fire for Arsenal.(Getty Images)

Oliver Giroud was once again on the scoresheet, and has scored in six successive Premier League matches and could equal Emmanuel Adebayor’s feat of scoring in seven Arsenal games in a row in 2007-08

Matt Taylor could make his first appearance for Burnley since tearing his Achilles in August, while Ross Wallace and Steven Reid may return from respective knee and calf injuries.

Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny is a doubt with related hip and thigh problems, but Mathieu Debuchy, Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta and Abou Diaby are all back in contention.

This is the 100th meeting between these two sides, Arsenal lead by 45 wins to Burnley’s 33, with 21 draws. Burnley are unbeaten in their last three games at home, and played well against Arsenal’s neighbors Tottenham last week. However, the Gunners are currently  the EPL best team in 2015 and I expect them to comfortably win this game.

Prediction: 0-2

SUNDAY

QPR v Chelsea

Sunday kicks-off with a west London derby as EPL strugglers QPR host EPL leaders Chelsea.

QPR had perhaps their best week in the EPL this season, winning away and drawing at home to move them to within two points of Hull.

Matt Phillips (L) has been outstanding for QPR

Matt Phillips (L) has been outstanding for QPR

The Hoops have struggled away from home for most of the season, but managed to beat resurgent West Brom by 4 goals to 1 last weekend. Bobby Zamora scored a spectacular goal, though Charlie Austin was once again at the heart of most of their good play scoring once and assisting two others. However, QPR’s biggest sensation of 2015 has been Matt Phillips, who has registered seven assists in 2015 – Lionel Messi is the only player in the top five European leagues with a better record prior to this weekend.

QPR defender Richard Dunne is fit again after knee surgery, but is unlikely to start. Darnell Furlong could return from a calf problem, but Michael Doughty and Rio Ferdinand are both ruled out.

Chelsea have striker problems with Diego Costa and Didier Drogba both out injured, meaning Loic Remy is likely to deputise.

Cesc Fabregas broke his nose against Stoke last week, but is likely to start against QPR with a protective mask.

Chelsea are overwhelming favorites to win this game, but QPR have done pretty well at home this season and will definitely fancy their chances of springing an upset now that Chelsea have a few injury problem. In fact, QPR have lost just one of their last 13 league games at home to Chelsea (D6, W6).

However, the Blues seem to be grinding results out at the moment and I think they will just edge this one on Sunday.

Prediction: 1-2

 

Man Utd v Man City

The Manchester Derby is undoubtedly the standout game of week 32 and while the game is unlikely to settle where the EPL title ends up come the end of May, it could well settle who ends up Manchester’s best team at the end of the season.

Manchester United easily disposed of Aston Villa 3-1 last week to continue their rich of vein of form at Old Trafford – The Red Devils have claimed 40 points at home, more than any other Premier League side. In fact, United have suffered just two defeats in 21 league games (W15, D4) since losing to neighbors Manchester City.

Rooney has looked dangerous since moving back upfront. (Getty Images)

Rooney has looked dangerous since moving back upfront. (Getty Images)

The recent good performances of United seem to have coincided with the decision to return Wayne Rooney to the forward position, and the England international has now scored four goals in his last five games.

Man City lost 2-1 away to Crystal Palace last weekend and look like a team in trouble. The defeat was the champions third successive away defeat and now leaves them fourth place and nine-points behind leaders Chelsea.

City’s forwards have been struggling for goals recently, but the biggest problems for the champions has been their defense – they have not kept a clean sheet away from home in eight league and cup matches since 13 December.

Manchester United forward Robin Van Persie has returned from an ankle injury, but will not be fit to face City.

United have defensive troubles with Chris Smalling doubtful through illness, while Luke Shaw is out injured and Jonny Evans is suspended.

Man City will assess captain Vincent Kompany, who is struggling with a hamstring injury.

Wilfried Bony is sidelined by ankle and knee problems, while Dedryck Boyata and Stevan Jovetic will also miss out.

City have lost their last three away games, but have a great recent record against United, so will not be daunted at the task ahead of them – City can claim five successive league wins against Manchester United for the first time. In fact, the champions won on their last three visits to Old Trafford, scoring a total of 11 goals.

However, Manchester United seem to be brimming with confidence again and I think they will just about edge this one.

Prediction: 2-1

About Anthony Ta

Anthony Ta is a writer for the GotSoccer Magazine, specializing in Premier League, Champions League and the Euros.
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2 Responses to EPL Week 32 – Top Picks and Predictions
EPL Week 32 – Top Picks and Predictions avatar

  1. Neil says:

    SATURDAY

    Swansea v Everton 1-2

    Southampton v Hull 2-1

    Sunderland v Crystal Palace 1-1

    Tottenham v Aston Villa 3-2

    West Brom v Leicester 2-0

    West Ham v Stoke 1-1

    Burnley v Arsenal 1-4

    SUNDAY

    QPR v Chelsea 1-3

    Man Utd v Man City 2-2

    MONDAY

    Liverpool v Newcastle 2-0

  2. Luke says:

    Week 32

    My Predictions

    SATURDAY

    Swansea v Everton

    1-1

    Southampton v Hull

    2-0

    Sunderland v Crystal Palace

    0-2

    Tottenham v Aston Villa

    2-1

    West Brom v Leicester

    2-0

    West Ham v Stoke

    2-1

    Burnley v Arsenal

    0-3

    SUNDAY

    QPR v Chelsea

    2-3

    Man Utd v Man City

    2-1

    MONDAY

    Liverpool v Newcastle

    5-0

    Previews

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