It is EPL time again and if last week is anything to go by we are in for another roller-coaster round of games. Week 8 looks especially tantalizing with a bunch of mouth watering games on Saturday before some Super Sunday action with Everton hosting Liverpool in the 225th Merseyside Derby, while Arsenal host their rivals Manchester United.
Ferguson to Manage Beckham again
Alex Ferguson is to manage a Great Britain and Ireland team, captained by David Beckham in a charity match next month.
The team will take on a World Eleven, captained by french Legend Zinedine Zidane at Old Trafford on November 14.
The World Eleven will be managed by former Chelsea and Real Madrid coach Carlos Anchelloti, while former Italian referree Pierluigi Collina will referee the match.
“Everyone knows I retired three years ago and I never thought I’d be getting my boots out again and playing,” said Beckham. “Football is such a powerful tool and to have Zidane on the field, Sir Alex Ferguson and Carlo Ancelotti in the stands, I think people are going to love it.”
The 40-year-old, a Unicef ambassador, added: “This match gives me the perfect opportunity to raise awareness and vital funds to help reach the children who need it most.”
Beckham played under Ferguson 394 times over an 11-year period and was part of United famous ‘class of 92’ that included other United legends Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes. However, he was famously struck above the left eye by a boot kick by Ferguson, which reportedly led to the pair falling out with Beckham being sold to Real Madrid four months later.
|WEEK 7||Result||Anthony||Neil Sam|
|Tottenham v Man City||4-1||0-2||1-3 2-0|
|Leicester v Arsenal||2-5||2-2||0-2 2-1|
|Liverpool v Aston Villa||3-2||1-0||2-0 1-0|
|Man Utd v Sunderland||3-0||3-0||4-0 2-0|
|Southampton v Swansea||3-1||2-1||2-0 1-1|
|Stoke v Bournemouth||2-1||3-1||1-2 2-1|
|West Ham v Norwich||2-2||2-0||1-1 2-1|
|Newcastle v Chelsea||2-2||0-2||0-2 2-1|
|Watford v Crystal Palace||0-1||1-1||1-3 1-1|
|West Brom v Everton||2-3||2-2||1-2 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 FOUR correct results, including ONE perfect score to give me a tally of SIX-POINTS. However, it was not enough to beat challenger Neil who also earned SIX-POINTS by correctly predicting SIX correct results.
Do you think you can earn more points? If so, feel free to leave your predictions below.
|Crystal Palace v West Brom||2-1|
|Aston Villa v Stoke||1-1|
|Bournemouth v Watford||2-0|
|Man City v Newcastle||3-0|
|Norwich v Leicester||1-2|
|Sunderland v West Ham||0-2|
|Chelsea v Southampton||2-1|
|Everton v Liverpool||3-2|
|Arsenal v Man Utd||2-2|
|Swansea v Tottenham||1-0|
Manchester City v Newcastle
Manchester City suffered their second successive defeat in the league to drop to second in the EPL. The Sky Blues lost 4-1 away to Tottenham and looked incredibly frail at the back without captain Vincent Kompany and keeper Joe Hart.
They managed to return to winning ways midweek in the Champions League with a last gasp 2-1 away win at German side Borussia Monchengladbach, but it was another poor defensive display and they could easily have lost if not for the heroics of returning keeper Joe Hart.
Newcastle let a two goal lead slip last week drawing 2-2 at home with champions Chelsea. The Magpies are one of only two EPL sides yet to win in the EPL – Sunderland are the only other team yet to register a win this season. They played with good energy and endeavor, and if they put in more performances like that it is only a matter of time before they get their first win.
Manchester City’s injury woes continues with captain Vincent Kompany and Yaya Toure both out with knee injuries.
Wilfried Bony, Kelechi Iheanacho and Eliaquim Mangala are back in contention, Fabian Delph, Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri remain out.
Newcastle are without Gabriel Obertan, Rolando Aarons and Massadio Haidara who are all injured, but Cheik Tiote and Jack Colkback look like they have shaken off their injury problems and should start.
Manchester City are unbeaten in 17 league meetings with Newcastle (W15, D2) -their longest-ever run without defeat against a single opponent in the Premier League – and while Newcastle looked improved I think they will have to wait another week for that elusive first win this season.
Chelsea v Southampton
Chelsea’s poor start to the season continued as they were held to a 2-2 draw away to Newcastle. The Blues were once again sloppy in defense and look toothless up top without the presence of suspended striker Deigo Costa. They played better midweek in the Champions League away to Porto, but still lost 2-1 with their poor defending once again to blame.
Southampton bounced back from their home defeat by Manchester United with a good 3-1 victory over Swansea. The Saints struggled at the beginning of the season, but seem to be finding their rhythm again, scoring 15 goals in their last five games in all competitions.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has to decide between Loic Remy and Radamel Falcao, as Diego Costa serves the last of his three-match suspension against Southampton.
Southampton summer signing Jordy Clasie could make his EPL debut after returning from an ankle injury, while Ryan Bertrand is set to start against his former club after returning from a knee injury.
Southampton have only won one of their last 13 meetings with Chelsea (D5, L7) with their last win away at Stamford Bridge back in 2002. However, the Blues are struggling at the moment and all of a sudden the Bridge isn’t the fortress it once was. Nevertheless, I think Chelsea badly need a result and I expect them to just edge this one.
Everton v Liverpool
Everton’s fine start to the season continued with a 3-2 away win at West Brom. The Toffees were 2-0 down, but managed to clay their way back to earn a win thanks to two goals and an assist by forward Romelu Lukaku.
Roberto Martinez is one of the few EPL managers currently playing with two strikers with Arouna Kone and Romelu Lukaku leading the line, and it seems to be paying dividends with the Toffees scoring 13 goals in their last five games in all competitions.
Liverpool ended a six-game winless run with a 3-2 victory over Aston Villa. Daniel Sturridge showed how much the Reds have missed him by scoring two goals, but poor defending almost spoiled his return and Liverpool will really need to start improving in that area if they want to compete for a top four spot.
John Stones and Seamus Coleman could return for Everton for Sunday’s 225th Merseyside derby, but Muhamed Besic is unlikely to recover in time from a hamstring problem, while Kevin Mirallas is still suspended.
Liverpool will be without Roberto Firmino, Jordan Henderson and Dejan Lovren, but summer signing Christian Benteke faces a late assessment on his fitness, having missed the last three matches with a hamstring injury.
Everton have not beaten Liverpool in the last nine attempts in the EPL (D6, L3) – their last win was at home in 2010. They have not endured a longer winless league streak in this fixture since an 11-match run between 1979 and 1984. But they are in a purple patch of form at the moment, while their more illustrious neighbors are currently struggling to find any rhythm.
Neither team is defending well, but both have quality in forward positions and that’s why I’ll go for a high scoring thriller with Everton to just edge it.
Arsenal v Manchester United
Arsenal bounced back from their away defeat to Chelsea with a good away win at Leicester. The Gunners fell behind early on, but eventually won 5-2 thanks to goals from Theo Walcott, Oliver Giroud and a hat-trick by Alexis Sanchez. But they suffered disaster midweek losing 3-2 at home to Greek side Olympiakos, with stand in goal keeper David Ospina scoring an own goal, and will need a good performance at the weekend to appease the fans.
Manchester United beat strugglers Sunderland 3-0 to move back to the top of the EPL for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in May 2013. Wanye Rooney, Memphis Depay and Juan Mata were all on the score sheet, but it was the performance of new signing Anthony Martial that caught the eye and it seems the young signing with continue to lead United’s attack this season.
Arsenal will be without defender Laurent Koscielny and midfielders Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta, who are all out injured. However, Oliver Giroud is available again after sitting out midweek in the Champions League because of suspension.
Michael Carrick is fit again after missing out midweek with injury, but fellow midfielder Andrea Herrera remains doubtful.
Arsenal’s worst Premier League win percentage is against Manchester United (24%) – The Red Devils are unbeaten in the last four league meetings at the Emirates (W2, D2). They have never gone five games unbeaten at Arsenal in the Premier League era.
The Gunners could easily have won this game 4-0 last season, but they ended up losing 1-2 after missing a series of guilt edge chances. I doubt they will get as many openings this time round, as United have improved defensively. I expect them to dominate, but I think this will end in a draw.