It’s Week 12 in the EPL and this week is Guy Fawkes weekend – when people around the UK celebrate with firework displays to commemorate the failure of the November 1605 Gunpowder Plot – and I’m sure there will be plenty of fireworks and explosion in this weeks games, especially as Arsenal host neighbors Tottenham in the north London Derby.
Last Week’s Predictions
|Chelsea v Liverpool||1-3||1-1||1-0||1-1||1-1||0-0|
|Crystal Palace v Man Utd||0-0||1-2||0-2||1-2||1-2||0-1|
|Man City v Norwich||2-1||5-0||4-1||4-1||5-1||4-0|
|Newcastle v Stoke||0-0||2-1||0-1||2-1||1-1||1-1|
|Swansea v Arsenal||0-3||1-1||0-3||0-2||2-1||1-1|
|Watford v West Ham||2-0||1-1||1-2||1-2||3-1||0-1|
|West Brom v Leicester||2-3||1-2||1-1||1-2||1-2||1-2|
|Everton v Sunderland||6-2||2-0||1-1||2-0||2-0||3-0|
|Southampton v Bournemouth||2-0||4-0||3-0||3-0||3-0||3-0|
|Tottenham v Aston Villa||3-1||3-0||2-0||3-0||2-1||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 FIVE correct results and ZERO perfect scores to earn a total of FIVE-Points. However, challenger Neil topped this week’s predictions with FIVE correct results, including ONE perfect score to have a combined total of SEVEN-Points.
I’m sure I can do better this week, but if you feel you have what it takes to make perditions feel free to join in and leave your predictions below.
This Week’s Predictions
|Bournemouth v Newcastle||1-1|
|Leicester v Watford||3-1|
|Man Utd v West Brom||2-0|
|Norwich v Swansea||1-1|
|Sunderland v Southampton||1-2|
|West Ham v Everton||2-1|
|Stoke v Chelsea||1-1|
|Aston Villa v Man City||0-3|
|Arsenal v Tottenham||2-1|
|Liverpool v Crystal Palace||2-0|
Leicester v Watford
Leicester’s unbelievable start to the season continued with a fantastic win away to West Brom. The foxes once again lived up to their billing as ‘Comeback Kings” by coming from a goal down to win the game 3-2. Jamie Vardy was once again on the score sheet – The striker is only the third player to score in eight successive Premier League appearances. Ruud van Nistelrooy holds the record by scoring 10 goals in a row.
Watford beat West Ham 2-0 at home to move to 11th in the EPL. The win was the Hornets second in a row and their fourth so far this season. Striker Odion Ighalo bagged both goals for Watford and now has seven so far this season.
Many pundits have been predicting the Claudio Ranieri and Leicester’s run will end, but they have kept coming up trumps and I think they will do so again. Watford are solid defensively, but I think they will have trouble keeping out Leicester who have two of the top three Premier League goalscorers: Jamie Vardy has 11 goals and Riyad Mahrez has seven (level with Watford’s Odion Ighalo).
Manchester United v West Brom
Manchester drew 0-0 away to Crystal Palace last week, though they could well have lost if not for a string of brilliant saves from keeper David De Gea. The match was the third EPL game the Red Devils had gone without a goal, and forced manager Louis Van Gaal to change his formation for the mid-week game, where he deployed Anthony Martial as a striker to support Wayne Rooney. The change appeared to work with United looking more fluid in attack and with Rooney bagging his first goal in 404-minutes.
West Brom lost 3-2 at home to Leicester, to put an end to the Baggies 2-game winning streak and meant they dropped to 12th in the EPL. Summer signing Rondon was once again on the score sheet, while fellow striker Ricky Lambert bagged his first of the season.
West Brom are enjoying an impressive patch of form against United having lost just one of their last five league meetings with the Red Devils (W2, D2). Indeed, the Baggies are aiming for a third successive league victory at Old Trafford, a feat they last achieved in 1959.
However, Manchester United have become a lot more solid at the back this season and for that reason I think they will win this one.
Stoke v Chelsea
Stoke earned a 0-0 draw away to Newcastle last week to remain 14th in the EPL and are now without a win in their last two league games.
Chelsea’s poor run also continued with a 3-1 loss at home to Liverpool. The EPL champions have only won two of their last nine matches in all competitions (D3, L4) and currently sit 15th in the EPL.
Stoke have only beaten Chelsea once in the Premier League (D3, L11), but they did win a penalty shootout to knock Chelsea out of the League Cup last month at the Britannia Stadium. The game ended in a draw before the pk’s and I have a feeling the same will happen again.
Aston Villa v Man City
Aston Villa lost 3-1 away to Tottenham last week to make it seven losses on the trot – It is their worst league run since a club-record streak of 11 defeats from March to May 1963. That sequence ended with a 3-1 home win against Manchester City, who are their opponents this week.
Villa have appointed French manager Remi Garde to get them out of the slump, and while the Frenchman comes with good references I’ll be surprised if he can help them avoid the drop this season.
Meanwhile at the other end of the EPL Man City maintained top spot with a 2-1 win at home over Norwich. They followed that win with an impressive 3-1 victory over Sevilla in the Champions League.
Manchester City have won seven of their last eight Premier League games against Aston Villa, scoring a total of 22 goals in those matches, and I will be very surprised if they don’t make it eight wins.
Arsenal v Tottenham
Arsenal earned a good 3-0 away win at Swansea to remain level on points with EPL leaders Man City, who have a better goal differential. The Gunners did not have everything their own way and could well have conceded on two occasions if not for fantastic defending by Hector Bellerin.
However, their defending midweek left a lot to be desired and in the end they were fortunate to only be thumped 5-1 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
Tottenham easily brushed past Aston Villa with a 3-1 win last week and are now the only side unbeaten since the opening day of the season. Harry Kane was once again on the score sheet and now has five goals in his last five league appearances after two in the previous 14.
Tottenham have only won once at Arsenal in 25 matches in all competitions since May 1993 (D9, L15), so on paper this should be an easy Arsenal win. However, I think this game will be very tight, though I still think Arsenal will edge it.
Liverpool v Crystal Palace
Liverpool recorded their first EPL win under new manager Jurgen Klopp with a fine 3-1 win away to Chelsea. The Reds fell behind early, but didn’t let it affect them and proceeded to dominate the game with their high tempo pressing. Philippe Coutinho scored two good goals, while striker Christian Beneteke marked his return with a goal.
Crystal Palace drew 0-0 at home to Manchester United, though they probably were a little unlucky not to win. That result means Palace are now without a win in their last four games in all competitions, though I don’t think they will be too worried.
Palace have become Liverpool’s bogie team over the past few years – The Eagles won at Anfield last season and have only lost one of their last five top-flight games versus the Reds (W3, D1). However, Liverpool seem to have found a new lease of life under Klopp and I think they will win this one comfortably.