EPL kicks back into action this weekend after a short break for international matches. There are a variety of games to look forward to in match day 8, with the Northeast and London derbies in particular catching the eye.
I will once again try my hand at predictions, and I’ll admit the first week my predictions were bad—to be fair I was warming up—but after guessing two results correctly, including one perfect score I have gained in confidence, and this week I will attempt to go where Gotsoccer has never gone before…that’s right, I’m going to predict all 10 EPL games. Wish me luck.
Tottenham Hotspurs v Chelsea
This London derby is always an interesting encounter, but with Spurs’ manager Andre Villas-Boas up against the club that sacked him 6-months ago, there is a little added spice this time around.
Both teams are in great form, Chelsea currently sit top of the EPL while Tottenham are joint in fourth place with Everton. The Blues will be without Captain John Terry who is suspended, but they have enough cover at the back an should remain solid.
Chelsea has not really had too many hard games yet, there only real test came against Arsenal, which they managed to win comfortably in the end. They do have a good record against Spurs, but I don’t think they will have it easy against this revitalized Tottenham team, and with the former Chelsea coach now at the helm, I think Spurs could be on to inflict the Blues first defeat.
Liverpool v Reading
You didn’t have to be a clairvoyant to see that Liverpool would regret loaning out Andy Carrol, but follow the injury Fabio Borini the reds now only have one recognized striker in Luis Suarez.
So I guess it is a good thing they are playing against third from bottom Reading. This game should follow a similar pattern to all Liverpool games recently—they will have lots of possession, create lots of chances, and miss a host of opportunities.
That being said, I still think Liverpool will have too much for the newly promoted side and will comfortably win this one.
Manchester United v Stoke City
United will be up against the “jolly green giants” and former player Michael Owen this weekend. Stoke are apparently the tallest team in Europe, and they play to their strengths, punting the ball high into the box with any chance they get.
The Potters have started well, and got a good draw against Liverpool in their last game. Michael Owen will hope he can open his Stoke account against his former club, though he will probably have to settle for a place on the bench, as according to Ferguson: “Michael is not allowed to play unless he brings a ladder”
However, United usually do well at home, and with a couple of their players coming back from injury I can’t see them dropping points in this game.
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City
West Brom has started the season well under Steve Clarke, and look like a solid mid-table team. They are solid at the back, pass well, and can score goals.
Manchester City on the other hand has started the season sluggishly, though they looked back to their best in their last match against Sunderland. They will have to do without the service of David Silva this week however, after the midfielder picked up an injury while playing for Spain midweek.
West Brom has a 100% record at home so far this season, but there is no bigger test than playing against the champions. I think the Baggies will give City a run for their money, but the champions will eventually show their class and edge this one.
Norwich v Arsenal
Norwich surprised many last season, exceeding expectations and finishing 12th. This season they have once again surprised everyone, but for the wrong reasons. The Canaries have struggled since the departure of manager Paul Lambert to Villa, and are languishing second from the bottom without a win to their names in seven games.
Norwich managed two draws against Arsenal last season, but since then Arsenal has improved, and Norwich has not. They were hammered 4-1 by Chelsea in their last game before the international break, and I can see them losing heavily again.
Sunderland v Newcastle United
This game should be the feistiest encounter of the weekend. The northeast derby is always a passionate affair packed full of committed tackles, fast paced action, goals, and usually a red card.
Last season Newcastle boss Alan Pardew and his Sunderland counterpart Martin O’Neill even got into the action, squaring up to each other on the touchline. The pair has since made up, and will be hoping their players keep their heads and avoid receiving the seemingly customary red card.
It will be a fast played game full of passion, tackles, free kicks, cards, and goals I think.
|Tottenham v Chelsea||2-1|
|Fulham v Aston Villa||2-0|
|Liverpool v Reading||2-0|
|Man Utd v Stoke||4-1|
|Swansea v Wigan||3-2|
|West Brom v Man City||1-2|
|West Ham v Southampton||2-1|
|Norwich v Arsenal||0-3|
|Sunderland v Newcastle||2-2|
|QPR v Everton||1-1|