Another super weekend of EPL action is once upon us, and if you thought last week was good, well you’re in for another treat in Week 10. It’s Guy Fawkes weekend in the UK—where the Brits celebrate the failed Gunpowder Plot on Parliament in 1605—with Manchester United taking on Arsenal and Liverpool facing Newcastle United there is sure to be plenty of fireworks.
|Aston Villa v Norwich||1-1||1-1|
|Arsenal v QPR||1-0||3-0|
|Reading v Fulham||3-3||0-1|
|Stoke v Sunderland||0-0||2-1|
|Wigan v West Ham||2-1||1-1|
|Man City v Swansea||1-0||5-1|
|Everton v Liverpool||2-2||2-0|
|Newcastle v West Brom||2-1||2-1|
|Southampton v Tottenham||1-2||2-2|
|Chelsea v Man Utd||2-3||1-2|
A correct result is worth ONE point, while a correct score earns THREE points.
Last week I managed to get 5 results correct, and two perfect scores giving me a combined score of 9 points. A decent score, but after guessing 8 correct scores the previous week with a tally of 12 points, I must admit I was a tad disappointed.
However, I have a good feeling about this week and modestly predict a record number of correct results, perfect scores, and combined tally for myself.
Manchester United v Arsenal
Week 10 of the EPL kicks off with a bang on Saturday as Manchester United play host to Arsenal. This game is always a heated encounter, but there is added spice this time around as United Striker Robin Van Persie lines-up against the his old club for the first time.
The Flying Dutchman has seamlessly slotted into the United team scoring 7 goals in 9 EPL appearances, and it won’t be a surprise if he adds to his account against Arsenal tomorrow.
But even if Van Persie has an off day, United still have so many other players who can make the difference, Rooney, Chicarito, Welbeck, Nani, take your pick.
The Gooners too have a wealth of attaking options at their disposal, and don’t seem to have been too effected by the loss of Van Persie. Podolski has settled in and is playing well, Carzola looks like a world-class player, and they virtually have another new signing in Jack Wilshere, who has been out for a year and a half.
However, the one area where United and Arsenal have struggled recently is in defense. Both teams conceded 5 goals midweek in the League Cup, and their defenses have looked weak and shaky all season – though Arsenal do currently boast the tightest defense in the league.
So we could be in for a goal bonanza of a game, with goals flying in left, right and center like last season when United won 8-2, though I very much doubt it.
I think Arsenal will play well, perhaps dominate possession and have chances, but will ultimately lose as they have done in the last few years.
Fulham v Everton
Both these teams were involved in thrilling draws last week, Fulham were denied a late win with an injury time goal away to Reading, while Everton fought back from two goals down to earn a draw in the Liverpool derby.
Fulham, who have started the season well, are always good at home and will be confident of taking all three points. Though they will be hoping Berbatov is past fit – the striker is suspected to have broken a rib in last weeks draw to reading – as he is a world class player that can cause any team problems.
Everton have also started the season brightly and showed great resilience to come back from two goals down to Liverpool. The Toffees will definitely fancy their chances against a Fulham backline that has conceded quite a lot of goals this season.
This should be a fast paced end-to-end game, but I think home advantage will see the Cottagers come out victors.
Swansea v Chelsea
Swansea had a great win over Liverpool midweek in the cup, and seem to be back on track after a shaky few games.
They played well against Manchester City last week when no one gave them a chance, and should have been a goal or two up before City eventually scored what turned out to be the decisive goal of the game.
Chelsea were involved in an enthralling game against Man United last week, and despite losing showed real attacking menace. The blues will be hoping to bounce back from that defeat, and will be confident of picking up all three points.
But they won’t find it easy against the EPL’s only Welsh side, and I expect this one to be close.
Tottenham v Wigan
Tottenham bounced back from their defeat to Chelsea with a solid win away at Southampton last week, and are slowly making their way up the EPL table after a slow start.
New signings Clint Dempsey and Dembele have settled well, and Spurs are match for anybody on their day. However, they still seem to have too many off days and had another one midweek, crashing out of the League Cup to Norwich.
Wigan played really well last week easily dispatching of West Ham 2-1. But the Latics are an enigma; they’ll play fantastically well one week and then be just as spectacularly horrible the next week. You just never know which Wigan will turn up.
Either way I expect Spurs to comfortably take this one.
West Ham v Man City
West Ham has started the season ok, but was easily beaten last week at Wigan. A home game against the Champion does not seem like the ideal match to bounce back to winning ways, but this could be the best time to play Man City.
The Champions are not playing well, and have a “must win” Champions League game against Ajax midweek, meaning they may rest a few of their stars.
City are really struggling to find the form that brought them their first EPL title last season, and I think this will be another tough game for them. I thought they would turn the corner against Swansea, but they just about managed to win that one, and their defense continues to look weak.
I think Man City will probably rest players for Tuesday’s Champions league game, and it will end up costing them.
Liverpool v Newcastle
This game has produced some high scoring classics over the years, but with the Liverpool finding it hard to score goals don’t count on this game be another one.
The reds have played well this season, but without an attacking threat it means nothing. They only have one senior striker in their squad, Luis Suarez, and if he doesn’t score it is hard to see where a goal will come from.
Newcastle is a far more polished unit than liverpool, and have carried on from where they left off last season. Striker Demba Ba is a worry with a shin injury, but even without him the Magpies still carry a real attacking threat.
However, I think Liverpool are due a win and will just edge this one.
|Man Utd v Arsenal||3-2|
|Fulham v Everton||2-1|
|Norwich v Stoke||1-0|
|Sunderland v Aston Villa||2-0|
|Swansea v Chelsea||0-1|
|Tottenham v Wigan||3-0|
|West Ham v Man City||1-0|
|QPR v Reading||1-0|
|Liverpool v Newcastle||1-0|
|West Brom v Southampton||3-1|