Round 1 preview
Its Finally here!!! We have been waiting for what seems like an eternity but round 1 is at last upon us. Each Friday we will take a look at the upcoming fixtures to analyse how we think the match up will go, and if any players will stand out FPL style, so lets get to it!
Arsenal v Sunderland
Fairly straight forward fixture here at the Emirates it seems. Arsenal have been under the radar a bit, They have had an unsettled pre-season with a lot of new blood either working their way in or away on Euro/Olympics duty. Sunderland have been fairly good at the back but couldn’t score in a brothel at the moment! I’m tipping Arsenal for a regulation 3-0 here but who prospers in FPL? Obviously the clean sheet works for Arsenal; I reckon Koscielny is one of the bargains of the game this year. In attack I’m tipping Walcott to be amongst the points (he usually smashes up the weaker teams like a flat track bully) and possibly Podolski if a penalty is called. Of course there is a lot of new blood so it’s all still a bit speculative.
Fulham v Norwich
Fulham have had a great preseason, they have been scoring freely and have been tight at the back. They welcome Norwich to the cottage, a team who has been underwhelming this past few weeks after a decent start to the pre-season. They have found scoring hard of late. Again I’d confidently tip Fulham at home to cruise to a 2-0 victory, with Petric, Ruiz and co amongst the points, and popular pick Hangeland one of the defenders to prosper back there.
QPR v Swansea
Both these sides have had no trouble scoring goals this pre-season. Swansea have been loose at the back while QPR have been a bit more solid. I actually think it may be a high scoring draw, maybe a 2-2 but QPR could easily snatch it in front of the Loftus road fans. Obviously I’m not backing any defenders here but think the likes of Cisse, Hoilett, Graham and Michu could be rolling in the points. Cisse could burst out of the blocks here and be a genuine captain choice.
Reading v Stoke
Hard game to call this one, Stoke are generally tighter at home than they are away and Reading have been OK in pre-season without really being any better than that. My mind tells me that the promoted teams can often get a win first up and this fixture is definitely one The Royals can win but it won’t be easy against the robust Stoke game style. I reckon this may be the old fantasy nightmare score of 1-1, who scrounges the points is anyone’s guess! I have a hunch Walters will l somehow be involved.
West Brom v Liverpool
I spoke before about Arsenal being under the radar well I reckon West Brom have been the same. They are unbeaten in 5 pre-season games and have looked quite good under known defensive manager Steve Clarke. Liverpool have ‘just’ been going under the new gaffer but have been winning all the same. I’m tipping this one to be a 0-0 stalemate, with Foster being the big beneficiary between the sticks. I reckon Liverpool (Suarez) will pepper the goals for no result with foster getting save points and bp’s.
West Ham v Aston Villa
For mine West ham, have been poor in pre-season and known defensive manager Big Sam must be tearing his hair out at the amount of goals being shipped. Aston Villa are flourishing under an attack minded manager and have finally clicked into gear of late. In another tough game to call I reckon Villa can snatch this 1-2 with Bent the main scorer although Holman will be a loss if missing, his work rate helps feed the forward.
Newcastle v Tottenham
Both Newcastle and Tottenham have not been flying pre-season by any stretch, in fact Newcastle have only kept one clean sheet the entire time. Tottenham under new manager AVB have been tighter then when he was boss of Chelsea so perhaps he has learnt a lesson or two about things in the premier league. I do think this game has goals in it, possibly a 2-1 away win to spurs. I just think the attacking talents of VDV, Sigurdsson, Bale and co will be too much for a stuttering toon defence at this stage… But Toon will score, it’s hard to deny Ba and Cisse all game, one of them will have a moment of brilliance.
Wigan v Chelsea
Wigan have been shipping goals left right and centre during pre-season and I think they will ship a few more against Chelsea. Chelsea have been by no means resolute themselves and have been in shaky form but I just think they will have too much attacking flair when need be. Chelsea will huff and puff and eventually blow the door down in the second half. 1-2 to Chelsea although 1-1 would not surprise me at all! I think if Chelsea does score 1 or 2, Torres will somehow be involved and Ramires may be the set-up man. While for the home team I can’t shake the feeling they will score from the spot. Gomez the man there?
Man City v Southampton
Could be a cricket score here, City are already flying showing a great attacking edge while Southampton have been just OK. Unfortunately OK won’t cut it against this mob. Although it’s scary to think about it could easily be a 4-0 score line, I Expect a clean sheet and attacking points to any one of Aguero, Tevez and Nasri. Even the wingbacks could be a good shout, with defensive points and some assists maybe? I’m jumping on Zabaleta now that Richards is injured but you can take your pick!
Everton v Man United
Man United travel Mersey side to take on the Toffees in a game I could easily see the home team snatching. United have been injury depleted at the back and disjointed going forward thus far while Everton have the best squad right now they have had in years. Actually I may be wrong but I also think Rooney has a poor record against his old side? Anyhow my mind tells me Everton could snatch this game 2-0 with Pienaar involved in both goals but it Could easily be 2-1, United have too much talent for them not to sneak a goal.
Chelsea v Reading
In the second game for these two I sense one of those cagey games where Chelsea probe and plot but get nowhere for a half, the crowd gets restless as Reading sit back soaking up the pressure. It may be one of those games where the pressure is released by a goal then another comes to make the score respectable 2-0 to Chelsea, but they will be awfully lucky that their fixture list started so kindly. If Torres scores in game one… He will again but if he doesn’t… the head will drop and thousands of players will be selling off by this point! I reckon this may be the time that Mata starts to kick in.
As I said earlier its only speculation at this stage trying to guess who will win an why but we have to start somewhere! If you have any strong predictions either way tell us in the comments, we would love to hear them! Keep an eye out for seags team news tomorrow and we will tie up the loose ends before kickoff. Good luck for round one and the year ahead.