After picking a respectable 6 of 10 winners last week I guess we can still work on improving that! We did get the Everton victory right and the form of West Brom was no surprise, I predicted at least a draw, but the 3-0 was beyond even my expectations! At least now we have a bit of form to go off, what’s going to happen this weekend?
Swansea v West Ham
Swansea was the talk of the round with their fluid attacking style but in truth they scored most of their 5 goals on the counter while QPR were up chasing a comeback. West Ham was resolute at home easily keeping out a disappointing Villa while sneaking one in themselves. I can’t really see West Ham scoring this week but I think they will throw everybody back and make life hard for Swansea. I reckon it may be a 2-0 to Swansea in the end with Graham bagging a brace in a game more suited to his style than last week’s. Obviously our new star Michu will somehow be involved! But it will be tough grind all day for the swans.
Aston Villa v Everton
As just mentioned Villa didn’t fire a shot at Upton Park last week in a devastating performance for fantasy managers. After all the talk about an attacking flair being added to their game its obvious it will take time to happen. Everton for once sprang out of the blocks and beat a depleted Manchester United. The score line didn’t do them justice at all, they could have won by 2 or more goals in the end, as I said last week they have the best list I have seen from them in many years, they look tight at the back and have some good assets going forward. This game is a hard one to predict, Everton will be tight away but I do fancy Villa to play better at home and fire a shot this week. I may go for the nasty 1-1 here with Bent getting on the score sheet and Pienaar involved at the other end.
Man U v Fulham
Man U crashed to defeat at Goodison but you can hardly blame them? they have injuries all over their defence and have at times 3rd choice players filling in there, either way though they looked toothless in attack with their only threats coming from set pieces. Fulham put in a 5 star performance at the cottage against what we must say was a mediocre opposition. But the passing and interplay between the midfield and forwards was a joy to watch. The big question, can they take that form away from home, to Old Trafford to be precise and get a result? Or will they sit back? I’m having a little trouble picking this result, A lot depends on if Man U can get any players back. My every instinct says Man U come back and win this… they always do, but Fulham are in awesome form, which way will it go? I can’t see Manchester’s defence holding out Fulham all game, but I do think they will win this 3-1. I think Rooney will grab the goals and the plaudits but the likes of Valencia (if on a wing), Kawaga and co will be in the points. However Ferguson did say they aimed to play through RVP more this time, so is he our man? Petric may continue his amazing run with a goal for the cottagers.
Norwich v QPR
This match is already looming as the who cares cup with the two sides that shipped 5 goals against each other. Can either of them turn it around quickly? QPR surely have more quality but are usually horrible away, Norwich are normally OK at home but still concede goals, even though both sides failed to score last game you would have to imagine there are goals in this. Do we go for 1-1 with both sides eager to tighten up at the back? Frankly they were both a rabble at the back last week.Or 2-2 with an all-out attacking open game? I’m slightly leaning towards a 2-1 or 2-2 type of score line. I feel Hoilett could be in the points as well as Snodgrass, Holt and Cisse, but who can pick it, really?
Southampton v Wigan
Southampton get their first home match after showing great fight against City. They came out with a defensive line up but really hit their straps once their attackers came on and look to have the pace on the counter to really trouble some sides. Wigan were much better than the score line suggests against Chelsea. Moses was a constant menace all day long. In another difficult game to call you would think this would be a fairly tight encounter, Lambert will start this time around and has already shown he knows how to score in the premier league. I think Southampton might sneak this one 1-0 courtesy of Lambert. But I have no conviction on this result.
Sunderland v Reading
Sunderland rode their luck a little bit at the Emirates but kept a clean sheet with a well organised defence. They were totally toothless in attack as they have been all pre-season. Reading were unlucky not to keep a clean sheet after a keeper howler but again don’t look to have a whole lot of options going forward. In this fixture I again see O’Neill’s organised defence shutting out Reading for a second clean sheet but their attack may be able to snatch a goal through McClean. 1-0 to the black cats! I should mention that while not scoring a lot of late they have acquired Saha and Fletcher which could change things; I just want to wait and see how they fit in first.
Tottenham v West Brom
Spurs get back to white hart lane after a disappointing trip to Newcastle; AVB went with a defensive looking line up possibly after criticisms of his leaky tenure at Chelsea. West Brom were ultra-impressive against Liverpool and now are 6 games unbeaten in the pre-season and start of the prem-season. While being known as a team sound at the back the likes of Long, Gera and Odemwinge give them a really good attacking edge. In this fixture I have to tip Spurs to get over the line 2-0. As good as West Brom have been I just think spurs will have too many attacking options at home and West Brom will try and and sit back which will stifle their own attacking flair. I’m tipping VDV and Bale and recently signed Adebeyor to be amongst the points (if plays) Although I feel Ade brings out more points in Bale generally.
Chelsea v Newcastle
Chelsea while bagging 6 points were far from flying against Wigan and Reading, They look fragile at the back particulaly when Luiz plays. But in Attack Hazard has hit the ground running and no one has yet been able to deal with his pace and ball skills. Newcastle ground out a win at St James’s with a very similar squad and style to last year so we can only assume they will be as good as last year i guess. Ordinarily I would tip this game to the home team but over the years i have seen Newcastle beat Chelsea too many times for it to be an anomolie, I seriously think Newcastle are Chelseas bogey team. With Chelseas fragility at the back I think Ba or Cisse will score so it will require Chelsea to score 2 to win. Newcastle will have played 2 days before this match in Europe so may be heavy legged, thats the only hope I have for a Chelsea win here. My head says 1-1, My heart says 2-1. Either way Get on Hazard for some assists! (and maybe Lampard to knock in the pens for him).
Stoke v Arsenal
Stoke were typically dour last week against Reading while Arsenal were all over the Sunderland goal without getting one in. It will take a little while for all the new blood to click but once it does, look out! For mine this game has draw written all over it, Arsenal have never fancied playing stoke, their robust style riles Wenger no end! They poke and prod the ball around while stoke fly in with studs out. I’m calling this game another 1-1 with Walters and Podolski on the score sheet from penalties in a spiteful type game. But Santi looks an awesome prospect when the fixture list softens as little, he’s in everything!
Liverpool v City
Poor old Liverpool, after their first up mare they have to face the might of City second up. I’ll start by saying Suarez is a frustration waiting to happen. He will get into positions all day long but can’t hit the side of a barn door with a banjo! I can’t imagine the deflation caused to the Liverpool side when they work so hard to get him the ball for him to sky it into row z. They were a touch unlucky to go a man down vs West Brom so the score line maybe looks worse than it could have. City had a scare against Southampton before easing over the line late. They were stung by the loss of Aguero and had to re-adjust. You would assume Liverpool will be tighter in front of the Kop but City can generally travel anywhere and score, Liverpool have a propensity to do well against good sides and drop points to rabble but I still think City can take this one away 1-2. Tevez and Nasri amongst the points and Gerrard to score for Pool’
*all predictions are my own and probably won’t happen.
So thats about how i see the round unfolding, have i made any howlers? Let me know in the comments. Look out for seags team news tommorrow and a new article called seags betting bonanza!
Good luck this round!