Week of December 26, 2014 – Premier League Picks (Boxing Day Edition)

Santa has been and gone and has gifted us with a ridiculous schedule of games once again – two games in three days!  For some, this will be a six-point end of year boon, and for others, a calamitous six-points drops.  Everyone sees the New Year as a new beginning and a new opportunity but for those that slide out of 2014 will likely whimper into 2015.  Am I saying that this week is important? Damn straight.

So I am going all out for the Scousers during this period because they believe that Santa might be a closet Liverpool fan (look at all the red he wears) and they have a good chance to redeem the year.

All I Want For Christmas (Img Source: GreatNorth)

Looks like Brendan is still looking to tweak his team with some new signings – sounds good but with a list of names like Mario Balotelli and Joe Allen he hasn’t been the transfer wizard.

Meanwhile, further South, it still looks like Arse-ne is happy with his lot.  New striker? New defender? No.  He is happy with the team.


All I Want For Christmas (Src: Mirror)

So here we go… just the boxing day games to start.

26-Dec-14  
Chelsea2-0West Ham United
Sunderland1-0Hull City
West Bromwich Albion1-3Manchester City
Manchester United1-1Newcastle United
Swansea City1-0Aston Villa
Crystal Palace1-1Southampton
Burnley 1-2Liverpool
Everton 2-0Stoke City
Leicester1-2Tottenham Hotspur
Arsenal 2-1QPR

Chelsea, top of the table.  West Ham are (checks table again) 4th.  Wow, maybe it’s time we looked at things afresh and realized that West Ham aren’t a bad team even if they aren’t Chelsea.  Call it wishful thinking, but what should be a 2-0 victory for the home team but I am really hoping for a crazy end to the year and what could be more crazy than West Ham winning at the Bridge?  Please Santa, now that you’re done with Christmas spend some time plotting the Chelsea downfall.

Sunderland are not looking special and appear to have set their sites on amassing the greatest number of draws in a season but (10 in 17) but Hull have slowly been in a free fall to the bottom of the table and it’s hard to see much changing for them except in their management.  Steve Agnew, the assistant, left the sinking ship in the week.  Will Bruce follow soon?  I don’t know but I think he’s an Alan Pardew Project candidate.

West Brom let me down last week.  Going up 2-0 quickly I regretted my 2-2 pick until they rolled over and let QPR in to make it a perfect 2-2 result.  Little did I know they hadn’t finished capitulating and would lose.   Man City are on a positive run and Silva (the little engine that could) is making all the difference.   Another win keeping the pressure on the top boys.

Aston Villa has performed absolute magic this year managing to accumulate 20 points from just 11 goals.  That’s making something out of almost nothing.  This clearly indicates that Aston Villa has a decent defensive posture and Ron Vlaar should soon be recognized for his efforts this year. T he Swans won away from home last week (albeit against Hull) and Aston Villa required a moment of magic to get a draw against Manchester United…  magic tends to be a one-off so Swansea will win.

Getting to the end of the winter for Southampton and they still find themselves in 5th spot.  An away point against Crystal Palace might not be the greatest results but it keeps them in the European spots.

Liverpool will turn it around.  Liverpool will turn it around.  Liverpool will turn it around.  Liverpool will turn it around.  Maybe.

If Roberto Martinez takes the time to look around he will see that a disappointing Liverpool season still has them higher in the table.  This is not what he expected when he was spending time as an television personality over the summer.  It’s hard to see where the team is failing but they’re just playing plain average.  Goal difference of 0, middle of the table.  Average.  it’s time to start winning and a home game at the end of year, over a tough Stoke team, will be the perfect jump start into the New Year and Mr Martinez will be pushing his team to press hard.

“My Name is” Kane, Harry Kane…. seems to have been the catalyst that few saw coming. He’s unassuming in terms of speed, he’s the plain paper bag of wrapping paper, but he’s someone who knows where to be and when to be there and is banging in goals the same way Soldado used to.   I see Spurs riding his purple patch as far as they can… and it will be at least beyond a results against Leicester.

The London derby of a team that had a remarkable win (QPR over West Brom) and the team with the disappointing tie (2-2 with Liverpool). I believe that Liverpool has defined the blue print for playing Arsenal: high pressure, allowing little time, and closing down the space.   Liverpool played with a desire that had been largely missing this season and Arsenal found it hard to dominate a midfield without the comfort of time.  This will be the same game-plan that QPR will employ and it will cause problems for the Gooners until Alexis proves once more why he’s the best player on their team (when it’s not Cazorla).

Alan Pardew Project:

Despite Alan’s efforts to get back on the list after manager of the month for November… it’s time to recognize the new favorite for getting that ominous seal of approval from the directors.   Yes, it’s Brucey.

sb

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