Round 11 – Premier League Picks

Another tough prediction week.  Will Jose turn around a disappointing start to the season (though almost 1/3 of the way in it’s more than a “start”) that includes a mid-weak loss to Stoke in the Coca-Cola Capital Milk Rumbelows Cup?  I know that it’s a low priority tournament these days but Jose once counted the Charity Shield as a trophy so we know he wants to win it.  Meanwhile the same question can be asked of Klopp at the Kop.  Will he turn things around?

It has been predicted that Jose will employ a brand new defensive strategy.

Park the Bus
10/31/2015 Chelsea 1 1 Liverpool
10/31/2015 Crystal Palace 2 1 Manchester United
10/31/2015 Manchester City 2 0 Norwich
10/31/2015 Newcastle 2 1 Stoke
10/31/2015 Swansea 1 2 Arsenal
10/31/2015 Watford 2 1 West Ham
10/31/2015 West Brom 1 1 Leicester
11/1/2015 Everton 2 0 Sunderland
11/1/2015 Southampton 1 0 Bournemouth
11/2/2015 Tottenham 3 0 Aston Villa

Manchester United have been woeful but winning.  Crystal Palace has Zaha who just wins penalties.  Martial will score again and the commentators will rave about his aplomb and ice-water veins but they will struggle for superlatives when Zaha throws himself on to the ground on the edge of the area to earn a late game-winning penalty.  In other words, Manchester will pound Crystal Palace into submission with a Mata tour-de-force display….. they can’t be worse than last weekend.

Manchester City failed to score against their near-city rivals and are still missing key players.  Not quite sure how their best option is Bony but it’s going to be good enough against Norwich who are on the skids.  Of course Pellegrino may choose to go with Iheanacho who might continue his mid-week form and bang in a goal.

Newcastle lost 3-0 to Sunderland but it was really just one of those days where everything went wrong.   The plan this week can’t be the same dominate-get-man-sent-off-and-collapse.  Meanwhile Stoke lost to the buzzing Hornest but who are playing away.  A tight cagey affair that will leave some of Tyneside happy for a change.

This is one of those years where you look at Arsenal’s squad and  you think they could potentially win every game … that they don’t start Theo.  With Giroud up front they have a big body that complement Sanchez.  Given that some players haven’t really showed up yet (Aaron Ramsey where are you?) it’s looking like a good year for Arsene.  Of course, sooner or later Alexis will need a rest and those games will be a struggle for the rest of the team.

I’ve picked against my team too much this year.  My team that is doing better than expected and Ighalo is proving himself a real quality player: his goal scoring is obviously critical but it’s his holding play and strength on the ball that has been pleasantly surprising.  Andy Carroll might score with a header if the carrots are available.

I still love West Brom despite the fact that Tony is supposed to be the boring manager who has a reputation for defensive play.  I think there’s a difference between defensive play and defensive organization and commitment which is the Tony way.  Leicester have been on fire and it’s hard to see Vardy not scoring again . I don’t know if Claudio is making the difference this year or whether it’s just their established team continuing the form of last year.  Should be an exciting classic.

Roberto Martinez is getting dangerously close to putting a mediocre team on the field week after week.  I don’t know where his dynamic tactics disappeared to but there’s no longer a quick transition from the “wing back” and the style is a more traditional through the middle approach with Ross Barclay.  Time to let Deulefeo  start whipping in the ball for Lukako and get some goals.

Southampton are struggling a little, unsurprisingly given their talent exodus in recent years, but they are playing at home against a recently humiliated team that has some critical players missing.  It’s hard to see them not winning.

It would have been nice to see tactics Tim managing against his old team but the money-gods had other ideas and shipped him away.  It was too much too soon for Tim and really it was brave to even consider a position at a team that is still reliant on an aging player with dodgy knees that isn’t ever going to be the player he was at 20.  Gaby just doesn’t cut it anymore.  Harry Kane on a roll.. so a natural hattrick it is … left,  right, head.  Easy.


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