This post is being brought to you this week from Chi-Town where I’m planning on seeing the non-round football as attempted by the Bears against the Lions. My dedication to the cause is so great that even on vacation I’m posting a weekly kick-off summary.
This week’s predictions see a lot of similar picks so I expect the winner this week to be a lucky exact thrown in.
There are a few of interesting items to point out from the picks this week. There is a seemingly unanimous belief that a Jose Mourinho led team will keep a clean sheet. Personally, I put that down more to the fact that they are playing at home where goals are hard to come by for the visitors or just the fact that the visitors are Newcastle. The other is that Liverpool are a consensus attacking team and goals should be expected. I haven’t checked to see if Jordan Henderson is playing to prevent that from happening so it’s probably not a bad prediction. Burnley are a unanimous home win pick which is remarkable when you consider their home form last year.
I would also point out that everyone picked Citeh again this week but that hardly seems interesting anymore.
Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur
Probably the game of the week is the North London Derby. Until recently there was a 15 year pattern that was religiously followed by the Arsenal.
- Arsenal need to buy players to win the League
- Arsene buys a player and sells more
- Everyone calls for Wenger to be fired
- Arsenal finish fourth.
There was also a pattern at spurs.
- Don’t win anything
Things look like they may be turning a corner with Arsenal continuing their slight slide and Spurs looking more and more like contenders for a trophy; however, I would not be surprise to see a Spurs team without a trophy and Arsenal 4th come season’s end.
I expect an open game that will ultimately end in a tie. Robbie Savage noted earlier this week that Spurs need a fall back from Harry Kane – someone who can score and attach when the main man is out hurt. Erickson is a play-maker but is not a domestic league goalscorer. I know Zidane doesn’t really rate Gareth too much so maybe a signing in the transfer window will happen.
Meanwhile, a draw seems a fair result.
Bournemouth vs Huddersfield Town
The first few games saw the Cherries really struggling to put together a solid game but they have turned the corner. Huddersfield have been doing well but they are struggling for goals despite their decent form so I expect this to be the part of the season where the new boys start to struggle now that they’ve been watched and dissected by the better managers. Eddie Howe will bring a prepared team and they will comfortable sit on a two goal lead for most of the game before keeping it interesting at the end.
Brighton & Hove Albion vs Stoke City
Probably the toughest game of the week to get a handle on. Shaquiri (not to be confused with Shakira or Harry Enfield) has been playing well. Stoke have put together a few results when Mark Hughes was starting to look in danger….and Brighton have been over-achieving. Scrappy draw and another interview with Chris Hughton where he lauds his team’s efforts and says they plan to stay up.
Burnley vs Swansea City
Burnley have been playing well but things are a little testy at the training ground with Sean having to consistently deny rumours that he’s the favorite to take over at Everton. It will still be a home win as I see Swansea being the team that will continue to struggle.
Crystal Palace vs Everton
Woy’s Boys are playing the bad team from Merseyside. Neither team is particularly good but Everton managed to beat Watford last week (sigh) and Palace look a little better with Zaha (the baby giraffe) David Unsworth is a tough nut who seems to be managing the Toffeemen right now with a laundry list of replacements being lined up. The list is so long and so populated with currently employed managers, at this point I don’t know if pulling Peter Reid out of retirement isn’t an option.
I always think teams “show up” for temporary manages so a shock away win wouldn’t be a surprise but the small stadium and nutty fans will keep this to a draw.
Leicester City vs Manchester City
I’m not picking against Pep again this year.
Liverpool vs Southampton
The good team from Liverpool plays a defensive free football but this won’t matter as they will spend ninety minutes camped in the opposition half. VVD wants to join Liverpool so I doubt we’ll see much of an effort from him.
Manchester United vs Newcastle United
Mourinho likes to keep a clean sheet more than he likes his team to score. I expect a cagey (boring) match which will see two very late goals from the substitute (whether that be Martial or Rashford) and then an endless discussion where Zlatan fits into things.
Watford vs West Ham United
With all the negative talk at West Ham and all the postive talk at Watford it would probably come as a surprise to people that over the last 5 weeks West Ham have more points than Watford. I expect the new boss to get a new resurgent team spirit and for it to be a solid away performance. I also think that trigger happy Watford may take the 10 million offered by Everton for their manager. Watford seem to believe that the team come before the manager.
West Bromwich Albion vs Chelsea
Lose to Citeh and you get written off. Beat United and you become overrated. There’s the summary for Chelsea. West Brom will play for a draw and fail to keep a clean sheet.
This was hacked together quickly so probably full of errors. I will try and do better next week…. do better in making up an excuse, that is.