Round 18 – English Premier League

This week as the results from last week showed the following results.

Me 10 pts  5 correct, 2 perfect
Dad 10 pts 5 correct, 2 perfect
Mum 6 pts 2 correct, 2 perfect
Brother 5 pts 3 correct, 1 perfect
Nephew 3 pts 1 correct, 1 perfect

Bit of controversy here though as I had an error in transcribing the results form my spreadsheet to the blog post.  I actually picked Swansea vs West Ham as a 1-1 draw so technically:

Me 11 pts  6 correct, 2 perfect
Dad 10 pts 5 correct, 2 perfect
Mum 6 pts 2 correct, 2 perfect
Brother 5 pts 3 correct, 1 perfect
Nephew 3 pts 1 correct, 1 perfect

In the interest of fairness I will keep that tally in my personal sheet but call this week a draw!  I’m actually quite impressed that the selections were as accurate as they were this week because the games seemed particularly tough with the balance of teams on and off form playing with opposing home/away advantage.  The good news is that I picked against Liverpool and Liverpool still lost.  Not only did they lose, they lost terribly and even Klopp thought about blaming things on what he had inherited from Mr Rodgers.

Who was More Influential Last Weekend?

The most shocking thing so far this year is probably Leicester being top of the table.  Perhaps the second most shocking thing this year is Jose Mourinho being sacked from Chelsea.  Not so far after that must be that Watford are 1 point away from Champions League places.  I can see Barcelona now in fear of having to book planes into East Midlands and Luton airport respectively!

Anyway, time for the picks:

Stoke 0 1 Manchester United
Aston Villa 1 1 West Ham
Bournemouth 1 1 Crystal Palace
Chelsea 2 0 Watford
Liverpool 1 1 Leicester
Manchester City 1 0 Sunderland
Swansea 1 0 West Brom
Tottenham 2 1 Norwich
Newcastle 1 1 Everton
Southampton 1 2 Arsenal

Stoke like to keep clean sheets and Trafford United don’t like to  pass the ball forward and I simply don’t see them scoring.  Over the course of 90 minutes, however, there is a small chance that someone from Stoke could put the ball in the net up at the wrong end to prevent a 7 game winless streak.  Manchester haven’t been this bad since Ron Atkinson was is in charge.  Question that everyone is asking though, is who will replace LVG?  I’m sure Giggsy is hoping its someone who sees him with a role – seems Pep or Mourinho would bring in their own assistants.  It is fun though to see a team with no direction on the field because they spent all their effort directing money into their accounts struggling.

Aston Villa need 10 wins apparently to have a chance of staying up according to their manager.   I’m not sure that he looked at the table and noticed that one game shy of half way through the season they have 1 victory.  They seem intent on trying to climb off the bottom one point at a time.  West Ham also like the single point so it’s hard to pick a winner.  So I won’t.

Bournemouth have been on a decent run beating teams that sound like they are top of the table, but aren’t.  After defeating Trafford United, Chelski, you would think they’d be Palace at home but Pardew somehow has the football club that he represents playing well and getting results even away from home.  I’m going to guess that Zaha uses all 8ft of his legs to accidentally leave it dangling around in the box so he can take a penalty-winning stumble.  I’m not saying he’s a cheat but he looks less stable than one excitable giraffe

Chelsea will turn the season around now that the Chosen one has left, right?  They must do.  One of the few wins Chelski managed in the first half was when Watford played ultra-defensively (a la Chelski parking the bus style) against the team that perfected the art of parking the bus.  This time out Dr House will be chasing lost causes for three quarters of the game before the Blues counter on the break and finish off the Hornets and moving them slightly close to Liverpool in the table.

Liverpool need a win after being thrashed and destroyed by the Moose last week. Leicester are not the team that have been giving others that opportunity especially with Vardy going up against Lovren (unless Klopp likes Kolo).  Another draw pick seems fair.

Manchester City didn’t look good in the week against Arsenal according to my sources; however, YaYa turned it on late in the game and Citeh have to live in the hope that one day he will actually play that way for some of the first 80 minutes.  It shouldn’t matter as Sunderland aren’t going to score anyway – a scuffed Sterling shot ought to be enough.

Swansea can’t win; however, last week the Bromwich had a player go all Roy Keane on the opposition which suggests that there is some dressing room acrimony going on.  Berahino will start but all he wants to do is impress suitors.  Pulis has done a bang up job of motivation by stating that this year he’s been garbage.  Time for the Welsh to beat the English again.

Spurs like to draw but this week they’re at home playing Norwich who like to give up goals.  it’s close only because Spuds like to dominate and never actually close out a game.  They do need another striker so maybe they’ll go after the disappointing Berahino.

Newcastle are appearing to be doing better.  Everton are consistently looking like they are doing better.  Neither are really doing well so another draw is the correct pick today.  Perez is one of the most overrated players in the league and it’s a sign of desperation that LVG and Trafford United are looking at him as a January signing.  Will be a huge coup if McClaren can get a pretty penny for him.

Southampton are at home.  Arsenal are away.   Two facts too many there.  Arsenal win.

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