Another December week and some interesting notes taken away from the mid week.
Firstly, I need to quit picking against West Ham – maybe they really aren’t relegation fodder? Secondly, I need to quit picking against Aston Villa … nah, this week was an anomaly against a more mediocre team. Liverpool maybe turning the corner? Everton still going in a straight line? Spurs showing up at the weekend before disappearing again.
Perhaps most gratifying to my prognostication ego; a poor start to the winter for Southampton – losses to Arsenal and Citeh – and it’s not looking to get easier any time soon; a Manchester United team shaking off it’s early season stuttering. Let’s see if the form holds!
|Tottenham Hotspur||1-0||Crystal Palace|
|Hull City||2-2||West Brom|
|Queens Park Ranger||1-1||Burnley|
Alan Pardew, latest bookmakers favorite for Manager of the Year, stays at home to take on the current undefeated top of the tablers, Chelski. According to the “Chosen One”, Newcastle play a lot of games like friendlies; however, they make an effort to try against his team which is the burden of being the best. It’s not often the Jose throws compliments around so I think a back-handed one is better than nothing. It does perhaps indicate a certain wariness about the trip up North.
Pardew says that it will be impossible for Chelsea to remain undefeated this year. I don’t disagree but I am not sure that the Magpies have what it takes to take a victory.
Spurs beat Everton last week and Soldado scored! No doubt somewhere a very lucky punter won a bet on that gamble! Then they got trounced by Chelsea. So which Spuds will show up this week? Winners or Losers? It’s hard to say but the result is probably more dependent on the play of the Eagles. It’s hard to be positive about a team that lost to Aston Vill, so Spurs it is. Barely.
Arsenal are a good team that have had poor form. Alexis and Danny Welbeck are beginning to work well together. Giroud scored a cracker against Manchester United so it’s easy to think they’re prime to have a positive winter. It will be tough but despite people’s opinions on the frailties of Arsenal’s defense, Mertesacker is a World Cup winner and Chambers is not too bad. While it took a last ditch effort against 10 to beat Southampton, they beat Southampton.
Liverpool are another team destined to eventually get going. It’s shocking to look at the table and see them in the top 10 but they are there and I think are definitely priming for a run back to the top 5. A tough Sunderland team will keep it tight.
Hull and West Bromwich are two teams. Two teams two goals each in a tie. Sounds fair but not a good result for either as they are both lower in the table than they would want to be at this stage of the season.
Queens Park Rangers are in the position they’re likely to occupy for a long time: bottom three. Burnley are in the position they’re likely to occupy for a long time: bottom three. Burnley have been playing fairly well and have started finding the net again (it’s right there between those posts!) so it’s a good chance to try and make a gap between them and their fellow relegation candidates. It’s one of those days that fate interrupts and reminds them that both of them deserve to be near the bottom and forces a last gasp equalizer from QPR.
Everton have been disappointing this year and it’s hard to see where things will change. I predicted a big year for Lukaku but it doesn’t seem that he’s able to be the constant threat that you need a goalscorer to be. He’s a slightly less complete Welbeck which isn’t something that you’d try and build a future on. Manchester City have been finding ways to win. YaYa and Sergio are both a constant threat to score and that’s the difference between the teams. Both of them will make good on at least one threat each.
|West Ham||2-1||Swansea City|
|Aston Villa||1-1||Leicester City|
West Ham will win. I’m now convinced that this is not just a fluke – they keep winning! The Swans are just not as consistent and this week is a down week.
A derby game of sorts. A clash between the team at the bottom of the table and the team that I think might end up near the bottom of the table. It’s not going to be long before Lambert is going to start feeling the pressure. It’s now nine games without a win for the Foxes – a run that Villa snapped against Crystal Palace on Tuesday night. In this game there are no winners.
Southampton can’t lose three in a row, can they? Why yes they can, and they will. Manchester United will play their famous 2-4-2-1 formation and outscore the Saints in a back and forth dual (in case you’re wondering, I only count the three defenders as 2/3 of a player each).
And in the holiday spirit… a kind of “who will they sell next?”