It has been a while since the last pick – something to do with International fixtures and qualification for a tournament still 2 years off. Some interesting results – Northern Ireland 2-0 winners over Greece was a surprise despite how poor Greece have been in recent years; Germany earning a hard earned draw against the Republic of Ireland perhaps was a big tournament hang-over. But perhaps the big shock of the period was Joe Hart winning man of the match against San Marino ? Or LVG proving how valuable he is through absence as Iceland scored a 2-0 victory over the orange people.
|Manchester City||4-1||Tottenham Hotspurts|
|Newcastle United||2-1||Leicester City|
If the premier league operated on a multi-year multi-legged system then Spurs would be heading into leg 3 needing to play catch up to the tune of 11 goals (I think – I lost count because I had shoes on). I do think Spurs will get better despite reading that Pochettino hasn’t turned things around yet . I’m not sure what ESPN’s Adrian Melville is thinking but given that he originally called him Pochetinetto, I don’t think it matters.
Won’t be as easy this week as Man City are going to rest YaYa and we know he more or less picks up the team and carries them to a title with occasional help from Kompany, Silva, and Aguero. Without his heavy lifting they will find it hard to score 5 goals but they will manage 4. A clean sheet will be broken by Adebayor who will run down the other to his adoring Spurs fans despite there still being a 3 goal deficit.
Newcastle fans are waiting for their first win. Alan Pardew is waiting for his first redundancy check. It won’t happen as Newcastle once again come to the rescue of their manager in dire straits. Papiss Cisse will add to his tally – maybe he’s back on track?
I thought Southampton were good and then they fail to get a result against the Spuds? But then Sunderland are boring and will try and bore us all to tears with another draw. I’m sure that Sunderland are a mandatory score draw pools pick but this week the Saints will rise to the occasion and score a couple of quick goals and sit back and laugh at the effort of a team who needs to, but doesn’t know how to score try and score. Bit like this guy.
Everton are about a teens worth of places this year where they were last year and people are starting to doubt the tactical brain of Roberto Martinez. Perhaps the bar was set too high this year for Everton but they are currently limboing well under the half-way table. Time to pick it up, time to keep possession, time to realize that Lukaku is a beast who just needs to be fed the ball the way David Moyes to get his team to play the ball… knock it into the box, put it in the net. Besides, Villa were my pick to go down, time for them to prove me right by not showing up again.
Chelsea area a team I hate. Diego Costa is a player I despise (he’s good on a team I hate). The game will be a bland 0-0 a the half. After 70 minutes Jim Beglin (or whoever is commentating) will utter the words – “Chelsea, have shut down and look like they are settling for a point”… then Diego will score a quick goal, setup another for Hazard, and then Crystal Palace will just decide to kick out at someone in the box and give a penalty.
West Ham have changed for the better due to the classy management of Sam Allardyce… or just because they’ve played some better games. Meanwhile, Burnley have a grand total of 2 points which puts them in danger of being early relegation favorites. Those 2 points include a last minute draw against Leicester so it’s not looking good. But Burnley will not go down without a fight and will play like Alan Pardew’s job is on the line.
Not sure who’s playing for Arsenal (Ozil is out, Ramsay is out) but I do know who they are playing and they’re a team I have over-estimated for a couple of years. So, at home? I have to go with the Arse, I wouldn’t want to play with the Arse at home? Would you?
|Stoke City||2-2||Swansea City|
Livi wants me to pick QPR because he thinks that I can remotely influence the results through the massive anti-Liverpool bias of this blog. I can’t do that but I can pick a draw because once again Sturridge is out and it’s hard to see where goals are coming from. I don’t see QPR scoring so it seems only a scoreless draw will do. If Rodgers can figure out how to play with Balotelli, thinkgs may be different but it’s not clear that will get worked out. Balotelli is working hard but lacks the clever movement that a team trying to pass the ball into a net needs.. if he moves over to the slow lane and lets Sterling pass him on the inside they may sneak a goal.
Stoke are a decent team but I want to underrate them. Swansea are an average team but I want to pretend they still play the football that Laudrup instituted. Technically, Stoke are favorites to win but I like Swansea to hang on and steal an away point. Why? Because I think that Mark Hughes has been safe far too long – I prefer him when he’s like Alan Pardew – fighting for his job, underachieving (or overachieving if you believe he shouldn’t have a job in the Premier League).
|West Bromwich||2-2*||Manchester United|
The fans from London are starting to chant and support their team and the trip to Birmingham is half of their normal journey so they should be energized and ready to be singing when they’re winning. Manchester United are kind of like a boy who wets his bed (can’t keep clean sheets) but it’s hard to pick against them when they have a lot of class moving forward. For the more artsy-fartsy of you, I was going to say that Manchester United were like multiple Saatchi exhibits of Traci Emins work (I apologize for this).