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EPL Panel declares: Arsenal won’t beat United

EPL Panel declares: Arsenal won’t beat United
November 22
09:11 2014
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(A corruption of R. Kelly’s “The Storm is Over Now” is playing at the background. The moderator and the three soccer analysts are singing along)

The break is over

(The break is over now)

And I can see the Barclays

(Barclays Premier League)

I feel for Keshi, yeah

(Keshi is hanging on)

Come on and set him free, whoa…

Welcome to the Barclays Premier League (BPL) preview!

CHELSEA V WEST BROM

Aisha, your Chelsea have won just one of the last five BPL games against West Brom (W1 D2 L2). Do you see them dropping points against this relatively weaker opponent?

Aisha: Hmmm…Chelsea failed to win the league last season because they dropped points against teams like West Brom. The Blues are flying high at the moment and it’s hard to see West Brom getting anything out of this game. A home win for me. 3-0

Sunday: The top club in the BPL will look to continue their dominance with a straightforward win over Alan Irvine’s side. The Baggies form have hit a snag in recent weeks but are still capable of scoring with Saido Berahino leading their attack. So expect no clean sheet‎ for Jose Mourinho’s men with a comfortable win on the cards. 3-1

Kayode: Who can stop Chelsea’s unbeaten inspirational run? I doubt if West Brom can. Chelsea are on a high right now and Jose Mourinho wants everyone to know who is the biggest boy, almost running away with the League title, with a shocking eight points lead over Manchester City and only being kept in range by the unlikely Southampton just four points behind them. West Brom are no strangers to Chelsea and not easy meat either. Recall that Eden Hazards penalty saved Chelsea a loss last season in this corresponding fixture and the Blues know complacency will be punished plus a timely reminder last February as both drew. So it’s never easy for Chelsea against WBA. Key stars Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa will be deciding factors – Cesc with nine assists and Costa on ten goals. 3-1

EVERTON V WEST HAM

This is West Ham’s joint-best start to a BPL season in terms of points accrued (18), equalling their record in 2005-06 and 2012-13. Sunday, can they hold their own against Everton in Goodison Park?

Sunday: West Ham solidifies their worth as a good team by coming from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at Stoke, but Everton are a different kind of opposition. The Toffees are a formidable force at home and they are building steam with regards to form. Roberto Martinez’s side will carry the day in an entertaining game full of attacking play… that is if Sam Allardyce doesn’t hold his players back in fear of an Everton counter. 2-1

Kayode: This will be really interesting. Everton are locked in the middle of the table but are home to a risky in-form West Ham sitting comfortably in fourth place and looking at improving. Sam Allardyce will of course rely on the consistent goals of Diafra Sakho who gets better each week and in the form of his life, scoring six goals in the last seven games. His aerial power is superb and he looks favoured against a leaky complacent Everton defence who concedes lots at home – 2.20 goals per game at Goodison Park – the worst by any team. I disagree with Sunday. I go for an away win. 1-2

Aisha: Both sides failed to get wins last time out. I think this will be a tight game which will end in a draw. 1-1

LEICESTER CITY V SUNDERLAND

Sunderland have won four and lost none of the last five league meetings with Leicester but the two teams have not met since January 2007 in the Championship. Aisha, where will the pendulum swing?

Aisha: It swings nowhere! Two struggling sides who find goal scoring difficult. This will probably end in a 1-1 draw

Sunday: Nigel Pearson’s boys need a breather after a winless run dating back to their once-in-a-lifetime achievement of a 5-3 win over Man United (winks at Kayode). The King Power Stadium would be on the lookout, sensing a win against a so-so Sunderland side who seem to know only a little about improvement. A narrow win for the home side. 1-0

Kayode: Leicester lost their last game away to Southampton 2-0 and are in danger zone now and things are not looking good for them. Leicester have picked up just one point from last six games and that tells you it’s a nightmare that might continue. But Sunderland are not a team to fear. They drew their last home game against Everton and are not too far from relegation. They need to improve. 1-1

MANCHESTER CITY V SWANSEA CITY

Sunday, City have won four and lost just one of the six league games with Swansea City. Do you smell an upset considering the fact that the champions are not in rich vein of form?

Sunday: You are right, the reigning champions are not at their absolute best yet, no thanks to Silva’s injury and Yaya Toure’s form. But they are still full of goals with Sergio Aguero leading the line, and the boys from Swansea are about to feel the heat. The Welsh side carry their tiki-taka philosophy around to good effect but City’s array of attacking players should see them win the day. 3-1

Kayode: City will do well to remember how Swansea took Arsenal to the cleaners before the break. It’s no fluke that Swansea are in fifth place. City are not having the best of times with eight points behind Chelsea and trailing Southampton. Worse still, winning just one game of six before the break, they need to do something extraordinary to close the gap before Chelsea turn things into a one-horse race. Unfortunately they are meeting a tough customer in Gary Monks’ team that just easily beat Arsenal. City will do well to watch the ever dangerous Gylfi Sigurdsson, the Iceland international who is on top of his game. What decides the game is how the likes of Yaya Toure, Fernando and Fernandinho react to him. If Sergio Aguero comes good and adds to his eight goals of City’s 10 so far, they might nick this but it’s so wide open. 3-2

Aisha: Manchester City know that the title race may be over for them with one more slip. Swansea got a massive win over Arsenal last time but will find City too strong at the Etihad. 3-1

NEWCASTLE V QPR

Newcastle United have won their last four league matches. They have not won five on the bounce since April 2012. Surely Sunday, you are backing your team this time.

Sunday: Although Alan Pardew hasn’t won my heart back, I hold back the angst because we are winning, and Aarons is playing too! The home crowd will get behind the team and although QPR have improved in recent weeks, they are still some way to returning to playing the type of football their wage bill suggests. The Toon Army on the rise!!! (Shakes hand with everybody) 2-1

Aisha: Newcastle have suddenly found their form after enduring torrid weeks. But QPR have also managed some impressive results lately although their fortunes have not changed much. I’ll settle for a 2-2 draw

Kayode: Newcastle should win this and continue to climb up. Alan Pardew continues to make progress with this team, rising from relegation zone to mid table in just five games while key man Ayoze Perez continues to improve, scoring three vital goals in three games. Harry’s QPR team though are really struggling in relegation waters, conceding 22 goals and keeping only two clean sheets this season. Newcastle look like a sixth consecutive win as Perez looks likely to score like he did against Spurs and Liverpool. 3-0

Let’s go on a short commercial break.

 

Cmmercial Break 2

We are back!

STOKE CITY V BURNLEY

There have been just 11 goals scored in the last nine league games between Stoke and Burnley. So Kayode, should we expect a drab 0-0 scoreline?

Kayode: Burnley are sitting at the bottom of the BPL Table but gave themselves some hope by beating Hull City 1-0 in their last game. Now they meet mid-table team Stoke who will want to capitalise on home advantage. With the exemplary 2-1 away win at Spurs, all indications say it’s a home win for sure for Stoke. Bojan Krkic and Jonathan Walters will fancy their chances of scoring again. Being in top ten adds the hopes of European football next season. 2-0

Sunday: Finally, Burnley have had their first win! Now they return to their old ways of losing (General laughter)! Mark Hughes’ Stoke City side like it on the ground and they’d fancy running rings around a tactless Burnley. Victor Moses should continue his act as a tormentor-in-chief on the wings in a comfortable afternoon at Stoke-on-trent. 2-0

Aisha: Stoke were impressive in their away win over Tottenham Hotspur last time and will fancy their chances against bottom placed Burnley. This should be a home win. 2-1

ARSENAL V MANCHESTER UNITED

Arsenal have dropped more points than any other team from winning positions in this season’s BPL (9). They dropped only nine points from leading positions in the whole of 2013-14. Kayode, will it pan out same way this time out?

Kayode: Gone are those days when these two rivals used to decide the title with dramatic clashes, now they are both struggling in mid-table with Arsenal in sixth position, just one point above United. If United win this they will go ahead of the Gunners on the log. This game is not for the title fight but for eventual UEFA Champions League place. There will likely be lots of goals as both sides are really struggling in defence with United so far conceding 14 goals and Arsenal 13.United will struggle at the back with inexperienced players due to injuries and it’s noteworthy that Arsenal are yet to beat United since 2011. Add Gunners’ terrible loss to Swansea before the break and I give this to United. 2-3

Sunday: Two fallen giants of English football. Supposedly top-five sides playing nothing like they should. The rivalry is as diluted‎ as the form of these two former champions, therefore expect not much fireworks. I’d be delighted to see Man United sneak a win but with Alexis Sanchez in good form, David de Gea who can stop the rot is out injured! 1-1

Aisha: The biggest tie of the weekend. Arsenal v Manchester United is usually a top 4 clash but this time it is 6th v 7th. No side can afford to lose this. 1-1

CRYSTAL PALACE V LIVERPOOL

Crystal Palace have won none of their last five BPL matches (W0 D1 L4). Aisha, the struggle surely continues?

Aisha: Palace are really struggling at the moment but this Liverpool side are much different from the one which almost won the title last season. Losing at home again to Chelsea would no doubt hurt the ego of the Reds and I expect a response. 1-2

Kayode: Losing 2-1 to Chelsea at home moved Liverpool further down and sums up their mediocre season. Balotelli’s gamble is going wrong as the Reds are really struggling and walking alone. Brendan Rodgers can complain all he wants about bad referee decisions but Liverpool are really struggling this season. They lost three games in a week before the break adding the UEFA Champions League. They are condemned to win this but Crystal Palace are not a piece of cake. 1-2

Sunday: It’s official: Daniel Sturridge has bought the injury room to himself! Liverpool coach, Brendan Rodgers now has his options limited to Balotelli and Lambert. Both hardly instil fear in opposition defences, but what the coach would need to solve is Raheem Sterling’s position to bring out the best in him for the team because he is the future of the side. Against a Palace side always in good spirit, this encounter will be an entertaining one with the trio of Zaha, Puncheon and Bolasie ‎ready to haunt Liverpool once again while the away side will want to lay to rest the ghost of losing the BPL title at the ground last season. 1-2

HULL CITY V TOTTENHAM

Hull City have won just one of their last 10 Barclays Premier League matches (W1 D5 L4). Away win, Aisha?

Aisha: Tottenham Hotspur are surprisingly having an indifferent season with their home loss to Stoke, the latest in a series of poor results. However, I feel they can get all 3 points against Hull. Yes, away win for Spurs! 1-2

Sunday: Steve Bruce’s Hull City side are dragging themselves into trouble so early in the season. After buying a talented side in the summer, they’ve been poor many a time and are shipping goals at an alarming rate than usual. They need a win to climb up the table with December around the corner‎. Tottenham are in no better shape either. Misfiring forwards and a dodgy backline coupled with an overly pragmatic approach from the manager, there seems to be no rush in the North London side’s season. A dour affair could ensue with a draw the most likely conclusion. 1-1

Kayode: Spurs travel away to a Hull City that will be very desperate not to sink deeper into the relegation waters, sitting in position number 15. Hull City will attempt not to lose at home to a Tottenham Hotspur that are not having the best of seasons, stuck in 12th position. Most believe losing Gylfi Sigurdsson to Swansea was a big blow. Hull City need to survive relegation and will be desperate at home but Spurs cannot afford to lose this one. 1-2

ASTON VILLA V SOUTHAMPTON

Aston Villa have failed to score in six of their last seven BPL games and netted just once in the other game in that run. Sunday, what do you make of this stat going into this game?

Sunday: For a side that has scored just five goals in 11 league matches, the drought is a long one. They will be facing a Southampton team that scored eight in one game, so do the math. Aston Villa have a good team though, and they have a good coaching team too but the results haven’t been forthcoming. A draw would be an unlikely outcome against the number two side in the league, but I think they’d earn the point. 1-1

Kayode: Southampton are the only team in the Premier League who have dropped no points from matches where they have been leading this season, winning all eight. They will win this as well. 1-3

Aisha: Experts keep expecting Southampton to falter but the Saints just keep marching on – 2nd on the table and just 4 points behind leaders Chelsea. But they won’t find the game against Aston Villa easy at Villa Park. I’ll go for a 2-2 draw.

So, that’s our package for today.

Join us this time next week for another bumper edition of BPL preview.

Bye for now!

WEEK 11 PREDICTIONS

MATCH KAYODE AISHA SUNDAY RESULT
Liverpool v Chelsea 2-1 1-1 1-1 1-2
West Ham v Aston Villa 3-0 2-1 3-1 0-0
Southampton v Leicester 2-1 2-0 2-1 2-0
United v Crystal Palace 3-0 3-0 3-0 1-0
Burnley v Hull 1-1 1-2 1-2 1-0
QPR v City 1-0 1-1 0-2 2-2
West Brom v Newcastle 2-1 1-1 2-1 0-2
Spurs v Stoke 3-2 2-1 2-1 1-2
Sunderland v Everton 0-0 2-2 1-1 1-1
Swansea v Arsenal 1-2 2-2 2-2 2-1

PUNDITS LEAGUE TABLE

PUNDITS WK 11 CORRECT RESULT (1PT) WK 11 SCORE (2PTS) WK 11 TOTAL POINTS CUMULATIVE POINTS
Sunday Omeike 3 2 5 60
Aisha Falode 4 2 6 60
Kayode Tijani 3 0 3 44

 

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