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BPL Panel: Arsenal will pick a point against City

BPL Panel: Arsenal will pick a point against City
January 17
12:37 2015

Manchester City and Arsenal get top-billing this weekend in the Barclays Premier League (BPL) so expect fireworks at the Etihad Stadium.


Without a league win in six, Aston Villa will be looking to Carles Gil, their new £3.2m signing, to inspire against Liverpool who are gradually gathering momentum.

Our soccer analysts are back to give their views and predictions on all 10 games.

Welcome to the BPL preview!



Sunday, Liverpool have lost just one of their last 16 Barclays Premier League visits to Villa Park (W10 D5 L1). Do you see them maintaining this form?

Sunday: Liverpool’s renaissance continues and Aston Villa is the perfect opponent. The Villains don’t score many and they are the league’s lowest-scoring team. Liverpool are on an unlikely unbeaten run and it’ll continue here with a much appreciated win. 0-2

Aisha: Aston Villa are having a difficult time at the moment while Liverpool got an impressive away win over Sunderland. I think this will be a draw. 1-1


Kayode: The Villans are unbeaten in their last five home league matches but have drawn four of those and overall won just one of the last eight at Villa Park. Steven Gerrard has scored more league goals against Aston Villa than any other side in his career (12). I see him adding to the tally. 0-2


Crystal Palace have won none of their last eight BPL away games (W0 D5 L3). Kayode, will their losing streak continue?

Kayode: I think they will beat Palace. Burnley boss Sean Dyche is hoping defensive duo Kieran Trippier and Jason Shackell will be fit for the clash and this is good news for them. 1-0

Sunday: I am quite impressed with Burnley because they are giving it a real go at the bottom. They have been hard to beat at home, picking up much-needed wins and Danny Ings has been inspiring upfront. However, a formidable opponent in the shape of Palace who have messiah Pardew would make for a cracker. Expect the Clarets to play attacking football while Palace would show grit, resilience and flashes on industry on the wings. No victor, no vanquished in this contest in my opinion. 1-1


Aisha: Burnley and Crystal Palace recorded excellent results last weekend but Palace’s 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur was arguably more impressive than Burnley’s triumph over QPR. This is too close to call. 2-2


The Foxes and the Potters have met 79 times in the league with both teams winning 27 matches. Sunday, who will have a 28th win?

Sunday: Leicester have come out of their 13-game nightmare with credible points in recent weeks and I fancy them to ride the wave of good form. Stoke were abject at Arsenal last week but in Bojan they have a winner if others show up. A draw to consolidate on their good away form and stop a blip in form. 1-1

Aisha: Stoke were really miserable against Arsenal last weekend and could have lost by more than 3-0. However, I expect that they will raise their game when they take on Leicester. 1-1


Kayode: Stoke were poor against Arsenal but with Bojan and Moses back for this game, they have an edge. 1-2


Manchester United have lost just one of their last 19 BPL visits to London (W11 D7 L1). Kayode, away win for the Red Devils?

Kayode: United lost to Southampton last week and they should look to bounce back here. Niko Kranjcar has recovered from thigh trouble ahead of this game and that’s a boost for QPR. He won’t stop his side from losing this one. 1-3

Sunday: It’s such a shame that with the quality of their attack, Manchester United have played mediocre football for most of the season. The earlier van Gaal reverts from three to four at the back, the better for United’s Champions League dream. QPR’s coach Redknapp’s job is on the line with the worst away record in the country and their home form has dipped in recent weeks. I think QPR would play for a draw and United would be lucky to escape with a win. 1-2


Aisha: Man United surprisingly lost to Southampton at Old Trafford last weekend and I expect a reaction against QPR. Rangers are better at home but United should win this 1-2


Chelsea have won five and lost none of the seven Barclays Premier League meetings with Swansea City. But Jose Mourinho’s side have won just one of their last five league away games (W1 D2 L2). Aisha, what are your expectations?

Aisha: Chelsea are two points clear at the top and Jose Mourinho would want to keep things at least that way especially as their next opponents after this is Manchester City. Swansea will be tough at home but Chelsea should prevail. 1-2

Sunday: Chelsea got played off the park by my darling Newcastle but they still won by taking their few chances and that’s the mark of champions and I think this game will take similar pattern. Swansea’s passing game will be in full effect but they lack Bony’s cutting edge and that’ll be their undoing. Mourinho’s great escape to work wonders again. 1-2

Kayode: Chelsea needed to get the all-important three points against bogey team Newcastle and they did in spite of not really at their best. What really counted though was the three points as champions City are breathing down their neck. Now Swansea will want to make things really difficult for their esteemed visitors. Swansea of course will still be ruing the exit of their star striker Wilfred Bony who changed base to Manchester City. The statistics says it all: 34 goals in 70 games in all competitions. Who will fill the void for Swansea? Maybe Bafetimbi Gomis can seize this first team opportunity and loanee Nelson Oliveira from Benfica. Can he shock Chelsea? Anything can happen but Chelsea are desperate not to drop points as City continue the catch up game. 1-3

Let us go on a brief commercial break.


Pellegrini 6-3 Wenger , last time at the Etihad Stadium


Welcome back!


Kayode, Spurs have won 10 of their last 12 games with Sunderland. This points to one direction, no?

Kayode: What are the possibilities that Spurs can still fight for the top four position of the BPL? Losing to Crystal Palace 1-2 last week was a big blow. Opponents this week Sunderland also lost to Liverpool so this is a game both won’t want to lose and it thus will make an interesting contest. It looks though like Spurs will win, they have no choice and like you pointed out they have won 10 of their last 12 games against Sunderland in all competitions. Sunderland have also lost three of their last four BPL games. Tough time they are having and its set to get worse. 2-0

Sunday: Tottenham’s come-from-behind victory over Burnley in the FA Cup in midweek was fantastic. In Harry Kane, they have the league’s most in-form striker and he’d have a field day harrying Sunderland’s abject back four of a team that always sets itself to grind out a goalless draw against top teams. Spurs to boss the game. 3-0

Aisha: Spurs probably played their best game of the season in beating Chelsea 5-3 but inexplicably lost to Crystal Palace. However, I expect them to bounce back against Sunderland. 2-1


Sunday, the Magpies are unbeaten in their last 10 home BPL games against the Saints (W8 D2). Can your team survive third on the log Southampton this time?

Sunday: My game of the week. Southampton are a tactically well-drilled team while Newcastle United have shown great industry under the interim gaffer whose style is a reminder of Sir Bobby Robson’s gung-ho approach in the early noughts. An end-to-end affair to ensue at the Saint James’ Park and although I would want my Geordies to enjoy an evening with three points, a score draw is on the cards here. 2-2

Aisha: The Saints are marching on and nobody would dare bet against them after back to back victories over Arsenal and Man United (At Old Trafford). Newcastle are in a transition period with the departure of Alan Pardew as manager but will still prove difficult for Southampton. I think this will be a draw. 1-1

Kayode: Big Game at Saint James’ Park – unpredictable Newcastle against the sensational Southampton that shocked the world by defeating Manchester United at Old Trafford in superb fashion. Southampton are in a sweet third position on the league, replacing Manchester United, who could have written this amazing script at the start of the season? Coach Ronald Koeman is having a ball. As with Southampton,  there are no superstars that stand out but the hero last week was Serbian Dusan Tadic so can anyone else in the team secure another away victory here? Graziano Pelle is really having a great season. Newcastle are unpredictable, blowing hot and cold. Of course they lost to Chelsea last week, predictably as the Blues ensured no surprises this time. Newcastle are unbeaten in their last nine games at St James’ Park against Southampton but this is a new Southampton and its either a draw or the Saints shock the hosts. 1-2


The Hammers have won the last five home games in a row against the Tigers. Aisha, 6th win for the home team?

Aisha: The Hammers are usually good at home while Hull City are not particularly good travellers. This should be a home win. 2-1

Sunday: West Ham went to Wales and got a credible point in a game they could have won, and they defeated Everton in the midweek FA cup replay win and that gives them momentum going into this winnable game at home in front of their fans. But Hull will not go down without giving them a tough time. 2-1

Kayode: Hull City are relegation struggles with lots of complications, injuries and the emotional trauma of returning to the Championship and thus losing the huge money the BPL teams share annually. West Ham however are not too far away from the top four placing. Ordinarily this will go one way but then the BPL is the league that disgraces the best of pundits. However, logically West Ham will naturally beat Hull City in front of their fans. West Ham will be aware that it needs the full three points after their away draw to Swansea past weekend. Sam Allardyce was absent last week due to illness as Neil McDonald was in charge but should be back. Will he still maintain the 3-5-2 like last week? Obviously not at home, definitely not against Hull City, they will be firing on all cylinders. Aside from Carroll there’s Carl Jenkings and Kevin Nolan and others. West Ham to wins this. 2-0


The last seven Barclays Premier League games between Manchester City and Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium have seen 28 goals scored. Sunday, another rain of goals at the Etihad?

Sunday: Match of the week. City are peerless at home but the absence of Yaya Toure in recent weeks has exposed their frailties. Silva can still give the team a platform in attack but with their strike force still depleted, Wenger and his boys would have a confidence shot. The Gunners are having their top guns back from injury and in Alexis Sanchez, they have a genuine goal threat. Expect fireworks as usual. 2-2

Aisha: Manchester City’s 1-1 draw with Everton last weekend afforded Chelsea the opportunity to go two points clear at the top. Sergio Arguero is back but City are missing the influence of Yaya Toure in midfield. Arsenal were impressive in the 3-0 win over Stoke but I foresee a 2-2 draw here.

Kayode: Cutting edge in front of goal is a huge worry for City. It is noteworthy that City are yet to win an away game without Yaya but they will want to hope that this does not apply to home games. Referee Mike Dean has a tough job here. Note that Manchester City have remained unbeaten in their last 12 league games, winning nine and drawing three. This is close to call, looks like City, very close. 2-1


The Toffees have lost six of their last nine league matches (W1 D2 L6). They have conceded 34 goals already this season after only letting in 39 in the whole of 2013-14. Sunday, what’s happening to Everton?

Sunday: Although they’ve not won for a while now, Everton still play good football, it’s their defence they should fix and manager Roberto Martinez is a smooth talker without doing the needful. Simply, he experiments too much. But I think this is a game they should start winning. West Brom have the Pulis effect but I think the former Stoke City manager always with an escape plan should come unstuck in this fixture. 2-1

Aisha: Everton gave the kind of performance their fans have been expecting from them all season in the 1-1 draw with Manchester City. I tip them to beat West Brom 2-0

Kayode: Saido Berahino is available for West Brom’s trip Everton after his drinking-driving appearance was brought forward to Friday. I see him firing West Brom to a win away from home. 0-1


Sunderland v Liverpool 1-2 1-1 1-2 0-1
West Brom v Hull City 3-1 1-2 2-1 1-0
Swansea v West Ham 0-2 2-2 2-1 1-1
Leicester v Aston Villa 2-1 1-1 0-0 1-0
Everton v Man City 1-2 2-2 1-1 1-1
Chelsea v Newcastle 3-1 3-1 3-1 2-0
Burnley v QPR 2-0 2-1 1-1 2-1
Crystal Palace v Tottenham 1-3 1-3 1-1 2-1
Arsenal v Stoke 2-1 2-1 3-1 3-0
Man United v Southampton 3-2 3-1 3-1 0-1


Sunday Omeike 5 2 7 134
Aisha Falode 5 2 7 121
Kayode Tijani 6 0 6 105



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