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BPL PANEL: Chelsea FC to down bogey team Newcastle United at the Bridge

BPL PANEL: Chelsea FC to down bogey team Newcastle United at the Bridge
January 10
09:28 2015

The Barclays Premier League (BPL) enters its home stretch with the second round of games in 2015.

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This week’s mini-star game pitches two of our soccer analysts against each other – Chelsea and Aisha Falode v Newcastle and Sunday Omeike.

Who wins the battle of wit at the Bridge?

The star game is at Old Trafford where third-placed Manchester United host Southampton who are breathing down their neck in fourth position.

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Who wins the battle for automatic Champions League place?

Welcome to BPL preview!

SUNDERLAND V LIVERPOOL   

Sunday, life has to go on for Liverpool after Steven Gerrard’s departure dominated the headlines. They meet a Sunderland team who have only beaten them once in 10 encounters. Away win for the Reds?

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Sunday: Steven Gerrard’s departure has been announced but the captain is still giving his all for the club with inspirational performances and this game won’t be different. Sunderland’s Achilles is their lack of goals and I don’t see how they’d hurt the Kop, only if Skrtel and co crumble. 1-2

Kayode: For the Reds, the 2-2 draw at Anfield against relegation bound Leicester was a disaster, coming off some good results that looked like they were having a change in fortunes. Then the Steven Gerrard news of departure from Anfield and the fans could not have been more devastated. Now they must face the situation at hand, an away game to another desperate team Sunderland who lost in week 20 to Manchester City. No one can actually predict Liverpool these days and this game is no exception. But Liverpool hardly loses to Sunderland. With just one defeat in their ten past encounters and Liverpool are unbeaten in their last six games in all competitions so, they will win this. 1-2

Aisha: Sunderland were heartbroken to lose to Manchester City despite coming back from two goals down. The Reds on the other hand were disappointed to let a two goal lead slip against Leicester City. Two sides seeking redemption. I foresee a 1-1 draw

BURNLEY V QUEENS PARK

Kayode, QPR are mediocre travellers. Can they change their losing streak away from home?

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Kayode: I doubt it! Drawing with Newcastle at away showed there’s still some fight in Burnley in their quest to escape relegation. The 3-3 draw speaks volumes and QPR also did not lose their last game, a 1-1 draw at home to Swansea. Now who needs this the most? Two relegation candidates attempting to move up from the shallow waters of the slide down to the Championship. And like you said, QPR are mediocre travellers who hardly get results away, so it looks like this belongs to Burnley. 2-0

Aisha: Burnley showed they could score goals when they played out an exciting 3-3 draw with Newcastle in their first game of the year. QPR are usually poor away from home so I fancy Burnley to win this 2-1

Sunday: Relegation six pointer! Burnley would fancy their chance against the BPL’s worst travellers in QPR. However, Harry Redknapp’s Rangers would see this encounter as the perfect opportunity to register their first point away from home. 1-1

CHELSEA V NEWCASTLE UNITED         

Aisha, your Chelsea lost their unbeaten run to Newcastle at St. James’ Park. Revenge in the air?

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Aisha: Newcastle inflicted the first loss of the season on Chelsea which started a mini dip for the Blues leading to crucial points being dropped. Manchester City are now level on points with Chelsea and Mourinho knows that nothing short of victory would do particularly after the shock 5-3 loss to Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. Stamford Bridge has been a fortress this season and I believe Chelsea will win 3-1

Kayode: Can lightning strike twice for Chelsea? Obviously not likely. Chelsea players and Mourinho would have had nightmares reliving that amazing game and will be very desperate indeed going into this. But then, the team that’s visiting Stamford Bridge are the bogey team of Chelsea. Newcastle are in mid table, not likely to join the relegation party but not likely to climb up to the top four but can dent Chelsea’s plans if allowed to. If Chelsea get too desperate Newcastle can capitalise and they seem to give Chelsea problems. Caretaker boss John Carver is obviously up for this but results have not gone his way with the 3-3 draw against Burnley and losing 1-0 in the FA Cup to Leicester but meeting Chelsea just seem to bring out the best in Newcastle. Chelsea can’t afford to lose this and will win. 3-1

Sunday: Surely a home banker here. A manager less Newcastle should pose little or no threat to the Blues who would look to banish the humbling at Tottenham in their last league game.  3-1

EVERTON V MANCHESTER CITY

Aisha, do you see Everton stopping City who have won 11 league games in their 12?

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Aisha: Everton have been poor this season, little wonder why they are in 13th spot. Man City have done well to catch up with Chelsea at the top but they haven’t been convincing in their last couple of games letting two goal leads slip. I think this will be a draw. 2-2

Sunday: Everton need to perform and they need it fast. Not only are they underperforming, they are now closer to relegation fight and it’s a shame to the calibre of players in the club. Manager Roberto Martinez should leave beauty for brawns, particularly against the champions. Man City would visit without talisman Yaya Toure and their strike force is still depleted. Although Silva can work magic, I think Everton would fight for a draw. 1-1

Kayode: Defending champions City are away to Everton and they will have it at the back of their minds that pivot Yaya Toure will be going to the Africa Cup of Nations and that could be a fundamental situation to deal with. Fortunately Chelsea faltered and City are now level on points with them, including all statistics from same games played, same goals difference and same points, so it won’t bode well for City to self-destruct in this like they did weeks ago. City took care of business in week 20 by beating Sunderland 3-2 in a game that almost went wrong. But Everton are not a team to take lightly, especially since they lost 2-0 away to Hull City in week 20. For Everton playing the defending champions should be enough motivation to fight and who would have thought Everton will be at the wrong end of the table, imagine the appalling fact of four league losses in a row. Contrasting fortunes for City who have won 11 in 12 games and got their only reality.com moment in the surprise draw against Burnley. City will win this at away, because they know Chelsea won’t lose. 1-2

LEICESTER CITY V ASTON VILLA

Relegation candidate Leicester are up against a team who have not won their last five league games. Aisha, surely this is an opportunity for the Foxes to bag maximum points?

Aisha: Leicester City are rock bottom despite posting some impressive results this season. Aston Villa are comfortable in their usual mid-table position. Difficult to pick a winner in this so I’ll settle for a 1-1 draw

Kayode: Leicester are looking as the most likely prospects to be relegated, but with the league just half way through, their destiny is still in their hands. Can they start getting into winning ways at home to Aston Villa? The signs are good for Leicester actually if they can capitalise. Remember that Villa have not won in their last five games while Leicester are stabilising and drawing with Liverpool was a huge leap in confidence. Leicester can also capitalise on the fact that Villa score in the first half only to capitulate in the second half. Leicester can nick this narrowly. 2-1

Sunday: Leicester City are missing key wingers Mahrez and Schlupp, striker Ulloa’s goals have also dried up. Villa do not score much, and this game being away from home seems like a dead rubber match. Kindly catch your sleep on this one. 0-0

Lets go on a brief commercial break.

united v southampton at OT

Dejan Lovren wheels away after Southampton scored a late equaliser at Old Trafford last season

We are back!

SWANSEA CITY V WEST HAM UNITED      

Sunday, can Swansea cope without Bony?

Sunday: No Wilfried Bony but the Swans are well prepared for his absence due to AFCON duty. West Ham’s standard is dropping slowly in the league but they should still trouble their Welsh hosts, however I don’t see them going back to London with any point. 2-1

Kayode: West Ham United travel to Swansea knowing full well they must win at away so as not to lose sight of the top four. Coach Sam Allardyce, Andy Carroll and some West Ham players lost £30,000 pounds to fraudsters in a scam and the question is, can they afford to lose points, even at away to Swansea if they want to remain in contention? Swansea are in mid table and will fight. They got a valuable away draw to QPR in week 20 and will fancy a fight against West Ham, who also drew at home to West Brom. The Liberty Stadium is going to be the real battleground for two teams who will not give up. Maybe West Ham can repeat what happened in December after Swansea got complacent and the Hammers snatched points from a losing position but it might catch up with them in this game. West Ham look like the winner. 02

Aisha: Two sides who are playing decent football this season and there’s very little to choose between them. I think this has a draw written all over it. 2-2

WEST BROMWICH V HULL CITY   

Kayode, West Brom have won only four of their last 24 home league games. But do you think Hull can add to their woes at home?

Kayode: West Brom can be said to be pushing far below their weight bearing in mind the players – the potentials of the players they have. Please don’t remind me of the non-performance of our Ideye. West Brom at least did well in week 20 to get an away draw against in form West Ham and will attempt to go one better and predictably grab the three points on offer at home against Hull City who are just two steps on top of them, looking at bidding bye to the relegation waters but both are blowing hot and cold and very unpredictable. It does not look good for West Brom that the statistics remind us that they have won only four of their last 24 big matches at home, drawing 11 and losing nine. Can Hull City capitalise? Now at home, West Brom players will lift their game as the new manager will be looking at the players he can work with. 3-1

Sunday: When Tony Pulis is at a club and they are playing at home, you just have to feel for the opponent. He’d incite the fans to crank up the atmosphere and intimidate the opponent. Not that Hull City’s tigers are slow-coaches themselves, but the Tony Pulis effect is still in town. A home win for the Baggies. 2-1

Aisha: Hull were impressive in their 2-0 victory over Everton last time out and I fancy them to win this 1-2

CRYSTAL PALACE V TOTTENHAM   

Aisha, your conquerors the last time out are away to Crystal Palace. Three points for Spurs?

Aisha: Spurs are full of confidence after the impressive goalless draw with Manchester United and the amazing 5-3 win over Chelsea. I don’t see Crystal Palace stopping them.  1-3

Sunday: Palace’s new manager Alan Pardew is now at a club where he is supposedly loved. Although he rarely complained at Newcastle, his demeanour gave him away and I am definitely happy he has left my beloved Toon Army. Being at Palace won’t shield him much but he is new and the players would still be responsive, therefore I expect Tottenham to find it hard getting three points at the Selhurst Park. 1-1

Kayode: Home team Palace had a good outing in week 20, drawing away to Aston Villa to raise some hopes that they might gradually climb out of relegation calamities. Now Tottenham Hotspur come calling. Spurs are fifth on the table and need this game so the top four don’t leave them behind and the potentials of three points even at away in this is not lost on them. Spurs will hope the young sensation Harry Kane continues his amazing form. He has the best minute goal ratio of any Spurs striker. Spurs are really in form and this is not difficult to call, it’s a one way thing – Spurs to win. And how can anyone ever forget the decimation, the completely absolutely unexpected annihilation of leaders Chelsea. It was a game that showed everyone Spurs have all it takes to slug it out at the top four if they can be consistent. Remember also their performance weeks ago against Manchester United. This game against Palace is a done deal. 1-3

ARSENAL V STOKE CITY   

Kayode, Arsenal have won their last 12 home games against Stoke. But 13 is an unlucky number!

Kayode: Another crunchy game! Arsenal are still smarting from that embarrassing loss to direct rivals in the top four. It was a huge embarrassment at St. Mary’s. Arsenal cannot afford to repeat the absurd defensive errors that really spoilt the New Year celebrations of Arsenal fans. Some will obviously be glad because it could have been worse. Stoke City are coming into this game on a high, from the draw that looked like a win at home to Manchester United. One factor that maybe might give Arsenal hope will be the statistics that says Arsenal have won their last 12 home matches in a row against Stoke City. Arsenal must do well not to repeat their error at the Britannia last year when they went a goal down in less than 60 seconds. But now they owe it a duty to compensate their fans for the New Year embarrassment. 2-1

Aisha: The Gunners desperately need to win this just to appease their fans who are becoming increasingly frustrated. Stoke will be difficult but Arsenal should win this 2-1

Sunday: Manager Arsene Wenger won’t forget the reverse fixture anytime soon. That 3-2 defeat sparked fans outrage which is gradually cooling down, but he would sense an opportunity in this fixture while also reminding his players not to disgrace the club again. Emirates is their comfort zone and although Stoke play best away from home, they’d come unstuck here. 3-1

MANCHESTER UNITED V SOUTHAMPTON

Kayode, third meets fourth at OT. Will your team kayoed the Saints?

Kayode: Most likely they will. United dropped points against Spurs and Stoke on the road and should make amend in this home game. Southampton beat Arsenal in their first game in 2015. They will lose their second game, though. 3-2

Aisha: The Saints have surpassed the expectations of many this season but their last two games were hugely impressive. They faced Chelsea and Arsenal and came away with four points. However, facing Manchester United at Old Trafford is a daunting task. I think United will win this 3-1

Sunday: Two draws in their last two BPL games and a rag-tag win at Yeovil‎ in the FA Cup means Manchester United are not safe yet. However, their home form has improved greatly and with Old Trafford seemingly a fortress again, Southampton would find it hard to get going. Their form has improved in recent weeks but with Di Maria back and Falcao beginning to look the part, this looks more like a win for United. 3-1

WEEK 20 PREDICTIONS

MATCH KAYODE AISHA SUNDAY RESULT
Aston Villa v Crystal Palace 1-1 2-0 1-1 0-0
Hull City v Everton 1-1 1-1 2-1 2-0
Liverpool v Leicester City 3-0 3-1 3-0 2-2
Man City v Sunderland 3-2 3-0 3-0 3-2
Newcastle v Burnley 1-2 2-1 2-0 3-3
QPR v Swansea 1-0 2-1 2-1 1-1
Stoke v Man United 2-2 2-2 1-2 1-1
Southampton v Arsenal 1-0 2-2 1-1 2-0
West Ham v West Brom 2-0 2-0 2-0 1-1
Tottenham v Chelsea 0-2 1-2 1-2 5-3

PUNDITS LEAGUE TABLE 

PUNDIT WK 20 CORRECT RESULT (1PT) WK 20 SCORE (2PTS) WK 20 TOTAL POINTS CUMULATIVE POINTS
Sunday Omeike 3 0 3 127
Aisha Falode 2 0 2 114
Kayode Tijani 4 2 6 99

 

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