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The BPL Panel predicts a first win for Man U

The BPL Panel predicts a first win for Man U
August 30
11:47 2014

After a week of action in the UEFA Champions League play-offs and the second-round of the Capital One Cup, the Barclays Premier League resumes this weekend.

As usual, our panel comprising Kayode Tijani (KT), Aisha Falode (AF) and Sunday Omeike (SO), are on hand to give their verdict on all the ten games.

Burnley v Manchester United

SO: Burnley will always struggle in the BPL and the arrival of Di Maria should provide some respite for Van Gaal and Man U. 0-2

KT: Rooted at this early stages to the bottom of the table, Burnley will fancy at least a point against the embattled giants United but Van Gaal, motivated by the arrival of £59.7million Angel Di Maria has no choice than to win this away tie. But he can’t afford to continue with the complicated three central defenders experiment that’s failing. 1-2


AF: It’s been a miserably few weeks for Louis van Gaal and Manchester United but like Kayode and Sunday said, the acquisition of Angel Di Maria is sure to lift the Red Devils. 1-2

Captain Rooney could celebrate today

Captain Rooney could celebrate today

Manchester City v Stoke City

AF: The defending champions are in blistering form at the moment and I really can’t see beyond a comfortable home win here. 3-0

SO: I can’t agree less. The Citizens are an imperial force at home and they will prevail over a Stoke side that manager Mark Hughes is still trying to change their style to mini tiki-taka. 3-0


KT: Along with Chelsea, City are the favourites for the title – a complete squad with amazing pace, pure power plus dazzling penetration. Stoke stand little chance but they are always going to fight but I don’t see beyond a City win. 3-0

Newcastle United v Crystal Palace

KT: This is a game of two strugglers. Newcastle always flatters to deceive and eventually underachieve. With no win in two games they must beat a Palace who lost 3-1 at home to West Ham. 1-1

AF: Like Kayode rightly pointed out, both sides have not had very good starts this season but I think Newcastle will nick this one. 2-1

SO: We the Toon Army (Kayode and Aisha exchange glances; surprised to hear of a Newcastle fan in Nigeria) were unlucky against Man City and Aston Villa, so a troubled Palace side is the perfect opponent to set the season rolling. 3-0


Queens Park Rangers v Sunderland

SO: Harry Redknapp and QPR need a win fast, or else they face another struggle to stay in the premiership. 2-1

KT: Losing 4-0 to Tottenham – bottom of the table with two loses – QPR have a lot to do at home against a Sunderland team with two drawn games thus far. Sunday, a Sunderland team that shocked Manchester United with a draw should beat QPR. 1-2

AF: I quite agree with Kayode that Sunderland were impressive in the 1-1 draw with Manchester United last time out. Harry Redknapp will find Gus Poyet’s men very difficult to beat. I’ll go with a draw though. 1-1

Swansea City v West Brom 

KT: Swansea come into this game with a win against Burnley but West Brom, with two draws, have the firepower upfront to shock any team on their good day. 2-1


AF: Swansea have started the season brilliantly but recently acquired Nigerian striker Brown Ideye has given the Baggies a new threat upfront. 1-1

SO: West Brom are a hard nut to crack on any day and Swansea don’t necessarily go all-out to attack. A dull game will ensue and hopefully, Ideye to score. 1-1


West Ham United v Southampton  

KT: West Ham are coming into this game after an inspirational 3-1 away win over Crystal Palace while Southampton drew their home game to West Brom. This can go either way for the team that takes its chances. No prediction.

SO: Stick out your neck Kay! West Ham are a formidable force at home while the Saints of Southampton are still trying to gel after selling the whole club this summer! (General laughter) 1-0


AF: Sam Allaydyce impressed many with the brand of attacking football he deployed in the 3-1 away victory over Crystal Palace last weekend and I expect another good display. 2-1

Everton v Chelsea   

AF: Chelsea have been tagged title favourites with good reason but Everton are notoriously difficult to beat at Goodison Park. Besides, the recent capture of former Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o will no doubt give the Toffees a boost. 1-1

KT: Now this is a masterpiece – no dull moments in 90 minutes of fireworks. Chelsea are a complete team in all areas, they have signaled their intentions from the go and are ruthlessly efficient. Everton are always going to be dangerous for any team but like Arsenal showed, Everton are prone to that dangerous lapse in concentration at crucial moments. The Romelu Lukaku £28m pounds factor is vital. If he clicks, we have ourselves a cracker but I still fancying Chelsea, they are just ruthless. 1-3

SO: Everton have upgraded from the David Moyes days and are now turning a bogey team for the top boys. The absence of Diego Costa would limit Chelsea’s attack but I expect them to pick at least a point at Goodison Park. 1-1

Aston Villa v Hull City

SO: Two miserly defenses against each other, where will the goals come from? Expect home advantage to nick it for the Villains. 1-1

KT: I go for the same scoreline as well. Hull City are not joking around. Newly promoted but in the top five for now. Drawing at home to Stoke City in their last game, they need to get a good result against Aston Villa to maintain the balance. Villa are just behind them with same one drawn game and a loss. The team with the most hunger wins. 1-1

AF: Aston Villa have started the season better than many expected and I expect the good form to see them through Hull City’s test. 2-1

Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool

SO: A tactically astute Pochettino against a Liverpool side still trying to integrate new signings. A draw is on the cards here!  1-1

KT: I see a draw too. Liverpool are still trying to adapt without Suarez but Balotelli is in but he’s unpredictable. The Reds need the likes of Albert Moreno and Dejan Lovren to up their game. Whether Liverpool are rated too highly will be tested by a Spurs team that was in blistering form against QPR. Emmanuel Adebayour will be key. 2-2

AF: You guys are right – this game has a draw written all over it! Spurs went top of the league after two games playing some very exciting football. Liverpool lost to Man City last weekend and can’t afford any more slips. 2-2

Leicester City v Arsenal

SO: Buoyed by qualification for UCL group stages, Arsenal should prevail over a stubborn Leicester side. A Sanchez goal would be an added bonus! 0-2

KT: With the loss at home to Chelsea, Leicester will need to at least get something from this home game against Arsenal or the alarm bells will start ringing. Arsenal, with two trophies of recent, look more focused and hungry. With close come backs in the last two games, including surviving the UEFA Champions League, I see Arsenal being too motivated for a Leicester yet to taste victory this season. 1-2

AF: Leicester impressed despite losing 2-0 to Chelsea. Arsenal displayed great character to come from two goals down against Everton but their midweek exertions against Besiktas in the Champions League will take a toll on them. 1-1


Key match stats

Burnley v Manchester United

  • Burnley’s only previous Premier League home game against Manchester United saw them win 1-0 thanks to a goal from Robbie Blake.
  • Manchester United have won five of their last six encounters with Burnley, keeping a clean sheet in each victory.
  • Manchester United have won only two of their last six Premier League games in August (D2 L2).
  • United have the lowest cross completion rate in the Premier League so far this season (5 per cent – excluding corners).
  • Angel Di Maria has assisted 11 goals in his last 11 league appearances.

Leicester v Arsenal

  • Leicester won their first Premier League home game against Arsenal (2-1 in November 1994) but none of the subsequent seven games saw them claim three points.
  • The last time Arsenal played Leicester was the 38th and final game of the unbeaten 2003-04 Premier League campaign.
  • Leicester’s players to have featured so far have a combined total of 550 Premier League appearances, fewer than any other team this season.
  • Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez has conceded more fouls (7) without getting booked than any other Premier League player this season.

Everton v Chelsea

  • Everton have won four of their last five Barclays Premier League home games against Chelsea.
  • Since the 2009-10 season, Chelsea have lost four times to Everton; only Manchester City (5) have beaten them more often in that period.
  • If games had ended at half-time this season Everton would be top, Chelsea fifth.
  • If games just encompassed the second half then Everton would be bottom with zero points.
  • Chelsea have conceded just nine goals in 2014, fewer than any other ever-present PL side.

Manchester City v Stoke

  • Manchester City have conceded just five goals in 12 Premier League encounters with the Potters.
  • Stoke have won just one of their 12 Premier League games against Manchester City, and none of the last 10.
  • Manchester City have scored at least once in 69 of their last 70 Premier League home games.
  • Sergio Aguero has played only 29 minutes this season but is the league’s joint-top scorer with two goals.
  • Manchester City have scored at least two goals in each of their last 10 Premier League games.

Tottenham v Liverpool

  • The Reds’ 5-0 win at White Hart Lane in December last season ended a run of five consecutive Premier League home wins for Spurs against Liverpool.
  • Liverpool won six points against Tottenham in the Premier League last season with an aggregate score of 9-0.
  • Liverpool’s defeat at Manchester City last Monday was their first away from home in the Premier League in 2014 (W7 D2 L1).
  • Tottenham have won five of their last six Premier League games (L1).



Aston Villa v Newcastle 2-1 2-2 2-1 0-0
Chelsea v Leicester City 3-0 4-0 2-0 2-0
Crystal Palace v West Ham 1-1 1-0 1-1 1-3
Southampton v West Brom 2-0 2-1 2-1 0-0
Swansea v Burnley 2-1 2-1 2-0 1-0
Everton v Arsenal 1-1 1-1 1-2 2-2
Hull City v Stoke City 1-2 1-1 1-1 1-1
Spurs v QPR 1-0 2-1 2-1 4-0
Sunderland v Man United 1-2 1-3 0-2 1-1
Man City v Liverpool 2-1 2-2 3-1 3-1



KT 5 0 5
AF 6 0 6
SO 4 2 6


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