Accepted AnswerSheffield Wed Vs Nottingham Forest
Once again, backing the outsider. D Jones is no longer the Sheffield Wednesday coach and at home to Leicester earlier this week S Gray managed Wednesday. They won 2-1 against the high flyers Leicester. Last time I backed them, the only time, they defeated Reading 5-2 and Wednesday should be able to do better than their position in the table indicates. No G Cokes, midfielder, for this game, but both M Antonio and Reda Johnson will be back in contention. Defender L Buxton will be assessed.
Nottingham, aspiring for glory this season, have only won three of their last ten league games and that is not good enough. They will have their previously suspended defender Lascelles back tomorrow, but both D Henderson and D Vaughan risk missing this game. Sheffield Wednesday to win.
Millwall Vs Wigan
Two big prices in the Championship starting with the Millwall home win. They are undefeated in their last seven home games, all competitions included, and one has to say that 3.03 is quite some price against this managerless and formless Wigan side. G Moussi, the Millwall midfielder, will be back for this game, M Waghorn was back in midweek and their only absentee at the moment is N Bailey.
O Coyle left his job as a Wigan manager at the start of this week and yesterday his assistant also left his duties. They have a decent squad, but it is just not working for Wigan at the moment. Their midweek loss against Leeds was their fourth on the trot. Millwall to win.
Crystal Palace Vs Cardiff
A typical T Pulis win, a typical Palace win against West Ham earlier this week. I predicted a 1-0 win for the home side and I am prepared to to do it again. In the lead against the Hammers Palace had some outstanding scoring chances at the start of the second half, but the C P supporters have to live with their lack of fire power. Y Bolasie will once again be suspended for the home side.
Cardiff have not found the net in any of their last three away games, but their defensive line looked rock steady away to Stoke the other day (0-0). 1-0 win for the home side.
Liverpool Vs West Ham
I do not think that the West Ham coach Allardyce will allow L Suarez to dominate in this match the way he did against Norwich. Suarez scored four goals against Norwich, but Norwich always were his favourite opponents. Anyway it was one way traffic for Liverpool and their players should be fairly fresh ahead of this game. D Sturridge is not yet fit, but Lucas could be back for this match.
West Ham have scored four goals in their seven away games but then you should remember that they scored three of those against Tottenham. Allardyce had come up with something special in that match and God knows, he has to do it again, or they will be outclassed tomorrow. No Ravel Morrison for West Ham. Home win of course, but indifferent odds.
Manchester Utd Vs Newcastle
The United ace Wayne Rooney will be suspended for this game. Van Persie was close to making his come back in midweek, but what I heard he is not likely to return for this game either. Phil Jones will be back from his suspension. United lost 0-1 to Everton, but it was a game that could have gone either way. United hit the wood work twice, for instance.
You know what I am constantly saying about Newcastle. With their many strong individuals they can hurt any side, but they were emphatically beaten by Swansea the other day. Backing United, without Rooney and Van Persie, as 1.50 favourites? Over my dead body.
Southampton Vs Manchester City
Basically dominating from start to finish against Aston Villa, Southampton ended up on the losing side. Their third loss on the bounce and they have conceded eight goals in these losses. Both Wanyama and N Clyne suffered injuries against Villa and they have joined a growing injury list, including players like Boruc and Schneiderlin. G Ramirez will return from a lay off period.
Kompany was back for Man City away to WBA. City were cruising in a 3-0 lead, but conceded two unnecessary goals late on in the game. That is City away from home for me, they can switch off.
This is it for Southampton. They most not lose again, they must stop the rot and I expect a very disciplined, defensive game from Pochettino’s side in this game. X2 game.
Stoke Vs Chelsea
I have basically nothing to say about this Stoke side. Arnautovic was back against Cardiff (0-0), but R Huth remains sidelined. Stoke just look boring and winning football games has become extremely difficult for Hughes’ team. Just one win in their last ten league games.
Eden Hazard played a terrific game for Chelsea against Sunderland (4-3 win) and rarely has one single player been so decisive in a game. The Sunderland boss Poyet said after the match, “Hazard’s performance was the best I have seen this season”. Both Eto’o and Oscar are back in contention.
Stoke are probably still worth some respect at the Britannia Stadium, with 2-4-1 this far, but I expect Chelsea to win this fixture.
Sunderland Vs Tottenham
Tough for Sunderland going down 3-4 against Chelsea. They just could not stop Eden Hazard, who single handedly made the difference in the match. Sunderland, last in the Premiership, played once again a strong match and I can see them causing numerous problems for Tottenham in this game.
Once again two unbelievable shots from outside the box saved Tottenham against Fulham. Well, their keeper Lloris was probably man of the match. It looks like their defender Verthongen will miss this match and Dembele continues to be an injury doubt. Backing the home win.
West Bromwich Vs Norwich City
After two losses, 1-2 and 2-3, time for a WBA win again. The important Mulumbu will be back for WBA and maybe Sessegnon will start again. He was rested at home to Man City. Both Anichebe and Vydra looked strong coming on as second half substitutes. Jonas Olsson, their always fighting central defender, will be suspended for this fixture.
It is now 28 goals conceded for Norwich so far, that is two goals per game and defensively they are the worst side in the Premiership. They are missing quite a few influential players. Very likely home win.
Accepted AnswerSwansea Vs Hull City
Without their three injured strikers W Bony, Michu and Vazquez Swansea scored three goals against Newcastle. They had to use Pozuelo in a frontal position and another midfielder J Shelvey scored two of their goals. Football is rarely logical and who would have thought that Swansea would be so effective without all their natural front men.
Hull had not much to offer against Arsenal, but I guess their task looked almost hopeless after the early Bendtner goal. I can see Hull keeping a clean sheet in this game for quite some time, maybe for the full 90 minutes. Swansea will pass the ball around, Hull will park the bus and Swansea have no one with the killer instinct in the Hull penalty area.
Laudrup, the Swansea boss, is hoping that at least one of his strikers will be available on Monday. I have serious doubts. OK, the 0-0 draw.
Accepted AnswerChelsea Vs Liverpool
Routine 1-0 win for Chelsea against Swansea and they seemed to be in full control of the game.
Liverpool matched Man City all the way, but they had to accept losing the match 1-2.
Chelsea have a big squad, coach Mourinho has plenty of alternatives and I mean strong alternatives, while the Liverpool coach does not have the same luxury. One enforced change for Chelsea, as Ramires will sit out a suspension.It will be a fresher Chelsea on Sunday and my choice will be the home win.
Everton Vs Southampton
Down to ten men, down 0-1 Everton dominated most of the game against Sunderland, but for once it did not go the Everton way this season. Both G Barry and keeper T Howard will be suspended for this game. Howard has probably been the best keeper in the Premiership this season.
Southampton will miss the suspended Schneiderlin. L Shaw was back the other day, when Southampton returned to winning ways winning comfortably 3-0 against Cardiff. Osvaldo and N Clyne could be next to return for Southampton.
I have much respect for Pochettino’s Southampton and the odds on the home win do not tempt me. Give me evens and I will back the home win.
Newcastle Vs Arsenal
Up to the Stoke first red card Newcastle did not offer much of a threat at home to Stoke, but they ran riot in the second half winning the match 5-1. Stoke only had nine players on the pitch. C Tiote will be back for Newcastle.
Arsenal welcome back J Wilshere, but they miss the injured A Ramsey. Podolski made his come back against Wset Ham and he immediately made the difference for Arsenal. They need Podolski playing now that Giroud is going through a lean spell.
It is true that Arsenal are topping the Premier League, but their present form is not their season best and under the circumstances my vote goes to the home side. Big odds and I also think this will be an over game.
Tottenham Vs Stoke
Paulinho will play again for Tottenham, but they lose their strong defender K Walker to a suspension.
Stoke have to manage without the suspended M Wilson and G Whelan. Their first choice keeper Begovic is not yet fit. Stoke looked good against Newcastle and they were full value for their 1-0 lead, but reduced to ten, nine men they caved in the second half.
Tottenham could not break down a very stubborn WBA defence and it was hard not to be disappointed with their display. Home win, I guess.