EPL 2011, Week 8: Preview

EPL 2011, Week 8: Preview

  • Posted by Geoff Reid
  • On October 14, 2011
  • 2011 EPL Season

By Geoff Reid

Saturday 15th
Liverpool vs Manchester United from Anfield, Liverpool
What a fixture to welcome back club football from it’s international break with the biggest rivalry in English football! Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has a full squad to choose from for this one with everyone being healthy for the first time in recent memory. Whether captain Steven Gerrard will be healthy enough to start is too early to tell, but he will play some part in this one. All eyes will also be on England striker Wayne Rooney after his indiscretion in an England shirt last weekend.
Prediction: Liverpool 2-1 Manchester United

Manchester City vs Aston Villa from the Etihad Stadium, Manchester
The drama around this fixture will no doubt be City’s Argentine striker Carlos Tevez after completing his two weeks suspension the club gave him since he refused to come on as a substitute in the Champions League away to Bayern Munich. The odds of him being selected by Roberto Mancini for this one are extremely unlikely. With this whole saga not going to go away until he eventually leaves the club, which should be January at the earliest, Aston Villa will be looking to capitalize on all the distractions.
Prediction: Manchester City 3-1 Aston Villa

Norwich City vs Swansea City from Carrow Road, Norwich
The first battle of the promoted sides of the season, and both will be looking to get victories in these games if they are to survive this season in the top flight. With both clubs only separated by four points last season when they gained promotion, this one should be a tight affair. The home side won 2-0 in this fixture last season, while Swansea City actually won 3-0 at their ground against the opposition. Both clubs aren’t scoring a heck of a lot of goals so far, so this should not be a goal fest.
Prediction: Norwich City 1-0 Swansea City

QPR vs Blackburn Rovers from Loftus Road, London
Both of these clubs are coming off thrashings two weeks ago before the international break with the home side getting beat 6-0 away to Fulham. Rangers manager Neil Warnock will expect instant improvement from his side against a struggling Blackburn team with the pressure on an all time high on Rovers manager Steve Kean. He took his team to a trip to India over the break, and still couldn’t get away from the criticism, and with the owners now officially saying results need to improve otherwise he will get the boot.
Prediction: QPR 2-0 Blackburn Rovers

Stoke City vs Fulham from the Britannia Stadium, Stoke
While Stoke City have struggled to cope with the duel schedule of league and European play, they are unbeaten at home in all competitions which has turned into a fortress over the last few seasons. After Fulham’s first win in league play this season, cottagers manager Martin Jol, will be looking for more of the same after their thrashing of QPR two weeks ago.
Prediction: Stoke City 2-2 Fulham

Wigan Athletic vs Bolton Wanderers from the DW Stadium, Wigan
A battle of two sides that have struggled massively so far this season, and being both are in the relegation zone currently, this is the fixture where both will think they can get something from. Wigan will certainly not feel sympathetic to Bolton, who have had just terrible luck so far with injuries, and the fixture list hasn’t been kind to them. After playing both Manchester clubs, Liverpool, Chelsea, and Arsenal, the trotters now have a favorable list of games they believe they can get points from and climb the table.
Prediction: Wigan Athletic 2-2 Bolton Wanderers

Chelsea vs Everton from Stamford Bridge, London
As we sit right now, Chelsea are three points behind the leaders at the top of the table, and will be looking to gain ground on Manchester United. Andre Villas-Boas’ side have seemed to put their defeat at Old Trafford fully behind them, but will not welcome off the field distractions in regards of new stadium talk. Everton manager David Moyes will be looking for his side to bounce back from the Merseyside derby defeat two weeks ago at the hands of Liverpool.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Everton

Sunday 16th
West Brom vs Wolves from the Hawthorns, Birmingham
In this black country derby, Albion currently sit one point above the relegation zone, and manager Roy Hodgson knows his side need to win at home, which they’ve failed to do so this season, if they are to start climbing up the table. For Wolves, after a bright start to the season, they are currently on four consecutive defeats, and will be looking at this fixture as a chance to put things right.
Prediction: West Brom 1-2 Wolves

Arsenal vs Sunderland from the Emirates Stadium, London
The pressure is on both managers Arsene Wenger and Steve Bruce for this tie. Arsenal have had one of the worst starts to a season in recent memory, and the defeat in the north London derby is still fresh to many gunners supporters. Arsenal need to start winning, now pure and simply. At Sunderland, after all the summer signings Bruce has made, his side currently sit 16th in the table, and doesn’t look good for investment so far in this squad.
Prediction: Arsenal 2-0 Sunderland

Newcastle United vs Tottenham from St. James Park, Newcastle
Slowly and quietly, Newcastle have made an unbeaten start this season, and after all the players they’ve let go and drama surrounding the club, manager Alan Pardew is doing a good job. The opening fixture,a stalemate against Arsenal, seemed tricky when you first look at it, but this one should be more trickier with an in form Spurs side looking to keep up their winning ways.
Prediction: Newcastle United 2-2 Tottenham