- Posted by Geoff Reid
- On November 4, 2011
- 0 Comments
- 2011 EPL Season
By Geoff Reid
Newcastle United vs Everton from St. James’ Park, Newcastle
Credit must be given to Alan Pardew and his back room staff at Newcastle United for the tremendous season they’re having. Quietly gone about their business, the magpies currently sit third after their win at Stoke on Monday night. Who would have thought that at the beginning of the season? They meet an Everton side that despite some impressive displays at times, still look inconsistent, and sit in 16th place in the league table.
Prediction: Newcastle United 2-1 Everton
Arsenal vs West Brom from the Emirates Stadium, London
Well we all can officially say that Arsenal are okay after their terrible start to the season. Will it be too much ground to make up? Possibly, depending on what you’re talking about. The league yes, but the top four, probably not. We still got a long season yet, and with the form striker Robin van Persie is in currently, the Champions League places can be achieved. West Brom on the other hand were unbeaten in four league games before Liverpool won at the Hawthorns last weekend. Manager Roy Hodgson will be looking for more consistency for the hit or miss baggies, but this one will be difficult to come by.
Prediction: Arsenal 3-0 West Brom
Aston Villa vs Norwich City from Villa Park, Birmingham
The home side were another club who quietly got off to a decent start this season, and now it looks as this is manager Alex McLeish’s toughest part of the season so far with his team winless in their last three matches. They still do sit in mid table right now, but if they were to lose this match could potentially drop to 16th in the league table. The visit of Norwich City has Paul Lambert’s side sitting one point above Villa, and the canaries will be very confident after some very good, mature performances this season, including their fightback away at Blackburn last weekend.
Prediction: Aston Villa 1-2 Norwich City
Blackburn Rovers vs Chelsea from Ewood Park, Blackburn
This match features two managers who are under a bit of pressure at the moment, one ever since he got the gig, and the other possibly facing his greatest test so far in a young managerial career. For Blackburn, question marks still remain over the club with what direction the ownership wants to take it, and the fans wanting Steve Kean out as boss, although he claims he has the support of most of the fan base. For Chelsea, they have lost their last two league games in London derbies, and will be disappointed with their 1-1 draw away to Genk in the Champions League in midweek. The pressure may be a bit harsh on Andre Villas-Boas, but that comes with the job.
Prediction: Blackburn Rovers 0-3 Chelsea
Liverpool vs Swansea City from Anfield, Liverpool
The reds are unbeaten in seven matches, and a win would temporarily move Liverpool into fifth position above Tottenham as the favorites for the top four positions come season’s end looks to end up taking shape. They will have to do it without their skipper Steven Gerrard who is out injured yet again with an ankle infection. Swansea City can be very pleased with their performance so far in the Premier League as they sit 10th in the table. Manager Brendan Rodgers knows that their is still a long way to go, but they will not be scared to go anywhere and pick up points.
Prediction: Liverpool 3-1 Swansea City
Manchester United vs Sunderland from Old Trafford, Manchester
In an interesting move, Sir Alex Ferguson deployed Wayne Rooney as a central midfielder against Galati during Champions League play. This weekend, he’s likely to go back up front where he plays best where it’s a celebration of Ferguson’s 25th anniversary as United’s manager which is an incredible feat for any coach in any sport. The legendary Scot welcomes Sunderland, and former captain Steve Bruce who’s side haven’t had the best of starts, but with a win against Bolton and an away draw at Aston Villa in their last two games, things finally look to be on the up for the black cats.
Prediction: Manchester United 2-0 Sunderland
QPR vs Manchester City from Loftus Road, London
In a clash that really can be billed as David vs Goliath, Neil Warnock’s Rangers welcome Roberto Mancini’s rich boys who look to be a class of their own, at least so far this season. After a slow start in Europe, it looks like the citizens are in good stead to qualify for the knockout rounds of the Champions League, and another win this weekend in league play will only continue to underline their position at top spot. After defeating Chelsea at home a fortnight ago, QPR won’t be scared of City, and Loftus Road can become a fortress for them this season.
Prediction: QPR 1-3 Manchester City
Wolves vs Wigan Athletic from Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton
It’s only November, but can we call this a relegation six pointer? Quite possibly, and Mick McCarthy’s Wolves side have not won a league game since August 21st after a fairly promising start in their opening few matches. If that sounds bad enough, his opposite number Roberto Martinez has his lactics team currently bottom of the league with only six goals scored on the whole season. Last season was a miracle in how Wigan stayed up, but if they pull it off again this season, it would be an even greater task Martinez to achieve.
Prediction: Wolves 1-1 Wigan Athletic
Bolton Wanderers vs Stoke City from the Reebok Stadium, Bolton
It’s been a horrible season for Owen Coyle’s Bolton side, and already conceding 27 goals so far is proof of that. They were a pleasant surprise last season with their free flowing football, but that’s all in the past now as they look to climb the table and get away from the current relegation zone they’re in. Of course the odds are in their favor for once, with Stoke City playing a Europa League game in Israel on Thursday night, and Tony Pulis’ side have looked tired in games after their European exploits.
Prediction: Bolton Wanderers 2-1 Stoke City
Fulham vs Tottenham from Craven Cottage, London
This match could be about who has more strength in depth after both teams playing in European competition on Thursday night. Of course Fulham played at home, while Tottenham had to fly to Russia to take on Rubin Kazan without manager Harry Redknapp due to heart surgery. It’s unknown at this point whether Redknapp will be back on the touchline, but one thing that is for sure is cottagers manager Martin Jol would love to get one over his old club, and further climb the table.
Prediction: Fulham 3-2 Tottenham