This will be my second blog and my new series. This series will overlook Saturday’s games with relative detail previewing the upcoming matches of the week. Unfortunately I will not have the time to do a series for the mid-week matches and must be confined to Saturday games only.
Being a Toffee I will begin with the Everton and Wigan game. If Everton can keep up their prolific form then the Wigan back three will be under a lot of pressure throughout the game. However, due to Wigan’s infamous 3-4-3 formation the Toffee’s will come hard pressed to keep the ball with Wigan’s high pressure tactics allowing their three forwards a lot of room to terrorise the Everton back four. In some understandings, the Blue’s back four has been their downfall this season if any is to be pinpointed. Although Jagielka and Distin have been fantastic with last-ditch tackles and keeping the back four organised, Everton find it difficult to regain possession and work their way from the back without the opposition helping with careless mistakes. Both teams are having a very different goal scoring form, with Everton scoring a very strong twelve in their last six league games and Wigan only managing a modest five. Judging from the league table Everton are ‘punching above their weight’ so to speak, by revelling in their second position behind Chelsea, above the likes of Manchester United and rivals Liverpool. However, Wigan are set for a moderate season themselves currently placed at a respectable sixteenth.
Prediction: Judging from both team’s current form I would predict a 2-0 win to Everton, if the Toffee’s bring their strong game that has graced the season thus far.
The second game on the agenda for Saturday is the Chelsea against Norwich City fixture. Chelsea, as expected, are in fantastic form and heading the table with a solid sixteen points from five wins and a draw. Chelsea has salvaged a respectable eleven goals from these six fixtures, including goals against strong opponents such as Arsenal and Newcastle. In-form players such as Hazard and Mata will prove influential in the upcoming fixture and really have a chance to flex their legs and boast their skill against relegation-threatened Norwich. However, Norwich have shown their ability to score against strong opposition netting two goals against a Liverpool side that showed signs of their potential.
Prediction: I believe Chelsea will turn this match into a goal-scoring fiesta and take the opportunity to improve their goal difference. I predict a 4-0 Chelsea win at Stamford Bridge.
Manchester City against Sunderland will be the third fixture covered, played at the City of Manchester Stadium. The league champions are having a poor season by their standards with a mere three wins in six games, the rest resulting in draws against mid-table opposition such as Stoke City and struggling sides Arsenal and Liverpool, respectively. The league champions will come off a 2-1 win against Fulham with Aguero and Dzeko sealing the points. Sunderland are having a very neutral season with four draws out of their five games. Their only win thus far was against Wigan last Saturday. Sunderland’s Steven Fletcher has scored all of the Black Cat’s goals in the league this season, netting a respectable five in four appearances.
Prediction: I predict that if Fletcher starts and plays well throughout, the Black Cat’s can pressure City into forcing mistakes as they have in previous games. City will obviously be no push-overs winning the league last season through late dedication. I predict a 2-1 win for City if they have a strong performance.
The fourth fixture of the weekend will be Arsenal playing West Ham at the Boleyn Ground. Arsenal’s form stuttered along this season with two victories, three draws and a loss to Chelsea last week. Arsenal’s scoring record hasn’t been too affected by the loss of Robin van Persie as they have still scored a respectable ten this campaign. Arsenal’s back four has been fantastic with only four goals getting past them this season. However, players like Laurent Koscielny proving to be as controversial as ever with his ‘assist’ helping along Juan Mata’s free kick to hand Chelsea the win. West Ham, however, are placed just one place higher than Arsenal so far, scoring a modest seven goals in their six league games. West Ham themselves are coming off the back of a 2-1 win over QPR. Players such as Matt Jarvis and Santi Cazorla will prove extremely influential in the match. If key players perform well, the match could go either way.
Prediction: I predict a 1-0 win to Arsenal depending on whether it is the world-class Gervinho that turns up to play.
The fifth prediction I will make will be for the upcoming Swansea and Reading match. Swansea City have won two games this season, but both being very early in the season and their past four results have been a draw followed by three losses. The Swan’s have not scored in their past three games, all resulting on losses. Whilst their form is deteriorating Reading have managed to follow up their draw and three losses with a 2-2 draw against Newcastle United. This could be the sign of a turn-around for Reading scoring two goals against strong opposition and managing to repel Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse for the majority of the match.
Prediction: I predict a 1-0 victory for Reading, providing they can improve on their recent result against Newcastle and pick up their first win of the season.
The final game for Saturday that I will preview is West Brom against QPR fixture. West Brom are another team that are playing extremely well, currently sixth, with an impressive run of form. QPR are in a run of awful form with four losses out of their six games with a dismal thirteen goals scored against them. Big spending QPR should be a lot more comfortably placed in the mid-table than dead last with players such as Granero, M’Bia and Cisse in their ranks. However, they are playing poorly which can only come down to player belief and tactics. Their run of form will need to change at some point if they are to stay up this season and give credit to their owners for investing so much money into the club with such little results.
Prediction: I predict that West Brom will take this game 2-1 unless QPR can rapidly change their form by possibly adjusting and tweaking their tactics and starting lineup.