BPL: Week Eleven Preview and Predictions
This Sunday will see two Premier League giants lock horns as top of the league, Arsenal, travel to Old Trafford to face an improving Manchester United. The Gunners head into the clash five points clear at the top following last Saturday’s 2-0 win over Liverpool at the Emirates, while United have overcome their stuttering start and have won back-to-back BPL matches for the first time under David Moyes.
The defending champions, who are currently eighth in the table, know that victory is pivotal if they are going to drag themselves back into the title race. Another defeat would leave Moyes’ men 11 points behind the Gunners. Arsenal will be looking to confirm their status as genuine title contenders and also seeking revenge following their 8-2 thrashing at the hands of Man United back in 2011. I expect a tight encounter in this match, and I think both managers would settle for a point a piece.
Prediction: 1-1 Man United v Arsenal
Chelsea will be hoping to bounce back from their shocking 2-0 defeat to Newcastle last weekend when they entertain West Bromich at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. The Blues, who currently sit second in the table on goal difference, are five points adrift of their London rivals Arsenal. Eden Hazard returns to the Chelsea squad after being left out of their midweek Champion’s League match for disciplinary reasons. West Brom have moved up to 11th place after losing just one of their last six matches, but have only won just one of their 16 encounters at Stamford Bridge. Jose Mourinho will not tolerate another slip up, and I believe Chelsea will offer a much improved performance.
Prediction: 2-0 Chelsea
Liverpool will look to get back to winning ways as Fulham visit Anfield. Despite the 2-0 loss to Arsenal last weekened, the Reds have made a positive start, losing just twice in their first 10 fixtures. The Cottagers, on the other hand, have been disappointing so far this campaign, winning just three matches out of ten. Speculation surrounding the future of manager Martin Jol continues to swirl, and a win over third-placed Liverpool would go a long way to alleviate the pressure. However, the fire power of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge will prove too much for Fulham.
Prediction: 3-1 Liverpool
Elsewhere on Saturday, bottom of the table Crystal Palace are desperate for points as they welcome Everton to Selhurt Park. The Eagles have lost seven on the bounce, and look doomed for relegation unless their performance drastically improves. In their predicament, Everton are one of the worst sides to face. The Toffees have been highly impressive under new manager Roberto Martinez and offer an excellent blend of youth and experience.
Prediction: 0-2 Everton
High-flying Southampton will be hoping to continue their fantastic form as they host Hull City at St. Mary’s. The Saints are currently sixth in the table, and have not tasted defeat since their 1-0 loss to Norwich on August 31st. Manager Mauricio Pochettino was awarded the manager of the month award for October.
Prediction: 1-0 Southamton
Cardiff City will be hoping to build on their win over bitter rivals, Swansea, when they travel to Villa Park to face off against Aston Villa. Villa are winless in their last five BPL matches. Finally, third from bottom Norwich City will be desperate for a win when they host West Ham at Carrow Road. The Canaries are coming off the back of a humiliating 7-0 thumping at the hands of Manchester City.
1-1 Aston Villa v Cardiff
On Sunday, Manchester City travel to the Stadium of Light to face second-bottom Sunderland. City have struggled on the road this season but can not afford another slip up as they attempt to catch their tittle rivals. Sergio Aguero has been spectacular so far, scoring eight goals this season and was the player of the month for October. Newcastle United will be out to cause another shock when they travel to White Hart Lane to play Tottenham. The Magpies stunned Chelsea last weekend with a 2-0 victory, which helped to relive the pressure on Alan Pardew. Spurs have made a solid start under Andre Villas-Boas but have struggled to score goals recently. Finally, Swansea City will be hoping to bounce back from their loss in the South Wales derby against a struggling Stoke side.
0-3 Manchester City
1-1 Newcastle v Tottenham
Source: BBC Sport, sportsmole.co.uk