BPL: Week Ten Preview and Predictions
A top of the table clash between league leaders, Arsenal, and third-placed, Liverpool, takes center stage as the marquee match up of week ten. Brenden Rodgers' Liverpool team travel to the Emirates following a 4-1 demolition of West Bromich, courtesy of a Luis Suarez hat-trick. The Uruguayan has formed a prolific strike partnership with Daniel Sturridge, combining for 14 goals so far this season.
Suarez could have very easily been lining up in an Arsenal shirt on Saturday, the talisman was the subject of a $64 million bid from the Gunners during the summer transfer window. Arsene Wenger has seen his side play some sublime soccer this campaign, they are unbeaten in their last 8 Premier League matches and have scored a league leading 20 goals. With the likes of Mesut Ozil, Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge, and Olivier Giroud all on display, i fully expect goals in this mouth-watering encounter of English footballing giants.
Prediction: 2-2 Arsenal v Liverpool
Second placed, Chelsea, go in search of their fourth BPL win on the bounce as they travel to St. James Park to face Newcastle United. The Blues will be hoping to keep the momentum going following a late 2-1 victory over title rivals Manchester City last weekend. Jose Mourinho's team could potentially go top of the table, depending on the result of the Arsenal v Liverpool match. Newcastle, on the other hand, have suffered a turbulent week after a 2-1 defeat at the hands of bitter North-East rivals Sunderland. Even though St. James Park is always a tough place to get a result, I believe Chelsea's superior quality will see them run out comfortable winners.
Prediction: 0-2 Chelsea
Manchester United are in desperate need of points to move up the Premier League table ,as they travel to Craven Cottage to face off against Fulham. David Moyes' United have underperformed this season, but showed signs of a turnaround after coming from behind to beat Stoke City last weekend. The Reds also dispatched Norwich City 4-0 in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday. Fulham have been inconsistent so far, the Cottagers occupy 14th spot in the table and are only two points above the relegation zone. Martin Jol's team have also struggled at home, winning only one of their three home games this season. I think Man United will continue their revival with three points in the one.
Prediction: 0-2 Man United
Manchester City will be looking to bounce back from their last-grasp 2-1 loss to Chelsea as they welcome Norwich to the Etihad Stadium. Manuel Pellegrini's City have made a stuttering start to the season, recording big wins such as the 4-1 demolition of Manchester United but also slipping to defeat at the hands of Aston Villa and newly promoted Cardiff City. Pellegrini must decide if he keeps faith in keeper Joe Hart, the England number one was partly to blame for Chelsea's late winner last weekend.
Costel Pantilimon started in goal on Wednesay in their Capital One Cup clash against Newcastle. Norwich provide the perfect remedy for City, the Canaries currently sit in the relegation zone and have conceded 11 goals in their last 4 games in all competitions.
Prediction: 3-1 Man City
Elsewhere on Saturday, high-flying Southampton will be hoping to continue their excellent form as they travel to the Britannia Stadium to face struggling Stoke City. ?The fifth placed Saints are unbeaten in their last six matches and have the meanest defense in the BPL. Mark Hughes' Stoke are winless in their last six and sit only one spot above the relegation zone. Sunderland and new manager Gus Poyet will be looking to build on their derby win over Newcastle as they play Hull City at the KC Stadium. The Black Cats ended a run of ?six consecutive defeats with that win but still sit in 19th spot, 4 points adrift of safety. Hull have made a solid start upon their return the Premier League, and sit mid table in 10th. West Ham will go in search of their first home win since opening weekend when Aston Villa visits Upton Park. The Hammers are 15th in the table, just one point behind 13th place Villa. Finally, West Bromich hope to return to winning ways as they entertain bottom of the table Crystal Palace. The Baggies are winless in their last three matches following their shock 2-1 victory over Manchester United in late September. Caretaker manager Keith Millen will again take charge of a Palace side who have lost six in a row.
Prediction: 0-1 Southampton
Prediction: 1-1 Hull v Sunderland
Prediction: 1-0 West Ham
Prediction: 2-1 West Brom
Tottenham face a tough test as they travel to Goodison Park to face Everton in the first of two enticing?fixtures on Sunday. Goodison Park is always one of the hardest places to play as the visting team and the the Toffees have only dropped two points there this season. Under new manager Roberto Martinez, Everton have made their best start through nine games since the 2004/2005. Tottenham have also made an excellent start to their campaign, Spurs sit fourth in the table and have only lost once on their travels so far. All signs point to a thrilling encounter between two teams who have serious ambitions of a top four finish. However, Tottenham have struggled to find goals recently so I believe Everton will nick a home win in this match.
Prediction: 2-1 Everton
Sunday's South Wales derby between Cardiff City and Swansea City could possibly be the most entertaining fixture of the weekend. The bitter welsh rivals will meet for the first time as Premier League clubs and the global audience will get their first taste of the hostility between these two teams. After a tough start to the season, the Swans have improved recently and are beginning to climb up the table. Cardiff, on the other hand, have found out just how difficult the BPL can be and have slipped to 16th. I expect Swansea to have that extra quality and experience to overcome the Bluebirds but anything can happen in a derby.
Prediction: 1-0 Swansea
Source: BBC Sport, sportsmole.co.uk