This weekend sees some cracking live games in the Barclays Premier League – here’s my preview of the games.
West Ham United v Manchester City – Saturday 25th October 2014 – 12:45pm KO – Upton Park
4th v 2nd – The Champions have the opportunity to put the pressure on the leaders Chelsea as a win will reduce the current deficit to two points. They managed to do it last weekend after an early kick off victory over Spurs in what is now known as the ‘Four Star Sergio Aguero’ show. I doubt West Ham will be as open as their London counterparts, but they do have the strikers to punish City if they are as open as they were in the match versus Tottenham and at times through the season really. West Ham are on a good run, you would not expect an Allardyce team to be so free flowing with their football and the boo boys from the end of last season have disappeared – for now, though I suspect Big Sam may revert to type as trying to go toe to toe with the blues from Manchester is suicide in their current attacking form. The team from the Etihad have had a long trip to Moscow to contend with this week and I feel this may work against them when facing an in form Hammers outfit.
My prediction – West Ham 1 Manchester City 1
Swansea City v Leicester City – Saturday 25th October 2014 – 5:30pm KO – Liberty Stadium
It seems a long time since August for the Welsh side when their fantastic opening day win over Manchester United, followed by victories over Burnley and West Brom saw them joint top of the table. However that was when they last won in the Premier League. They have led in three of their subsequent five games but have not been able to hold onto their lead. Manager, Garry Monk will be hoping for more of a killer instinct against their East Midlands visitors. Leicester are also on a non-winning run. After their amazing comeback win against Manchester United, the Foxes have not won a game!!!!!!! In three matches they have lost two and were pegged back by Burnley in the last minute, which resulted in two points dropped. Last seasons Championship winners have approached all their matches with no fear and they will see this game at the Liberty as an opportunity to come away with something. Two sides out of form at the moment, but Swansea’s extra quality will see them through in my opinion in what I feel will be a very attractive and open game.
My Prediction – Swansea 3 Leicester 1
Burnley v Everton – Sunday 26th October 2014 – 1:30pm KO – Turf Moor
An intriguing game kicks off Super Sunday’s action this coming weekend. Burnley have struggled since returning to the top flight something that their manager Sean Dyche has not been hiding. The main problem has been scoring goals (they broke a club record stretching back to the the 1970s going over 652 minutes of league football without a goal) – ironically they have scored three goals since then and against West Ham they looked dangerous and deserved more than the one they did score, however their defence which has on the whole been miserly were caught out too easily. Everton have had a difficult start to the season they have found it hard the juggling of being in Europe as well as trying to maintain league form, injuries to key players have not been helpful as well as some awful defending. They got back on track with a convincing win over Aston Villa last week and will hope to continue this on Sunday at their Northwest rivals. They will be turning up on the back of a Europa League foray to Lille and will need to make sure they start on the front foot in what will be a typically raucous atmosphere at Turf Moor. Goals will be the order of the day in my opinion.
My Prediction – Burnley 2 v Everton 4
Manchester United v Chelsea – Sunday 26th October 2014 – 4pm KO – Old Trafford
A huge game pitting a LVG run Manchester United side rebuilding against a Mou run Chelsea who have already been built. The 20 times top fight champions topsy turvy season continued with a late but wholly deserved equalizer in their last league game against West Brom, but it is clear for all the world to see that if you attack their defence you will get through without too much trouble – shambolic really when you have spent 150 million + on reinforcements and it was a clear issue last season. The Dutchman’s philosophy can be seen in their attacking and possession game but a far too open backdoor is undermining the whole plan. Chelsea on the other hand have the balance as we stand, whilst I write this they are five points clear in the league and in Diego Costa have arguably the signing of the summer. Jose is already playing his mind games claiming the injured striker is likely not to play on Sunday, but until I see the team sheet I don’t believe a word. However with United’s defensive problems, replacements Remy or even old man Drogba will be able to break through, especially with a crack midfield where Cesc Fabregas has slotted in like he has been there for years and is now the heartbeat of the team and that’s not even mentioning enforcer Matic and the flair of Hazard, Oscar and Willian. Lets be honest the key to this game is how the Reds of Manchester work defensively (including midfield cover). They have the quality up front (I can see Falcao being a proper menace) to cause Chelsea problems and every teams ascent to some kind of glory has to start with a crucial result to build confidence and kick start a run of wins. One thing is for sure in this match – BOTH TEAMS WILL SCORE!!!!!!!
My Prediction – Manchester United 2 v Chelsea 1
Queens Park Rangers v Aston Villa – Monday 27th October 2014 – 8pm KO – Loftus Road
On paper this game may seem run of the mill, but in my opinion it is huge for both teams. The home side are bottom of the Premier League (on goal difference), they have won once and have performed poorly in the majority of their other games, and the pressure is mounting on manager Harry Redknapp – whatever he says. An improved performance at home against Liverpool last week (where they should have come away with at least a point) ended up in defeat, the same type of willingness will be needed against the Villans, with the final score needing to be in their favour. As for Aston Villa, a season where it was predicted they would struggle started off brilliantly. A win at Anfield the highlight of a ten point haul that saw them second in table after four games. However things have been a bit tougher since and they have lost their last four matches in the league and have plummeted to mid-table. Worryingly for their manager Paul Lambert and new assistant Roy Keane, they have folded in three of those matches (two late goals were conceded after a good performance against Manchester City) letting in eleven whilst not managing one themselves. The return of Christian Benteke is a timely boost and they will hope he can get up to speed sooner rather than later or it could be a long long long autumn for the West Midlands team. So two teams struggling and I fancy a tight game, QPR will see this as a great opportunity for a win, and Villa will want to stop the rot.
My Prediction – QPR 1 Aston Villa 1
ps there is also the small matter of El Clasico this Saturday in La Liga. The Bernabeu hosts the first one this season and will very likely see the return of Luis Suarez to competitive football – amazing how the date has fallen – hmmm. Barcelona have not conceded a goal in La Liga yet, though with Cristiano Ronaldo already having scored an astonishing 15 goals in 8 matches you suspect the run may well end come this weekend. The Catalans have a four point lead over their Madrid rivals and the advantage of an extra days rest after Champions League duties for both teams in midweek. Strangely, Real played on Wednesday night in Liverpool, with this game a 5pm KO back in Spain – so Los Blancos will have less than three days rest and potentially no Gareth Bale too. A cracker is in store as always.
My Prediction – a six goal thriller – Real Madrid 3 Barcelona 3
Let me know what you think (probably not the same as me I suspect!!!!!!!) – you can also tweet me @biggishmouth or go to my facebook page at www.facebook.com/thebiggishmouth