April 25, 2015 By Fabian Odhiambo
Southampton v Tottenham Hotspur
Head to head: P185 W61 D48 L76
Last five meetings: P5 W0 D0 L5
Fabian says: Two teams both chasing something between Champions League and Europa League slots. Both have been in inconsistent form of late, you wonder what this fixture will conjure up. Mauricio Pochettino makes his return to his former turf so this should add extra spice. 1-1 is just about an okay result.
Fridah says: I just fancy the Saints to get the result. They would like to prove their former manager wrong and what better way than finishing ahead of his new team.
Did You Know: Southampton have allowed fewer shots on target against them than any other team in the BPL. (93)
Robbie Fowler (twice) and Chris Sutton are the only two players to reach 20 goals in a BPL season at a younger age than Harry Kane has this term.
Burnley v Leicester City
Head to head: P105 W43 D30 L32
Last five meetings: P5 W0 D2 L3
Fabian says: A proper relegation six pointer and probably the fixture of the round. The touring Foxes have been in excellent form, winning 3 on the bounce and know victory at Turf Moor could go a long way in preserving their top flight status. Burnley on the other hand need to start converting their gutsy displays into points, fast! A potential 5 goal thriller on the cards with Leicester City edging it 3-2? I’m going by that.
Fridah says: Massive game. This is probably the game to watch this weekend. A resurgent Foxes team vs. a hardworking Burnley team.Sadly, hard work hasn’t been working for Burnley and I don’t think it will this time either.
Did You Know: Leicester City were bottom of the table for 140 days before last weekend’s win over Swansea City. No team has ever been bottom for that long in a single Barclays Premier League season and not been relegated.
George Boyd has made the joint-most tackles in the top flight this season (107) along with Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic.
Crystal Palace v Hull City
Head to head: P51 W15 D17 L19
Last five meetings: P5 W3 D1 L1
Fabian says: Pards’ juggernaut was halted last weekend by a wily Tony Pulis, but they should be back to winning ways against a Hull side that doesn’t really have much going for them. A raucous Selhurst Park will spur Palace to a 3-1 win.
Fridah says: Besides that small bump last weekend, Crystal Palace seem like they will go on to win all their remaining matches. They know that a win against Hull will take their tally to 45 equaling their total for last season. Hull are dull. I don’t expect much from them.
Did You Know: Crystal Palace have recovered more points from losing positions than any other team in the Barclays Premier League this season (18).
Palace have committed more fouls than any other team in the BPL this season (447).
Newcastle United v Swansea City
Head to head: P41 W22 D6 L13
Last five meetings: W0 D1 L4
Fabian says: Just how many games in succession can Newcastle lose? Seems like they are in a competition to break such unwanted records. Swansea are poised to reach their highest league points tally so that should motivate them enough. 1-0 to the Swans.
Fridah says: Newcastle just seem out of sorts at the moment. They are the team that any team would want to face right now for the guaranteed three points. Swansea should easily beat them.
Did You Know: Newcastle’s opening goal has come at a later time, on average, than the opener of any other side this term (52nd minute).
Swansea’s last six league away matches have seen them alternate between wins and defeats. If this run was to continue, they would win this match. (We all love a pattern, Come On Swans).
Queen Park Rangers v West Ham United
Head to head: P92 W30 D24 L38
Last five meetings: W1 D1 L3
Fabian says: London Derby and don’t we like them? QPR need the win and the Hammers aren’t that confident either.
Fridah says: Probably the dullest of the London derbies. It is still a big game in the fight for survival in the Premier League. QPR have dear life to fight for and fight they will. West Ham seem to be in a comfort zone.
Did You Know: Queens Park Rangers striker Charlie Austin has had a hand in 55% of his team’s goals, the highest proportion of any player for a BPL club this season.
QPR winger Matt Phillips has been involved in nine goals (two goals and seven assists) in his last nine league appearances.
Stoke City v Sunderland
Head to head: P145 W45 D36 L64
Last five meetings: W2 D1 L2
Fabian says: After a series of losses, Stoke finally got something on the board last weekend against Southampton and should be in the mood for similar against a Sunderland on free-fall.
Fridah says: The Black Cats do love a relegation battle. They are slowly getting sucked into the depths of the possibility of championship football and I think Stoke will help push them a little deeper.
Did You Know: Stoke City are the only team in the Barclays Premier League who have not picked up any red cards this season. (Yeah, I went through the same range of emotions. I still don’t believe it.)
Sunderland have the lowest-scoring top goal-scorer in the 2014/15 BPL campaign (Adam Johnson, Connor Wickham and Steven Fletcher with four goals).
West Bromwich Albion v Liverpool
Head to head: P143 W38 D39 L66
Last five meetings: W1 D1 L3
Fabian says: Ah, I don’t know. I want to fancy WBA building on their Palace scalp in the last outing, but Liverpool are wounded from their Wembley Cup disappointment. They are still in on gatecrashing the top 4 party so maybe they have some fire in them. But based on those contrasting storylines going into the Hawthorns clash, West Brom to frustrate Liverpool.
Fridah says: WBA will be inspired by their win over the Eagles last weekend and I think Liverpool are still hurting for messing up Steven Gerrard’s birthday/farewell party/medal. I fancy WBA to win a second in a row.
Did You Know: Tony Pulis has never lost a BPL home match against Liverpool (W3 D3).
The Hawthorns has seen 11 goals scored in the opening 15 minutes of matches this season; more than at any other top-flight ground.
Manchester City v Aston Villa
Head to head:
Last five meetings:
Fabian says: The fallen champions showed semblance of a return to decent form with that win over the Hammers. Villa on the other hand are on a crest of their Wembley exploits but must come back to earth to guarantee league safety. You get the feeling that they are probably hangovered still and may be a bit more static.
Fridah says: What an impact Sherwood has had on the once relegation threatened Aston Villa. They are playing with renewed spirits and vigor. They have now scored 12 goals in 8 compared to 12 goals in 25 under Lambert with Christian Benteke scoring 9 in 9. They have climbed out of the relegation zone and are in the FA Cup final. I think they will trouble a shaky Manchester City.
Did You Know: Manchester City have won more Barclays Premier League matches (20) and scored more goals (65) versus Aston Villa than against any other team.
Sergio Aguero has now reached 20 goals in two different BPL seasons; only four players have done it more often in the competition’s history (Alan Shearer – 7, Thierry Henry – 5, Ruud van Nistelrooy – 4, Les Ferdinand – 3).
Everton v Manchester United
Head to head: P192 W68 D42 L82
Last five meetings: W3 D0 L2
Fabian says: The Toffees have been quietly going about their business climbing up the log, but face a supreme test of their rejuvenated selves in a United side still smarting from their 79%-possession failure at Stamford Bridge (haha). Van Gaal’s side are keen to put pressure on Arsenal in the race for second and so have no time to brood.
Fridah says: Everton seem to be regaining some of their form from their wonderful season 13/14. They seem to be on the ascendancy. Manchester United have been on great form until they were bored to submission last weekend. This will be a tough battle.
Did You Know: Four different players have taken a penalty for Everton this season, and three have missed, including Leighton Baines at Old Trafford against Man United in the reverse fixture.
Everton have dropped more points from winning positions than any other team in the Barclays Premier League this season (19).
Arsenal vs. Chelsea
Head to head: P184 W71 D54 L59
Last five meetings: W0 D1 L4
Fabian says: Contrary to the hopes of many, this is no title decider – the 10 points difference doesn’t allow for such sentiment. Chelsea are closing in on glory, the only question being how soon can they tie it up. Arsene Wenger hasn’t beaten Jose Mourinho in 12 attempts. There’s a first for everything, only that it isn’t this Sunday. Since Arsenal are at home, 1-1 it is.
Fridah says: This has become the most politicized fixture in recent history. The two managers are portrayed to be at opposing end of the spectrum. Rightist and leftist. Devil and Angel. The 22 men battling for the ball are forgotten in this fixture as all the attention is on the managers. If the managers fought, it would be bigger than Mayweather and Pacquiao. If Arsenal do things right, they should get that coveted win.