Fabian and Fridah’s Picks – MW6September 19, 2015
Chelsea v Arsenal
Last five meetings: W2 D2 L1
Fabian says: Personally, it’s my worst fixture of the league. It’s really hard to picture Arsenal picking Jose Mourinho’s pockets at his backyard regardless of Chelsea’s recent poor form. Though if Arsene Wenger opts to play on the counter, the win might come.
Fridah says: The Gunners were poor against Dinamo Zagreb but that’s down to the quality of the players in the team. With the first choice goalkeeper, the first choice fullbacks and DM back, I reckon that Arsenal will give the Blues a rough time and go home with the three vital points. It won’t be so easy though. Chelsea should be confident after their Champions League exploits.
Match facts: Chelsea are unbeaten against Arsenal in their last seven Barclays Premier League matches (W4 D3).
Jose Mourinho has never lost successive league home matches as a manager. His last home BPL match was a 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace.
Aston Villa v West Bromwich Albion
Last five meetings: W2 D1 L2
Fabian says: Midlands Derby at the Villa Park. Don’t we all love this? The Villains are having no problems scoring goals, while the Baggies have to grapple with that. Villa to win.
Fridah says: West Brom are picking up the pace and they should do well against Aston Villa. They will make this derby worth it.
Match facts: West Brom have lost just one of their last six league matches on the road (W3 D2 L1) keeping four clean sheets in that run.
At Villa Park, both sides have scored in all but one of their nine BPL meetings (0-0 in April 2006).
AFC Bournemouth v Sunderland
Last four meetings: W1 L3
Fabian says: Sunderland showed signs of revival and were lucky not to come out with at least a point last Sunday against Spurs. Bournemouth on the other hand come into this on the back of a hiding at Carrow Road and are just getting to grips with how hard the league can get. Whoever’s hungrier should win.
Fridah says: The Black Cats are a team that has just come across a black cat. They seem unlucky or they are just in poor form. The Cherries are suffering from inexperience in the Premier League but on a good day, they are a wonderful unit. I think they’ll pick all the points in this one.
Match facts: Jermain Defoe has scored against 34 different teams in the Barclays Premier League and this will be the first time that he has faced AFC Bournemouth, with whom he was on loan in 2000/01, in the competition.
Just four players have scored against 35+ different clubs in the competition – Frank Lampard (39), Andrew Cole (38), Alan Shearer (37) and Teddy Sheringham (35).
Newcastle United v Watford
Last five meetings: W3 D0 L2
Fabian says: It has to start happening for the Toon Army, right? Or more to the point, they have to start scoring goals. This might be the fixture to herald their revival.
Fridah says: Watford are a very organized team and they are up for every single match. They caused heartbreak to the millions of Fantasy Premier League players and Swansea fans by keeping them at bay. I expect there will be lots of disappointed Toons, though not many FPL managers will be too disappointed.
Match facts: Watford have kept a clean sheet in three of their last four Barclays Premier League matches.
The 1-0 win against Swansea was Watford’s third clean sheet in four BPL matches
Stoke City v Leicester City
Last five meetings: W2 D2 L1
Fabian says: Yeah, Leicester may be irresistible at the moment, but a trip to the Britannia more often than not serves the form team some cold drops of reality. This is such a trip.
Fridah says: Leicester are looking good. Their players are on fire. They have been promised pizza by their manager if they keep a clean sheet and I think they will.
Match facts: Stoke City and Leicester City have only met twice in the Barclays Premier League, with both results ending in a 1-0 win for the away team.
So far this season, Riyad Mahrez has been directly involved in more goals than any other BPL player (six – four goals, two assists) and has beaten his opponent with a dribble on a league-high 22 occasions.
Swansea City v Everton
Last five meetings: W1 D2 L2
Fabian says: The Swans come off a rather shock loss at Watford and will surely be itching to make amends to preserve their erstwhile big-hitters status. Everton are on an almighty high thanks to stunning dispatching of the champions. Tough to call.
Fridah says: This should be an interesting game. Both teams are coming off totally different weekends with a home loss for the home team and an important home win for Everton against the defending champions. All to play for, really. The teams will share the spoils.
Match facts: In last season’s Barclays Premier League, Jonjo Shelvey received a red card against Everton at Goodison Park but then scored against the Toffees at the Liberty Stadium.
Roberto Martinez, who managed 126 matches for Swansea and played for them between January 2003 and May 2006, has overseen two wins and two draws in his four league matches as Everton manager against the Swans.
Manchester City v West Ham United
Last five meetings: W4 D0 L1
Fabian says: The Hammers have proved to hungrier on the road against the big teams and after City’s dismal outing in the Champions League, it isn’t difficult to imagine Slaven Bilic’s men collecting yet another elite scalp.
Fridah says: West Ham have been slaying the giants this season and it would be amazing if they could handle Manchester City. However, I doubt that. I think City will keep up their fine run in the EPL for a week longer.
Match facts: Sergio Aguero has scored seven goals in his last six league outings at the Etihad Stadium and four in his last five matches (home or away) against West Ham.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side have gone nine hours and 26 minutes of BPL football since they last conceded a goal.
Tottenham Hotspur v Crystal Palace
Last five meetings: W2 D2 L1
Fabian says: Palace were quite unlucky to not deny City the three points last weekend, but they should fancy themselves to come out with something more against a somewhat sluggish, goal-shy and Europa League-jaded Spurs.
Fridah says: The Eagles were very unlucky not to get even a single point against Manchester City. I think they’ll give Tottenham a hard time. Tottenham are finally starting to come together as a team and they could be hard to break down.
Match facts: Crystal Palace have won only three of their last 19 top-flight London derbies away from home (D5 L11), but two of these have come under Alan Pardew.
The average age of Spurs’ starting XI in the league this season is 24 years 355 days – younger than any other team.
Liverpool v Norwich City
Last five meetings: W5 D0 L0
Fabian says: Brendan Rodgers did rest his big guns for the Thursday trip to Bordeaux and so you fancy the Reds to be strong and fresh enough to arrest the slump they are currently in.
Fridah says: Liverpool have an excellent record against Norwich. However, not the Norwich that has turned up this season. I think this will be hard match for Rodgers and the boys. They are likely to lose.
Match facts: Liverpool are on a 10-match unbeaten streak against Norwich City in the Barclays Premier League, winning nine of them.
No side has scored as many BPL goals against Norwich City as Liverpool (39).
Southampton v Manchester United
Last five meetings: W1 D2 L2
Fabian says: Will be an emotional encounter for the both sides given Luke Shaw’s midweek horror injury. Whether United will play at a high level after their Champions League loss away at Eindhoven is anyone’s guess. Should play into Southampton’s hands.
Fridah says: Manchester united are coming up against a good team and they will struggle. I reckon that this game will be a draw, one with no goals.
Match facts: Manchester United have not kept a clean sheet in any of their last seven league encounters against Saints.
All four of the league meetings between Ronald Koeman and Louis van Gaal have ended as away wins (PSV Eindhoven v AZ Alkmaar in 2006/07 and Southampton v Man United in 2014/15).
And here’s how our two experts fared last weekend.
|Everton v Chelsea||3-2||2-2||3-1|
|Arsenal v Stoke City||4-1||3-1||2-0|
|Crystal Palace v Manchester City||2-2||3-2||0-1|
|Norwich City v AFC Bournemouth||1-1||1-3||3-1|
|Watford v Swansea City||0-2||1-1||1-0|
|West Bromwich Albion v Southampton||2-1||1-2||0-0|
|Manchester United v Liverpool||2-1||1-1||3-1|
|Sunderland v Tottenham Hotspur||1-2||1-1||0-1|
|Leicester City v Aston Villa||3-2||2-0||3-2|
|West Ham United v Newcastle United||1-1||2-2||2-0|
And with that crushing defeat, Fridah is now 10 points adrift of Fabian in the standings. 68-58.