Bournemouth v Leicester City
Last Five Meetings: W0 D3 L2
Fabian Says: Maybe I prematurely called Leicester’s banterous season meltdown. They responded by that fearless demolition of Man City over the weekend if just to serve a timely reminder that they still are the champions of England. Now they have to regroup and approach another away trip, and they haven’t had much to shout about in those. The Cherries were on the losing end of that thriller at Turf Moor and will be looking for home comfort to bring back the smiles…and what is more, I think they will be smiling tonight..
Fridah Says: The Foxes are coming off a great win and they should be happy to have Vardy back. This should give them lots of confidence going into the festive period. The Cherries will look to get back to winning ways. I think both teams will be up to this and it may end in a draw.
Everton v Arsenal
Last Five Meetings: W0 D1 L4
Fabian Says: Can the Toffees catch a break? Simply put, no. They went down at Watford and are up against one of the form teams in the league, Arsenal. Alexis Sanchez, for all this industry and skill failed to score on Saturday and you bet he will want a remedy for that. Arsenal could run riot or just dominate and professionally finish the job. Either way, not much in terms of resistance from home side as the Gunners go back to the top of the table.
Fridah Says: Everton are in poor form but that does not mean that they are to be undermined. If the Gunners turn up though, they should be able to win the game. I think they will too.
Middlesbrough v Liverpool
Last Five Meetings: W1 D2 L2
Fabian Says: Before the visited of West Ham I quipped that I’d be shocked if Liverpool bottled that one, and probably they wanted to see just how shocked I could be – they duly bottled it. So, for their trip to the Riverside, I’m gonna say this: I’ll be stunned if Liverpool come away with all the three points. Middlesbrough haven’t exactly been on top form (one win in their last five) but they’ve developed this knack of turning up against the league’s big hitters and this will be no exception. Are they good enough to eke out a win? Or rather, I think the Reds are comical enough to give it to them.
Fridah Says: Middlesbrough are a tough team to play and I think they could be trouble for Liverpool. The Liverpool defense has been exposed recently and I don’t think they will be able to stop Boro should Boro be interested in the three points. I think the Liverpool season will be made worse by Boro and they could drop more points.
Sunderland v Chelsea
Last Five Meetings: W2 D1 L2
Fabian Says: Can Chelsea be stopped? The question itself is growing weary given that no one has shown any interest in stopping them in their last 9 games. Sigh. But sometimes you bring with you your fancy unbeaten run to the home of a team struggling to survive and their survival instincts kick in big time. Is this one of those times? Probably not, but I’d like to think so.
Fridah Says: Sunderland have been trouble for Chelsea at times but they do not look like they have got it this time. Chelsea are playing well and they are also grinding out results when needed. They look very tough to beat and for this reason I think that they will lose to the unpredictable Black Cats. That would be quite something, Ha?
West Ham United v Burnley
Last Five Meetings: W3 D1 L1
Fabian Says: The only reason I’m backing the Hammers to win this one is because Burnley outdid themselves over the weekend at home to Bournemouth and are due a loss to cancel that. Plus, West Ham’s gutsy point earned at Anfield proved that they got some fight in them too.
Fridah Says: The Hammers should take some confidence from taking a point off Liverpool and they should be able to get their season on track from here on now. Burnley will not be easy for them but I think that the Hammers can get the three points.
Crystal Palace v Manchester United
Last Five Meetings: W0 D1 L4
Fabian Says: United finally got a league win at home. How awkward. Palace were unlucky to not get all the three points at Hull and maybe if Robert Snodgrass hadn’t dived, things would have been different. They have scored 6 times in their last two league encounters so maybe their attack play is finally clicking and could pose a real threat for Man United, especially in the name of former Devil, Wilfried Zaha. Could be a famous night at Selhurst Park.
Fridah Says: The Eagles should feel hard done by after their draw against Hull. Again their weaknesses in defense were exploited and this should be one thing that the Red Devils can exploit. However, they can also score (5th best in the league so far) and so should be able to trouble Manchester United. They could play out an exciting draw.
Manchester City v Watford
Last Five Meetings: W4 D1 L0
Fabian Says: Pep Guardiola must be dreading his luck with Italian tacticians. He’s lost (and badly) to two of them in a row; first Antonio Conte then Claudio Ranieri. And he’s up against another one, Walter Mazzarri. A break cannot be caught, eh. I don’t think I’ve predicted a City loss this season, and due to Watford’s horrendous recent away form, I’m not about to. Something has got to turn for the Citizens, and will.
Fridah Says: The Citizens will come back to this with all their energy looking to get their title fight in line. Their defense has been poverty and it will be hard to see how they have fixed that overnight. Stefano Okaka and co will be relishing the challenge and I think we’ll finally get to see Deeney get his century. More misery for Pep I think.
Stoke City v Southampton
Last Five Meetings: W2 D0 L3
Fabian Says: The Potters have been improving after a nightmarish start to the season and even in last weekend’s loss to Arsenal, you get the feeling that they played better than the scoreline suggests. The Saints did well to edge Boro, but with Charlie Austin’s injury, their attack is trying to find its feet. I think they will be easy fodder for the home side.
Fridah Says: This is a tough game to predict. Both teams are decent and should be able to challenge each other for the three points. The Saints aren’t as sharp as they should be upfront in the absence of Austin but they are solid at the back. The game could end in a barren draw.
Tottenham Hotspur v Hull City
Last Five Meetings: W3 D2 L0
Fabian Says: Tottenham have become the Tottenham we envisage it to be. The Spurs that beat the teams they are supposed to beat, and the one that meekly submits to the big guns. So since the opponent is Hull, Spurs will win. Well, they are home, so yeah.
Fridah Says: Tottenham will be ruing not taking their chances against United and I suppose they will come out guns blazing for this one. I think they should get the three points against a Hull defense that isn’t so good.
West Bromwich Albion vs. Swansea City
Last Five Meetings: W2 D1 L2
Fabian Says: The Baggies at The Hawthorns against relegation-threatened side should be rather straight forward, but there’s the small matter of Swansea boasting within their ranks a certain Gylfi Sigurdsson, who seems to be on a one-man mission to save the Swans. And really, he can actually win a game for them, but if we’re being honest, probably not this one.
Fridah Says: Swansea were excellent against Sunderland and they got the deserved three points. They come up against an entirely different team this time and they need a different approach to this one. I don’t think they will take anything away from this West Brom team.
Here’s how MW15 went down:
|Watford v Everton||2-1||1-1||3-2|
|Arsenal v Stoke City||2-0||3-1||3-1|
|Burnley v Bournemouth||1-2||1-1||3-2|
|Hull City v Crystal Palace||2-2||1-3||3-3|
|Swansea City v Sunderland||3-2||1-2||3-0|
|Leicester City v Manchester City||1-4||1-3||4-2|
|Chelsea v West Bromwich Albion||2-1||2-0||1-0|
|Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur||1-2||1-2||1-0|
|Southampton v Middlesbrough||1-1||0-0||1-0|
|Liverpool v West Ham United||3-1||2-2||2-2|
With a slightly superior accuracy of 30%-26%, Fab has cut Fridah’s lead to just 3 points. She leads 210-207.