Fab and Fridah’s Picks – MW3August 27, 2016
Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool
Last Five Meetings: W0 D2 L3
Fabian Says: Liverpool last weekend continued with their newfound Robin Hood theme of stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, going down 2-0 to Burnley after putting four past Arsenal the previous weekend. If that be the case, then they will thrash Spurs today, who themselves are yet to get off second gear so far. Maybe a high scoring draw then, given that Spurs are a bit solid at the back?
Fridah Says: Liverpool have the propensity to perform well against the so-called big teams and Tottenham may be categorized as one of those based on their league position last season. However, Tottenham haven’t looked great in the last two matches that they have played but neither have Liverpool. This could end up as a competition between two terrible teams, or two great teams or one good team vs. a terrible team. The chances of the two teams being balanced are higher so I’ll go for a draw.
Chelsea v Burnley
Last Five Meetings: W3 D2 L0
Fabian Says: Chelsea have unlocked this knack of grit and guts, rallying in both their two games to win them late. They will need more of that yet again to fend off a Burnley challenge which will be led by the controversy-bedeviled Andre Gray. Can the host get their first clean sheet of the season? Doubt it.
Fridah Says: Chelsea have a good record against Burnley. They should be confident going into this. However, Burnley are willing to work hard and they showed that they can really defend. I suppose that they will be trouble for Chelsea in this match. I doubt they can get all the three points though but they could go for one.
Crystal Palace v Bournemouth
Last Three Meetings: W0 D1 L2
Fabian Says: Two winless teams clash and both are in great need of points. Always difficult going against Palace on home turf against an almost similar opponent. That’s why I think they will heap more misery on Eddie Howe and his boys.
Fridah Says: The Selhurst Park is a good picking ground for The Cherries. They have a good record there. Bournemouth are at the bottom of the table and they need to do a lot to pick themselves up. The players must turn up for Eddie Howe. The Eagles won’t make it so easy and new man Christian Benteke has scored on his debut for both Liverpool and Aston Villa. I think the teams will draw.
Everton v Stoke City
Last Five Meetings: W1 D1 L3
Fabian Says: Everton are proving to be hitting their stride, whereas Stoke are still trying to find themselves. Both sides are still suspect defensively and looking for their first clean sheet of the season, so probably expect goals. Everton should just about edge it.
Fridah Says: I’m heavily inclined towards an Everton win. Stoke City aren’t looking sharp and Everton have the quality to take the three points. However, Everton are unpredictable and they are also very wasteful. I’ll stick with a win for Everton.
Leicester City v Swansea City
Last Five Meetings: W4 D0 L1
Fabian Says: The champions are still looking for their first win of the season and it’s probably long overdue. The Swans are still inconsistent and you just don’t know what you’re gonna get. I don’t expect much from them in this one.
Fridah Says: Leicester City’s defense has started very poorly and I think they will want to get back to winning ways. Swansea were poor against Hull and I don’t think that they can stop Leicester City.
Southampton v Sunderland
Last Five Meetings: W2 D1 L2
Fabian Says: Should be a straight forward win for the Saints, right? Not really, but Sunderland sure do have plenty to do following the demoralizing derby defeat to Middlesbrough last weekend.
Fridah Says: Southampton have all the quality to win this match and indeed should. Sunderland have a young team and they lost Vito Mannone to a long term injury. I think Moyes will get the team to play and win three points in time, just not this week.
Watford v Arsenal
Last Five Meetings: W1 D0 L4
Fabian Says: Surely Arsenal are due a win? Problem is, usually when you think they have to win, they conjure up new ways of proving you wrong. Watford too are still looking for their first win and were unlucky too see Chelsea come from behind to steal the points last time out. They can make life difficult for Arsenal and probably will…but the Gunners’ firepower of Mesut Özil and Olivier Giroud are set to return to the starting XI to provide the difference.
Fridah Says: Arsenal must win this match if they want to start mounting a serious challenge. Watford are by no means walk-overs though they are still in transition. Again, it all depends on the team that Wenger puts out and his approach to the match. Assuming he gets this right, then Arsenal should win.
Hull City v Manchester United
Last Five Meetings: W0 D1 L4
Fabian Says: Believe it or not this is a top of the table clash, both teams boasting of a 100% record so far. Hull just keeps defying the odds with unlikely wins, but in Manchester United they face a very formidable and efficient outfit. Will Zlatan Ibrahimovic strike again? He just might win this for the Red Devils.
Fridah Says: Hull City have had the dream start of dream starts. Despite a depleted squad, they have six points out of six. Manchester United are setting themselves up as favorites for the title and have won 2 in 2. Can Hull continue with their form? I think not.
West Bromwich Albion v Middlesbrough
Last Five Meetings: W4 D1 L0
Fabian Says: Two very miserly teams at the back collide and when an immovable object is pitted with another immovable object, either status quo is retained or something gives. I’m going for a drab stalemate.
Fridah Says: Boro were decent last week and they secured a vital win. They will be confident going into this one. However, I think Tony Pulis knows how to nullify them and the result is that they will most likely share the spoils.
Manchester City v West Ham United
Last Five Meetings: W2 D1 L2
Fabian Says: City’s flying start to the season has somewhat been blighted by talk surrounding the ostracizing of goalkeeper Joe Hart. Indeed City have gone as far as signing Claudio Bravo from Barcelona but he’s unlikely to debut here. The Hammers are finding life in new surroundings a bit difficult and were knocked out of the Europa League on Thursday. They should be easy pickings for the hosts, considering the red hot form of Sergio Aguero.
Fridah Says: This may be another tough test for Pep. The Hammers bowed out of the Europa League quite embarrassingly and they will be bitter. The manager will come out all guns blazing and Manchester City could be in trouble. However, Pep’s style can be seen in the team already and they will be difficult for any team to beat. All the same, I’ll go for a draw.
Here’s how MW2 panned out:
|Manchester United v Southampton||2-0||1-1||2-0|
|Stoke City v Manchester City||1-2||1-1||1-4|
|West Bromwich Albion v Everton||1-0||1-1||1-2|
|Watford v Chelsea||1-1||0-1||1-2|
|Tottenham Hotspur v Crystal Palace||3-1||2-1||1-0|
|Swansea City v Hull City||2-0||2-1||0-2|
|Burnley v Liverpool||1-3||1-2||2-0|
|Leicester City v Arsenal||3-1||2-4||0-0|
|Sunderland v Middlesbrough||2-1||2-1||1-2|
|West Ham United v Bournemouth||3-0||2-0||1-0|
With Fab’s resurgence, Fridah’s overall lead is cut to two points; 30-28.