EPL Predictions & Team News 09/10 Mar 2013
Since I last wrote my previews a lot has happened in the wonderful world of football! Alex Ferguson ran down the stairs faster than any pensioner ever has after Nani was rightly or wrongly sent off, Roy Keane morphed into Jimmy Hill and tried to start an argument for arguments sake, and Tottenham put one toe into next seasons Champions League on the way to beating rivals Arsenal in a derby match that was high on energy.
Anyway, it’s an shortened EPL fixture list this week due to it also being FA Cup quarter-finals, but we still have a shoot-out between two potential Player of The Year contenders and a proper relegation six pointer.
Norwich v Southampton – Saturday 9 March 2013 – 1500KO
No, this is not the relegation six pointer I mentioned earlier, and credit should go to both these two clubs that neither are in the bottom three as it stands. Southampton come into this game after back to back defeats and will be looking over their shoulders, if they fail to get anything from this they could get sucked back into the mix.
Norwich leaked four again against champions elect Manchester united at Old Trafford last week, but are a different team at home.
Premier League Team News: It is as you were for Norwich who have no new injury worries but Kamara is pushing for a start. Saints skipper Adam Lallana is a doubt for The Saints who will also give a late fitness test to Danny Fox.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 2-1
Dream Team Star Man: Kei Kamara
QPR v Sunderland – Saturday 9 March 2013 – 1500KO
Back to back wins for the first time this season are a must for QPR and this is a chance for them to achieve it. ‘Arry has set his side a target of 37 points to stay up this season, and from here on in they will have to match Arsenal’s form to hit that mark. Although that isn’t sparkling it is going to be difficult for a side who have only scored eight at home all season. Sunderland are another who could get drawn back into the relegation if their form doesn’t pick up after going five matches without a win.
Premier League Team News: Julio Cesar will be assessed before kick off after being injured during a game for the second time this season, Zamora is also a doubt. Danny Rose is expected to return to the Black Cats starting XI after a hamstring injury, whilst Connor Wickham will return from his loan spell after this fixture.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-0
Dream Team Star Man: Jamie Mackie
Reading v Aston Villa – Saturday 9 March 2013 – 1500KO
How tense is this one going to be? After a new year’s turnaround in fortune, Reading seem to have slipped back into a rut, but what better time to get out of it than to play a Villa side that haven’t won away in nearly 3 months. If Villa can defend set pieces this weekend with any level of competency, I can see them taking the match with the attacking movement of Weimann and Benteke. By the way is it only me who starts doing impressions of Jimmy Nail in Auf Wiedersehen, Pet after reading that name? Why Aye Man!!!
Premier League Team News: The Royals have a few problems and will field third choice keeper Stuart Taylor with Federici and Alex McCarthy crocked. Jimmy Kebe is also a big doubt. Villa will be missing Fabian Delph, who had been enjoying a recent run in the side after picking up 10 bookings for the season whilst Darren Bent is still injured. Better news for Paul Lambert is that Ron Vlaar should be fit after missing the last two games.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 0-1
Dream Team Star Man: Andreas Weimann
West Bromwich Albion v Swansea – Saturday 9 March – 1500KO
West Brom are the only side in the EPL for whom an Englishman has yet to score this season, and unless Liam Ridgewell nods home from a corner you really can’t see this changing this weekend! The Swans will be buoyed that boss Laudrup has signed on the dotted line for another year.
Both these sides like to play on the counter attack, so either one may have to take the initiative otherwise this may be a little dull.
Premier League Team News: The Baggies have Brunt, Lukaku and Popov back for this fixture after missing out of the Chelsea fixture for a variety of reasons. Swansea will be missing Agustien through injury and Chico will still be out for some time with a longstanding problem.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-1
Dream Team Star Man: Wayne Routledge
Newcastle v Stoke – Sunday 10 March – 1500KO
Newcastle’s home form should see them through against a Stoke side who have been poor recently, and have only won once on the road this season. I think a bit of credit should go to Alan Pardew for his bold moves in the transfer market in January, he seems to have incorporated a lot of new players into his side quickly and they had an impressive result midweek in the Europa whilst traveling to Russia.
Premier League Team News: Skipper Coloccini may have played his last game in black and white after being ruled out for up to 8 weeks, but The Magpies welcome back a lot of players who missed out in midweek through injury and being cup-tied including front man Pappis Cisse. Stoke could hand Michael Owen a rare start against his old club to try and kick start their form, whilst Matty Etherington has had pain killing injections in his back injury. Robert Huth continues his suspension.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 3-1
Dream Team Star Man: Pappis Cisse
Liverpool v Tottenham – Sunday 10 March – 1600KO
This is potentially a cracker of a match and a meeting of the two leading contenders for Player of the Season. Suarez v Bale. At times both have single handedly carried their sides this season (especially Bale!) and scored lots of goals. For me Suarez gets the nod as he has consistently done it in a far weaker side all season long.
Onto the match, I can see Liverpool exploiting Tottenham’s high defensive line more than many have this year if Sturridge is passed fit. He has pace to burn and Suarez has the nous to pull players out of position. That said, you can keep Spurs quiet for most of the game but with the speed of Lennon and Bale they will always be dangerous.
Although, Adebayor has been criticised a lot recently, especially by those at White Hart Lane, I feel his injury is actually a big blow. Bale, especially in his recent free role has fed well from Spurs’ ability to go long early. Something you can’t do as well with Defoe up top.
Premier League Team News: Danny Sturridge is fit again after a thigh injury and should be brought straight back into the XI, despite Liverpool scoring four last week against Wigan. Martin Skrtel is also fit but mat have to settle for a place on the bench. As mentioned earlier Adebayor will not be fit to start, as he is carrying a knee injury and Aaron Lennon is a doubt after picking up a hamstring injury in midweek. The game may also have come too early for Clint Dempsey who has a calf problem.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-0
Dream Team Star Man: Luis Suarez
There we have it, and that is me for another week! Agree, disagree? Let me know below or catch up that social media thang! Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or if you are really geeky, circle us on Google+.