Manchester is taking over again, just like it did in the late 80s with its music scene, not that I am now expecting Roberto Mancini and Alex Ferguson to come out of the tunnels dressed head to toe in Gio-Goi or Joe Bloggs. You could hardly say either of them has hit top form yet either but it’s ominous that they have already found themselves six points clear of a pretty average chasing pack.

EPL Predictions & Team News 1 – 3 Dec

Anyway back to this weekend’s matches, we are spread over three days yet again with another MNF.

West Ham United v Chelsea – 1 December 2012 – 12.45 KO

Both these teams have gone off the boil in the last month, West Ham’s probably expected, whilst Chelsea are in free-fall with the fans revolting, a manager who has been brought in to try an rejuvenate one player, and a Chairman who now seemingly has no idea what he wants to achieve. What better way to get both sides going than a feisty derby!

Let’s hope there is more goalmouth action in this one than Chelsea’s previous two fixtures, otherwise the most interesting thing we will be listening to is the Hammers fans reminder of where Chelsea can stick there blue flag.

Team News: Andy Carroll injured his knee in the loss at Old Trafford, but Big Sam thinks he will start. George McCartney is still doubtful for Hammers whilst Benayoun is unable to play against his parent club. Luiz is suspended for Chelsea and the game has probably come too early for Frank Lampard.
Betting Prediction: 1-1
Dream Team Star Man: Kevin Nolan

Arsenal v Swansea – 1 December 2012 – 15.00 ko

So Arsenal fans are holding a ‘walk’ to protest about how their team are perfomring at the moment, perhaps they may get their wish of making quality signings like they did back in the day. Jimmy Carter and Steve Morrow come to mind!

On the pitch, Swansea have really picked up the pace again and sit a very proud 8th in the table, it’s amazing how you never hear of the off the pitch troubles when a team are on a run. It is only a month ago players were supposedly unhappy with Laudrup’s methods.

Team News: Lukas Podolski should recover from midweek illness but Sagna is injured again, also Theo Walcott should recover from an ankle knock. The Swans will look to keep the same starting XI as midweek.
Betting Prediction: 2-0
Dream Team Star Man: Jack Wilshere

Fulham v Tottenham – 1 December 2012 – 15.00 ko

Martin Jol will get a chance to put one over his old club, and will be sure to get a good reception from the away fans. Spurs have bounced back from a poor run of form, with a very good performance against West Ham and a great first half against Liverpool. However the way they were hanging on at the end brought into question AVBs tactical nous at seeing games through.

Team News: Hangeland completes the last game of his suspension whilst Kieran Richardson may make the bench. Adebayor also completes his suspension for Spurs who also received the good news that Scott Parker can return to full training this week.
Betting Prediction: 1-1
Dream Team Star Man: Jermain Defoe

Liverpool v Southampton – 1 December 2012 – 15.00 ko

The relatively poor standard of the EPL this season could be Liverpool’s and Brendan Rodgers’ saving grace. Normally a side in 12th place with 4 losses from 14 games would be looking backwards. However if, and it is a big if, Liverpool can find some money and invest it shrewdly, is a second half of the season charge possible?

The Saints are unbeaten in 4, but still find themselves in the relegation zone. How costly could Paulo Gazzaniga’s howler against Norwich be come the end of the season?

Team News: Lucas is now fit for Liverpool, whilst The Saints have Daniel Fox in contention after missing their midweek draw.
Betting Prediction: 2-0
Dream Team Star Man: Daniel Agger

Manchester City v Everton – 1 December 2012 – 15.00 ko

They keep doing it at the moment, carving out wins despite being nowhere near the heights they hit last season. Personally I also thought it was good to see Balotelli on the score sheet, as we need him to stay in the EPL as our pantomime villain this time of year. Though if he does go, least we still have Phil Neville and James Milner combining as the ugly sisters!

Team News: James Milner is a doubt with his midweek hamstring injury, whilst Everton will be hoping 2 out of Baines, Coleman and Mirallas will be fit enough to start.
Betting Prediction: 2-1
Dream Team Star Man: Sergio Aguero

QPR v Aston Villa – 1 December 2012 – 15.00 ko

‘Arry really does play the media well doesn’t he? I’ve heard plenty of the miracle work he did turning around Spurs and Portsmouth yet have hardly heard anything about his disastrous spell at Southampton!! Don’t get me wrong I really like ‘Arry as a manager, but just think this wonderful man management nonsense gets overplayed some times. Anyway for his first home fixture, Aston Villa seems quite a nice one to get started. I reckon they will have enough to pick up the maximum points from this game, and looking at the table it will be hard to see how they are going to climb out of trouble if they don’t.

Team News: Rob Green is set to start in goal after Julio Cesar picked up a hamstring injury in midweek. Villa captain Vlaar is a huge doubt.
Betting Prediction: 2-1
Dream Team Star Man: Rob Green

West Bromwich Albion v Stoke City – 1 December 2012 – 15.00 ko

The Baggies 4 straight wins was smashed out of the park in midweek by Swansea, but with home advantage we feel they will probably have enough to see them past Tony Pulis’ side. Though they have quietly gone about their business and picked up good points in the past few weeks to slip into the top half of the table.

Team News: Gera is still a doubt after missing midweek game. Stoke have no new problems
Betting Prediction: 1-1
Dream Team Star Man: Peter Odemwingie

Reading v Manchester United – 1 December 2012 – 17.30 ko

The tea time kick-off this season seems to have at least one of Arsenal, West Ham, Norwich and United on continuous rotation. I assume the powers that be have put this one on as they think United will go goal crazy and if they start like they did against West Ham in midweek, who knows what could happen?

Team News: Kebe is still a no go for Reading, whilst United’s only new doubt is Nick Powell. Vidic is due to return before Christmas.
Betting Prediction: 1-3
Dream Team Star Man: Robin van Persie

Norwich v Sunderland – 2 December 2012 – 16.00 ko

These two teams have only mustered 22 goals between them so far in 27 matches, that is incredible!! Anyway, despite this, Chris Hughton’s Canaries are on an unbeaten 7 match run, and could heap more pressure on ex-boss Martin O’Neill if they continue it today.

Team News: John Ruddy is out for 3 months and Turner won’t be fit enough to face his old club. Lee Cattermole is also facing a few weeks on the sidelines.
Betting Prediction: 1-1
Dream Team Star Man: Mark Bunn

Newcastle v Wigan – 3 December 2012 – 20.00 ko

I wonder how watertight Alan Pardew’s seven year contract is? That might be tested sooner rather than later if Newcastle continue to keep losing.
I would love to be a fly on the wall in the Directors box for this after Mike Ashleys Sports Direct has now swallowed up the empire that allowed Dave Whelan to finance Wigan!

Team News: The Magpies already have a long list of unavailable, and that isn’t helped by James Perch’s suspension, whilst Wigan have concerns over David Jones’ calf (leg not farm animal).
Betting Predicition: 1-0
Dream Team Star Man: Papiss Cisse

There we have it, that’s me done for another week! Let’s see how we get on and let me know if you win big!


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