EPL Predictions & Team News 11 & 12 May
Love him or loathe him, I think it’s only right that we start off with a quick hats off to Sir Alex Ferguson, it’s not just the success he has built on the pitch, but the foundations he has built off it which will cement him in history as the most successful manager in British history, ever.
It has been a strange week in the world of football and with the FA Cup final again being played before the end of the season, it gets slightly stranger. We are left with 8 EPL fixtures this week. One on Saturday and the remainder on Sunday, how weird!
Aston Villa v Chelsea – Saturday 11 May – 1245KO
A week ago this was a TV dream fixture, one side slogging it out against relegation, whilst the other were trying to guarantee themselves a seat at Europe’s top table for next season. However a run of 5 wins in 8 games has seen Villa climb to the lofty heights of 13th in the table and Chelsea needing only 1 win in their final 2 fixtures to guarantee their top 4 spot. Both managers have been much maligned at times this season, but full credit must go to them as they have both achieved their season objectives.
Premier League Team News: Full back Matt Lowton is a doubt with thigh trouble. He has been ever present for Villa this season. Chelsea will most likely start with Demba Ba and Frank Lampard who could break The Blues all-time scoring record this weekend. Hazard does miss out through injury though.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-2
Dream Team Star Man: Frank Lampard
Stoke v Tottenham – Sunday 12 May 2013 – 1330KO
Tottenham were poor for 3 out of their 4 halves this week, but still managed to pick up 4 points courtesy of late goals. Against Southampton their football was getting longer and longer it could have actually been mistaken for a side managed by Tony Pulis. Stoke themselves are now unbeaten in 3 games which is a major turnaround from where they were and will be looking for another win here which could see them jump into the top half of the table.
Premier League Team News: Stoke have a full squad to pick from with Wilkinson and Whelan returning from injury and the news that Mark Wilsons knock against Sunderland wasn’t serious although all three may have to settle for places on the bench. Dembele is fit to start for Spurs after missing the game in midweek, however Aaron Lennon is still suffering from a hamstring problem and will be assessed as late as possible.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-1
Dream Team Star Man: Asmir Begovic
Everton v West Ham – Sunday 12 May 2013 – 1500KO
Goodison will get to say goodbye to David Moyes during this fixture, and it will be interesting what sort of reaction he gets. He was very impressive in his press conference, and spoke all the right words, but maybe it is easy to say you had every intention of being at the club next season when you’ve just signed a nice 6 year contract at the biggest club in the land. Big Sam isn’t one for sentiment and will expect his Hammers to put up a decent fight but I do expect Everton’s better ball players to come out on top in this battle.
Premier League Team News: Phil Neville misses out on a farewell appearance at Goodison through injury, but Jelavic is set for a recall despite struggling for goals this season. West Ham are only without Tomkins and McCartney who are ruled out for the remainder of the season.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 3-1
Dream Team Star Man: Steven Pienaar
Fulham v Liverpool – Sunday 12 May 2013 – 1500KO
The Cottagers are on the worst run of form in the whole league over the last six games picking up only 1 point from 18, it is like they are suffering from the same disease Charlton used to suffer from. Get to the required points level to stay up and then turn off. Liverpool have suffered from the same troubles they did last season this time around, and that is the fact they draw too many games. They also have a number of their more creative players out for the remainder of the season and are the likes of Shelvey and Borini up to the standard to step up?
Premier League Team News: Sidwell is still suspended for Fulham but they do welcome back both Petric and Riether from injury. Liverpool skipper Steve Gerrard has had a shoulder op this week and will miss the remainder of the season along side Agger, Suarez and Allen.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-2
Dream Team Star Man: Phillipe Coutinho
Norwich v West Brom – Sunday 12 May 2013 – 1500KO
It surprised me when Norwich conceded such a crucial goal near the end of a crucial fixture last time out, it seems Chris Hughton has been setting his side up as safety first now for the last few months, but it backfired. I guess the problem is that you don’t ever have a cushion and games where you could have been winning comfortably turn into draws and draws turn into losses.The Baggies have secured a top halve finish now and will look to push on for a top 8 finish.
Premier League Team News: Chris Hughton will finally welcome back John Ruddy for this make or break fixture and will also hope to have Robert Snodgrass fit. The Baggies only have Fortune unavailable for this fixture with Chris Brunt, Popov and Steven Reid all available for selection.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-0
Dream Team Star Man: John Ruddy
QPR v Newcastle – Sunday 12 May 2013 – 1500KO
How crucial will Newcastle’s draw at Upton Park last weekend prove to be come Sunday week? Coming off the back of a six nil home drubbing it was a better performance and Coloccini’s return to fitness could be key for their battle to survive. QPR have already started planning for next season now with a couple of injured players already gone under the knife early to ensure pre-season fitness. Will they give the home fans a last Premiership send-off?
Premier League Team News: Chris Samba remains on the sidelines for Rangers who will continue with Rob Green in goal. Newcastle have full backs Debuchy and Santon available again, whilst Marveaux will be assessed as late as possible but may have to settle for a place on the bench. Sissoko and Ameobi are out for the final 2 games through injury though.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 0-1
Dream Team Star Man: Hatem Ben Arfa
Sunderland v Southampton – Saturday 11 May 2013 – 1500KO
Sunderland, like their local rivals, did well to get a point on the board after shipping six the previous week, and to do it at Stoke when down to 10 men after going behind must give them confidence they can survive, but perhaps they need to tone it down a little after a 2 consecutive sendings off. The Saints were good last weekend against Spurs, they at deserved a point at least on the balance of play but, if you don’t take your chances in the EPL that’s what happens. They will now be looking nervously over their shoulder but I suspect 39 points will be safe enough for them, especially with their superior goal difference.
Premier League Team News: The Black Cats are without Gardner and Sessegnon through suspension, whilst full-back Danny Rose will make the last appearance of his loan spell. Morgan Schneiderlin is out for Southampton who also have a duo suspended in Fox and Ramirez.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-1
Dream Team Star Man: Rickie Lambert
Manchester United v Swansea – Sunday 12 May 2013 – 1600KO
It is certainly party time this week in Manchester, Old Trafford will get to say an emotional farewell after 26 years to their manager, mentor and messiah. We will however get to see Sir Alex doing that uncomfortable thing where he doesn’t really know how to celebrate when they lift the trophy. It is also more than likely the last chance fans get to see arguably the most gifted player of Fergie’s time at United, Paul Scholes, who is also rumoured to be retiring. Will Swansea be the ultimate party poopers this weekend? Will anyone care if they are??
Premier League Team News: Will Ferguson start with Wayne Rooney following the revelation that he asked for a transfer? Welbeck is definitely out injured. The wonderfully named Angel Rangel is out injured for The Swans along with Vorm, but they could spring a surprise in starting with Chico and top scorer Michu. Both were expected to miss the remainder of the season.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 3-0
Dream Team Star Man: Wayne Rooney
Well that’s my take on what will happen this week. Let us know if you think differently. Will there be anything left up for grabs next Sunday? We are sure there will!