EPL Predictions & Team News 6 / 7 Oct
Welcome to our new feature, where we, the kind folks at Average Joes Blog (well actually me, Jon) will preview the weeks Premier League Fixtures for you, and of course with that all important information on team news, injuries and suggested starman for your fantasy football team!
Man City v Sunderland – Saturday 6 October 2012 – 12.45 KO
Now the thing I always find more interesting than a Manchester City game, is seeing who will play up front and get in the starting line-up, but I guess this is a problem most PL managers can only dream about. Only Aguero is close to guarantee his starting place in this team.
Sunderland are unbeaten so far this season but on the other hand they have only won once and I expect that record to disappear (the unbeaten, not the amount of wins). I’m sure their tactic of letting Steven Fletcher score and then stick every man behind the ball for the rest of the game will come unstuck. City, who have had a few defensive difficulties this season, should be hoping for a clean sheet, especially if Hart shows his midweek form.
Team News:Garcia doubtful after midweek injury, but Maicon and Richards could return for Man City. Cueller could return for Sunderland.
Betting Prediction: 2-0
Dream Team Star Man: Yaya Toure
Chelsea v Norwich – Saturday 6 October 2012 – 15.00 KO
Even though he left the club 5 years ago, we are only now starting to see a true post-Mourinho side taking shape, with Oscar, Mata and Hazard all pulling the strings, this could be another rout for Norwich who have already shipped five on two separate occasions this season. Against Liverpool last week they could have quite easily suffered the fate of having a double figure score typed out on the vidiprinter. Surely Chris Hughton will at least get his side organised this week, square blocks won’t fit in round holes you know…
Team News: Chelsea are doubtful over Daniel Sturridge, but Pilkington and Bassong could return for Norwich.
Betting Prediction: 3-0
Dream Team Star Man: Juan Mata
Swansea v Reading – Saturday 6 October 2012 – 15.00 KO
Surely battling it out with the Baggies/QPR game in a desperate bid not to be shown last on Match of The Day. Swansea have somewhat gone off the boil since topping the table after the first couple of games, and Michael Laudrup seems to be struggling to figure out his best side. Reading have struggles of their own, and some bad defensive lapses have cost the Royals on more than one occasion this season.
Team News: Swansea are nearly at full strength with no new problems but Reading are doubtful on the fitness of Federici.
Betting Prediction: 1-1
Dream Team Star Man: Jimmy Kebe
WBA v QPR – Saturday 6 October 2012 – 15.00 KO
I’m sure I heard a stat on Monday Night Football saying QPR have used 45 players since ‘Uncle’ Tony Fernandes took over the ropes at the beginning of last season, and boy did it show against West Ham. Dominated in the first half and now knives are sharpening for Mark Hughes with big ‘Arry no doubt waiting in the wings.
West Brom on the other hand have started the season way beyond expectation and sit an impressive 6th in the table with a 100% home record and we can’t see that changing here.
Team News: WBA could welcome back Ridgewell, Reid and Brunt. QPR however lose Diakite to suspension but Ferdinand and Bosingwa are nearing fitness.
Betting Prediction: 2-1
Dream Team Star Man: Romelu Lukaku
Wigan v Everton – Saturday 6 October 2012 – 15.00 KO
Probably just as well Wigan Chairman Dave Whelan has nothing to do with JJB these days, but Wigan have found trading conditions just as tough as their chairman’s former company this season. Alongside West Brom’s Steve Clarke, Everton’s own canny Scot David Moyes has done an incredible job with The Toffees and they are playing some very good stuff at the moment. Fellaini looks unplayable at times, Jelavic has been an inspired signing since last January and the Pineaar/Baines partnership on the left hand side is as good as you will see all season. However this is the result where I am predicting a surprise this weekend and Wigan nicking an unlikely 3 points.
Team News: Alcaraz could return for Wigan and Hibbert could be involved for Everton.
Betting Prediction: 1-0
Dream Team Star Man: Ali Al-Habsi
West Ham v Arsenal – Saturday 6 October 2012 – 17.30 KO
A stat for all you pub quiz lovers out there, The Hammers were the last away team to win at Highbury and first at The Emirates, however I can’t see a win for the home side this weekend, despite them going into the game above their London rivals.
If they are to get something, Andy Carroll and Captain Kevin Nolan will have to bully Arsenal who could be a little susceptible without Diaby, who has started the season well. However West Ham have injury problems of their own at the back and we can see the speed of Arsenal ripping them to pieces.
Team News: Reid doubtful due to concussion for West Ham, and not much has been said about O’Brien. Arsenal have Diaby out, Wilshere and Sagna not yet match fit but getting closer.
Betting Prediction: 1-3
Dream Team Star Man: Theo Walcott
Southampton v Fulham – Sunday 7 October 2012 – 13.30 KO
Have Sky really chosen this as a game for TV? It must be one of their contractually obliged games!!! Thankfully I’m doing a 10k run in the morning and may need to go down the pub and recuperate. After seeing Fulham’s away form on TV against West Ham earlier in the season, the Saints surely must see this as a big opportunity to get 3 points and push themselves up the table.
Also did you know Southampton were the 7th biggest spenders in Europe this season? Honestly!
Team News: Southampton have no new problems, but Fulham fans, I am afraid Berbatov is very doubtful.
Betting Prediction: 2-0
Dream Team Star Man: Gaston Rameriz
Liverpool v Stoke – Sunday 7 October 2012 – 15.00 KO
So what did we found out about Brendan Rodgers from the Five documentary ‘Being Liverpool’? Well, that he has a touch of the David Brent about him, and a large picture of himself on his living room wall…
However despite probably being a friend first, boss second, and chilled-out entertainer third, he may finally be shaping Liverpool how he wants to, with Suarez putting in a great display when destroying Norwich, though they did slip up midweek. Pepe Reina has looked a bit shaky in nets for a while now and Stokes former Kop pairing of Crouch and Owen will look to take advantage of this.
Betting Prediction: 2-1
Dream Team Star Man: Luis Suarez
Team News: Liverpool have Cole fit again and Enrique could return but Shelvey is still suspended. Stoke also have a suspension with Wilkinson
Tottenham v Aston Villa – Sunday 7 October 2012 – 15.00 KO
I missed the first 30 minutes of the Manchester United game when Spurs were rampant, however they showed a few qualities I doubted them on, and put up a resolute show in the second half when United were on the front foot. I doubt they will need to show as much of this against a Villa side which look like they are going to struggle this year, especially as it looks like their only player of any class (Bent), has fallen out with the gaffer.
Betting Prediction: 3-0
Dream Team Star Man: Moussa Demeble
Team News: Naughton and Adebayor could both return for Spurs, whilst Villa have no new problems.
Newcastle v Manchester United – Sunday 7 October 2012 – 16.00 KO
Now I think you lose your licence to ever write anything about football if you don’t mention the Toon Army’s 5-0 win over United, it’s a bit like a tabloid journalist not putting somebody’s age after their name in a story.
Anyway Alan Pardew, 51 will be looking to put another win against United on his CV, especially with Demba Ba back to scoring ways, however you do feel United can’t play badly two weeks on the trot. If Rooney partners Van Persie up front, this could be an open game with plenty of goals.
Star Man: Wayne Rooney
Team News: Coloccini, Krul, and Simpson could all be fit for Newcastle whilst Valencia is back, with Carrick and Giggs could be fit after illness for United
Good luck for the weekend everyone, international break next week so make the most of it!