Welcome to my Match Day 13 Preview article for EPLIndex.com – Below you’ll find a set of “+” links to the ten matches being played this weekend. Please click on the + sign for the match you wish to view for the preview! I’ve also made my predictions for the games so please do not hesitate to leave a comment below!
[toggle_box title=”Sunderland v West Brom Match Preview” width=”Width of toggle box”]
Saturday’s early kick-off sees West Brom try and continue their impressive start away to Sunderland. Their best ever start to a season has been down to their great record at the Hawthorns. With them only dropping points at home to champions Manchester City, they lie in fourth place. But their away form has been indifferent only claiming five points out of a possible fifteen.
While Sunderland’s poor form has been down to their lack of goals. They have scored a meagre nine goals in 11 games with striker Steven Fletcher grabbing six of these. But last week’s 3-1 win at Fulham would have given the side a much needed boost of confidence. With players such as Adam Johnson and Stephane Sessegnon supporting the ever dangerous Fletcher, they can cause West Brom problems.
With this boost of confidence I expect this game to end in a draw. Sunderland attacked with pace against Fulham and I expect them to utilise this against a slow Baggies defence. But West Brom along with the goals has become a much more solid out. Summer signing Claudio Yacob has given his side stability in centre midfield winning 10 fouls in his 11 appearances
Prediction:- Sunderland 2-2 West Brom
[toggle_box title=”Everton v Norwich Match Preview” width=”Width of toggle box”]
They are normally slow starters but Everton fans can’t complain with their great start to the season. This has to be down to the chances they are creating. The dynamic left side of Leighton Baines and Steven Pienaar has created a total of 88 chances for their side. Then Marouane Fellaini and Nikica Jelavic’s combined total of 11 goals means Everton have been hard to beat. Yet their recent form has been disappointing drawing four out of their last six.
While Norwich have hit some form after a slow start. Three consecutive 1-0 wins at home against Arsenal, Stoke and Manchester United have moved them up to 14th in the table. Everton will find it tough to break Norwich down as they’ve kept four clean sheets in their last five games.
Despite their lack of attacking prowess I expect Norwich to get a point with Everton only keeping one clean sheet at home this season. Norwich set up in a 4-5-1 formation and with Grant Holt defending from the front; they will be a hard team to break down. Everton will create chances but Fellaini is suspended and Jelavic has taken 83 minutes on average to get a shot on target.
Prediction:- Everton 1-1 Norwich
[toggle_box title=”Manchester United v QPR Match Preview” width=”Width of toggle box”]
While not performing to their best, Manchester United still lie 2nd in the table and have gathered 15 points from their last 18. Robin Van Persie will take most credit after his eight goals in 12 appearances. But Michael Carrick has to take some credit. His average pass accuracy this season is 88%. Also with only 7% of his passes being backwards, he has constantly kept attacks flowing. With winning a challenge every 22 minutes he has furthermore provided excellent protection to a sometimes vulnerable defence.
QPR defensive problems have been the root of their demise as they lay bottom of the league still without a win. They have conceded 23 goals this season with only Southampton conceding more. With Mark Hughes now gone the players should be out to impress their future new manager.
Their luck will not change at Old Trafford. Manchester United has scored the most goals this season with 29 while QPR have scored the least with nine. Though I do expect QPR to get a goal as United have only kept one clean sheet at home this season.
Prediction:- Manchester United 4-1 QPR
[toggle_box title=”Stoke v Fulham Match Preview” width=”Width of toggle box”]
The Britannia has always been a hard place for visiting teams and it has continued this season. They have kept a clean sheet in four of their five home games. But they do have a lack of goals at home scoring only four. They have always been defensively sound but summer signing Geoff Cameron has just added to it. He joined the club as a midfielder but has slotted effectively in to the right-back position winning 77% of the 40 tackles he has made.
Fulham will provide a threat to Stoke if they continue their good away form. They have only won at Wigan but have scored two at Old Trafford and three at the Emirates Stadium. Dimitar Berbatov has been a revelation for the Cottagers giving the side a focal point and showing the ability which he displayed in briefs stints at Manchester United.
However he will need to be at his very best in order for Fulham to get a positive result at the Britannia. I believe Stoke will be too good for Fulham as they will grind out a result. Fulham have let in 15 goals on their travels so will not handle Stoke’s long aerial approach.
Prediction:- Stoke 2-0 Fulham
[toggle_box title=”Wigan V Reading Match Preview” width=”Width of toggle box”]
No one ever knows what Wigan side will turn up. They have seven points from their last 18 but followed up two victories with two defeats. What will be vital for the side is the first goal. This season they have scored the first goal five times and have gone on to win the game three times. Wigan though has conceded the first goal six times and has lost all six.
Reading’s morale will be sky high. They are unbeaten in their last four and won their first game of the season last week at home to Everton. The experienced Jason Roberts has been leading the line for the Royals and Wigan will have to contain him if they are to get a positive result.
Neither side has looked impressive this season. Wigan are too inconsistent so have struggled to find a run of form. Reading have drew too many games and need to start turning them in to wins. With both teams struggling at the bottom of the table I can see both teams sharing the points.
Prediction:- Wigan 1-1 Reading
[toggle_box title=”Aston Villa v Arsenal Match Preview” width=”Width of toggle box”]
Without a win in eight games Aston Villa are desperate for a win. Their problem lies with their lack of goals. Christian Benteke, Darren Bent and Andreas Weimann are their top goal scorers with two goals. Last week they threw away a two goal lead to lose to Manchester United. Paul Lambert needs to start getting positive results otherwise he will be the next Premiership manager out of a job.
Arsenal’s start to the season was inevitably overshadowed by Van Persie’s departure to rivals Manchester United. However after a rusty start they’ve started to find form and this has largely been down to their Spanish magician Santi Cazorla. Their summer signing from Malaga has been a revelation in centre midfield and has created 38 chances this season for fellow new signings Lukas Podolski and Oliver Giroud.
If Villa are to be successful Saturday evening Benteke needs to be playing well. He was unplayable in the first half against United and can cause Arsenal serious problems. But with four points from their last 18 Arsenal should be too strong. Arsenal’s quick passing style will result in a comfortable away win.
Prediction:- Aston Villa 1- 3 Arsenal
[toggle_box title=”Swansea v Liverpool Match Preview” width=”Width of toggle box”]
Liverpool manager Brendan Rogers travels to his old side on Sunday in vital need of a result. A positive draw at Chelsea and a convincing home win against Wigan has given the side a much needed boost of confidence. But yet again they will have to rely on Luis Suarez. He has been their only source of goals but with only 20 of his 72 shots being on target other players need to chip in.
Swansea have defied the second season syndrome and have made a fantastic start under Michael Laudrup. They have continued their passing style despite the loss of Joe Allen to Sunday’s opponents. Laudrup made many signings in the summer but midfielder Michu has stolen the headlines. He has scored seven goals in 12 games and has kept last season’s regular starter Danny Graham out of the side.
I expect Swansea to give Rogers and his side a footballing lesson. Both sides play passing football but Swansea have definitely looked more of a threat going forward. Pablo Hernandez has been a revelation since his move from Valencia and I expect him to give rookie Andre Wisdom many problems. Also with Ashley Williams blocking 20 shots this season I can see Liverpool struggling to create chances. I can see nothing but a comfortable Swansea victory.
Prediction:- Swansea 3-1 Liverpool
[toggle_box title=”Southampton v Newcastle Match Preview” width=”Width of toggle box”]
Nigel Adkins will now expect his players to gather some momentum after their first win of the season at QPR last weekend. But their defensive record needs to improve. They have conceded 30 goals this season, the most in the league. However Southampton have looked very impressive going forward. Captain Adam Lallana has been brilliant on the left side chipping in with four assists so far.
Alan Pardew was always going to struggle to replicate last season’s heroics. With only five points from their last 18 fans will be expecting better. Papa Cisse has been disappointing while Cabaye and Tiote have been disappointing. Demba Ba though has replicated his form from the earlier period of last season. He’s been carrying the team with eight goals in 12 games.
I see Southampton building on last week’s win to grab their first win of the season at St Mary’s. If they keep Ba quiet their attacking prowess should rip Newcastle to shreds. Jason Puncheon and Lallana have provided excellent supply for Lambert who has scored five this season.
Prediction:- Southampton 3-1 Newcastle
[toggle_box title=”Tottenham V West Ham Match Preview” width=”Width of toggle box”]
Andre Villas-Boas needs to get Spurs fans onside before he loses his job. They have lost their last three including a humiliating 5-2 defeat to their arch rivals Arsenal. Villas- Boas does have an away win at Old Trafford under his belt but their home form is alarmingly poor. Six points out of 18 at home and poor performances in the Europa League means this has to be must win for Spurs.
Surprisingly West Ham are above their opponents in the table as they aim to carry on their impressive start. Sam Allardyce has done what he does best and made West Ham hard to beat with them only conceding 12 goals in 12 games. Kevin Nolan has been scoring the goals for the Hammers and again will look to link with Andy Carroll who’s yet to get off the mark.
Spurs have been very disappointing at home. Emmanuel Adebayor is suspended so Jermaine Defoe will have the sole responsibility of putting the ball in the net. Moussa Dembele was on the bench for the Lazio game and will be a massive boost for Spurs if he could start. But I expect Spurs poor home form to continue. West ham have been excellent this season and I expect them to carry this on to get a credible point.
Prediction:- Tottenham 0-0 West Ham
[toggle_box title=”Chelsea V Manchester City Match Preview” width=”Width of toggle box”]
The most anticipated game of the weekend takes place at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon. It is not an easy start for interim manager Rafael Benitez as they face the Premier League champions. Without a win in four games Benitez will be hoping Torres finally finds some form. He has four goals so far but needs to improve with Chelsea’s constant links with Athletico Madrid Striker Radamel Falcao. Chelsea will rely on Eden Hazard to create the chances as he’s created 27 so far.
Mancini will hope his side forget their shocking European campaign as they look to retain their place at the top of the table. Despite less than convincing performances they remain unbeaten. However Vincent Kompany is a major doubt for the champions after leaving the Etihad Wednesday on crutches. He will be a massive loss as City have only kept four clean sheets so far this season.
Last season Manchester City were unbeaten in the league until they travelled to Stamford Bridge. A late Frank Lampard penalty gave Chelsea a 2-1 victory. I expect the same to happen this Sunday. Chelsea looked lost under Di Matteo and I expect Benitez to give Torres that much needed confidence boost.
Prediction:- Chelsea 2-1 Manchester City
Agree or disagree with the previews? Please let me know by leaving a comment below!
Currently Studying Sports Journalism at Staffordshire University. Also known as The Shorthand Master. Northampton, United Kingdom.
Jan 31, 2015 0
Jan 31, 2015 0