Friday, 25 September 2015

PREVIEW: EPL Week 7


Newysports EPL Preview: Week 7 2015/16
Written By: Keegan Pulik

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Tottenham endured a tricky start to the season, but the last few weeks Spurs have found some form, winning against Sunderland, FK Qarabag (Europa) and last week against Palace. New boy Heung-Min Son is starting to show his worth scoring 3 goals in 3 appearances. His goal last week was enough for the Spurs to put one over Palace, in a game that Spurs looked to have had control over.

 A midweek Capital One Cup match against fierce rivals Arsenal, was always going to be a good test. Whilst they are now out of the cup, going down 2-1, they will be slightly concerned that they couldn’t break through the Arsenal defence as Spurs only goal was an Own Goal by Callum Chambers. Spurs should look to capitalise on City’s turn of form this weekend, if Spurs can hit the front early City may struggle in trying to pull the game back.

The undefeated streak is over, it lasted 5 league matches but it all came to an end when West Ham arrived at the Etihad. Going behind in the 6th minute, City were stunned and after very poor defence on a corner led to the Hammers second goal, City almost looked out of answers. A Kevin De Bruyne goal on the stroke of halftime looked to revitalise City but after coming out for the second half, they couldn’t break through a desperate West Ham defence. 

City dominated every element of this match is you look at the stats having 19 shots, 72% possession and 16 corners. Midweek City faced a trip to the Stadium of Light to face Sunderland. City were there to prove that last weekend was a one off scoring 4 first half goals to seal the win early on. Despite conceding a late goal, Sunderland were never in this match with any sort of a chance. City will look to make an example of Spurs this week proving that they can run away with the title this season.

Keegan's Tip: 2-1 City
Alex's Tip: 2-1 City
Ty's Tip: 2-1 City

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The comeback kings from Leicester will host their toughest opponents this week when they welcome Arsenal to the King Power Stadium. Leicester are making a habit of going behind 2-0 over the last couple of weeks, both in which they have brought it back. Last week Stoke looked very impressive in the first half, and I truly did believe that they may have turned their season around. Second half did not go according to the Stoke script with Leicester hitting back with a Mahrez penalty after Arnautovic brought down Drinkwater in what was a smart run by Drinkwater giving Arnautovic no option but to bring him down. 

Leicester were back level by the 69th minute as Jamie Vardy pounced on a loose ball slotting it past Butland. Whilst this was by no means Leicester’s best performance of the season, it was enough to leave the Britannia with a point. Leicester found winning form again in the Cup during the week with a 2-1 extra time win against West Ham. Going up early, West Ham hit back and forced the game into extra time but 4 minutes before penalties Andy King sealed the win for the Foxes.

Arsenal’s trip to Stamford Bridge was by no means short of any drama, with Diego Costa getting Gabriel sent off and then a late second yellow to Santi Carzola meant he also saw red. Whilst the Gunners will feel very hard done by after the refereeing display last weekend, some fans even going as far as starting a donation petition to stop Mike Dean from officiating any Arsenal game again. But regardless of what happened on the pitch in a few weeks’ time everyone will have forgotten the controversy and will look at the score which read 2-0 Chelsea. 

It took a nicely taken header at the back post in the 53rd minute by Kurt Zouma to put the Blues ahead before a 90th minute goal by Eden Hazard, who’s shot took a massive deflection, doubled Chelsea’s lead and sealed the victory. Things didn’t get any easier in the Cup midweek either with the Gunners facing a trip to White Hart Lane to face fierce rivals Tottenham. Arsenal walked away from this match with a 2-1 victory with Flamini scoring a brace. The only notable issue for Arsenal is not one that was on the field but in the away stands where a number of their supporters were arrested for tearing down a sign from the stadium. Going up against Leicester this week will be an interesting encounter for both, Leicester come up against the first major team and Arsenal will be out for a big win after the loss last week.

Keegan's Tip: 2-0 Arsenal
Alex's Tip: 1-1 Draw
Ty's Tip: 3-1 Arsenal

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Round 2 was the last time Liverpool left a ground with 3 points, this week could really be make or break for Brendan Rodgers and his men. Last weekend they hosted a Norwich side who were full of confidence from a 3-1 win the week before, and this confidence carried through. Liverpool again, were nowhere near their best and were far from impressive. Danny Ings scoring 2 minutes after being substituted into the game almost looked as it that could be the goal that could lead to better things and that could possibly save Rodgers his job. But yet again, an error at the back, this time by goalkeeper Mignolet, gave Norwich the only opportunity they needed to get onto the score sheet. With the match ending at 1-1, things were looking very bleak at Anfield.

But look on the bright side, a midweek game against Carlisle will get our confidence up with a good win. Well, we won, ugly, but we won. That was the only positive to take out of Thursday morning's Capital One Cup clash with the League 2 minnows. Rodgers fielded an almost full strength line-up, or very close to with the likes of Firmino, Ings, Skrtel, Clyne, Milner and Lallana all starting before Coutinho, Ibe and Origi were all introduced as subs. 

You look at some of the names there and you would put good money on a big win, well no, a 24th minute goal to Danny Ings was quickly cancelled out in the 35th minute and from that point on it was all about survival for Carlisle. And to their credit they did just that taking the Reds all the way to a penalty shootout, where debutant Adam Bogdan made a few quality saves to hand Liverpool the victory. 

Before I mention the Rodgers saga, from this match Lovren has sustained an injury suspected to be a broken ankle from what I have read, and also this week the Reds will again be without Captain Jordan Henderson, and possibly without Benteke who reportedly had MRI scans on his hamstrings.

I know this is longer than most but as a Liverpool fan this is a way to vent. If Liverpool come away with anything less than a convincing win this weekend, it could very well be the end of the Brendan Rodgers era, with the club reportedly making contact with Carlo Ancelotti and the ever present rumour of Jurgen Klopp being etched into every newspaper. Whilst the club has denied Ancelotti talks, nothing has been said of Klopp. Watch this space.

Villa last week played host to West Brom, and unfortunately for Villa fans they were on the wrong end of a 1-0 score line. A 39th minute goal by Berahino was enough to separate the two teams who were both creating plenty of chances at either end. Despite Villa have more of the possession, 60%, they weren’t able to squeeze West Brom out of the game. 

Midweek saw them face a determined Birmingham City side, who were desperate to put in a good performance to show that they can hold their own with the Premier League sides once again. This proved to be a good hit out for the Villains with a 63rd minute Rudy Gestede goal enough to separate the two sides. This week Villa will have to be on the top of their game going up against a Liverpool side who haven’t tasted league success in a while now.

Keegan's Tip: 1-0 Liverpool
Alex's Tip: 2-1 Liverpool
Ty's Tip: 2-1 Aston Villa

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West Ham are fast becoming the giant killers of the Premier League this season, already having knocked off Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City away from home and in convincing fashion. Last week they travelled to the Etihad to face a City side who were yet to concede a goal in the Premier League this season. This quickly changed as Victor Moses found the back of the net from range early on into the match and Diafro Sakho capitalising on some very poor City defending from a corner the lead was soon doubled and City were in a place that was so very unknown in the league thus far. 

Despite a long range goal from Kevin De Bruyne on the stroke of half time, West Ham came out in the second half and did enough to hold out the table toppers. The amount of confidence West Ham will take out of this result is astounding and they deserve to be full of confidence. Despite all this confidence the Hammers were brought back down off their perch by Leicester in the Capital One Cup midweek, conceding their second 2-1 defeat to the Foxes in a number of weeks. Although West Ham were able to force this match into extra time they weren’t able to get the upper hand.

Coming up against West Ham this week is a newly promoted Norwich side who are sitting in 11th place and coming off the back of some very positive results as of late. This positive run began after beating Bournemouth 3-1 and has continued through last weekend and the Capital One Cup against West Brom. West Brom was always going to be a tricky encounter in the cup but the Canaries were good enough to overcome the challenge running out 3-0 winners. 

Matt Jarvis and Kyle Lafferty both scoring before an own goal sealed the 3-0 win. The trip to Anfield was a positive one for Norwich, despite their dreadful record at the ground, Norwich were able to overcome a 1-0 deficit to capitalise on a mistake from Mignolet falling to Russell Martin who finished with a cheeky chip. This week Norwich will want to push further up the table and further away from the relegation zone, and coming up against a good West Ham side.

Keegan's Tip: 2-2 Draw
Alex's Tip: 3-1 West Ham
Ty's Tip: 2-0 West Ham

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Southampton face a Swansea City side that will be desperate to get back into the winners circle this weekend. Last week Southampton came up against a good Manchester United side and despite a Graziano Pelle brace, they weren’t able to stop United. Whilst they were by no means out of the game still being able to create 13 chances on goal, finishing was the biggest area they struggled with last week. 

Finishing was not an issue in the Cup midweek coming up against Championship side MK Dons. Running out 6-0 winners, with Jay Rodriguez, Shane Long and Saido Mane all scoring braces to seal a confidence boost that they desperately needed coming into this clash with Swansea. The Saints will be wanting to seal all three points this week to further the gap from the relegation zone. Currently sitting in 16th with 6 points only 3 points outside the relegation zone, they will have it firmly in their mind that they are not that far outside of it.

Swansea have looked good for the majority of this season so far. Last week they were held to a 0-0 draw with Everton in what was a game where chances were few and far to come by and the chances that both sides had weren’t able to capitalise on. Midweek they faced a trip to the KC Stadium to face Hull City. This was always going to be a very close match with Hull only being relegated last season, they are desperate to be in the top flight again and this was their chance to prove they can stand up to the level in the Premier League still. And that they did with a 41st minute goal to David Meyler enough to seal the victory for the Tigers and leave Swansea to pick up the pieces heading into this weeks’ game against Southampton. This will be a decent game although there will be plenty of chances made I see the two cancelling each other out.

Keegan's Tip: 1-1 Draw
Alex's Tip: 1-0 Southampton
Ty's Tip: 2-1 Southampton

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Stoke are still yet to win this season and may be starting to become slightly desperate for one. Last week they looked very good in the first half where they were ahead 2-0 within 20 minutes. A calmly finished goal from Bojan opened the scoring in the 13th before Jonathan Walters pounced on a dreadful mistake from Wes Morgan to slot home the second in the 20th minute. Things looked very cruisy for the Potters. 

The second half was never as cruisy though as Leicester came out in search for goals. And a clever run from Drinkwater gave Arnautovic no choice but to bring him down inside the box, whilst the referee took his time to call it, there really was no doubt in anyone’s mind that it was a penalty. By the 69th minute Stoke’s two goal cushion was gone, and to add insult to injury Leicester fans began chanting “Are you Villa in disguise” reference to the week before. 

From this game though Stoke have a lot of positives to look forward from, attacking in the first half was great, and defensively they were sound, it is just holding on to the lead when they have it. Midweek they travelled to London to face Fulham at Craven Cottage where a 33rd minute goal to Peter Crouch was enough to separate the two sides. Whilst Fulham are by no means the team they were a few years ago, it is still a positive result for Stoke one of which they will be take a lot of confidence out of heading into this weeks’ clash with the Cherries from Bournemouth.

If you told Bournemouth fans at the start of the season, that they would have 2 quality wins, playing good football, holding their own and out playing Liverpool at Anfield and that they would be sitting 14th between Liverpool and Chelsea they would’ve thought you’d be having a laugh. But that is now their reality as they head into week 7 of their debut Premier League season. 

Last week they really did have potential to run all over Sunderland going up 2-0 within the first 10 minutes. Callum Wilson continued his scoring ways this season opening the scoring in the 4th before a superbly taken volley from outside the box from Matt Ritchie, if you haven’t seen this goal, do yourself a favour and find it, it has been all over Facebook and was on Fox Sports News all of Sunday. 

It really was a goal of the season contender. Apart from spectacular finishes Bournemouth will take a lot of positives from the game but they will also have in the back of their mind of what could’ve been, we have seen them score plenty of goals this season against West Ham, so they are capable of getting a lot of goals in a match, and they will have realised that they had a big opportunity to do the same last week against an ordinary Sunderland side. 

Wednesday morning saw them travel to lowly rated championship side Preston North End, where they ran out winners but only after a penalty shootout. They will be disappointed having to go all the way to penalties in this match but they will take confidence that they now have two wins in a row heading into a game against a very desperate Stoke side. This match will really be determined on what side we see of Stoke, if they play like the first half last week, we may be looking at their first win, or if we see a Stoke side that compares to their second half last week which we’ve seen most the season, in which case they will probably lose again.

Keegan's Tip: 0-0 Draw
Alex's Tip: 2-1 Bournemouth
Ty's Tip: 2-1 Stoke City

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United as much as I hate to say it, are serious title contenders. Last week again they were very impressive against a determined Southampton side who were looking to kick start their season. Going behind early on, United didn’t let that faze them with the youngster Anthony Martial continuing his scoring ways with a brace, and Juan Mata scoring with just over 20 minutes remaining the result looked to be in the bag for United. Despite a late surge by Southampton and Pelle scoring his second, United were able to hang on for another good win. 

Midweek United faced Championship side Ipswich which had the potential to be a very even game with Ipswich sitting high up in the Championship table. Wayne Rooney put United ahead in the 23rd and it wasn’t until the 60th when Andreas Pereira doubled the lead. From that point forward the game was done and dusted but to put the final nail in the coffin, substitute Anthony Martial scored in the 90th to finish off a convincing win for the Red Devils. I said a few weeks ago that I believed the fee paid for Martial was ridiculous, and to a certain degree I stand by that, although this kid has proven to be an amazing talent and is holding his own in the Premier League. He has shown that if required he can step into the frontline in the absence of Rooney and Van Gaal will have no issues with what the kid produces. For me, definitely one of the signings of the summer.

Sunderland are still yet to win, and things probably won’t be changing this week when they travel to Old Trafford.  Last week they went up against a Bournemouth side who were full of confidence and that showed as they quickly ran out to a 2-0 lead within 10 minutes. Sunderland have struggled all season in creating chances and it continued last week only creating 8 shooting opportunities. 

Defensively, after the first 10 minutes, they did well to restrict Bournemouth from really making the game a blowout that it probably should’ve been. Although, Pantilimon could do nothing about the second goal by Matt Ritchie, defensively questions will be asked on the marking from the corner. Things only got worse as they faced Manchester City in the Capital One Cup midweek where they were steam-rolled by a rampant City side who were up 4-0 within 36 minutes. If Sunderland don’t win within the next 2 or 3 weeks, they will be relegated, I honestly can’t see anything changing for the Black Cats. They will lose this week and for them it will be more limiting the damage more than anything.

Keegan's Tip: 4-0 United
Alex's Tip: 3-0 United
Ty's Tip: 3-0 United

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Yet to win this season, Newcastle are looking like this could be another ordinary season. Last week they came up against a Watford side who were full of confidence after defeating Swansea in the week prior to the clash in Newcastle. Going down 2-0 within half an hour it took until the 62nd minute for Newcastle to get on the score sheet with Daryl Janmaat scoring to make it 2-1. Despite having more possession, Newcastle never looked as if they were in control. 

The misery continued midweek as Newcastle bowed out of the Capital One Cup against Championship side Sheffield Wednesday. Whilst this takes away any real chance Newcastle had on success this season it now allows them to focus entirely on rebooting their Premier League season. The road to survival kicks off this week against defending champions Chelsea.

Chelsea have been ordinary all season currently sitting 15th but seemed to have turned the corner when they defeated Maccabi Tel Aviv in the UEFA Champions League, backing up with a 2-0 win against a solid Arsenal side. Whilst the game has been marked by controversy, with Diego Costa blatantly trying to get someone sent off, in which he succeeded when Gabriel was sent off. 

Whilst his attempts to get someone sent off were successful he was also successful in receiving a 3 match ban by the FA Match Review Panel, which was rightly done as they were a number of incidents where he could have been sent off. The second half there was less controversy, and Chelsea hit the lead through a header from Kurt Zouma at the back post from a free kick before a last minute goal to Eden Hazard which took a major deflection and wrong footed Petr Cech as it hit the back of the net. 

Capital One Cup saw Chelsea come up against Football League minnows Walsall. This was never going to be a concern for the Blues, and they took the opportunity to play some of the younger players and reserves. Running out 4-1 victors no one can be overly surprised at this result. Heading into this week as they face a pretty bad Newcastle side, they will be confident knowing they should get all three points.

Keegan's Tip: 3-0 Chelsea
Alex's Tip: 2-0 Chelsea
Ty's Tip: 4-0 Chelsea

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Watford have hit some early form, now having two wins on the trot over both Swansea and Newcastle. Last week saw an early 2-0 lead with a brace coming from Odion Ighalo within the opening half an hour. From this point on Watford looked comfortable against a very ordinary Newcastle side. Despite conceding, Watford didn’t look to be out of the match and were always going to run out victors. Watford did not play midweek having already been eliminated from the Capital One Cup, so they will go into this week well rested and completely focused on the task ahead.

After a good start to the season Crystal Palace have been halted the last couple of weeks losing 1-0 to both Manchester City and Tottenham. Last week a 68th minute goal by Spurs new boy Son was enough to put one over on Palace, but despite the losing form, they turned around with a 4-1 win over Charlton Athletic. Dwight Gayle got on the scoresheet with a Hat trick, two of which were penalties but nonetheless a hat trick is a hat trick. The task was also made that bit easier when Charlton had a man sent off. This week Palace will want to get back to their winning ways in the Premier League with a good win over a confident Watford side.

Keegan's Tip: 2-1 Palace
Alex's Tip: 2-2 Draw
Ty's Tip: 2-0 Palace

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West Brom have had a decent start to the season sitting in 12th after 6 matches. Last time out they got one over against Aston Villa who have been slightly disappointing so far this season. One goal was enough to seal the victory with a Saido Berahino strike in the 39th minute being the ultimate difference between the two sides. 

Capital One Cup was a different form for the Baggies going down 3-0 to the Canaries of Norwich. Despite the disappointing result, West Brom will have their head held high as they have hit some impressive league form currently picking up 7 points from their last three outings. Attacking is West Brom’s strongest element and is something they will have to do well to get over Everton this week.

2 wins, 3 draws and a loss leaves Everton currently sitting up in 6th position. In my honest opinion I believe that Everton are a dark horse team this season along with Leicester and West Ham and could push to finish in the top five, and they have shown their worthiness of a top 5 spot with some outstanding performances to date. 

Last week though was a match where they was a lot of sparring but there was not a lot of impact blows. Against a good Swansea side, Everton were held to a 0-0. Everton may have a feeling of what could have been with the match’s best chance falling to Romelu Lukaku but was cleared off the line by Swansea’s defenders. Midweek saw a trip to Reading where they went behind in the 37th minute, despite going behind they hit back soon after half time with Ross Barkley and Gerard Deulofeu both finding the back of the net in what will be a confidence building win heading into this weeks’ trip to the Hawthorns. 

This match will be won in the midfield, both midfields’ will have to step up and supply their strikers with good service to get the win. Both midfields have some quality in them and both have plenty of attacking outlets so this game looks like it could be very exciting to watch.

Keegan's Tip: 2-0 Everton
Alex's Tip: 2-1 West Brom
Ty's Tip: 2-0 Everton

EDITORIAL: Newysports EPL News (Week 7)


A New Low For Newcastle United:

Newcastle United's start to the Premier League season has been embarrassing. There's no sugarcoating that fact and with a humiliating cup exit at the hands of second-division side Sheffield Wednesday during the week, things have gone from bad to worse for the Magpies.

How did it come to be this way for a club that was once one of the biggest and best in England? In fact you could argue it still is one of the biggest but the fact is the club are in all sorts of a mess at the moment. Owner Mike Ashley is despised by the club's fanbase and it's becoming increasingly obvious with each passing year that he is not going to be able to turn fortunes around.

Back onto that horror loss to Wednesday, again another former powerhouse in English football. They are struggling in the Championship, sitting 14th which isn't spectacular and they fielded a mostly second-string side at St James' Park...that's right, Newcastle lost to Sheffield Wednesday's reserves.

The side is stacked full of foreigners (Jack Colback is the lone Englishman in the starting squad) and for a side like Newcastle it's simply not good enough. Buying cheap Frenchmen and then selling them when they improve is not going to help the club get anywhere. It's common sense really.

They lack a real leader. Club captain Fabricio Coloccini is out of form, out of confidence and is nothing compared to a natural leader like the legendary Alan Shearer. Even a more recent leader like Kevin Nolan would have done better. 


Coloccini sat on the bench for the club's shock loss to Wednesday and then instead of himself, the club captain facing the scrutiny of the English media, the club sent out debutant Kevin Mbabu. I know what you're thinking, who's Kevin Mbabu. The 20-year old Swiss defender is off-contract at the end of the season and was simply a sacrificial lamb.

There are 92 teams in the English football league system and not one of them have scored less goals than Newcastle United in the opening stages of the 2015/16 season. In a strange move, the club named a side without a recognised striker in the lineup for the mid-week clash with Wednesday. Amazing.

What's to blame, is it the new coach Steve McClaren. Personally I saw the job McClaren did at Derby County and luck let him and the Rams down over the last few seasons. I'm sure he'd be the first to admit that it's simply not working at Newcastle. He has failed to gel the players together and the season is spiralling out of control at a rapid rate.


In my opinion a clean out is needed. Mike Ashley needs to go as owner...that's the top priority. The club have failed their fans for a few years now and their performances in cup competitions have been lacklustre at best. For a club that used to called a 'cup team' they're certainly failing to live up to that moniker nowadays.

A complete change in vision is needed and it's not something that'll come overnight. Culture is a word that's thrown around a lot these days and the culture at Newcastle United is one that is going to most likely see them relegated to the Championship next season. I can't see how they'll turn it around.

With Newcastle falling rapidly towards possible relegation, neighbours Sunderland are also seeing a slow start to the season. The Black Cats under Dick Advocaat escaped relegation last season but find themselves in the same old battle this time round. It's not all bad for football in the North East though as Middlesbrough are 2nd in the Championship and on track for a promotion push at the end of the season.

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Liverpool's Rodgers Facing More Uncertainty:

Brendan Rodgers' time as Liverpool manager may be coming to an end sooner rather than later. To be fair, it's not that Rodgers' has done that bad of a job but improvement is needed and it's simply not coming. With rumours swirling over former Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp ending his break from coaching, it seems as though Rodgers is fast running out of time to keep his spot.

I said after the weekend that the Reds needed to blast a few past League Two outfit Carlisle United to re-install confidence and they failed to do that, in fact Liverpool were almost ousted from the League Cup at the hands of the lowly Cumbrians. Penalties were needed and Liverpool went through. Who would have thought beating a fourth division side would be so hard!

It's a key game for Liverpool this weekend as they host Aston Villa. If they happen to lose to the Villians at Anfield they may finish the week as low as 16th. Here's a fun fact; Villa have won two of their last four at Anfield (including a 1-0 win last season) and haven't lost there in four outings.

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Leicester City Flying High:

Leicester's latest outing saw them win a thrilling extra time tie in the Capital One Cup against fellow high-flyers West Ham United. The Foxes handed the hammer their first away loss of the campaign and moved forward to the next round of the English League Cup.

Leicester will face second-tier Hull City in the Round of 16 and surely they'll like their chances in that one. It could be a big cup run ahead for the Foxes.

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Do Or Die For Mourinho's Men:

Tottenham v Man City will headline the Barclay's Premier League fixtures this weekend but an away trip for a Diego Costa-less Chelsea to struggling Newcastle could prove to be the key match of the round. The Magpies' are in strife (as mentioned in the first article) and will be doing all in their power to pull off what would be the upset of the season.

Mark my words, if Chelsea happen to lose to Newcastle they can kiss their title hopes goodbye. They've got no business competing for the title if they lose to a struggling Newcastle side. It should be a win (even without star striker Costa) for the Blues and it should see them climb into the top half of the table.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

REVIEW: EPL Week 6


EPL Week 6 Wrap-Up
Written by Ty Stedman

Week 6 of the English Premier League has ended and it's ended with the unbeaten streak of league-leaders Manchester City coming to a halt at the hands of an in-form West Ham United outfit. Victor Moses gave the visitors a shock lead early on and they never looked back, despite City featuring star recruits Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling in the starting eleven. It's West Ham's third big away scalp of the season after knocking off both Arsenal and Liverpool on the road. Glorious times for the Hammers.

The Match of the Week saw Chelsea host Arsenal in a London derby and it became a mess of a game when tensions flared up on half-time and Arsenal were reduced to ten men with Gabriel sent off for lashing out at a pesky Diego Costa. The Gunners were always going to struggle to win with ten (which became nine late on) and I feel as though Chelsea still have a lot to prove, despite a 2-0 win over their rivals.

Swansea City and Everton played out an entertaining scoreless draw which I managed to catch a bit of on Fox Sports. Everton defender John Stones is fast becoming one of the best centre backs in the Premier League and his skill for his age is simply unbelievable. It's great to see a ball-playing defender coming through the ranks at Goodison Park.

The West Midlands derby saw West Bromwich Albion pick up a big away win at Villa Park; in fact it was the Baggies' first win at the home of their arch rivals since the 2011/12 season; that's five attempts for those keeping count at home.

Leicester City's early season form has been impressive and they came back from certain death at a hostile Britannia and stunned Stoke City by drawing 2-2. Everyone knows how tough it is to travel to Stoke and with the Potters up 2-0 inside 20 minutes, it looked certain that the visiting Foxes were going to leave with a loss. They spurred and came from behind once again to secure a very valuable point, courtesy of goals to Riyad Mahrez (PEN) and Jamie Vardy.

Sunderland's season went from bad to worse as they fell to a 2-0 loss to EPL newcomers AFC Bournemouth. It was curtains inside ten minutes as Bournemouth fired in two early goals to leave Sunderland wondering just how much lower their season could go. To the Black Cats' credit, they managed to avoid losing by more but it's becoming evermore likely that they'll be playing in the Championship next season; even though there is an entirety of time left this campaign.

Sunderland aren't the only team from the North East to be struggling at the moment. Neighbours Newcastle fell to a shock home loss to Watford. The Hornets snapped a 13-game winless streak at St James' Park and recorded their first win at the venue since 1981. So both North East sides are struggling but funnily enough, Middlesbrough are flying high in the Championship. It would be strange to see Sunderland and Newcastle go down and Boro go up.

Tottenham got the job done against Crystal Palace but by no means was it easy. Heung-Min Son was the unlikely hero as Palace fell to a second-straight 1-0 defeat, after their heartbreaking loss to City last weekend. Spurs need to prove themselves a tad better if they want to finish inside the top four.

Liverpool were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw by promoted Norwich City and surely it's done no good for the cause of manager Brandan Rodgers. A mid-week cup game against Carlisle will be a good chance for the club to fire some goals in and try and get some form together.

Last but not least, Manchester United were 3-2 winners over a game Southampton side. Star recruit Anthony Martial scored a double and was superb once again as the Red Devils picked up a crucial win at St Mary's. United will be eyeing off top spot with neighbours City facing a tough trip to White Hart Lane and the Red Devils hosting Sunderland in what should be a routine win.

Full Results:


EPL Ladder (after Week 6):





Newysports Tipping Comp:








Saturday, 19 September 2015

PREVIEW: EPL Week 5


Editor's Note:

A big thanks to Keegan Pulik for sending me through these previews at short-notice after Alex had some tech problems prevent him from doing them. I wrote my first EPL previews of the season with a look at Southampton v Manchester United and an accidental look at Liverpool v Norwich.

I misread Keegan's inbox and thought he wanted me to do both of these games. After I wrote it I found his Liverpool write-up. Still; it doesn't hurt to have two previews written up.

Also, you'll notice the match graphics are a bit more streamlined. Squarer, less info, straight to the point. These graphics will be used for the upcoming A-League season which I'd appreciate any sort of help for...especially if you're a diehard who watches every game.

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Chelsea continued their poor start to the league season last week going down 3-1 to a determined Everton side. Chelsea now sit in very foreign territory, just outside the relegation zone in 17th place. Against Everton there were very few positive points to take out of the game, apart from the wonder strike from Matic. Despite the poor league form Chelsea opened their Champions League account with a dominant 4-0 win over Maccabi Tel Aviv. 4-0 is never a result to be snubbed at, especially in the Champions League, I can’t help but think that this result really is not the start of a new beginning for the Blues. 

Obviously Tel Aviv are in Champions League because they are decent but they really aren’t that strong of an outfit, if it hadn’t been 4-0 I would be very concerned for the Chelsea club. Things are only made more difficult as the late omission of Thibaut Courtois last week, and having been ruled out for 3 to 4 months only makes their season that little bit harder. This week Chelsea really will have to sort out their defensive woes against an Arsenal side who have looked decent attacking wise in the Premier League so far.

Arsenal went out last week in pursuit of closing the gap on Manchester City, and were successful in doing so, with a 2-0 win over an ordinary Stoke side. Arsenal took the lead in the 31st minute through calmly taken strike from Theo Walcott, with the second coming from scrutinised French striker Olivier Giroud. Arsenal really did dominate this game right from the word go having a total 69% possession and 24 shots throughout the entire match. 

This attacking dominance from the Stoke match unfortunately didn’t carry through to the Champions League first match day against Dinamo Zagreb. It took only 24 minutes for Zagreb to hit the front and soon after Oliver Giroud was seeing red for his second bookable offence. For the next 50 minutes Arsenal were made to play a man down. 13 minutes after half time Zagreb had put their second past David Ospina making the already uphill task for Arsenal that much harder. 

Unfortunately for the Gunners, a 79th minute consolation goal from Theo Walcott was not enough to spark a late comeback. Going into this weekend against Chelsea, Arsenal will be quietly confident after their dominant performances as of late in the Premier League and I predict that their fast paced free flowing attacking football will continue.

This match is so important for both teams, for Chelsea to kick start their season, the longer they go without a win the further they will fall behind and out of to four contention. For Arsenal they will be gunning for the win to keep in touch with high Flyers City.

Keegan's Tip: 2-1 Arsenal
Alex's Tip: 1-0 Arsenal
Ty's Tip: 2-1 Arsenal

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Swansea City will be going into this week’s match determined not to have a repeat of last week’s performance at Watford. Going behind in the 59th minute to an Odion Ighalo goal, the task proved to be out of reach, despite Watford having a player sent off in the 64th minute. 

For the first time this season, Bafetimbi Gomis was unsuccessful in breaking on to the score sheet, which is a great credit to the defence of Watford, but asks the question to whether Swansea are as prolific if Gomis isn't firing. This week Swansea will need both their attack and defence on top of their game otherwise it could get messy.

Everton bounced back from the loss and draw they had two weeks prior to last week with an excellent 3-1 win over a struggling Chelsea side. 9 minutes in when Muhamed Besic was substituted it began to seem as if it could’ve been a long day at the office for the Toffees. But the replacement Steven Naismith was outstanding. 

Having scored 2 goals within 15 minutes of coming on to the field, Everton looked as if they had the game wrapped up, before a Matic stunner flew past Tim Howard. But come the 83rd minute Naismith had found the net once again sealing his hat trick and the 3 points for Everton. Despite having only 39% possession, Everton were still able to shut out and frustrate a desperate Chelsea side, which they will take a lot of confidence out of.

Going into this week, two teams that have had decent starts to the season, both will be looking to push on and break away from the mid table.

Keegan's Tip: 3-2 Everton
Alex's Tip: 2-2 Draw
Ty's Tip: 2-1 Everton

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Aston Villa seemed to have been home and hosed last weekend against Leicester, being up 2-0 with 20 minutes to go. Unfortunately for Villa, complacency set in and within the last 18 minutes of play Leicester had taken the lead. This will be a great concern for Villa this weekend and trying to get to the bottom of how they could let such a lead slip. Although there are positives to take away from the match, one of which is being that they were able to break through a Leicester side who has been impressive this season. If Villa are able to sharpen up at the back and not leak late goals this week they could very well push on and get a win.

West Brom currently sitting 14th, one place and one point above Villa, were held to a 0-0 draw last weekend against Southampton. West Brom struggled in terms of keeping the ball only having 35% possessions but despite that, they managed to have 6 shots, 5 of which were off target, but still more shots than Southampton managed to get off, which is a great testament to the defence of the West Brom. This week they are going to have to make use of their attacking options with Rondon, Lambert and Berahino always lurking in the attacking third.

Keegan's Tip: 1-1 Draw
Alex's Tip: 1-0 West Brom
Ty's Tip: 2-1 Aston Villa

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Stoke, currently sitting 18th are one of three clubs that are yet to post their first win of the season. Last week they were beaten 2-0 by a strong Arsenal outfit. Stoke will be desperate to get something out of this match, to try get some sort of confidence to push forward and break out of the rut that they are currently situated in. Having very little possession last week and only producing 4 shots, 3 of which were on target, Stoke will be looking for any positives at all. 

Unfortunately for the Potters, there aren’t many, if any. This week I cannot see their poor start getting any better. They will have to push early and unsettle Leicester, the longer they can keep Leicester out of the game, the better it will be, although keeping the inform Foxes out is a lot easier said than done.

Leicester continued their dream start to the season, coming from 2 goals down to win 3-2. The 18 minute period saw Leicester score 3 goals with Ritchie De Laet, Jamie Vardy and Nathan Dyer all getting on the score sheet. Whilst inform winger Riyad Mahrez didn’t find the net, he managed to set up 2 of the 3 goals, and made his mark on the match. 

Leicester go into this week with a ridiculous amount of confidence, and let’s be honest no one can blame them for it. Not only are they getting the results but they are playing an appealing brand of football, which makes it all the more satisfying there fans. This week I see them continuing their impressive form and pushing on, quite possibly humiliating Stoke.

Keegan's Tip: 4-1 Leicester
Alex's Tip: 1-1 Draw
Ty's Tip: 2-1 Stoke City

(Editor's Note: Interesting tips in this one!)

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Bournemouth last week were brought back down to Earth with a 3-1 defeat at Norwich City. In the weeks prior Bournemouth had come away with 4 out of a possible 6 points and were playing good football. Last week, for sure wasn’t there best performance being down 3-0 within the first 67 minutes. 

An 81st minute consolation goal scored by Steve Cook was nothing but that, a consolation. This week they will have to rectify their defence, tighten up and not let Sunderland use attacking outlets of Defoe, Borini and Wickham. If they can contain these three, Sunderland’s midfield will not be able to function as well as the potentially can.

Sunderland join their North East rivals Newcastle at the foot of the ladder. Last time out they were defeated 1-0 in a tightly contested match with Tottenham Hotspurs. Sunderland will see this week as an opportunity to seal their first victory before they play both Manchester sides in the coming fortnight. 

Sunderland are becoming accustomed to being at the bottom of the ladder, so this week they will look to capitalise on the inexperience of Bournemouth who are yet to win at home in the Premier League. Creating chances has been their biggest struggle this season, which I think I may have outlined last week, but if they are not able to create chances against Bournemouth, I will be very concerned about their Premier League aspirations for next season.

Keegan's Tip: 2-1 Bournemouth
Alex's Tip: 2-1 Bournemouth
Ty's Tip: 2-1 Bournemouth

(Editor's Note: Play it safe when the others tip the same score!)

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Newcastle are sitting in a very familiar position, last. Newcastle’s season is getting worse and worse by the week, last time out going down 2-0 to a West Ham side that is flying high at the moment. Going behind early on, Newcastle had their backs against the wall early, and despite dominating possession with 61% possession, they just couldn’t drag themselves out of the current form that they are in. This week will be a tricky encounter with a Watford side that will be full of confidence after last week.

Watford are back in the winner’s circle after their 1-0 victory against Swansea. This was their first victory back in the top flight of English football and coming in front of the Watford faithful made the victory all the more sweeter. The 59th minute goal was enough to seal the victory for Watford, although I must compliment their defence for the containing of Bafetimbi Gomis. For the first time this season he was unsuccessful in finding the back of the net which is a credit to the defensive structure and work load of the Watford back line. 

Sitting only 4 points out of the relegation zone, Watford will want to use this confidence and push on get the victory which will keep them further out of the red zone.

Keegan's Tip: 1-1  Draw
Alex's Tip: 3-2 Newcastle
Ty's Tip: 2-1 Newcastle

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Manchester City are yet to concede in the Premier League this season, maintaining their perfect start to the season last week against Crystal Palace. Last week they were pushed the full 90 before they scored a last minute winner coming from youngster Iheanacho. 

Midweek saw the beginning of their Champions League campaign saw them blowing a 1-0 lead to Italian giants Juventus to lose 2-1. Whilst that result is not anything to be overly concerned about in regards to form heading into this week. Manchester City showed last week that they have youngsters who are more than able to rise up to the challenge when required and the quality they possess is just remarkable. This week may see the starting debut of Kevin De Bruyne which I will watch with interest after his contribution last weekend.

West Ham got up 2-0 last week against a bottomed place Newcastle. A brace to Dimitri Payet was enough to seal the win against what must be said as a very ordinary Newcastle side. Despite winning comfortably they will be concerned that they only managed to keep 39% possession. Going into this weekend against City, West Ham will be quietly confident that they can knock off City as they have already beaten the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool. Unfortunately for West Ham I have serious doubts that they will be get the win, it never hurts to believe.

Keegan's Tip: 2-1 City
Alex's Tip: 2-0 City
Ty's Tip: 3-0 City

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Last time out Tottenham got away with a 1-0 win against a lowly ranked Sunderland side. A late goal from Ryan Mason was enough to take all three points away from Sunderland. This was Tottenham’s first win of the Premier League this season and continued their winning ways this week in the Europa League against Qarabag FK. 

Spurs did look good in this match despite conceding an early penalty given away by Kieran Trippier, they were able to push on and score 3 of their own. New boy Son hit the ground running scoring a brace in what was his second appearance, capped off with a cheeky chip from Erik Lamela. 

Unfortunately for Spurs, Harry Kane is still searching for the form that made him the star of last season. Despite that, this past week Spurs have looked a lot more confident going forward which is never a bad thing in football.

Palace have been on an impressive run in the opening 5 weeks. Despite losing to Manchester City last weekend, Palace are sitting in 6th place only 2 points behind second place. Palace were impressive by holding out City for 90 minutes, and almost we the first side to take any points off of Manchester City, until a good save from Alex McCarthy was followed up by Kelechi Iheanacho sealing all three points for City. 

Palace will have a lot of positives to take out of the match and will look to get back into winning ways when they travel to White Hart Lane.

This match will likely be a free flowing attacking match with both sides out to prove that they can be in the top half of the table.

Keegan's Tip: 2-2 Draw
Alex's Tip: 2-1 Palace
Ty's Tip: 2-1 Tottenham

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Written By Keegan Pulik

Liverpool were very poor last week losing 3-1 to Manchester United. This was one of the poorest performances I have seen from a Liverpool side in a while. And the most concerning thing for us Reds fans, it has been getting worse as the season progresses. For many Liverpool fans last week’s performance was the last straw for Brendan Rodgers, many calling for his head. I was included after I heard the comments saying that the result was better than last years at Old Trafford. Yes in terms of the score it was, but playing wise it was embarrassing. 

The one highlight Liverpool had last week was Christian Benteke’s wonder bicycle but this was quickly cancelled out by terrible Liverpool defence and brilliant run from Anthony Martial. This morning in Europa, Liverpool settled for a 1-1 draw with Bordeaux. Adam Lallana’s goal put the reds in front before Bordeaux hit back in the last 10 minutes of play to make it 1-1. Liverpool will really have to step up their game this week. Whilst it is Norwich they come up against at the rate Liverpool is going lately they could make a meal of it.

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Written By Ty Stedman

After opening their 2015/16 campaign with two straight 1-0 victories, Liverpool are now without a win in their last four outings, including a 1-1 draw with French side Bordeaux in the UEFA Europa League. The Reds last Premier League outing saw them produce an early candidate for goal of the season through new man Christian Benteke but ultimately it wasn't enough as they fell to a 3-1 defeat at the home of their bitter rivals Manchester United.

Benteke and a couple of other certain starters were rested for the Europa League tie and will no doubt feature in the squad on Monday at 1am AEST time. Their opponents Norwich City have started the season in decent form and last week's 3-1 win over fellow newcomers AFC Bournemouth was an important result for the Canaries. Goals to Cameron Jerome, Wes Hoolahan and Matt Jarvis gave the Carrow Road faithful a lot to cheer about.

Norwich City have not beaten Liverpool in their last ten or so attempts; in fact, the Canaries last victory over the Reds came nine days after I was born, all the way back in the 1993/94 Premiership season. You'd be safe to say that it's been a long time between drinks and in my opinion it's going to continue.

Liverpool need to win this match and start putting some form together. Pressure on Brendan Rodgers is building and a shock loss to Norwich could give the Reds' manager a lot more to worry about. Liverpool by a couple for my money.

Keegan's Tip: 3-1 Liverpool
Ty's Tip: 3-0 Liverpool
Alex's Tip: 2-1 Liverpool

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Written By Ty Stedman

Southampton will be looking to kickstart their stuttering 2015/16 campaign with a big win over the in-form Red Devils in the other 1am fixture on Monday. The Saints were big 3-0 winners over Norwich in their second-to-last Premier League outing but a scoreless draw at The Hawthorns to West Brom brought them crashing back to Earth last weekend. It's definitely a key match for Ronald Koeman's team this weekend.

Manchester United seem to be gelling as a team a lot better this year than last. LVG has brought in some key additions and the gamble is starting to pay off. A 2-1 away loss to Swansea City had doubters starting to ask questions but a fairly comfortable 3-1 victory over rivals Liverpool took United into the top four last weekend. New recruit, the 19-year old Anthony Martial took the league by storm with his amazing goal against the Reds and could be rewarded with a start against the Saints.

During the week, United had a horror show in their return to European football; going down 2-1 to Dutch powerhouse PSV Eindhoven and losing Luke Shaw to a shattering double leg break, meaning the former Saint will miss out on a chance to play his old club and most likely the rest of the campaign as well. The Red Devils return to England boosted by the return of main man Wayne Rooney which will no doubt boost their chances.

I see this as a real danger game for United but if they're serious about their aspirations in Season 2015/16, they'll come through with a victory at St Mary's.

Keegan's Tip: 3-2 United
Alex's Tip: 3-1 United
Ty's Tip: 3-1 United