Saturday, 3 October 2015

PREVIEW: EPL Week 8's EPL Preview: Week 8 2015/16
Written By Alex Evans

Palace played some nice football last week after I managed to catch the second half of the match. From what I saw, they deserved to win as they held the ball and created a lot of nice chances. I thought the penalty decision was absolutely spot on and the referee deserves a lot of credit. 

Palace have got off to a very good start. Sitting 7th on the table and have already played the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City and Tottenham. If they can do the work and beat the lower teams, we could really be seeing a very good team on our hands at the moment, but can they do it? I'm not sure.

West Brom had themselves to blame after losing 3-2 to Everton on Monday night after leading 2-0. The Baggies were in dreamland after goals from Berahino and Dawson looked set to give them all three points, however not even one minute after their second goal, Romelu Lukaku put his side back in it and and later went on to bag his side a winner. 

I have seen Albion play some nice football this year and I do believe they can push to at top 10 finish with the right outcomes from the club, and for that reason I'm going to tip an upset in this one.

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


Back to back losses for City saw them lose top spot to their next door neighbours United after a disappointing 4-1 loss to Tottenham. With an interesting decision in dropping goalkeeper Joe Hart last week in replacement of Willy Caballero it will be interesting to see who starts in goal this week however my prediction will be Joe Hart as he played in City's 2-1 win over Borussia M√∂nchengladbach in the Champions League mid week. I'm hearing rumours that Vincent Kompany is not happy at the club after the way he has been treated lately and also not playing. It's certainly shows they need him in the back line. Interesting to see what happens there. 

Bittersweet moment for Steve McClaren's Newcastle side on Saturday night after his side did claim a vital point against the current champions Chelsea however could of got all 3 points if it wasn't for some sloppy defending which allowed Chelsea to score two late goals. 

Newcastle are starting to make some sort of a push this season but McClaren has to do a lot of work on the club if he has any chance of keeping his job before Christmas. 

Newcastle have one of the best set of supporters in the league and will be asking for answers on the club that they have some much passion for week in week out. They will also remember the dreaded time they got relegated to the Championship a few years ago and will be praying that this same scenario does not happen again to them.

Sorry Newcastle fans but I just can't see you getting anything at the Etihad this week.

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


Sunderland's miserable start to the season continued as they lost to Manchester United 3-0 at Old Trafford last week. The Black Cats are yet to find any sort of form this season and are even struggling to find a win. Dick Advocaat's men are sitting rock bottom of the league with only 2 points from a potential 21. With players like Jermaine Defoe not even getting played anymore, troubling signs are looming over Sunderland and relegation look certainly on the cards for them at this stage.

West Ham earned a respectable 2-2 draw at home to Norwich last week after a very late goal from Cheikhou Kouyat√©. 

The Hammers are loving life at the moment cruising in 3rd position and without any major injury concerns, unlike some other clubs. West Ham certainly have the potential to make the top 6 and if not top 4 and the way they are performing at the moment, it won't be a surprise to me at all if they do. 

West Ham have had a 100% record on the road so far this season amazing beating Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City, so for that reason I'm going with away side this week.

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


Norwich have produced some good football over the past few weeks and are now undefeated in three. With a draw against West Ham on Saturday, the Canaries are beginning to look like a hard side to beat. Norwich should feel that they should have had all three points on Saturday but failed to do so by conceding a 93rd minute goal to only seal a point. Norwich need to start picking up some points now as in a few weeks they have Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal in a space of four games. 

Leicester became the final team to lose this season as they were battered 5-2 at home to a well structured Arsenal side. Leicester looked to be in dreamland after an early lead from James Vardy however a hattrick from Arsenal's main man Alexis Sanchez cancelled out both of their goals. However I feel that loss on the weekend was only a small blip in their system.  Claudio Ranieri has worked wonders on the Foxes this year and has organised them very well. 

I can see Leicester bouncing back this week.

Alex's Tip: Norwich 1-3 Leicester
Keegan's Tip: Norwich 1-2 Leicester
Ty's Tip: Norwich 1-2 Leicester


Bournemouth are now in serious trouble after striker Callum Wilson has been ruled out for potentially the rest of the season after he did his knee ligament early in the first half last week against Stoke which took 10 minutes for him to get stretched off the field. Bournemouth sit 16th on the Barclays Premier League ladder after 7 games and with this massive blow to Wilson coming now, Bournemouth fans can only hope their side can carry on with strong performances.

Watford have had a decent start to the season despite losing 1-0 at home to Crystal Palace last week. Fans are starting to be a little concerned about striker Troy Deeney after failed to score so far this season after playing 7 full matches. Watford sit in respectable 13th position so far this season and Hornets fans will be hoping this continues.

Bournemouth to get a gutsy win in this one but only just.

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


Aston Villa will be looking to get their season off and running after failing to get anything out of their trip to Anfield last week. 

Striker Rudy Gestede has been without a doubt Villa's best player this year scoring 3 goals for this club so far however in some matches he is still failing to get a full game.

Following that lose at Anfield, Villa now occupy a spot in the relegation zone and fans will hoping Tim Sherwood can turn it around before it starts to get out of hand.

Stoke got their first win of the season last weekend against a poor Bournemouth side which saw them climb outside the drop zone. Goals from Jonathan Walters and a late winner from substitute Mame Diouf saw the Potters find some form into this season. Stoke do have a lot of potential in their side following their biggest ever club signing Xherdan Shaqiri starting to perform and attacking midfielder Bojan looking to find his feet.

Due to them reasons, I think Stoke will get up in this one.

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


The remaining games will kick off at AEDT. 3:30am is the kickoff at Stamford Bridge.

What is going wrong with Chelsea at the moment? At the start of the season I thought it might of just been a little blip in the system and things would be up and running for them around about now, but they have not been! Some are already saying that Chelsea's title reign has already been lost after only 7 games into this season. Chelsea sit in 14th spot with only 8 points and times are getting very worrying for Jose Mourinho and his men. After a disappointing loss against Porto mid well in the Champions League, Chelsea will be looking to get back to winning ways this week at Stamford Bridge.

Southampton jumped into the top half of the table last week after a 3-1 over Swansea. The Saints are starting to find some form this season and are looking quite defensively strong thanks to the likes of new signing Virgil Van Dijk who also scored last week and Jose Fonte. Sadio Mane also continues to impress after he bagged himself a goal last week. 

This is a hard one to predict this week however I'm going to go with Chelsea.

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


Alex's Match of the Round

I could of gone with Arsenal v Man United as match of the round but I just can't go past this amazing rivalry /derby. The Merseyside Derby sure has had some amazing games over the years and fails to disappoint. 

For the first time in over 15 years, Everton are going into the Merseyside Derby as favourites (pundits and betting wise). After an inspiring performance from Romelu Lukaku on Monday night, Everton stole the three points from The Hawthorns and now sit in a respectable 5th spot. 

Everton have got some great talent coming through with the likes of Gerard Deulofeu and Brandon Galloway who are both getting regular first team football and are also starting to get full games. After a rusty start to the season the Toffees are now finding form, but can it continue against their rivals this week?

Brendan Rodgers is hanging on by a thread at Liverpool as his side got a gutsy 3-2 win over Aston Villa last week. Reds fans will be delighted to see Danny Sturridge back on the field and more so see him score two goals last week. James Milner continues to impress. My prediction is turning out to be a positive one as the 29 year old England international is becoming an Anfield favourite. After leaving Manchester City last season, Milner is finding form for Liverpool and is becoming an invaluable player for the club.

With this game meaning so much for both clubs I'm going to be boring and predict a draw. 

Alex's Tip: Everton 1-1 Liverpool
Keegan's Tip: Everton 1-2 Liverpool
Ty's Tip: Everton 1-2 Liverpool


Since beating Manchester United back in Round 4, Swansea have lost some form and have consequently dropped out of the top 4. The Swans are winless in 3 and need to start finding form before they severely damage their hopes of a top 6 finish which they were targeting at the start of the season. Forwards Bafetimbi Gomis and Andre Ayew have recently been out of form and Swans fans will be hoping they can get back on the scoresheet fast as they desperately need to start getting their season back on track.

Tottenham played Manchester City off the park last week after thrashing them 4-1 at White Hart lane last Saturday. Spurs fans would be delighted to see Harry Kane back to scoring ways after he bagged himself one along with Eric Dier, Toby Alderweireld and Erik Lamela also all netting themselves one each. Son Heung-Min also continued to impress and Hugo Lloris also had another inspiring game. Spurs have now won their last 3 and unbeaten in 6 after only losing their first game of the season to Man United. All in all it's a great time to be a Spurs fan at the moment as they climb up to 6th and will be also just like a lot of teams this year, targeting a top 4 finish.

Tottenham's form is too good to go past at the moment and for that reason, I'm tipping them this week.

Alex's Tip: Swansea 1-2 Tottenham
Keegan's Tip: Swansea 0-1 Tottenham
Ty's Tip: Swansea 0-2 Tottenham


Can Sunday night get any better? First off we have the Merseyside Derby, then after we have this.

Arsenal stormed home to a 5-2 win over Leicester last week at the King Power Stadium thanks to a hattrick from Alexis Sanchez. Surprisingly, those three goals were the Chilean's first three of the season. Englishman Theo Walcott also bagged himself a goal as his impressive start to the season continues. Arsenal's hopes of reaching the final 16 of Champions League took another severe blow as they were beaten 3-2 at home to Olympiakos. Arsenal do have a big chance of winning the title this year now that the likes of Chelsea are fading away from the pack, but in games like these this weekend, they must be getting the points especially when they are at home.

Manchester United are finding form and are finding it fast after climbing to the top of the league due to a comfortable 3-0 win over Sunderland at Old Trafford last weekend. The Red Devils never even looked like conceding let alone losing last week and must say they played some very nice football. Van Gaal has his team very organised and new 19 year old Anthony Martial is also proving to be a great signing. Rooney is back to scoring ways and midfielders like Memphis Depay and Juan Mata are also finding the back of the net. All in all things are going very well for United at the moment but can it continue?

Too be honest when I was looking at the betting stats for this weekend I was very surprised that Arsenal were paying $2 to win, the draw was $3.50 and United were paying $3.75. $3.75 for a team who is coming top of the table to win is very good odds and one that United fans might not want to miss.

Once again, this game is a hard one to predict. Do I go with a team who is desperate to win to stay in touch with the top two or do I go with the team who is coming top?

Nah. I'll be boring and say a draw. Lol, however I think there will be a few goals.

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

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