City to throw title race wide open
Posted Saturday, December 14 2013 at 02:00
Opposition does not come as tough as Arsene Wenger’s current trailblazers but Manuel Pellegrini’s Royal Blues have mastered how to win at the Ettihad. I expect a high quality, highly technical collision in which creative geniuses Mesut Ozil and David Silva are the conductors in chief. Sergio Aguero’s will prove the
Man City 2 Arsenal 1
There are certain constants in top flight English football. One of them is that City win their home matches. Opposition does not come as tough as Arsene Wenger’s current trailblazers but Manuel Pellegrini’s Royal Blues have mastered how to win at the Ettihad. I expect a high quality, highly technical collision in which creative geniuses Mesut Ozil and David Silva are the conductors in chief. Sergio Aguero’s will prove the difference.
Chelsea 2 Crystal Palace 0
This is officially Jose Mourinho’s worst start to a league season anywhere. It is therefore a measure of the league’s openness that his stuttering side could move within striking distance of leaders Arsenal, if as expected, they drop points in Manchester.
Everton 3 Fulham 1
Roberto Martinez’s burgeoning reputation has received a huge lift with a string of sterling performances. Any team that can travel to both the Emirates Stadium and Old Trafford and emerge unscathed has to be taken seriously. Everton youngsters Gerard Deulofeu, Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku are setting the league alight.
West Ham 0 Sunderland 0
Andy Carroll has resumed training after a lengthy injury lay-off though it is hard to see him gaining full fitness in time to save West Ham from their indifference in front of goal. Carlton Cole, Ricardo Vaz Te and Modibo Maiga are all off form, leaving the Hammers blunt up front.
Hull City 1 Stoke 1
I have been hugely impressed by Steve Bruce’s work with newly promoted Hull City. The Tigers fear no one, work their socks off, press well and even play some creditable passing football. They have to be among the five best coached sides in the league – relative to their resources – along with Everton, Southampton, Arsenal and West Brom. I however fancy Mark Hughes’ determined Potters to earn a share of the spoils.
Aston Villa 1 Man United 2
Champions Manchester United’s season may be unraveling but they know how to beat Aston Villa. Statistics are the last thing I want to bandy around given the Red Devils’ vulnerability to upsets, but they have bottomed out, so I can see them winning at a ground where they have traditionally done well. Aston Villa are a counter-attacking side that tends to thrive well away from home, which should play into United’s hands.
Spurs 2 Liverpool 1
Uruguayan goal machine Luis Suarez is by a country mile the best player in the Premiership at the minute. He already leads the race for the Golden Boot despite missing the opening five games of the season. Regardless of whether or not he scores at White Hart Lane, I don’t see Liverpool leaving London with anything. Spurs have rediscovered the ability to win matches without playing well.