Saturday March 12 2016

Leicester primed to motor on in EPL

N’Golo Kante has been in stunning form for

N’Golo Kante has been in stunning form for Leicester so far this season in the heart of their midfield. Photo BY AFP 

By Allan Ssekamatte

Norwich 1 Man City 2

Manuel Pellegrini’s money bags have had their title unhinged by poor away form. Thankfully for them, Norwich’s form has been wretched regardless of where they are playing. Sergio Aguero’s return to form will prove the difference as Man City try to crank up the pressure in this most absorbing title race.

Leicester 3 Newcastle 1

Leicester City continue to plug away while their rivals are floundering. Riyadh Mahrez enhanced his burgeoning reputation with a wondrous strike last week. I am tipping him to make the difference with either an assist or a goal. Magpies manager Steve McLaren has reached the end of his wits and could lose his job on Monday night.

Aston Villa 1 Tottenham 2

Everyone is fighting everyone at Villa Park. That is the effect of facing relegation in the face for the first time in almost three decades. Over the last 10 games, Spurs are the most in form team in the division. I think they will have enough to overcome a hard-fighting Villa side.

Arsenal 2 Watford 0

FA Cup kings Arsenal were at their imperious best in dispatching Hull City in a replay mid-week. Manager Arsene Wenger’s principal concern ahead of this game is how quickly injured stars Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Batista recover for this tie. Watford are awkward opposition but there can only be one winner.

Man Utd 1 West Ham 1

Playing a Europa League tie on Thursday night is going to prove a major issue for Man United against Slaven Bilic’s on-form Hammers. The Londoners have already won once at Old Trafford this season and I am tipping Dmitri Payet and Michail Antonio to propel them to a draw. An exciting stalemate portends.

Everton 1 Chelsea 1

Chelsea have won just one of their last six fixtures at Goodison Park. But Guus Hiddink’s London side are in relatively good form and will be encouraged by Everton’s poor record at home this season. A draw will be an improvement on a recent run that has seen Roberto Martinez’s side lose three in a row at home.

B’mouth 1 Swansea 1

These two sides may already have done enough to stave off the relegation monster but they will not take this fixture lightly. The Cherries have impressed while sticking to their passing philosophy whereas the Swans have found form at just about the right time. A goal scoring draw beckons.

Stoke 2 Southampton 1

Gianelli Imbula was the name on everyone’s lips as the Potters battled from a goal down to earn a well deserved draw. His close ball control, strength, dribbling and passing were a joy to behold. He will once again prove the difference as Mark Hughes’s side cement a top ten position.

Reading 0 C. Palace 1

Alan Pardew was incandescent in the aftermath of his sides’ last minute defeat to Liverpool. Despite being winless in the last 12 Premier League games, the Eagles are talented enough to eliminate Championship strugglers Reading. It will be a very close game.

NB: This week’s predictions are a mix of FA Cup and English Premier League matches. The FA Cup quarterfinals ties this weekend include Arsenal versus Watford, Manchester United versus West Ham United, Everton versus Chelsea and Reading versus Chelsea.