Saturday August 24 2013

Expect thrills and spills at OT

On Monday Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney could line up against London side Chelsea, the team he is interested in joining

On Monday Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney could line up against London side Chelsea, the team he is interested in joining 

By Allan Ssekamatte

Man Utd 1 vs Chelsea 1
Chelsea disappeared after the breather on the opening weekend courtesy of their fragile physical shape. Jose Mourinho won back-to-back EPL titles on the basis of his ability to conjure up results in big games. But this Chelsea side are a tad less fit than a typical Mourinho team. I can see shared spoils.

Spurs 2 vs Swansea 1
Tottenham Hotspur’s news signings Roberto Soldado, Paulinho, Etiene Capoue and Nasser Chadli bedded in well without being spectacular against Crystal Palace. Swansea’s Michu and Wilfred Bony will trouble Spurs.

Cardiff 0 vs Man City 2
Manuel Pellegrini’s moneybags have spent big and it shows. Their 4-0 victory over Newcastle was the most impressive among the title challengers. ers Cardiff will be rolled over.

Aston Villa 2 vs Liverpool 1
Paul Lambert’s young Villa side are perhaps the most improved side in the division. Their youth enables them to execute a high octane, high tempo game which is troubling opponents. Brendan Rodgers will not have forgotten Villa’s shock 3-1 victory over his side at Anfield. This should be a see-saw affair.

Stoke City 2 vs Palace 0
Stoke squandered a glorious opportunity to grab a point at Anfield when they missed a last-gasp penalty. Mark Hughes will thus be desperate to make amends when newly promoted Crystal Palace arrive at the Britannia Stadium. Ian Holloway’s cagey side appeared blunt on their return to the big time.

Fulham 2 vs Arsenal 2
Two factors are working for Fulham. First off, Arsenal’s growing injury list – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mikel Arteta, Thomas Vermalaen, Abu Diaby all out – together with Laurent Koscielny’s suspension has left the team exposed. Secondly, they come into the fixture with less rest after their Champions League exertions away to Fernabahce.

Everton 3 vs West Brom 1
Roberto Martinez has Everton playing his way, as evidenced by the team’s almost 90 percent pass completion rate against Norwich. The Toffees make life difficult for visiting teams, and yet West Brom are short in attack at the moment. Nicolas Anelka appears past his sell-by date, leaving the Brummies short in attack.

Hull Tigers 1 vs Norwich 1
After a timid start, Steve Bruce must have borrowed his former manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s hairdryer at half-time, as they troubled Chelsea in the second half. Norwich have recruited well but it is hard to see them walking away with three points if new arrivals Jake Livermore and Tom Huddlestone start.

Newcastle 0 vs West Ham 0
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew blamed Arsenal’s bid for Yohan Cabaye for the 4-0 battering they suffered at the hands of Manchester City. His main headache this time round is the indifferent form of main striker Papise Demba Cisse who did not conjure up a single shot on target last weekend.

S’thampton 2 vs Sunderland 1
Few teams have splashed the cash with as much confidence as Mauricio Pochettino’s Saints. They have twice broken their transfer record to bring in Kenyan Victor Wanyama and Italian international Pablo Osvaldo. Paolo di Canio’s Sunderland are in for a rough ride as Rickie Lambert is still plundering goals for fun.

Did you know this about kip?
He strongly considered not competing at the IAAF World Athletics Championship in Moscow, Russia because he did not feel in adequate shape. Kiprotich was apparently broken by the London Marathon where he finished 6th early in the year

assekamatte@gmail.com