Sure wins for Arsenal, Liverpool
Posted Friday, October 4 2013 at 01:00
Liverpool vs. Crystal Palace
Since I started this column four weeks ago, Liverpool is one of the teams with whom I have a near perfect record. I didn’t think they would beat either Swansea or Southampton and they didn’t, yet I believed they would swamp Sunderland away last weekend and they didn’t disappoint. Crystal Palace will go down too.
West Brom vs. Arsenal
Arsenal is the other with whom I have a 100% record, but it has been admittedly easy to call a Gunners game because they are positively on fire. I thought they would just about edge Swansea, and I believe they will scrap home (the result I mean, not the play itself). West Brom held Arsenal for 120 minutes in the Capital One Cup and then beat Man United at Old Trafford, but are not likely to replicate those feats.
Norwich vs. Chelsea
Norwich have put in battling performances all season, but the Canaries will find out it will not be enough against visiting Chelsea. When I first called for an Eto’o goal here (away to Everton), he went ahead to stare at an open goal and then have his effort unbelievably cleared off the line by Gareth Barry. No stopping the Cameroonian goal machine this time.
Sunderland vs. Man United
Man United have been yours and my nightmare, none more so than in losing to West Brom at Old Trafford. Bouncebackability is word that was invented for them in the Alex Ferguson era, but they are fast losing that and many other tags under David Moyes. Still though, I see them overcoming Sunderland but not keeping a clean sheet. That would make for an ‘Over’.
Spurs vs. West Ham
London derbies are not easy to call, and Tottenham are playing them back-to-back. West Ham will be inspired and go after Andre Villas-Boas’ men with that awkward style seemingly invented by Sam Allardyce. But like most other opposition in the Premiership this season they will find Spurs unrelenting. Home win.
Man City vs. Everton
Football’s sweet ironies are all around us, and this is one. David Moyes took Everton to Man City and got a result almost every time, yet an Everton side playing much more attractive football under Roberto Martinez will not emulate that. This despite a morale-sapping midweek game for City in which they were spanked by Bayern in the Champions League. Home win
Napoli vs. Livorno
Napoli have been presented with the perfect break to bounce back from the midweek embarrassment at Arsenal, and to stretch their lead atop the table as joint leaders Roma have a tough away fixture at Inter. Napoli will take that opportunity with both hands.
Inter vs. Roma
That perfect record admirably built up by Roma so far this season finally comes to an end as the side from the capital visit the San Siro. Walter Mazzari’s men should find it within themselves to do Internazionale and the rest of the Serie A a huge favour. Home win.
Juventus vs. AC Milan
Yet another opportunity for Andrea Pirlo to show Milan what a mistake they made in trading him arrives, and the cerebral playmaker will relish it. Pirlo’s supporting cast will play its part as the Old Lady edge what should be a keen contest in Turin.
Red Bulls vs. New England
Colorado vs. Seattle
Monch’adbach vs. Dortmund
I called Dortmund for an ‘Over’ last weekend and they did not disappoint, but this is no Freiburg and I don’t see them doing that again this time round. They will still win a narrower contest though, after being run very close by a decent Gladbach side away from home.
Leverkusen vs. Bayern
They were both in Champions League action on Wednesday night, with Bayern facing the supposedly more daunting of tasks for these two German giants - away to Manchester City - as Leverkusen stayed at home. Both won and are in good form, but only a brave man would bet against Pep Guardiola’s men not forging a way through, and I am not that brave.