Well I don’t know about you guys, but my challenge for the title has fallen before Xmas, I haven’t given up hope yet for a monthly or weekly prize though and am in the process of setting my teams up for a New Year challenge. So for any of you that are in the same boat get planning for those monthly and weekly wins.
Now I do like a bargain, but as I’ve kinda done that to death I though you guys might like facts on the season so far, it might just help with some decision making that needs to be done.
Chelsea have kept a clean sheet in 12 of their last 15 home matches in the Premier League.
There have been over 2.5 goals scored in 13 of Liverpool‘s last 14 away games in the Premier League.
There have been over 2.5 goals scored in 12 of Man Utd‘s last 15 home games in the Premier League
Charlie Austin and Saido Berahino have scored exactly 50% of their teams league goals this season 8 & 7 respectively.
Southampton have conceded more goals in their last 4 games than they did in the opening 11 of the season.
Sahko has scored 7 goals in his last 8 apps for West Ham this season.
Wilfried Bony has now scored 19 goals in the EPL this calendar year, more than any other player.
Jonathon Walters has been involved in 6 goals (4 goals, 2 assists) in his last 7 apps for Stoke.
OK so lets preview what’s coming this weekend.
Burnley v Southampton
Burnley form has taken a real upturn in the last 5 games, with only 1 defeat in their last 5 outings Sean Dyche has got them back to somewhere near their form from last season, this has been helped with Danny Ings finding his scoring boots again, he has scored 28 FiT points in the same amount of games. Southampton, after a great start to the campaign have started to feel the heat of being up at the top, this hasn’t helped with the run of games they have had in the last 3 weeks, but with only 1 win in their last 5, a 2-0 win against Leicester back at the beginning of November, this does look to have a draw written all over it. The up side is that Pelle scored his first goal in 5 matches against Man Utd last week and they will need him if they are to return to their early season form. The last time these 2 meet Southampton won 4-3 in a very exciting game, I don’t think that will happen again, in fact I don’t see many goals at all in this game.
Key Man – Ings
Chelsea v Hull
Chelsea are the Champions elect, but has the wheels falling off after their defeat to Newcastle last week…….NO, before last week they had hadn’t lost for 24 games in all competitions and in their last 5 had scored 12 and conceded only 1. Hull on the other hand are in a bit of mess they haven’t won in the league since 4th October in a 2-0 win against Palace, a run of 8 games. Although they have had a couple of battling draws with Arsenal and Liverpool in that run I don’t see that statistic changing this week. Chelsea are to strong, fast and ruthless for a Hull team very low on confidence, this, along with the fact that Chelsea will be hurting after last week makes this ”easy” to predict.
Key Man – Hazard
Crystal Palace v Stoke
Palace and Stoke are probably the 2 hardest teams at the moment to predict, you never quite know what team is going to turn up or how they are going to play. Palace have W1 D2 L2 in their last 5, the win was a fantastic display against Liverpool but their last defeat was a poor home defeat to Villa. A draw with Spurs last time out will give them confidence especially as they probably should have won the game. Stoke are very similar in terms of consistency 2 wins and 3 defeats in their last 5 games tells you that, but they don’t like a draw so this game could be one of those game where no-one expects a lot and then are treated to a great game of football.
Key Man – Gayle
Leicester v Man City
Leicester are in trouble, big time, they really need something to click for them to stand any chance of staying in this division. No wins in their last 5 and only 1 draw in the same time is not good reading, the fact they have played teams in that time that could be near them at bottom of the table come the end of the season (Villa, Sunderland and QPR) makes the stat even harder to bear. Man City, well, since that dramatic win against Bayern their league form has found new impotence, with 15 goals in all competitions since that win they look to be back to somewhere near their best………….but wait, what’s that, Aguero is injured again……. depending on the severity of the injury this will put a massive dent in their hopes for the title, that might seem an over-reaction but I believe he is that important for MC, its not just his goals, its what he brings to the team. If Aguero is out any longer than a 3-4 weeks that is going to hurt them. That being said it wont make a jot of difference in this game.
Key Man – Toure
Sunderland v West Ham
Sunderland, the new draw specialists, 4 draws in their last 5 games, and lets be fair 3 of those were against Liverpool, Chelsea and Everton. But lets not get carried away while they are grabbing the singles, one win from the teams around them negates them battling performances. They have only scored 2 goals in that time, but if Fletcher can find his scoring boots over the few weeks they look like they will be fine come the end of the season. West Ham on the other hand are surpassing everybody’s expectations, I’m sure even a few of their own supporters are a little bit shocked by the teams form this season, 1 defeat in the last 5 and sitting 4th in the league will please Big Sam no end, and I’m sure his Xmas will be better this year than it was last year. With Sakho and Valencia form this season no one was quite sure where Carroll was going to fit back into the side, if at all, but he has and he has replied with goals. Who knows where West Ham can finish this season, but one things for sure it will be higher than anybody would have predicted in August.
Key Man – Carroll
West Brom v Aston Villa
What’s happened to West Brom ? previous to their 0-0 draw at Hull last weekend they had lost their last 4 on the bounce and only scored 1 goal in that time, Berahino’s goals have dried up and they look a shadow of the team that was playing in September. Honestly don’t know much about Irvine as a manager but he needs to change something because its not working for him at the moment. Villa on the other hand are now unbeaten in their last 5 games and
have won their last 2. Their confidence must be sky high and the return of Benteke is surely no coincidence that they have found some form.
Key Man – Benteke
Arsenal v Newcastle
Some Arsenal fans are not very happy with their Manager at the moment, It seems that it is split down the middle as to whether or not he should go, the underlining problem seems to be the signings, The signings of Ozil and Sanchez were fantastic buys but were other areas of the team in more need of strengthening ? The return to form of Ramsey and the fitness for Giroud is a timely boost for them and over the busy Christmas period they are going to need them. Newcastle are in a great run at the moment they have won 6 of their last 8 games and that includes a hard fought win over Chelsea, Ayoze has settled in nicely and the team look a lot more settled than they did at the start of the season. Another tough game to predict but buoyed by their midweek win Arsenal should just have to much for Newcastle.
Key Man – Ramsey
Man Utd v Liverpool
How ironic that in my last blog I had this game as well. Well, this should prove to be a good game, Man Utd have found the form that LVG was hoping for 5 wins on the bounce is a good run of form and although 10 goals in the same time is not a massive amount it does show consistency and this is what was missing in the first part of the season. Liverpool looked to have come through the sticky patch they were in and had 2 good wins to their name, then came last weeks draw with Sunderland and going out of the Champions League will have hurt their confidence, this game will be tough but it could be the perfect game to regain the lost confidence. Although, this is the biggy, and as I said before all bets are off in this one, anything can happen.
Key Man – RVP
Swansea v Tottenham
One thing is for sure with Swansea there will be goals, only once in their last 5 matches have both teams failed to score. Bony is a goal machine and is the calendar years top scorer in the EPL. The Swans have had some good results this season, but also some poor ones, 2 wins a draw and 2 defeats in their last 5 means they are more than capable on the day to get a result against anyone, the emergence of Montero on the wing is a great addition to the team and a player that will need to be watched. Spurs have been in ok form in the last few weeks, with only 1 defeat in the last 7 in all competitions you could be forgiven for thinking that their poor early season form is behind them, don’t be so sure this game is another after the dreaded Europa Cup and they have only won 1 game this season after European Football, a lot will depend on Harry Kane if Spurs are to get anything out of this game.
Key Man – Montero
Everton v QPR
Everton, like Spurs are feeling the headache of the Europa League tough this year and their league form confirms this, no win in their last 3 outings would suggest that they are little low on confidence at the moment, from what I’ve seen of them at the moment Martinez’ philosophy of playing form the back does not suit them the defence seem a little nervous and although they played that way last year, I think teams have “worked them out” and they are struggling to find a Plan B. QPR, the team you just cant predict, 2 wins, 2 defeats and a draw in their last 5, gives you an idea of how the season is going…..up and down. I do believe that they will have enough to stay in the division and if they can keep Charlie Austin fit they will have a better than average chance.
Key Man – Who ever replaces Austin up front
Posted by Fantasy iTeam
This post was written by Fantasy iTeam