Weekly EPL Predictions: January 29-30

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We’re a little late to the party but Blindside Sport now do Weekly EPL Predictions! Each week of the Premier League season, we’ll overview a few key games of the round and give our predictions for every fixture on show. Don’t forget to comment below or on our Facebook page with your predictions for the upcoming round!

Day 24 of the season presents very few blockbuster fixtures with Liverpool’s trip to Arsenal the undisputed highlight. None of the other top sides should face any troubles in their respective matches while several teams embroiled in this year’s relegation battle face-off in must-win clashes.

English Premier League Predictions – Day 24

29th January 19:45

Stoke City v Wigan Athletic

Britannia Stadium

2-1

29th January 19:45

Aston Villa v Newcastle United

Villa Park

1-1

29th January 19:45

Queens Park Rangers v Manchester City

Loftus Road

0-2

29th January 19:45

Sunderland v Swansea City

Stadium of Light

1-1

30th January 19:45

Arsenal v Liverpool

Emirates Stadium

2-2

30th January 19:45

Norwich City v Tottenham Hotspur

Carrow Road

0-3

30th January 19:45

Everton v West Bromwich Albion

Goodison Park

2-1

30th January 20:00

Manchester United v Southampton

Old Trafford

3-0

30th January 20:00

Reading v Chelsea

Madejski Stadium

0-4

30th January 20:00

Fulham v West Ham United

Craven Cottage

1-1

 

Stoke City v Wigan Athletic: 2-1

This match-up between bad and even worse is most definitely the worst fixture on offer this weekend. In 2013, these two sides have scored a combined 3 goals whilst conceding 11, picking up just 1 of the 18 Premier League points on offer along the way. With that aside, Stoke have by far the higher ceiling of these two sides, still sitting comfortably in mid-table despite their recent slump.

Expect Tony Pulis’ side to rediscover some of that defensive integrity which has seen them take points of Liverpool (twice), Arsenal and Manchester City this season. Wigan’s lone chance is to suffocate this game for the opening hour before exploiting Stoke’s recently porous second-half defence [7 of the 10 Premier League goals Stoke have conceded this year have come in the 2nd half].

Neither team have demonstrated any attacking potential since December which means this game shouldn’t be decided by much, even if Stoke convincingly outplay their opponents. At the end of the day, neither of these sides are playing well, but Stoke have the gameplan and pedigree to emerge from unattractive matches with results. Superiority at set pieces should see City bag a couple in the first half before fatigue from their FA Cup match against Manchester City sees Wigan grab a late consolation goal.

 

Queens Park Rangers v Manchester City: 0-2

When the team who seems destined for relegation hosts a team in the title race, there is only one question to be asked; by how many? Since Harry Redknapp took over at QPR however, the mood around the club has picked up dramatically and with it, fans are seeing results. Unfortunately for them, Manchester City have been impervious since the New Year, scoring 10 goals and keeping 4 clean sheets in all competitions.

Redknapp’s current philosophy has defence as the cornerstone of his difficult. relegation battle and as such. Whilst early signs are positive, Rangers’ goal scoring remains of concern. New signing Loric Remy may prove a revelation, however against the might of City, even he will most likely prove ineffective.

Following a Man of the Match performance against Fulham, David Silva may find life a little harder this week with a match-up against former team-mate Nedum Onuoha on the cards. The 26-year old Rangers defender will no doubt relish the opportunity, but should Silva over-commit the lightening fast wing back, Gael Clichy may have a match to remember on the left-flank.

Expect Manchester City to comprehensively outplay QPR but only emerge with a couple of goals as Redknapp’s resolute defence puts in a performance reminiscent of that which saw his side take all 3 points at Stamford Bridge on January 1st.

 

Arsenal v Liverpool: 2-2

Easily the most anticipated clash of the week, Liverpool’s trip to the Emirates is critical to the Champions League hopes of both sides. With all 5 sides above them facing relatively favourable fixtures, substantial ground in may be lost by two teams who sit 8 and 11 points respectively off automatic qualification.

Both sides come off dominant performance in the league with Arsenal’s 5-1 thrashing of West Ham just marginally less impressive than Liverpool’s five-star showing against Norwich. Despite this, lesser sides haven’t proven the Achilles heel of these heavyweights throughout the season, instead an inability to defeat sides in the top half has plagued both Wenger and Rodgers. Taking 8 points of a possible 30 between them against top half opposition since October, the importance of this textbook ‘6-point match’ won’t be underestimated by either manager.

The addition of Daniel Sturridge has undoubtedly bolstered Liverpool’s attack and with Steven Gerrard in fine touch, ‘the Reds’ are in season-high form. Arsenal still possesses arguably the better side with Walcott and Carzola posing the greatest threat. Since a dismal performances from Skrtel and Agger in a 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa in December, Liverpool’s greatest defensive deficiencies have been at set-pieces and down the flanks, conceding 4 of their last 5 Premier League goals in those manners. Look for Wilshere to orchestrate play in between Liverpool’s lines with Arsenal’s embarrassment of talent tracking inside Wisdom and Johnson to get behind the centre-backs.

Liverpool may look to orchestrate a similar plan with Arsenal’s notoriously high line susceptible to the kind of interplay Suarez, Sturridge, Lucas and Gerrard have already developed [Liverpool’s 2nd goal v Norwich City]. To a large extent though, a Reds outfit that has struggled their way into 7th position in the league will be relying on the Gunners’ woeful defensive unity [latest Southampton goal v Arsenal].

The scope for individual brilliance in this match makes predicting it a near impossibility but with talent to burn and defensive weaknesses easier to spot than Wayne Rooney’s hair transplant, a high-scoring draw seems unfair for Arsenal supporters, but unless defensive deficiencies are miraculously rectified, it is a very plausible outcome.

Once again, don’t forget to comment below with your very own predictions for the upcoming round!

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On twitter @rombarbera. Australian sports by day, international sports by night. Co-founder of Blindside Sport. Fantasy sport addict.

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