Premier League Preview: Gameweek 10

Listen to Episode 3 of The Hit Row Z Podcast – now on iTunes – subscribe and share!

Hello and welcome to my Premier League Preview for Gameweek 10. After a week of storms, Halloween and Capital One Cup action, we’re zipping our winter coats up to our chins this weekend but that’s not to say the football can’t reach boiling point.

Newcastle v Chelsea

Last season, this fixture was Newcastle’s stand out performance in a year of misery and near-disaster, but it’ll take a brave man to put a stake on the same 3-2 home victory this time round. The Geordies’ uninspiring derby display against a team previously holding up the entire league – like a Northern Atlas – will raise even more questions, that is if local journalists are even allowed to ask them. Jose Mourinho has yet to win at St James’ Park – ever – and he takes a revived Fernando Torres up North in an effort to change those statistics.

I have no hope for Pardew in this clash, and he will need the twelfth man in the stands just to make up the numbers. 2-0 victory for Chelsea.

Fulham v Man Utd

Fulham’s sluggish start to the campaign continued away to in-form Southampton last week, and Martin Jol’s side failed to capitalise on the 4-1 mauling of Palace the week before. They face a resurgent United team who showed true character against a physical Stoke side. Moyes finally agreed to play Kagawa after I texted him on Friday night, however the Japanese international looked a square peg in a round hole out on the left and the less said about Tom Cleverley, the better. Berbatov’s petulance surfaced once more last week and if he can’t show some fire in his Bulgarian belly against his former club, you really worry for Fulham and for Jol.

2-1 to Moyes with much more pressure being applied to his Dutch counterpart.

Hull v Sunderland

Steve Bruce faces his former side a week after going down to a debatable penalty at White Hart Lane. Hull had previously defended well, and will need to keep their cool against Gus Poyet’s side, whose derby day victory lifted them off the foot of the table. The Uruguayan showed against Newcastle that he wasn’t afraid to make controversial substitutions after bringing Cattermole and Johnson off who had both made an impact. But bringing Fabio Borini on proved inspired and the Black Cats desperately need momentum if they are to haul themselves out of the dotted line
zone.

I’m calling an end-to-end 1-1 draw in this one.

Man City v Norwich

Another team seemingly running through treacle so far this season is Chris Hughton’s Norwich City who failed to claim all three points at home to Cardiff last weekend, and claiming even a point at the Etihad is a huge task – although let’s not forget this is football, stranger things have happened, and it is Halloween season… Sergio Agüero’s sterling form has continued to wow us all – it’s just a shame Joe Hart has decided to make life difficult for himself down at the other end– and in a World Cup year too.

Even so, I can’t see the form patterns changing for either of these sides – 3-0 City.

Stoke v Southampton

The Potters were unlucky to leave Old Trafford empty-handed on Saturday, and Mark Hughes was incensed that Javier Hernandez should not have even been on the pitch to score the winner in that 3-2 thriller. Southampton still refuse to read the script this campaign, notching their fifth win out of nine games at the weekend.I expect them to pile significant pressure on the Stoke backline, while continuing to remain watertight at the back themselves. The Saints have the second-best defensive record in Europe’s major leagues, behind Serie ‘A’ leaders Roma.

I see Saints bagging all three points in this one – with a 2-1 win.

West Brom v Crystal Palace

Two sides desperately chasing a win. Steve Clarke’s men capitulated against the brilliance of Luis Suarez last week, and they are in danger of returning to their unimpressive early season form. Crystal Palace showed a determined display against Arsenal, and looked like they might push on and equalise after Mikel Arteta’s sending off after scoring the only goal of the game. However Arsenal’s counter attack proved too effective once Palace pushed forward and they will need to be equally wary of West Brom’s attacking prowess and direct forward play.

Sadly, I can’t see Palace troubling the West Brom defence too much, and it is in West Brom’s own hands whether they can apply the necessary finishing to their often attractive attacking moves.

I say they can. 2-0 home win.

West Ham v Aston Villa

The clash of the claret and blues sees two sides that are very difficult to separate in the league this year. One key statistic separating the two sides is goals conceded, with Allardyce’s men edging Villa, eight goals versus 12. This defensive stubbornness could well mean another clean sheet for the hammers, although Christian Benteke may have something to say about that. At the other end, an injury to the in-form Ricardo Vaz Te leaves West Ham with even fewer attacking options.

This could be a scrappy 0-0 in the capital.

Arsenal v Liverpool

The Saturday evening kick off is a fixture usually saved for Superb Sundays, but I guess we should all enjoy the variety. The match of the day will be seeing red, as the two in-form sides battle it out in a potential early title clash. Ramsey v Gerrard, Ozil v Suarez and Giroud v Sturridge will almost certainly guarantee no clean sheets on the night, despite the Premier
League boasting 13 more clean sheets than at this stage last season, with 54 after nine games this year.

I expect a tight first half, but for Wenger’s men to eventually reign supreme. 2-1 Arsenal.

Everton v Tottenham

Superb Sunday kicks off at Goodison Park as AVB takes his Spurs side to the North West, although quite how many travelling fans will follow him after his derogatory remarks this week will remain to be seen. Everton have been enjoying some momentum recently, spearheaded by Romelu Lukaku’s consistently impressive performances. But as I seem to mention every week on the Hit Row Z podcast – Tottenham need goals!

A dubious penalty awarded in the final ten minutes last week led to Roberto Soldado’s third penalty conversion of the season. He could do with showing he’s not just a one trick pony in the Premier League, despite his obvious abilities.

I think it’s about time Spurs get found out, and I think Everton will be the team to finally punish
their profligacy. 1-0 to the Toffees.

Cardiff v Swansea

A Premier League first ties up Gameweek 10 action in tempestuous fashion as the battle of South Wales commences. Neither side has been setting the league alight so far this season, and despite being the away side, you feel Laudrup may be expected to bring home all three points to compensate for Swansea’s slow start to the campaign. Malky Mackay may too be
under pressure behind the scenes as Vincent Tan continues to make his own impressions on the Bluebirds, and ambiguity surrounding the owner’s confidence in the Scot grows.

Honours even in the Welsh derby – 1-1.

Listen to Episode 3 of The Hit Row Z Podcast – now on iTunes – subscribe and share!

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