Premier League Preview: Gameweek 13

Listen to Episode 5 (published 29th November) of The Hit Row Z Podcast – now on iTunes – subscribe and share!

Last weekend’s Premier League action was book-ended by two thrilling derby day draws, however you feel Gameweek 13 might be themed by action at the bottom end of the table with plenty of six pointers and managers’ jobs hanging by threads. Here’s my Premier League Preview for Gameweek 13:

Aston Villa v Sunderland
The first such six pointer takes place at Villa Park, where the home side, who granted lie a full seven points ahead of their visitors, are still only five points above the dreaded dotted line zone. Paul Lambert’s side showed plenty of character on Monday against local rivals West Brom after Shane Long had seemingly put the game beyond doubt. Villa will have to replicate that second half performance against a struggling Sunderland, who have apparently dropped anchor below the aforementioned dotted line. Poyet needs results, fast, and three points away at Villa is going to be a huge ask.

I’m calling a 1-1 draw in this one.

Cardiff v Arsenal
Another team who stubbornly refused to be beaten at the weekend was Cardiff City, who showed resilience and fight against a Man Utd team who have turned a corner, highlighted by their 5-0 demolition of Leverkusen in midweek. They host league leaders Arsenal who saw off a Southampton side which had statistically matched them, in all but goals and ridiculously avoidable goalkeeping errors. Wenger will be expecting all three points against the Bluebirds, whose season has been characterised by the odd excellent result against bigger teams and rivals. Malky Mackay however, needs to find consistency and pick up points against the teams around him if he is to last past Xmas.

I can’t see a repeat of last week, and expect an rampant Arsenal to come away 3-1 victors.

Everton v Stoke
Both teams picked up positive results on Saturday, keeping the Toffees right in the European mix and tentatively edging Stoke further away from the ‘relegation dogfight’. Even so, the Potters have only two wins in their last ten league games, while their opponents have only lost one game during the same period, and that was against Man City. With Lukaku, Barkley and Mirallas on the form they’re on and Stoke’s strikers failing to notch up acceptable goal tallies, my money is banking on a home win.

1-0 win for Everton.

Norwich v Crystal Palace
Tony Pulis takes up the Palace reigns against a struggling Norwich and a manager who is quickly losing time. Given the tight nature of this year’s league, Palace are only eight points away from the top half and Pulis has a reputation for installing a bunker-like mentality in his men who will be fighting from now until May under the wily new manager. This will provide a misfiring Canaries side with a less than straightforward home fixture. They were poor against Newcastle and even after Leroy Fer pulled one back, never realistically threatened the Geordies taking all three points. This is a must-win game for Chris Hughton, although with little pressure on Pulis so early in his tenure, Palace will definitely fancy their chances.

0-0 at Carrow Road and boos at the final whistle for football’s Mr Nice Guy Hughton.

West Ham v Fulham
The only derby of the weekend, and yet another bottom half six pointer, showcases two teams who haven’t registered a league win between them in a month. Both lost home matches at the weekend with Sam Allardyce no longer able to dine out on the 3-0 win at White Hart Lane back in early October. His ‘false nine’ tactics aren’t cutting it (regardless of whether Carlton Cole is on the pitch or not), and are aching for the return of Andy Carroll, who their season’s strategy seems to be based solely around. I mention it every week, but Jol is another manager under fire who would hugely benefit from what would be a massive win against the Hammers.

Scrappy and ugly 1-0 home win at Upton Park.

Newcastle v West Brom
The Magpies find themselves on the cusp of four straight Premier League wins against the league’s draw specialists West Brom, who have amassed a total of six (along with Everton). Steve Clarke will be frustrated at his side’s inability to hang on to a two-goal lead against Villa but when Amalfitano, Long and Sessegnon are on form, they make for a very formidable counter attacking outfit. Pardew will be buoyant as he finds his team within two points of both Manchester clubs, although the Geordies have a habit of making life difficult against teams around them in the league. A home win could put eight points between them and their opponents in Sky’s early evening live game on Saturday, and I expect Newcastle to take on an attacking approach and defend from the front.

Another 2-1 home win beckons for the home side.

Tottenham v Man Utd
This fixture kicks off the unofficial Superb Sunday, being as it is on BT Sport, and a win for either manager promises to define both their seasons so far. AVB is in danger of upsetting the board with a lacklustre run in the league recently, but a win against a revitalised Man Utd may just buy him some time. Moyes on the other hand will want to get back to winning ways immediately after conceding a last minute equaliser in the Welsh capital last week. A defeat may once again shake United’s confidence and give them another ‘three point complex’ which stunted their progression at the start of the season. A draw may secretly suit both clubs in this fixture, but I don’t see the points being shared in this one.

A much needed 2-0 home win, with AVB suddenly being hailed a tactical genius once more.

Hull v Liverpool
Steve Bruce and Brendan Rodgers will both be ruing missed opportunities to win their respective games last weekend, in particular Bruce whose side failed to impose themselves against a ten-man Crystal Palace side at the KC Stadium. Liverpool, although lucky to come away with even at point at the end of a tumultuous Merseyside Derby, will think back on that Joe Allen chance, and others, which could’ve sent the Reds on their way to victory. The Tigers are in a bit of a rut with four defeats out of their last five and find themselves the joint-third lowest scorers in the division.

Liverpool will show no mercy. 3-0 away win.

Chelsea v Southampton
Despite the two goals conceded at the Emirates, Southampton still remain the stingiest defence in the league, three fewer than, you’ve guessed it, Arsenal and Chelsea. So on paper this fixture will be strongly backed to finish under 2.5 goals, however the fact that mustn’t be ignored is how free-scoring Mourinho’s men have been, despite dropping points against Newcastle and West Brom. 14 goals in their last six Premier League appearances means Mauricio Pochettino’s defence must be far more alert than they were last week, when the usually excellent Boruc tried one step over and turn too many, to Giroud’s delight. Most people will be wondering if Southampton can keep the pace as they have done brilliantly so far, and this tricky run of fixtures they have embarked upon may just reveal that.

It’s a second away defeat for The Saints as Chelsea prove too potent up front, 2-0.

Man City v Swansea
The final game of the weekend is hosted by the league’s highest scorers by ten, Man City with a staggering 34. Swansea have started to turn their form around for the better, as Laudrup has clawed his side back into the top half of the table, racking up only one defeat in their last five. An important away win at Fulham keeps them out of trouble and looking ahead, however they must keep their wits about them against a ruthless City attack, who have scored ten goals in a week, to Spurs and Plzen’s respective costs. Sergio Aguero already has ten goals himself in the league and will be certainly ruffling some feathers against the Welsh visitors.

City have been hit and miss in the league recently, but I think their goalscoring prowess will make up for obvious deficiencies at the back. 3-1 to Pellegrini’s men.

Comments

  1. Reeshammcfc says:

    City will provide another 6 goals to Swans city.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: