Match Previews: English Premier League (Week 14)

By
Updated: December 2, 2013
1

Arsenal vs. Hull City

Match Date: 04 December 2013 (local)

Match Venue: Emirates Stadium

 

Arsenal

Lording the rankings over, Arsenal are proving the kind of pitch beasts they truly are. The team have already amassed 31 points from 13 matches, with current record standing at W10-D1-L2. They have also been able to deliver 27 goals from all their meetings.

 

Arsenal are very strong on the road, but they are also extremely competent at home. Of the last 12 home matches they had, The Gunners have only been defeated once; the rest of the results were enthralling successes.

 

Hull City

There is an inconsistency issue within Hull City, and it is not giving them any favor. The current tenth placers have already won five times and drawn in two matches, but the greatest share of their numbers belongs to their defeats: six. Overall, 17 points mark the side’s score—not that huge but still seven points clear of relegation.

 

The Tigers are typically on the rocks when playing as visitors. They’ve only won once on the road this season, and the remaining away fixtures they had were devastating upsets.

 

Football betting tip: Apart from having a much stronger form, Arsenal are also more successful than Hull City on past records. The squads’ last four meetings together all finished under the hosts’ control. This tourney should follow the same trend.

 

Arsenal | Image source: laacib.net

________

 

Liverpool vs. Norwich City

Match Date: 04 December 2013 (local)

Match Venue: Anfield

 

Liverpool

If not for the clumsiness of some of their players, Liverpool should have managed to remain atop the table up to this moment. Sitting on the fourth spot is not bad at all, but considering their domination in the earlier rounds, it is quite confusing and frustrating.

 

Despite their slip in the table, The Reds remain among the most intimidating players in the English top-tier league. They are particularly daunting at home, as seen in the rousing successes they obtained in their last three Premier League home fixtures.

 

Norwich City

They may be the most dismaying home losers this season (after succumbing to Manchester City 7-0), but they are also among the most resilient. Currently placed at number 14, the side are fighting back really hard to improve their status in the competition. Their last fixture (against Crystal Palace) was a success 1-0, proving that they are still capable of nailing their matches.

 

The Canaries should capitalize on long shot opportunities and protecting the lead if they want their next battle to finish positively. Defense for counter attacks   and trough balls are among their weakness, so paying attention to these aspects will also prove crucial.

 

Football betting tip: Liverpool are more in-form than Norwich City. They also have fewer men sidelined than their opponents. Thus, in this brawl, expect the home side to take all the three points.

________

 

 2

Manchester United vs. Everton

Match Date: 04 December 2013 (local)

Match Venue: Old Trafford

 

Manchester United

David Moyes would have been very ecstatic of his side’s massive 0-5 victory over Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League. The result might be the coach’s biggest achievement in the continental battle with Manchester United, but he still has a lot to accomplish in order to keep his men inspired. At the domestic league, the troupe are doing fine, especially after staying unbeaten seven weeks now.

 

The Red Devils’ last two Premier league matches were neither bad nor good. They were stalemates, which means that they were not upsetting enough to cause pain but also not that satisfying to be celebrated for. The team are still miles away from their performance last season, but are progressively showing some improvements in various occasions.

 

Everton

Six matches have been rendered and Everton remain unbeaten. The depressing 3-1 loss they obtained from battling out with Manchester City might have been the driving force that led the squad to perform much better in their subsequent tourneys. The fixtures were not all victorious, but at least good enough to seize 12 points to help them romp their way to the top five.

 

Roberto Martínez continues to use his men’s skills in direct free kicks and through balls as weapons to secure victory. However, the dilemma in the offside should also raise a concern. For as long as they are able to demonstrate a good combo of attack and defense, they will just be fine.

 

Football betting tip: In this case where both sides are fighting tooth and nail to earn points, a narrow scoring spree should be expected. One of the teams may win, but a draw is the most plausible result this encounter could yield.

 

Manchester United | Image source: uefa.com

________

 

Southampton vs. Aston Villa

Match Date: 04 December 2013 (local)

Match Venue: The Friends Provident St Mary’s Stadium

 

Southampton

As if the 2-0 away defeat they incurred from Arsenal was not yet enough as a break to their almost-perfect streak, Southampton further deglamorized their campaign with another loss on the road, this time from Chelsea 3-1.  The back-to-back downfalls may have done little to the side’s standing in the league, but they nonetheless impacted their form.

 

The Saints currently sit on the table’s seventh spot, with a total of 22 points amassed from six wins and four draws. They have scored 16 goals throughout their campaign, and conceded 10.

 

Aston Villa

The past few weeks have been good buffers to Aston Villa’s form, maintaining an undefeated run for four weeks now. The side had and are having a roller coaster ride in the season, with their fixtures almost evenly distributed to all possible results: four wins, four draws, and five defeats.

 

The Villans earned 16 points from all their matches, a figure that is not reassuring enough to keep them within safe places. They narrowly missed the top 10 this week, but they are hoping to get back into the upper half as soon as possible.

 

Football betting tip: With barely a faculty to clearly make them superior of their opponents, Southampton could see this fixture a challenging one. Aston Villa are good at protecting the lead while the hosts are skilled in attacking set pieces. In other words, a deadlock would come out from this clash.  

 

________

 

 3

Stoke City vs. Cardiff City

Match Date: 04 December 2013 (local)

Match Venue: Britannia Stadium

 

Stoke City

It seems like every clean sheet they score should be cancelled out by another clean sheet from their next fixture. Stoke City suffered this curse in their last two matches this season. After defeating Sunderland in a 2-0 home finish, the side went berserk when Everton beat them just a week later. The loss was even more powerful than their win, as it stole them four goals instead of just two.

 

Although they are out of the relegation zone, Stoke City are just three points clear of the bottom three. With their mounting problem on consistency, it is not impossible that they will finally jump off the cliff in the near future.

 

Cardiff City

Of their last three matches, Cardiff City only managed to earn one point. Two of those tourneys (including their most recent one) finished in bizarre defeats, while the remainder ended in a draw (with Manchester United 2-2). These runs, along with the side’s poor results in the competition’s earlier rounds, seem to dominate The Bluebirds’ record this season. The underperforming team are in danger of demotion, especially now that they are just one step away from the dreaded bottom region.

 

Online betting tip: Inspiration is lacking in both sides, but each of them is in desperate need of a victory. With their abilities not really showing substantial difference, there is high possibility that this fixture will conclude in a stalemate.

 

Stoke City | Image source: mirror.co.uk

________

 

Sunderland vs. Chelsea

Match Date: 04 December 2013 (local)

Match Venue: Stadium of Light

 

Sunderland

In their last five matches alone, Sunderland have already obtained all three possible match results: two victories, two defeats, and one deadlock. Although not a really good streak, this set of results is relatively more acceptable than the eight-match set preceding it—where only one match forced a draw and the rest were all losses. But regardless of the arrangement, the side are still among the candidates for relegation, just one spot higher than the bottom occupants.

 

What pulls down The Black Cats to the bottom is their relative incapability of firing a good attack. All their three most recent defeats did not render them any goal, but instead, have collectively stolen them of seven. The clean sheet they obtained from Manchester City (and the result itself) was impressive, but even then, they only scored one goal. Gus Poyet should think outside the box and let his creativity soar if he wants to truly upgrade his squad’s offense.

 

Chelsea

Raking a total of 27 points from eight wins and three draws, Chelsea are pampering themselves in a heavenly position at number two—four points short of Arsenal but two points clear of Manchester City. The side have this season’s fourth largest (so far) number of goals scored, but they are expected to exceed that rank in the fixtures to come.

 

The last two matches The Pensioners had were very impressive, earning three goals from each but obtaining a clean sheet from one. Both tourneys saw several Chelsea players step up their game, particularly Frank Lampard who scored two goals in just one fixture. Oscar, Cahill, Terry, and Ba were also remarkable.

 

Online betting tip: Facing a team that have only been beaten twice this season, Sunderland are in a huge challenge to win this round. But the visitors are capable of making surprises, and winning over Chelsea—just like what they did with Manchester City—is not impossible. However, for now, while things are still very clear, Chelsea should make themselves available for a victory party.

 

________

 

 4

Swansea City vs. Newcastle United

Match Date: 04 December 2013 (local)

Match Venue: Liberty Stadium

 

Swansea City

The Jacks’ streak is baffling analysts and their supporters, probably due to the blatant inconsistency plaguing their run this season. In their last three fixtures, for example, Swansea were able to obtain all three possible results: a draw with Stoke City 3-3, a victory over Fulham 1-2, and most recently, a defeat from Manchester City 3-0.

 

At home, Swansea are quite endowed. None of their last three home matches finished in an upset, although two of two concluded in a draw (the remaining one being a victory). Creating long shot opportunities remains to be the squad’s best maneuver, while defending against skillful players is their worst.

 

Newcastle United

There is a magnificent energy enveloping Newcastle United lately. Winning all their last four Premier League matches, the side substantially improved their form. They are currently placed within the top six, after accumulating 23 points from 13 matches (W7-D2-L4).

 

The Magpies’ last five away matches in the English top-flight football resulted in three triumphs and two downfalls. Such an inconsistent run is indicative of the side’s volatility when playing as visitors. They are at their strongest at home, but when traveling to another turf, they are very unpredictable.

 

Online betting tip: Newcastle United lost points in their last travel to Swansea, conceding a goal and scoring zero. In this reunion, a repeat victory by the hosts should be expected.

 

Swansea  | Image source: skysports.com

________

 

Fulham vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Match Date: 04 December 2013 (local)

Match Venue: Craven Cottage

 

Fulham

Agonizing on consecutive defeats in their last five Premier League matches, Fulham have almost made the relegation zone their home. The team barely delivered goals in those brawls, with Southampton, Liverpool, and West Ham United all obtaining clean sheets. This suggests that the latter are indeed very poor in the offense.

 

New coach René Meulensteen should have already learned from the mistakes of past managers, and must already know which things work for the side and which ones do not. The pressure on him could be high, but he has to deliver in order for the squad to escape relegation.

 

Tottenham Hotspur

After earning back-to-back clean sheets in their fixtures with Aston Villa and Hull City, Tottenham Hotspur were never able to achieve the same glory. The four matches following those successes have been major disappointments, with particular emphasis on their devastating 6-0 defeat from Manchester City. Their most recent tourney only gave them one point after drawing with Manchester United 2-2.

 

Current rankings place the Spurs at number nine, thanks mainly to the six (out of 13) victories they achieved this season. But because they have conceded plenty of goals in some of their matches, André Villas-Boas’ squad are in pain of a -3 goal difference.

 

Online betting tip: In spite of their recent upsets, Tottenham Hotspur are still touted to win over Fulham.

 

________

 

 5

West Bromwich Albion vs. Manchester City

Match Date: 04 December 2013 (local)

Match Venue: The Hawthorns

 

West Bromwich Albion

The Baggies’ past performances at home did not carry them merits that they had home advantage. In fact, all their first six home matches this season were evenly distributed to all possible results: wins over Crystal Palace and Sunderland, draws with Aston Villa and Arsenal, and defeats from Southampton and Swansea. West Bromwich Albion are highly inconsistent in general; even on the road, they are capable of mixing their streak with confusing results.

 

Current standings rank Steve Clarke’s men at the table’s lower half (number 12), with total points earned of 15 and a goal difference of -1.

 

Manchester City

Generally, Manchester City are doing superb in the English top-tier football. They may have lost four matches to their opponents, but they still managed to keep the majority of their fixtures in triumphant results. Their attack is excellent, having scored 37 goals from 11 tourneys. They currently hold the season’s highest scoring match and biggest home win, when they defeated Norwich City 7-0 on week 10.

 

As visitors, Manuel Pellegrini’s men are not that powerful compared to playing in their own territory. In fact, all four defeats they incurred this season were scored outside the City of Manchester Stadium. However, this does not necessarily mean that they are really poor at playing away from home, especially when their away victory over West ham United 1-3 is taken into account.

 

Online betting tip: Facing players that are currently soaring in the table’s top three, West Bromwich Albion are headed to a difficult task. While the hosts may be able to score some goals in this joist, they will ultimately succumb to their visitors.

 

West Bromwich | Image source: bbc.co.uk