Match Preview: Premier League (Week 15)

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Updated: December 5, 2013
Arsenal-ozil etal

Manchester United suffered yet another loss. This time, it was against David Moyes’ former club, Everton. The club is now 12 points behind in the title race. On the other hand, it looks like Crystal Palace is fast becoming an online betting favorite. Spearheaded by their new manager, Tony Pulis, the club moved a rank higher for the very first time since it was promoted in the Premier League.

 

 

Manchester United vs Newcastle United

Match Date: 07 December 2013 (local time)

Venue: Old Trafford

 

Team Form

Manchester United

Manchester United fell short in maintaining their winning streak as his former club, Everton stunned them in a stunning and narrow 1-0 win.

After enjoying five (5) undefeated streaks in its last 6 matches, the Red Devils are back to its “losing ways” as Bryan Oviedo fired the winning goal several minutes before the final whistle. What is even worse is that the loss occurred in Old Trafford, where they are expected to be at their best form. With the title race at stake, it looked like they have a long way to go as other silverware contenders such as Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal won their respective matches. This leaves them twelve (12) points behind.

Under such circumstances, the Red Devils are in dire need of winning four (4) of their upcoming matches and that includes the most recent one—Newcastle United.

The Red Devils have had a good control of the match whenever they meet the Magpies. They won twenty-two (22) of their twenty-three (23) encounters and average on 2 goals during their last 3 clashes. This one should be easy for them. However, they need to address their home form since they have been unsuccessful in three (3) of their last six (6) home matches.

There is still no news if Robin Van Persie (RVP) will make it to the match. As for Wayne Rooney, he will be missing the weekend clash after a frustrating yellow card during the Everton battle. It was his 5th this season.

Newcastle United

Newcastle United is likewise disappointed with the result of its match against Swansea. The latter earned three (3) goals, one of them was an own goal from Mathieu Debuchy and of course, a clean sheet. The Magpies currently sits at the 7th spot of the Premier League table.

The Magpies cannot be confident with their 1-point lead over Manchester United. The latter has been dominating them during their previous matches and as much as possible, they should avoid history from repeating. They can capitalize on the absence of RVP and Rooney since the two  (2) could be missed in the encounter. This is the best time for Yohan Cabaye to feature his exceptional skills on the pitch and earn more points for the club.
Football betting tip: Manchester United

 

Crystal Palace vs Cardiff City

Match Date: 07 December 2013 (local time)

Venue: Selhurst Park

 

Team Form

Crystal Palace

The Eagles took off their first flight above the relegation zone as they stole the limelight from a determined West Ham United. The victory was the 3rd for the squad and the 1st for Tony Pulis, who filled the void left by former manager Ian Holloway.

The above-mentioned victory impacts Crystal Palace in several ways. First, they are no longer at the rock bottom part of the Premier League table. Second, they are slowly proving the merits of their promotion this season. Lastly, they have the opportunity to get out of the relegation zone and continue their run next season.

Crystal Palace have shown major improvements during its last six (6) matches. They grabbed their 2nd win and 3rd wins for this season and avoided massive thrashings as they have  managed to seal a 2-goal limit to their opponents. This can roughly speak about their defence and ability to spoil their rivals’ scoring spree. But they need to score more goals for them to gain more wins. And as the season slowly approaches its end, they better do it quick.
Cardiff City

A scoreless draw against Stoke has somehow left Cardiff City frustrated. Other than losing the opportunity to move away from the relegation zone, a dismayed Malky Mackay claimed that Charlie Adam should have a booking, This was after a series of attempts to pin down Frazier Campbell.

Cardiff City currently occupies the 15th spot in the top-flight league and of course, any club would want to move a notch higher than before. Thus, the match against Crystal Palace is crucial. It either catapults or pushes them downward in the table.

The Bluebirds were unable to score in 3 of their last away matches and this could give them some headache should they present a lackluster performance in Selhurst Park. However, as the race to avoid the relegation zone becomes harder, expect the club to go for a down the wire even steven finish.
Football betting tip: A stalemate

 

 

Image Source: ESPN

 

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Online betting favorite, Liverpool is keen on continuing their demolition job and maintain a strong form after lambasting Norwich with a massive victory. Meanwhile, Manuel Pellegrini has already found the antidote to his away dilemmas. Expect both clubs to add more pressure to Arsenal as they strive to clinch this season’s coveted silverware 

 

Liverpool vs West Ham United

Match Date: 07 December 2013 (local time)

Venue: Anfield

 

Team Form

Liverpool

Proving that they are still, one of the contenders in the Premier League title, Liverpool demolished Norwich with a resounding 5-1 win. Luis Suarez, in particular, etched his name in the the league’s history books as the Uruguayan striker became the first Premier League player to score a hat trick thrice against the same team.

Liverpool

Following a 3-1 loss to Hull City, Brendan Rodgers made some changes in the squad’s starting XI. Daniel Agger, Joe Allen and Philippe Coutinho headed to the frontline during the Norwich encounter. The club’s top brass is keen on improving and achieving consistency in their defence, which has been heavily affected by injuries and other changes in the formation. It is possible to expect yet another change in the upcoming match.

As Rodgers encouraged new recruits Iago Aspas and Luis Alberto to score, it is also possible to see the two taking more shots. This is in response to their manager’s challenge of not depending entirely to Luis Suarez.

With the said victory, Liverpool currently occupies the 4th spot of the table and averages on 4 goals during its last three (3) home matches. As  a matter of fact, the club has already won seven (7) out of their last eight (8) encounters in Anfield.
West Ham United

West Ham United’s 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace places Sam Allardyce’s career at risk.

With a sole victory to boot during its last six (6) matches and with the impending threat of being relegated, Allardyce cannot afford to let West Ham stay on the 17th spot. The club’s supporters are already asking for his head and if not for David Sullivan’s support, he could have been sacked earlier. Allardyce is expected to help the club improve their rank before the new year enters.

Unfortunately, it looks like West Ham shall have a new head honcho soon. The squad has only won thrice this season and improvements seem to be a far-fetched dream. Going against Liverpool, there is no doubt that they will be taking the minnow’s role. Assuming that they steal the spotlight, the club still need to face other stronger groups such as Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham and Sunderland.
Football betting tip: Liverpool

 

Southampton vs Manchester City

Match Date: 07 December 2013 (local time)

Venue: The Friends Provident St Mary’s Stadium

 

Team Form

Southampton

Southampton’s story was the exact opposite of Manchester City. The Saints just lost at home, thus, earning a record of three (3) consecutive losses during its last six (6) matches.

After an impressive performance, Southampton seems to have problems coping with the pressure of entering the table’s top five (5). While the defeat to Chelsea and Arsenal is a bit (understandable), losing to Aston Villa raises some doubts and questions, most especially if it occurs in one’s territory, where a defeat is less likely to happen.

Prior to the Aston Villa encounter, the club has been undefeated in four (4) of its last home matches. During the clash with the Villans, they were also dominant. They were taking more shots and kept the ball to their side, but out Fabian Delph took the final and winning shot of the match.

Pitted against Manchester City, the club has another opportunity to recover from their previous loss at home. But with the Citizens finding a cure to their poor away performance, it seemed that another upset at home is about to take place.
Manchester City

The Citizens have finally ended their unfortunate spells during away matches via securing a convincing 3-2 win over West Bromwich Albion.

Manchester City have been losing their away battles prior to the West Brom battle. The club has already lost five (5) of their matches, but goals from Sergio Agüero and Yaya Touré prevented another heartbreaking defeat and therefore, propelling Manchester City into the 3rd spot.

Other than getting rid of their lackluster performance outside their own ground, the Citizens also snatched their 3rd consecutive win in their last 6 matches. It must be noted that the club has already set a habit of scoring at least two (2) goals in twelve (12) of their last fifteen (15) matches.

More good news are entering Manuel Pellegrini’s side as team captain Vincent Kompany is expected to be on the pitch during the Southampton encounter.

Football betting tip: Manchester City 

 

Image Source: Daily Star
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Chelsea will try to keep the pressure against Arsenal as they clinch more victories and snatch the title this season, while West Bromwich Albion and Norwich City struggles to move away from the relegation zone.

 

 

Stoke City vs Chelsea

Match Date: 07 December 2013 (local time)

Venue: Britannia Stadium

 

Team Form

Stoke City

A controversial goalless stalemate puts Stoke City on the spot after allegations that Charlie Adam should have been booked.

The Potters’ head honcho, Mark Hughes simply “shrugged his shoulders” as a response to claims that Adam deserves a red card after pushing Cardiff’s striker, Frazier Campbell. Hughes believes that they have performed well during the clash, but they lack composure to secure a strong finish.

Seated at the 14th spot of the Premier League table, the draw against Cardiff was crucial as it prevented them from slipping easily into the relegation zone. However, the match against Chelsea is even more important as they cannot face the risk of entering the tight race at the bottom.

Stoke has only won once in five (5) of its last six (6) matches. Similarly, they have also won only once during their last 6 encounters at Britannia Stadium.
Chelsea

Chelsea almost suffered a double whammy if not for Eden Hazard’s persistence.

Chelsea-Eden hazard

Sunderland, which was already fighting for survival gave Chelsea a hard time securing a victory. However, Hazard refused to throw the white towel and helped the Blues have a taste of their glorious moment as they clinched a 3-4 win.

The victory was crucial. It was Chelsea’s 3rd straight win, it kept them on track in this season’s title race and lastly, they will have less troubles in competing in the Champions League. The club just lost their FC Basel match, but still, qualified in the knockout stage.

Chelsea have had the upper hand in 10 of their last 12 matches against Stoke. Their encounters have also seen Jose Mourinho’s men keep a clean sheet. Moreover, they have been successful in twenty (20) of their last twenty-two (22) matches in the Premier League, thus, making them an evident winner in the upcoming match.

Football betting tip: Chelsea

 

West Bromwich Albion vs Norwich City

Match Date: 07 December 2013 (local time)

Venue: The Hawthorns

 

Team Form

West Bromwich Albion

Unfortunately for West Brom, they were the cure that Manchester City have been looking for. The club just suffered its 2nd consecutive loss, which led to their drop in the Premier League table.

Manchester City have been struggling during their away matches. However, through the Baggies’ expense, they were able to put a stop to their weakening away form. As for West Brom, this meant that they will have to work harder in order to avoid the ruckus at the bottom part of the table.

So far, the home court advantage does not seem to work in their favor. They have only won twice during their last six (6) encounters at home. Thus, playing in their own ground does not guarantee that they shall be getting the upper hand in the match. Nevertheless, they can capitalize on Norwich’s struggling form to earn the much needed three (3) points.
Norwich City

Norwich dropped to the bottom of the Premier League table after Liverpool slapped them with a convincing 5-1 victory.

Norwich is just two (2) notches away from the relegation zone after the above-mentioned defeat. The club is in dire need of a victory or they may not see themselves in the top flight league this season. They have already lost twenty-five (25) of their last twenty-eight (28)  matches that is further burdened by the fact that they have been showing a lackluster performance at half time and full time. This was evident in six (6) of their last seven (7) away matches.

Football betting tip: West Bromwich Albion

 

Image Source: Aldia

 

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Aston Villa gets an easy way of entering the top 10 with their match against the minnows, Fulham. On the other hand, Swansea and Hull will engage in a down the wire match as they clamor for a higher spot in the Premier League table.

 

 

Fulham vs Aston Villa

Match Date: 08 December 2013 (local time)

Venue: Craven Cottage

 

Team Form

Fulham

A lackluster performance best describes Fulham’s current form. The club has lost all of their last six (6) matches, which explains why they are already in the relegation zone.

Even in their encounters held in their territory, Fulham failed to get favorable results. To note, they were unsuccessful in nine (9) of their last eleven (11) home matches. Adding more problems is the fact that they average on at least 2 conceded goals during their last 6 pitch battles.

Aston Villa

Aston Villa’s victory over Southampton earned them plaudits and of course, additional points to improve their rank.

Other than the major upset they have caused against a stronger club, Aston Villa’s impressive performance is also evident in their last six (6) matches where the only match they lost was the one against Everton. Although three (3) of them ended in a stalemate, this did not trigger a downward slip in the table. Instead, Aston Villa has managed to use the draws to their advantage.

However, they must work on their home performance since they have only won twice. One was against Manchester City and the other was against Cardiff. They need to be more consistent in order to climb higher in the table.

Football betting tip: Aston Villa

 

Swansea vs Hull City

Match Date: 09 December 2013 (local time)

Venue: Liberty Stadium

 

Team Form

Swansea

Swansea just came off with a clean sheet and a 3-0 victory against Newcastle United. With the said victory, the club is just a notch away from entering the top 10.

Swansea

Despite the victory, Swansea still needs to improve if they want to have a strong finish this season. Their last 6 matches is characterized by an equal number of wins, draws and defeats. Apparently, this is barely enough to leave the mid table most especially now that other clubs are determined to score more points.
Hull City

Hull City is just a point behind Swansea. Technically, they can still overcome their upcoming rival, unless, they are still dwelling on the frustrating loss against Arsenal.

The club’s last 6 matches show that they have more defeats than victories. They have only won twice, but their impressive performance against Liverpool should serve as an inspiration. Hull needs a massive preparation to clinch the victory against Swansea as they have been conceding at least 2 goals in 6 of their last 7 matches. They also lost in those encounters, thus, this requires a strengthening of their defence and a more creative approach to their attacking options.
Football betting tip: Swansea

 

 

 

Image Source: Caught Off Side

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Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Everton will take any sports betting enthusiast into a thriller as they all rally their way up in the Premier League table.

 

Sunderland vs Tottenham Hotspur

Match Date: 07 December 2013 (local time)

Venue: Stadium of Light

 

Team Form

Sunderland

The brave Sunderland did an impressive job of pushing Chelsea to its limits. Yet, the resilient Eden Hazard put an end to the Black Cats’ battle for survival. But the uphill climb continues for Gus Poyet and his men. The club will have to face Tottenham Hotspurs and hopefully, clinch a much needed victory.

 

Sunderland’s last six (6) matches have shown some improvement. This is despite the fact that they are at the rock bottom part of the relegation arena. The club has managed to secure two victories, which should serve as their great source of inspiration.
With the upcoming encounter, Gus Poyet gets the opportunity of playing against his former squad and hopes to maximize their home court advantage. Unfortunately, Carlos Cuellar will have to miss the encounter since an injury had sidelined him. Steven Fletcher, who happened to be a consistent scorer against Tottenham is expected to feature in the said match.

 

Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham’s victory against Fulham ended their 4-consecutive losing streak. The club’s series of draws and losses dragged them out of the top five (5) and earned Andreas Villas Boas comments and criticisms. Nevertheless, the not so good observations thrown at the club barely affected their performance. At the end of the day, they had the last laugh and hopes to win more matches prior to the end of this year.

 

While it is true that the Sunderland is the outright minnow in the encounter, the Spurs cannot afford to be too complacent. The Black Cats gave Chelsea a hard time and they might do the same against Tottenham once they get the opportunity to do so.

 

Other than that, they cannot erase the fact that many of their key players are sidelined due to injuries incurred in their previous matches. Danny Rose, Mousea Dembele, Emmanuel Adebayor and Hary Kane are all nursing an injury and may not be seen inside the pitch. Likewise, Jan Vertonghen is uncertain if he can make it in the match due to ankle problems.

 

Football betting tip: Tottenham Hotspur

 

Arsenal vs Everton

Match Date: 07 December 2013 (local time)

Venue: Emirates Stadium

 

Team Form

Arsenal

Despite their erratic fixtures, the Gunners came out strong in their match against Hull City, thus, earning them three (3) added points to maintain their lead and at create a safety zone against other clubs aiming for the most coveted silverware.

 

Arsenal-ozil etal

 

Arsenal’s impressive form helped them secure a clean slate during their last six (6) overall matches in the Premier League. They are also undefeated at home and was able to keep a clean sheet in five (5) of their last 6 encounters.

 

Pitted against Everton, Arsenal dominated their fifteen (15) last encounters at Emirates Stadium. Obviously, they have the home court advantage and they only need to maximize it.

 

The Gunners, although they are Premier League’s top team are not free from injury issues. It is still unsure if Bacary Sagna can make it to the pitch. Mathieu Flamini, Yaya Sanogo, Ryo Miyaichi, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Vassikiri Abou Diaby shall all miss the match against Everton. However, it will be a total relief to know that striker Lukas Podolski has already joined the club’s training after being sidelined for a considerable amount of time.

 

Everton

The Toffees have finally found their way out of the Old Trafford misery. The club has been having a hard time securing a victory against Manchester United not until their spectacular win last Wednesday. Securing three (3) additional points helped the club propel to the 5th spot of the Premier League table.

 

Everton has been undefeated during its last seven (7) matches and they can still add some more points should they win against Arsenal. Once again, the club’s away form shall be put to the test as they travel to Emirates Stadium. While it is true that the Gunners have the automatic advantage at home, Everton was able to keep five (5) clean sheets in their last six (6) matches, thus giving them enough ammunition and options to stop Arsenal’s attacks.

 

Football betting tip: Arsenal