Friday, January 21, 2022

Matchday 13: Ronaldo Seeks To Break His Stamford Bridge Jinx As EPL Resumes And Other EPL Fixtures, Previews And Predictions

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Battle for 2021/2022 English Premier League continues this weekend after various European Matches from the Champions League to the Europa League down the Europa Conference League took place midweek. Matchday 13 kicks off as Ronaldo seeks to break his Stamford Bridge jinx as EPL resumes.

Matchday 13: Ronaldo Seeks To Break His Stamford Bridge Jinx As EPL Resumes And Other EPL Fixtures, Previews And Predictions

The most anticipated football League is back and will feature a battle of two great Chelsea Football Club and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Sunday 28th of Nov. 2021.

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Arsenal vs Newcastle United(1:30 pm): Arsenal will be looking to bounce back from a heavy defeat away at Liverpool as they welcome bottom club Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners’ eight-game unbeaten run was easily ended by the more accomplished Reds and Mikel Arteta will demand an instant response from his wards who need to step up against the heavyweights if they are to make a return to Europe next year.

The Gunners face a Magpies team that remains the only winless team in the Premier League and that alone should give them the needed belief and boost as they aim to dominate Newcastle.

We expect Newcastle to throw everything at Arsenal, which should yield a goal for the visiting team but regardless we expect the Gunners to do the needful and emerge winners.

Prediction: Arsenal 3 – 1 NUFC

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Crystal Palace vs. Aston Villa(4:00 pm): Steven Gerrard will hope to extend his winning start to life in charge at Aston Villa as they travel away to Crystal Palace in a game involving two Premier League greats.

The Villains ended a five-game losing streak with a much-needed home victory in the aftermath of Gerrard’s arrival and they will be eager to extend that run but it will take more than just wishful desires against an exciting Palace side on difficult ground.

A Christain Benteke brace and Ebere Eze’s presence on the bench after a lengthy injury-layoff for the Eagles away at Burnley highlighted the squad depth and quality of Patrick Vieira’s team and they will go in guns blazing as Gerrard faces his first test on the road.

Considering Palace are the draw kings this season in the division (7 drawn matches), we expect them to be forced to a share of the points with Emiliano Martinez playing a massive role in the outcome by keeping Villa in the game.

Prediction: Palace 1 – 1 Villa

Liverpool vs. Southampton(4:00 pm): Liverpool’s title bid will be put to test as they welcome Southampton to Anfield, a game between two highly tactical German managers.

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The Reds have won the last four Premier League meetings between the pair at Anfield with clean sheets and scored a total of 12 goals on those occasions and must be buzzing at the thought of extending that record on Saturday.

Despite the little matter of a midweek UEFA Champions League home fixture against FC Porto, Jurgen Klopp still had the luxury of resting first team starters such as Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson, Fabinho, and Virgil Van Dijk leaving them all fresh and raring to go against the Saints, who lost away from home to strugglers Norwich City, hardly an ideal way to prepare to face a fierce title-contender.

We predict a comfortable win and clean sheet for Liverpool which possibly takes them a spot into second-place if results at the Etihad Stadium go their way.

Prediction: Liverpool 2 – 0 Saints

Norwich City vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers(4:00 pm): Strugglers Norwich City’s redemption will receive massive scrutiny as they welcome Wolverhampton Wanderers to Carrow Road.

The Canaries received a huge boost to their survival bid as they defeated Southampton in manager Dean Smith’s debut, a second successive win of the season, which begs the question can they make that three against Bruno Lage’s Wolves’ side?

Usual suspect Teemu Pukki was on the scoresheet once again against the Saints but perhaps even more delightful was the appearance and contribution of on-loan signing Billy Gilmour who put in a commanding shift in the middle of the park for Norwich.

They face an equally resurgent Wolves team that has picked up 10 points from their last five games and find themselves sixth on the table and with an exciting attacking pair of Raul Jimenez and Hwang Hee-Chan, we can only tip Wolverhampton to get the win in this game with goals to be recorded at both ends.

Prediction: Norwich 1 – 2 Wolves

Matchday 13: Ronaldo Seeks To Break His Stamford Bridge Jinx As EPL Resumes And Other EPL Fixtures, Previews And Predictions
LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 19: Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United shoots at goal during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Manchester United at London Stadium on September 19, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

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Brighton vs. Leeds United(6:30 pm): Saturday’s final game takes us to the Amex Stadium where Brighton hosts Leeds United in a battle between two teams with an almost identical playing style.

The host momentum has taken a massive hit after starting the campaign like a house on fire, winning four of their opening five games but worryingly have failed to secure a victory since September, Leicester City their last conquest.

If Marcelo Bielsa can sort out the issue of injuries to key players notably Raphin and Patrick Bamford who were both absent in Sunday’s defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, then we can expect a competitive Leeds side who are definitely good enough to cash in on the Seagulls’ struggles and earn a point.

Prediction: Brighton 1 – 1 Leeds

Brentford vs. Everton(3:00 pm): Brentford hosts Everton as both teams are in dire need of a long-overdue victory to get their campaign back up-and-running following a turbulent last month.

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Ironically, both sets of teams have an identical form guide in the last five matches, losing four and drawing one, a disastrous run of results which somehow has taken away the shine and gains from the start of the campaign.

While Everton has only managed to score three goals in their last five games, Brentford has recorded six strikes in that time, three of those came in their last game at Newcastle United meaning the hosts have the upper hand in attack and added to a decent home result which has seen them take four points off Arsenal and Liverpool, we tip them to do the needful and secure maximum points against the Toffees.

Prediction: Brentford 2 – 1 Everton

Burnley vs. Tottenham Hotspur(3:00 pm): Antonio Conte’s Tottenham Hotspur team are away to Burnley as the Italian manager sets out to get the best from a talented but underachieving side.

Spurs were far from their best in a home win against Leeds United on Sunday, but the sheer desire and managerial brilliance of Conte ensured Tottenham got the maximum points, but in all honesty, they were far from being efficient and just about managed to get over the line.

Matchday 13: Ronaldo Seeks To Break His Stamford Bridge Jinx As EPL Resumes And Other EPL Fixtures, Previews And Predictions

On the other hand, despite Burnley occupying a bottom three spot, they have managed to turn the table around in the last month, earning six points from their last four matches, a six-goal thriller against Crystal Palace their latest effort.

This should be an open game that will see the Clarets put Spurs under immense physical pressure, a major test which we think Tottenham can manage to hang on to secure a point from the game.

Prediction: Burnley 1 – 1 Spurs

Leicester – Watford(3:00 pm): The king Claudio Ranieri makes a return with his Watford team to a familiar ground, the King Power Stadium as Leicester City welcomes the Hornets.

Fresh off a historic home win against Manchester United, Watford are aware they need to build on that result if they want to avoid any relegation worries heading into December’s busy festive fixtures and particularly against an inconsistent Leicester team, Ranieri and his team must be super confident of at least getting a point from this fixture.

However, while Watford has shown that they can be a serious threat on the break with their pace which in turn causes panic in the opposition area, a lack of a reliable designated penalty taker can potentially take the shine off all of their hard work (Ismaila Sarr’s double penalty miss against the Red Devils highlighting this fact), a grey area Ranieri must work on to boost their survival chances.

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Factoring both teams have the same number of goals scored and an almost equal number of goals conceded, it’s safe to say that we are going to see goals at both ends, over 2.5 goals, and a home win for the Foxes.

Prediction: Leicester 2 – 1 Watford

Matchday 13: Ronaldo Seeks To Break His Stamford Bridge Jinx As EPL Resumes And Other EPL Fixtures, Previews And Predictions

Manchester City vs. West Ham United(3:00 pm): Champions Manchester City faces a stern test as they welcome West Ham United to the Etihad Stadium in a potentially defining top-of-the-table fixture.

Three points separate both teams but the Hammers’ impressive displays and hard work this season has seen them push into a top-four position and impressively they are more than holding their own against the more illustrious opposition despite the extra commitment of playing in Europe.

David Moyes’ charges have proven to most critics and doubters that last season’s feat wasn’t a fluke as they have carried over their eye-catching performances, inflicting a first defeat of the campaign on Liverpool in the process.

However, they must realize that Manchester City not only parades star players but are managed by a super-intelligent coach, who on his good day can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with any manager in the world, hence we should be prepared for a pulsating game in Manchester.

We predict the game to produce goals, both teams to score, over 2.5 goals, and City’s superiority to see them emerge winners.

Prediction: Man City 2 – 1 Hammers

Chelsea vs. Manchester United(5:30 pm): The final game of the game-week sees Chelsea host Manchester United at Stamford Bridge, a reunion for the back-to-fit Romelu Lukaku and Michael Carrick’s maiden managerial Premier League game but he will have to do that without his captain Harry Maguire, who was sent-off last weekend.

Both teams sealed qualification midweek for the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League with the Blues practically strolling past Italian heavyweights Juventus at the Bridge even in the absence of a recognized striker in the line-up from the start, a worry for Carrick.

However, the interim manager showed that things are not particularly the same again as his line-up indicated, Donny van de Beek in from the start and big-money summer arrival Jadon Sancho finally opening his club account with that all-important second against Villarreal, added to Cristiano Ronaldo extending his rich vein of goalscoring form.

Regardless Thomas Tuchel knows the leaders are perhaps Europe’s best team at the moment but they must avoid complacency, which we reckon they will do and roll up their sleeves, put in the hard work, and squeeze all maximum points out of the Red Devils to further solidify their leadership spot. Chelsea to comfortably win this game.

Prediction: Chelsea 3 – 0 Man Utd

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 Photo Credit: Getty


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