Round 9 in the English Premier League
Round 9 of the EPL is on its way this Saturday & Sunday and we are going to look for some of the more interesting games of the round and their possible outcomes. Like always there are some very intriguing games, some derby matches and a lot of passion for the fans, both at stadium and in front of the TVs. Chelsea and Man City are facing each other in the derby of the week and we are also set to watch the Tyne-Wear derby in which Newcastle visit the neighbours of Sunderland. Enjoy the football weekend !
Chelsea vs Manchester City
The derby of the round without a doubt! Both teams had some difficult games on the road in the midweek round of the Champions League, with Chelsea visiting and winning agains the Romanian giants Steaua, and City shivering in the cold north of Russia, defeating CSKA Moscow on the potato field called Arena Khimki. Now both teams return to action in the domestic league and continue their fight for the trophy in the EPL. Chelsea is on the rise since their loss to Everton and Manchester City took their first victory away from home, making the number of wins 5 in 8 games to this point. Hard battle is expected, points are very important against a direct contender for the medals and Jose vs Pellegrini is fun to watch.
Prediction: X, Over 2,5 goals
Final Score: 2:1
Crystal Palace vs Arsenal
Palace are second to last and Arsenal is on top of the league. Maybe it won’t be so tough to guess what the outcome of this game will be, but this is the EPL and you can never know what it can offer you. Arsenal have just lost to Borussia Dortmund in a game, showing how important is Mathieu Flamini for the squad and without him as a starter, it won’t be that easy for them against teams of the rank of Dortmund. Giving the fact that this is Palace and not Borussia, this game must be an easy challenge for the Gunners without the French player, even the fact that he is set to play in this game. Palace are struggling and they are still searching for points, but this is not exactly the team they are facing this round, whom they will be sad to take just a point against. This is the last game for Arsenal before the strong streak of teams that they are set to meet next few weeks, so this is a must win for them.
Final Score: 0:2
Southampton vs Fulham
Fulham surprised a lot of people in their last game, winning on the road with a staggering result and even more staggering goals – 1:4 against Crystal Palace. Kasami scored a goal that made Martin Jol say that he liked that goal more than Van Basten’s at Euro 88. Berbatov scored too in that game and opened his account in the EPL for this season, continuing his goal for Club 100. Southampton, on the other hand, made a huge upset in Manchester, scoring late for 1:1 against United and putting more clounds over David Moyes’ head. The Saints are 6th with just 4 points behind the leaders Arsenal and practise a quite entertaining game under Mauricio Pochettino. Will they bring back Fulham to the ground, as it was a week ago, or Jol’s side will find a way to beat The Saints for a first time since August? We are up to see this Saturday night.
Prediction: 1, Under 2,5 goals
Final Score: 2:0
Sunderland vs Newcastle
The Tyne-Wear derby is always fun! Last season it was the initiation of Paulo Di Canio in the England’s top flight, with a classical win on St. James’ Park. This time Di Canio won’t be on the side of the pitch, as he was sacked early in the season for weak results and controversial talks with the fans of the Black Cats. Sunderland are last, with only a point in 8 rounds and are top in the lists of the pundits for first team to be relegated this season. Newcastle are on the 10-th spot in the table and are quite shaky in form, with wins, draws and losses taking turns one after another in their production. Still, The Jordies have 11 points so far and are strong in the middle of the league and surely will enter in this game without the pressure that the Black Cats have on their heads. After all, we will enjoy this northern derby in expectation of great football and interesting situations.
Final Score: 2:1
Manchester United vs Stoke City
As we said earlier, Moyes has some rainy clouds over his head, with struggling United losing points after points in the League. They are already 8 points behind in the race for the Title and show no signs of progress. They won against Real Sociedad in the Champions League this week with an own goal in the second minute of the game, with the production they made in this game showing that they will most likely have problems in that tournament as well. The fans of the Red Devils aren’t used to see their team on the 8th place in the league table and for them the picture won’t be better even after a win in this game, because United are 4 points behind Everton and that 8th place will be theirs for the moment. Of course it can go even worse if they make another weak game against the defence-mentality team of Stoke and lose another points after this round is done AND teams like Newcastle, Hull, Swansea or WBA take 3 points in their games this week. Then the Champions of England can go beyond the 10-th place in the League and then it is sure that Moyes will suffer greater pain, listening to fans’ chants against him.
Stoke haven’t seen a W in the League since the last days of August and a draw at Old Trafford will be great success for them, giving the fact they are a point over the red line and have more chances for points against the teams in their own position.
Will Moyes face the anger of the Red Side of Manchester after the final whistle is blown, or will they manage to float over the water for the moment?