Steimaster's EPL Week 5 predictions
Steimaster's EPL Week 5 predictions
The English Premier League enters match-day five with the standout fixture being Chelsea’s visit to Manchester City on Sunday evening. The Blues are the only team whose perfect start to the season remains intact having won all their opening four matches which sees them sit at the summit of the league. However, they have had a fairly easy start meaning the clash against the Citizens will be their biggest yet. How will it end at the Etihad and also in the other matches featuring Arsenal, Liverpool, and Manchester United? Here’s my prediction:
Aston Villa 2 2 Arsenal (Saturday 1700hours)
Aston Villa continued their remarkable run against Liverpool at Anfield last weekend with a disciplined performance that saw them take home three points with a 1-0 win. Gabriel Agbonlahor’s strike in the 9th minute proved decisive on an evening where Liverpool fans endured frustration as the team struggled to break down the visitors who are now unbeaten at Anfield in four matches. Villa are flying high having recorded three wins in their last four games which sees them sitting second behind Chelsea on the log. However, they have a tough run of fixtures and this weekend they host Arsenal at Villa Park.
The Gunners are without a win in their last four matches and were easily swept aside 2-0 by Borussia Dortmund in their midweek Champions League clash. However, they are unbeaten in the league and will be boosted by the news that Jack Wilshere (who scored in the 2-2 draw against Man City last weekend) might be fit to play having recovered from an ankle injury. Arsene Wenger’s side won this corresponding fixture 2-1 but with Villa at home and always a thorn in Arsenal’s flesh, they will trouble the visitors especially on the break and force this match to a draw.
West Ham 1 3 Liverpool (Saturday 1930hours)
Liverpool’s bogey run against Aston Villa continued last weekend with the Reds losing 1-0. Adam Lallan, Mario Balotelli and Lazar Markovic all made their Anfield debuts but none of them could help break a stubborn Villa side led by Phillipe Senderos. Brendan Rodgers’ charges immediately got a chance to respond in the midweek Champions League clash against Ludogorets but it was the same story as they struggled to break the Bulgarians defence until Mario Balotelli calmed some nerves at Anfield with a goal 8 minutes before the final whistle.
However, Ludogorets drew level in stoppage time only for Steven Gerrard to thump a last minute penalty and give the Reds a very nervous win. They travel to London for the first time this season to face West Ham. The Hammers drew 2-2 against Hull on Monday night and are only two points behind Liverpool. The Reds beat Sam Allardyce’s side home and away last season including a 2-1 win at Upton Park. Both sides are still struggling for consistency but Liverpool look a far more complete side against West Ham and will be odds on favorites to take the three points.
Liverpool 3 1 Aston Villa (Saturday, 1930hours)
Liverpool bounced back from their 3-1 loss to Manchester City by thumping Tottenham 3-0 at White Hart Lane. The Reds seem to have finally exposed Spurs’ weakness after struggling for far too long and were pretty comfortable the whole match as Raheem Sterling, Steven Gerrard and Alberto Moreno all netted for Brendan Rodgers’ side. The Merseyside outfit are dreaded for their pace upfront so the news that Daniel Sturridge got injured while on duty with England will not be welcome. However, the firepower is still very much there with Sterling and Mario Balotelli who will be making his maiden bow in front of the Koop.
Even in the absence of Sturridge, Rodgers can still call on the services of many other impact players from the bench. Lazar Markovic has impressed when called upon, Adam Lallana is finally fit to play while Philipe Coutinho might get a chance to show he still has it after slightly falling out of favour. Rickie Lambert could be slotted in as the traditional marksman. Whoever the Ulsterman decides to go with, the Reds will still need to be wary about a dangerous counter-attacking Villa side who will be boosted by Gabriel Agbonlahor extending his stay after signing a new contract with the club. Paul Lambert’s men collected a point at Anfield last season and while I expect them to score, I fancy the hosts to take home the three points in front of the Koop.
Leicester 1 1 Manchester United
Louis van Gaal finally got his first win in English football last weekend after an Angel Di Maria-inspired Manchester United thumped Queens Park Rangers 4-0. It was a well deserved victory but more importantly a much needed one for the manager and his charges. The Argentine was especially a joy to watch as he was involved in almost all goals after opening the scoring with a free kick in the 24th minute. QPR had no answers for the swift attacking football that United displayed at Old Trafford with Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Ander Herrera all on the scoresheet even before Radamel Falcao could join the action. The win not only saw the Red Devils take their first three points of the new Premier League season but resurrected United fans from the deep bin of silence. Yes, they are back talking now, and very loud indeed.
Will they be silenced by Leicester this weekend? Don’t bet against it. The Foxes are tied on points with United after they won 1-0 against Stoke City last weekend, Leonardo Ulloa with the winner. Nigel Pearson has set his team to play some enterprising football and expect the same when they host United at King Power Stadium in what will be a stern test especially for their defence. I tip them to force a draw though.
Manchester City 2 3 Chelsea (Sunday, 1800hours)
The biggest clash of the weekend will be the visit of Chelsea to Manchester City on Sunday. The two clubs have been widely tipped as the ones who will mount a serious title charge this season with either of them lifting it in May 2015. Both clubs were involved in midweek Champions League action with Man City losing to a Jerome Boateng goal for Bayern Munich while Klaas Jan Huntelaar cancelled out Cesc Fabregas’ goal for Chelsea in a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge. At the wake of the draw, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho claimed top marksman Diego Costa is not able to play two games in a week. It will be interesting to see which of the two competitions Mourinho will favor.
Costa currently leads the goal scoring chart with 7 goals in his last 4 starts for the Blues and alongside Cesc Fabregas, the summers signing duo are again expected to be the key men for the clash against the reigning Premier League champions. City will be without Stefan Jovetic who is still injured meaning Sergio Aguero or Edin Dzeko will pair up front or one will start. This will be a match which will be won, lost or drawn by fine margins but for me Chelsea just look like they have found the balance already, something you can’t say of Manuel Pellegrini’s side. Goals are guaranteed and I think Chelsea will score more than their hosts.
And That’s thesteifmastertake!!