English Premiership Correct Score Predictions: Week 14 – 05/12/09
As Christmas looms, the 2009/10 EPL table is taking shape, with Chelsea looking dominant and Portsmouth looking doomed. Can Liverpool break into the top four, and will Bolton be able to escape the bottom three?
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Note: These matches have already been played. For this weeks predictions, click here.
Saturday, 5 December 2009
Arsenal v Stoke – Arsenal suffered their first home defeat of the season, with a comprehensive 3-0 loss at the hands of London rivals Chelsea. Manager Arsene Wenger maintains that his side still have genuine title ambitions, but Chelsea’s victory opened up an eleven point gap between the two sides. Arsenal do have the benefit of a game in hand, but they will need to win the majority of their remaining games if they are to repay the managers faith. Stoke held out for a goalless draw with Blackburn, moving onto twenty points for the season, just five behind the Gunners. Tony Pulis and his men will expect a sterner examination at the Emirates, but will take heart from an away record this season which has seen them defeated just twice. Verdict 2-0.
Aston Villa v Hull – Aston Villa have fallen off the pace of late with two successive 1-1 draws, the latest one against fellow Champions League hopefuls Tottenham. That result left them in sixth place, and outside of the European places on goal difference. Opponents Hull have started to turn around their fortunes, and a hard fought 1-1 draw at Manchester City helped move them to fifteenth place, four points clear of the relegation zone. Verdict 2-1.
Blackburn v Liverpool – Blackburn were forced to settle for a point after a goalless encounter with Stoke. The hosts missed a succession of chances and remain in the bottom half of the table, five points above the drop-zone. Liverpool eased some of the disappointment over their early Champions League exit with a 2-0 win over local rivals Everton. The three points helped the Reds into fifth, just three points behind third placed Spurs. Verdict 1-3.
Man City v Chelsea – Manchester City were involved in a seventh successive draw, succumbing to a late Jimmy Bullard penalty at home to Hull. The sequence of results has severely dented their title ambitions, leaving them fourteen points behind opponents Chelsea. The Blues strengthened their own position at the top of the table with a 3-0 victory at Arsenal, leaving them five points clear of nearest rivals Manchester United. Verdict 1-2.
Portsmouth v Burnley – New boss Avram Grant will have no doubts about the size of task he faces at Portsmouth, after watching his side slump to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Manchester United. Portsmouth have managed just seven points from their opening fourteen matches, and are a further seven away from safety. Burnley followed two successive draws with defeat at West Ham, despite scoring three goals. The 5-3 goal-fest left Burnley comfortably mid-table, a position which many of their fans would have happily taken if offered pre-season. Verdict 1-1.
West Ham v Man Utd – West Ham scored five in a thrilling 5-3 win over Burnley, their third win of the season pushing them clear of the bottom three. Gianfranco Zola’s men will be aware that chances will be at a premium against the Champions, whilst the Reds will also offer more of a threat than the Clarets. Manchester United returned to Premiership action with a 4-1 win over bottom of the table Portsmouth, a Wayne Rooney hat-trick helping the team to consolidate second spot. Verdict 1-3.
Wigan v Birmingham – Wigan followed their 9-1 drubbing at the hands of Spurs with a clean sheet, in a 1-0 win over a toothless Sunderland. Despite the dour nature of the match, Wigan fans will be pleased to return to winning ways, and will hope to follow this up with a further three points against Birmingham to leap above them in the table. Birmingham have taken six points from six with back-to-back 1-0 wins, the latest at struggling rivals Wolves. A win at Wigan could take the Blues as high as eighth, and enhance their chances of Premiership survival. Verdict 1-1.
Wolverhampton v Bolton – Both Wolves and Bolton are languishing at the wrong end of the table, locked in a relegation fight. Despite a poor run of form, a win for the Trotters could help them to escape the relegation zone if Manchester United take all three points at West Ham. Verdict 0-1.
Sunday, 6 December 2009
Everton v Tottenham – Everton continued their slide down the table with defeat against local rivals Liverpool. The 2-0 loss leaves David Moyes and his team in sixteenth spot, with the manager acknowledging that his team are embroiled in a relegation fight. Spurs took a point from Aston Villa to remain in third place, on target for Champions League qualification, and will be looking for a return of the attacking form which saw them demolish Wigan 9-1. Verdict 1-2.
Fulham v Sunderland – Fulham took a point from struggling Bolton to move into the top half of the table. Despite dominating throughout, it took a second half Damien Duff equaliser to earn a share of the spoils for the Cottagers. Sunderland failed to score against a Wigan side who had conceded nine the week before, but remain in the hunt for a European place. Verdict 1-1.