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EPL Week 2 Preview, Picks and Prediction

EPL Week 2 Preview, Picks and Prediction


Will Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini will have similar smile after match vs. Bolton?. PHOTO Chris Reiko

Manchester City on the top of EPL , manager Roberto Mancini' side has great start into 2011/2012 season. PHOTO Chris Reiko

EPL Week 2 Preview and Predictions

All kick-off times are BST
Monday August 22

Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur 3-0

The Red Devils have some significant injury problems in defence, with first choice centre half pairing Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic ruled out. To compound the difficulties, full back Rafael also misses out through injury. United’s strength however, is the depth of their squad, and Johnny Evans and summer signing Phil Jones are expected to start the match, alongside Chris Smalling.
Tottenham will be boosted by the availability of Luka Modric, after he missed the midweek Europa cup win with a knee injury. That 5-0 mauling of Scottish side Hearts, away from home, will give Spurs a huge amount of confidence and an injury hit United team looks slightly vulnerable – even at home. However, Tottenham themselves are without Ledley King, William Gallas and Alan Hutton, giving them similar defensive woes to their hosts.
It is 10 years since Spurs won at Old Trafford, and the form of the Champions was impressive in the opening day win at West Brom. Tottenham themselves laid down a strong marker in mid-week and this looks a mouth-watering contest that could go either way.
With United looking sharp and inventive going forward, and Spurs racking up 5 goals midweek, the defences will be under huge pressure, and neither look likely to withstand the respective attacks, so goals look very likely.

TOBIAS Prediction OVER 2.5 goals
CHRIS Prediction OVER 2.5 goals

EPL Predictions Week 2


English Premier League 2011 / 2012 season Predictions Record

TOBIAS ROBINSON 109  ( accuracy 52.63 %– TWITTER  @TobiasRobinson
CHRIS REIKO 109 ( accuracy 52.63 %) – TWITTER @ChrisReiko
[standings league_id=4]

Sunday August 21

Norwich v Stoke 1-1

Norwich battled to a hard earned away point at Wigan in game 1 and now get the opportunity to show what they can do at home. Stoke are a strong, robust side and taking anything off them is not easy – they did suffer on the road last season though, and Norwich will look to take advantage.

Stoke lost winger Matt Etherington to injury in the first match and this will reduce their creative edge considerably. He enjoyed a productive year last season and his service to the front two will be missed.

Norwich will want to take points from home games like this one, but Stoke are notoriously hard to beat. A dour physical struggle would appear to be on the cards.

TOBIAS Prediction  Under 2.5
CHRIS Prediction Under 2.5

Wolves v Fulham 2-0

After struggling away from home last season, Wolves opening day win at Blackburn was a big sign of improvement. Striker Steven Fletcher is now finding his goal scoring form and winger Matt Jarvis is again catching the eye. Coach Mick McCarthy was pleased with the style of the win in week 1 and he may sense that Fulham have one eye on Europe in this match.

Fulham could not find a way past Aston Villa last week, drawing 0-0, and are also in the middle of a two leg European tie against Dnipro. That distraction may hamper them in what is a tough away game versus a rejuvenated Wolves outfit.

Fulham are however, defensively strong and that resilience may mean they are able to take something from this game. 

TOBIAS Prediction Draw
CHRIS Prediction OVER 2.5 goals

Bolton v Manchester City 2-3

After both these teams won 4-0 in week 1, this clash sees the top 2 go head to head.

City dismantled a spirited Swansea side and the class of David Silva and Sergio Aguero was clear. The 4 goals were well crafted and it was a performance that made the leading sides in the country take notice.

Bolton also hammered one of the Premier League new boys, in QPR. Away from home, their win was also impressive and banished the slow finish to last season to the history books. City will ask different questions than QPR however, and this would appear to be a much sterner test.

Manchester City were able to dominate possession at home, but Bolton will approach the game in a much different fashion to Swansea and it will be interesting to see if City can adapt and still get the win.

If Roberto Mancini and his team want to mount a title challenge, these are the games where they have to show their quality. Bolton are an excellent side, well drilled by coach Owen Coyle, they also boast a solid home record. After the fireworks from these two sides in week 1, at least one of them will be coming back down to earth after this one.

TOBIAS Prediction x2 Draw or Man City win
CHRIS Prediction x2 Draw or Man City win 

Saturday August 20

Sunderland v Newcastle United 0-1

The North East derby has arrived very early in the season, and both sides enjoyed encouraging draws in their opening fixtures.

Newcastle held Arsenal to a goalless stalemate on the opening weekend, with midfielder Joey Barton influential. Barton will again need to be a motivator and leader, driving his team on. This local derby is a huge fixture for the supporters; defeat is not an option – but the Magpie’s new signings may not be aware of the passion and strength of feeling about this single game and leadership qualities will be needed to get the best out of the team.

Sunderland will be buoyed by their away point at Anfield in the opening day draw with Liverpool. New signing Seb Larson had a huge impact, and got himself a goal on debut. At home, the Black cats will look to start quickly and continue the strong form that was shown last year, when the Stadium of Light was a tough venue for all visiting teams.

The ability for Newcastle to scrap and battle for points will be tested to the maximum against Sunderland, and this match may have come a little too early in the season for them. The home side appear to be a more settled, stronger unit, with Steve Bruce concluding his transfer business early. Newcastle still seem to be judging their best players and formation, and this uncertainty may be their undoing at the Stadium of Light.
TOBIAS Prediction 1 Sunderland WIN
CHRIS Prediction UNDER means no more than 2 goals

Arsenal v Liverpool 0-2 

A huge game just one week into the season. Arsenal have lost Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona this week and had an important game with Udinese on Tuesday night – the 1-0 home win still leaves the tie on a knife edge. This match pitches them up against one of their main rivals for the Champions League places, Liverpool, and the game heaps pressure on Coach Arsene Wenger again.


The Gunners drew a blank away at Newcastle in week 1, and also lost summer signing Gervinho to a red card – which means a suspension for this match. Home supporters will demand a strong, robust performance, and after the loss of Fabregas, a win would do a great deal to lift spirits at the Emirates Stadium. Further injuries in the defence have stretched the Gunner’s squad to the limits.

Liverpool have made massive investments in their playing staff over the summer, and the home draw on opening day was a little disappointing – but a win against Arsenal will have supporters dreaming of a title challenge. The Reds are the team most fancied to break into the top four this season (and therefore a place in the 2012 Champions League) and Arsenal appear the team most vulnerable. This clash will be intriguing and the pressure is all on the home side.

With Liverpool away from home and Arsenal with one eye on beating Udinese to reach the Champions League group stages, both sides may view a draw as a reasonable result, and one which they can then build from. The desire to avoid defeat at all costs will probably over shadow the contest and a cagey draw looks the most likely outcome.

TOBIAS Prediction Draw
CHRIS Prediction UNDER means no more than 2 goals 

Aston Villa v Blackburn Rovers 3-1 

Aston Villa showed strong resilience away at Fulham in week 1, but lacked a cutting edge. This could be seen as merely a sign of rustiness heading into the new campaign and Darren Bent in particular, will look to get his season started and get on the goal trail at Villa Park.

Blackburn were beaten at home by Wolves on the opening day and that will be seen as a worrying result for manager Steve Kean. Although débutante Mauro Formica got a goal on debut, the inability to keep out Wolves at the other end is surely a cause for concern.

Much will depend on the fitness of Chris Samba and Ryan Nelson – Rovers were struck with injuries and illness in the build up to their first game and the makeshift defence was exposed. Villa have adequate firepower to further highlight any defensive deficiencies Blackburn may have.

TOBIAS Prediction  1 Villa Win
CHRIS Prediction UNDER means no more than 2 goals 

Everton v QPR 0-1

This could prove to be an interesting match. Everton are yet to start their season after the postponement of the Tottenham game, while QPR will be smarting after losing 4-0 at home on the opening day.

Neil Warnock, QPR manager, will be under pressure to ensure a better performance is delivered this week – but Goodison is a tough venue to try and force a result. Everton have retained their big names so far this summer and David Moyes will again look to get the most out of a talented, but small, squad.

Players like Mikel Arteta and Tim Cahill will be key to the Blues creativity and it is these players that QPR will need to shackle in order to avoid another reverse.

QPR will hope they can catch Everton cold with a game under their belts already, but the Toffees boast a wealth of talent and are likely to have too much for the Premier League new comers.

TOBIAS Prediction  1 Everton win

CHRIS Prediction 1 Everton to WIN

Swansea v Wigan 0-0

Swansea suffered a harsh introduction to Premier League football when beaten 4-0 by Manchester City in week 1. But the Swans will not come up against David Silva and Sergio Aguero every week and this fixture is one they must target if they want to retain their top flight status.

Wigan were held at home by Norwich last week and that will have left them a little flat. There are also rumours that striker Hugo Rodellega is unsettled so a win would be very welcome. The Latics will be pleased with the volume of chances they created against Norwich, but will obviously hope to score more of them in game 2.

The positives for Swansea were that they were well in the City game for the first hour, and their brand of possession football is likely to serve them well in the Premier League. They will however, need to be clinical in front of goal and show their supporters that they mean business at home. With Wigan suffering some very poor away form last term, Swansea must go for all 3 points.

With two sides intent on attacking, goals looks likely, especially given the defensive record of Wigan on the road.

TOBIAS Prediction Over 2.5
CHRIS Prediction Over 2.5

Chelsea v West Bromwich 2-1

West Brom have started in the toughest way possible with a home fixture against Manchester United, followed by an away trip to Chelsea. The Baggies can however, take heart from the gritty performance against the champions last week, where United needed a late goal to deny the home side a draw.


Chelsea meanwhile, were drawing a blank away at Stoke City, drawing 0-0. The omission of Didier Drogba from the starting line up raised many eye-brows and the pressure will mount on Coach Andre Villas-Boas to start the Ivorian striker at home. Fernando Torres did look bright and sharp in the opening fixture, but he did not get on the scoresheet. All eyes will be on the teamsheet at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea have traditionally been immensely strong at home, and while West Brom can take many positives from their first performance, they face another mammoth task in getting anything out of this game. With Wigan putting in a bid for star striker Peter Odemwingie (which was turned down), Roy Hodgson will look to continue the progress his side has made since he arrived and show his top scorer that he is best served staying where he is.

TOBIAS Prediction 1 Chelsea win
CHRIS Prediction 1 Chelsea win

EPL Predictions Week 2


English Premier League 2011 / 2012 season Predictions Record

TOBIAS ROBINSON 109  ( accuracy 52.63 %– TWITTER  @TobiasRobinson
CHRIS REIKO 109 ( accuracy 52.63 %) – TWITTER @ChrisReiko
[standings league_id=4]

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