Predictions & Analysis- EPL Round 22 “Big Games” (Home Team First)
Norwich City vs. Chelsea
I say: Draw, 2-2
Though Chelsea thumped Norwich City back at the beginning of the season, City has adjusted well to the Premier League since then. Norwich are yet to record a clean sheet this season, but are boosted by this game being at their beloved home ground, Carrow Road. Look for Norwich to come out strong against the Torres-led Blues strike force like they did when they defeated another top 6 team, Newcastle United, at home.
Fulham vs. Newcastle United
I say: Newcastle United Win, 2-1
Despite losing Demba Ba due to the African Cup of Nations, Newcastle still scored and won last week thanks to wonderful displays from Hatem Ben Arfa and Shola Ameobi. Yohan Cabaye, Newcastle’s talismanic midfielder, is an injury concern after he was fouled hardly last weekend. Cabaye’s midfield partner, Cheick Tiote, is on international duty for the Ivory Coast at the African Cup of Nations as well. Fulham will have to pounce on the Magpies weakness in the midfield if they want to win this game.
Manchester City vs. Tottenham
I say: Manchester City Win, 3-1
After Manchester City pummeled Spurs earlier this year at White Hart Lane 5 to 0, Tottenham found a great run of form which saw them shoot up to 3rd in the table, where they are now. Spurs will not want to “spurn” this chance of getting ever closer to City, as they enter the weekend 5 points behind the league leaders. The task will prove challenging as Tottenham are away in this fixture, but title challengers must take some points in these games.
Arsenal vs. Manchester United
I say: Arsenal Win, 2-1
Definitely the gutsiest of the predictions, but I believe Arsene Wenger’s side will have a different mindset this weekend than they did last week after a lackluster display against Swansea as they lost 3-2. Wouldn’t it be something if we saw the old duo of Thierry Henry and Robin van Persie against their old formidable rival, Manchester United? Though this would produce a classic strike force, Wenger has other issues. His main concern should be his defense; Laurent Koscielny is the only 100% healthy starting defender. Per Mertesacker and Thomas Vermaelen both have been hampered by injury the last few weeks, and the Gunner’s youngster Miquel would be baptized by fire if he starts this game. Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez, Danny Welbeck, and Dimitar Berbatov would all scare a healthy defense, so Arsenal and Miquel should be petrified if their backline isn’t on their game on Sunday.