Football Fixture Release day Review Part One

“So here we are once again, another June another football fixture release day. The final season before the Winter Break comes in also sees Arsenal entering a new beginning post Arsene Wenger. Tottenham will finally see their new ground whilst Liverpool will look to move forward and head to glory, especially if they add to their current transfer activity. Man Utd will look to close the points gap on Man City and even maybe play some old Man Utd entertaining football.

The newly promoted teams will hope like they did last season, all survive. Wolves, Fulham and Cardiff all return to the Premier League and hope that they are several points away from the bottom.

So how did the fixtures computer treat everyone on this World Cup opening day? Will you be cursing or will you be breathing a sigh of relief. Let’s take a look at what  will unfold.

Arsenal fans, I imagine you might well have been shaking your head and cursing the computer. Their first league game under the stewardship of Unai Emery, open with a home game against reigning champions Manchester City, but it doesn’t get easier either as they travel to Stamford Bridge the following weekend before hosting West Ham at the end of August.

December is far from joyful for the Gunners. They kick off the month with the north London derby at the Emirates on the 1st, and then take a trip to Old Trafford a few days later. A few easier fixtures see visits to Southampton and a visit from Huddersfield, but the year ends with a trip to Anfield. Emery’s men will hope to get a better result than previous.

Should Arsenal be chasing Champions League or even the title, then April and May should give them something to look forward to. April sees visits to Everton, Watford and Leicester City with May seeing a visit from the south coast Brighton and a trip to Burnley, which could be the trickiest game.

Man City defend their crown with the already mentioned Arsenal as well as Huddersfield Town, and newly promoted Wolves. Last season Huddersfield took a point from the Champions as the season wound down and they would hope the same again, but the fixture being early in the season, the current Champions will be looking to maintain a strong defence of the title. The last time these two sides met, was in the 2011/12 season when Man City won both fixtures and of course won the title. Could history repeat once more or will Wolves have something to say.

Christmas for Man City sees a lot of travelling for the City fans. Out of the seven fixtures , four of them see visits to Chelsea, Watford, Leicester and end 2018 with a trip to the coast and Southampton. Games at the Etihad see Bournemouth and then back to back games against Everton and Crystal Palace. Should City still be chasing for back to back titles, then come April, Guardiola’s team can look forward to an easier run. April sees Cardiff, Palace, Burnley and a slightly more trickier visit from Tottenham. Leicester provide Man City’s final home game whilst the season finale involves a visit to Brighton

Man Utd start their challenge for the Premier League title starts quite reasonably  with a home game against Leicester and a trip to Brighton (although hoping to forget last seasons trip south) before their third game hosting title chasing rivals Tottenham. In fact the month of September should give Man Utd a reasonable points return with visits to Watford and a home game against Wolves in amongst the trickier trips to Burnley and West Ham.

The first Manchester derby sees the Reds travel to the Etihad on 10th November. The Old Trafford club has a busy December that includes Arsenal, Fulham and home games to Huddersfield on Boxing Day and Bournemouth in the final game of the season.

Man Utd hope to make more of a challenge for the title this season and in the final run in, if the title is still open, the Reds have what should be a fair run in. April doesn’t appear to be too bad. Trips to Wolves and Everton are mixed with home games against the Hammers and a possible tricky game against Chelsea. Groans of unfair fixtures from Old Trafford will seem more quiet.

Liverpool go into the season with some positivity once more. The Champions League might have been a defeat, but the with all the build up, it would appear that Klopp’s team had identified another player and swiping Fabinho from under the noses of Manchester United and will no doubt add more.

The fixtures machine was relatively good to Liverpool with two out of the three August fixtures at Anfield. With no Champions League qualifiers to play, it’s a longer break between pre season and the Premier League opening fixtures. Making early visits to the north west are West Ham and Brighton. The Reds enjoyed home games against West Ham and Brighton. Liverpool travel to Crystal Palace in the second game of the season. It’s a reverse fixture of the second game from last season.

September provides two top six match ups as at the start of September, Liverpool play the first league game against Tottenham at their new ground, whilst finishing September with another London visit in the shape of Chelsea.

December brings a busy month for Liverpool as they play 7 games throughout the month. Anfield sees visits from Everton, Man Utd, Arsenal and Newcastle Utd who reconvene the inbetween Christmas and New Years fixture. Liverpool’s trips away see visits to Burnley and Bournemouth. Last season December brought 15 points out of 21 and 20 goals scored and five goals conceded. Those December games saw Liverpool in a thrilling 3-3 draw at the Emirates and 4-0 at Bournemouth.

Come April Liverpool hope to be higher than fourth and challenging for their nineteenth title, their road to to glory in April sees a somewhat easier run with Chelsea only being the tougher club. May sees a trip to Newcastle Utd and a home game against Wolves. Klopp’s team will certainly avoid a defeat against the Midlands club and will more than likely will avoid season finale loss.

Tottenham bring part one to an end and in turn they bring their Wembley spell to an  end with their first ‘home’ game of the season.  Their game at the new White Hart Lane is against Liverpool which comes after their  trip to Man Utd. They don’t return to White Hart Lane until October when they host Cardiff and Man City. Their other tie is a short trip to the Olympic Stadium

Tottenham go into the final run in with literally home advantage. Four of the six remaining games are at home which should give them a decent hope if they are still within a chance of glory. Brighton, Huddersfield and West Ham visit in April with Everton rounding off the season at the Lane. Spurs do though have a trip to the Etihad in April which could be a possible decider.

Tottenham’s quest for glory will also depend on summer signings, although in the football cliche, tying down their manager and leading striker could be the best two signings. We shall though just have to wait and see.

 

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FA Premier League Predictions – Week 39 The Final Hurrah

So a disappointing penultimate round of fixtures three  correct results out of six. The footballing gods were throwing a curve ball and Southampton seem to have made the great escape as they beat Swansea. That was one of my correct results predicted. Man City provided the other, although somewhat predictably.

Sunday afternoon sees the Premier League reach the final hurrah, we finally reach the final round of games and Premier League predictions. There is not too much left to play for. The title is won, Man Utd need at least a point to secure second, Tottenham have qualified for next seasons Champions League. That just leaves the final Champions League spot to play for. Liverpool currently hold fourth spot after Spurs win and Chelsea’s surprise draw. Liverpool know that a point at home to Brighton will be enough should Chelsea win. This though due to Liverpool’s significantly better goal difference.  I can’t imagine Liverpool losing at Anfield home on their final home game of the season. Chelsea will need to go to Newcastle and win, which given any other season wouldn’t be in doubt, but this season the London club has been all over the place.

At the other end it’s seemingly a formality. Swansea host Stoke City  whilst Southampton host Man City. Only a heavy mauling by Man City in Southampton and a heavy win by Swansea over Stoke City would see the south coast club doomed to the Championship. Depending on results, the Swans could even finish bottom but again that depends on Stoke being able to win 4-0, which would seem a tall feat.

So for the final time, my predictions for the last round of Premier League. I will though be looking back through the whole season to see how well or not so well my predictions turned out.

 

  1.                                  Burnley. 2-1 Bournemouth     Hosts end fab season with a win
  2.                       Crystal Palace.  1-1 West Brom.        Point each in nothing game
  3.                        Huddersfield.  1-3. Arsenal.             Wenger signs out with a win
  4.                              Liverpool.   3-0. Brighton.          Reds win and seal CL spot
  5.                                Man Utd.   1-1. Watford.           Hornets take point at Man Utd
  6.                    Newcastle. Utd.  1-1. Chelsea.              Chelsea blow CL hopes
  7.                       Southampton. 1-2. Man City.            Saints lose but stay up
  8.                       Swansea City.   2-0 Stoke City.          Swans win but go down
  9.                          Tottenham.   2-1 Leicester City.    Spurs end with Wembley win
  10.                             West Ham.  2-1 Everton.             Hammers end season with win

 

So the Premier League curtain comes down for another season, Liverpool give their fans a sense of relief as they get vital win to secure Champions League for next season. Can they add the trophy itself. Chelsea finish with a draw that costs them a Champions League place and will it cost Conte his job.

Man Utd end their league season with a drab draw although Watford, their opponents will miss out on a top ten spot.

FA Premier League Preditions – Week 31

This week sees a smaller programme due to the FA Cup quarter finals but what it does give is another opportunity for me to get a good round of predictions. Week 30 saw a total of 8 correct results out of 10. There were no correct scores predicted, but hey who is going to turn down the 8 out of 10 correct results either way.

This week there are four Premier League fixtures of which three affect teams battling to avoid relegation, so with the reduced number of games it is crucial that those clubs playing this weekend take vital points. The other fixture sees a chance for Liverpool to take all three points at home to Watford and keep the pressure on the others in the chase for a top four spot. Liverpool will know that had they got a point at least from Old Trafford, a single point would have separated Man Utd, Liverpool and Tottenham and a Merseyside club would have been third on goal difference. Now though Man Utd have a four point lead over Tottenham and five over Liverpool. Chelsea winning moved them to within four points of Klopp’s team as well. I expect the home side to come out on top and take all three points. There certainly wont be a repeat of the opening game of the season.

At the other end West Brom travel to Bournemouth looking for a league win or maybe jus some dignity as relegation looms ever closer. Stoke City host Everton. Based on form it seems inevitable that the visitors will win. Huddersfield host Crystal Palace in what is another relegation battle. The Eagles look certain to be doomed as they look for a much needed win. This came close against Man Utd only for them to blow it. Then a game against Chelsea brought no joy and a trip up north doesn’t bring any likelihood of joy.

So lets see if I can get 100% this week

  1.                            Bournemouth  2-0   West Brom       No joy for the Baggies
  2.                             Huddersfield   2-0   Crystal Palace  Relegation looms for Eagles
  3.                                   Liverpool   3-0   Watford            Reds back on track
  4.                                   Stoke City   1-2   Everton            Things looking bad for City

The short number of games leads the relegation battle looking even tighter as those teams affected are certain to lose leaving things remaining as they are.

FA Premier League Predictions Week 27

Another weekend of goals and and it was also a case of Merseyside v London which saw a win for North London and a draw. Everton got a pummeling down south whilst Spurs stole a draw in the death featuring some questionable decisions. The penalty decision at Anfield turned a correct score prediction into nothing. For the Arsenal, it seems I wasn’t quite as generous in my predictions. My prediction was 2-1, but the Arsenal routed Everton 5-1. Apparently Everton fans were piling out before half time. Then of course my prediction of the Watford v Chelsea game, that couldnt have been more wrong. The Blues were trounced 4-1 having been down to 10 men after 30 minutes. To be fair the game was 1-1 till the 84th minute when Chelsea fell apart like an England Ashes batting line up.

It was two correct results and a correct score. Arsenal’s win added to the Swansea v Leicester ending in a 1-1 draw and not a 2-2 draw gave two correct results, whilst Man Utd bounced back to give a correct score as they beat Huddersfield 2-0.

So to this weekends predictions and lets see if I can do better this week.

  1.                                          Chelsea   2-1 West Brom        Blues back on track
  2.                                         Everton   0-2  Crystal Palace  Eagles give Blues headache
  3.                                Huddersfield   1-2  Bournemouth  Cherries away win
  4.                                       Man City    2-0  Leicester City  Another home win on the board
  5.                              Newcastle Utd   1-1  Man Utd           Magpies hold the Reds
  6.                               Southampton    0-3 Liverpool          Klopps reds thrash hosts
  7.                                      Stoke City    2-2 Brighton            honours even
  8.                                Swansea City    1-2 Burnley             Clarets hold Swans rise
  9.                                    Tottenham    1-3  Arsenal             Gunners glory in derby
  10.                                     West Ham    1-1  Watford            Hammers hold Watford to draw

 

Some interesting predictions with the interesting one being the North London derby. A couple of weeks ago I’d have said a home win, but with the signings that Arsenal made and the way they took apart Everton, I think with the space at Wembley will give the Gunners some ability to cause the defence some issues. If they can get at the Spurs defence as Liverpool did through Salah, I think that will be them taking the win.

Man Utd travel to Newcastle Utd, but I think the Magpies might just throw a spanner in the works. Man Utd should be favourites, but if Newcastle can dig in, then they can steal a point against the Reds. On the subject of Reds, Liverpool will put the disappointment of the 2-2 draw and storm to a 3-0 win on the south coast.

More disappointment for Everton as they lose to London opposition, this time at home to Crystal Palace. Fellow strugglers Swansea look certain to lose at home against Burnley who have impressed greatly this season.

 

FA Premier League Predictions – Week 24

It’s Thursday once again and that can only mean one thing, Premier League predictions.  Last week sadly wasn’t one of the better weeks as I only managed to predict three correct results out of ten. No correct scores last week although some teams did throw a spanner in the works. Everton continued to struggle and instead of the 2-2 draw with Spurs, the blue half of Merseyside was left with a 4-0 thrashing. Chelsea seem to be going through a rough patch and having expected them to beat Leicester at home, the Foxes to their credit, grabbed a point and a clean sheet.

Having tipped Watford to beat the struggling Southampton, the Saints nearly came away with a win but were denied by the handball goal from Doucore right at the end. It’s a shame Doucore wont received any retrospective punishment,

In the only results I did get correct, I called Liverpool beating Man City 3-2, it was in fact 4-3 but I guess City conceding 4 might have been a bit of a push. David Moyes seems to be rallying West Ham at the moment and having predicted a 2-0 win, they actually managed to put 4 put past the hapless terriers. I was close with Man Utd beating Stoke,they netted three whilst I had predicted a 4-0 thrashing.

So lets get on with this weeks round

  1.                                          Arsenal  2-1  Crystal Palace    Gunners shoot down Eagles
  2.                                        Brighton  1-2  Chelsea                Blues back on track
  3.                                         Burnley   1-1  Man Utd              Clarets hold United
  4.                                         Everton   2-0  West Brom         Toffees win in January
  5.                               Leicester City   2-2  Watford              Foxes hold Hornets
  6.                                       Man City   3-1   Newcastle Utd  City too good for Magpies
  7.                               Southampton   1-2  Tottenham         Saints in trouble
  8.                                      Stoke City   2-1  Huddersfield     First win for Lambert
  9.                                Swansea City   0-4  Liverpool           Reds march on again
  10.                                     West Ham   2-0  Bournemouth    Hammers on a roll.

 

Some interesting predictions this week, basing it general form although I might be kidding myself with Burnley holding United and Watford drawing. That one depends on which Watford turns up mind you. Chelsea should win, you would like to think, that is unless they are making a complete hash of things like they did against Norwich, having two players sent off and having to get through via penalties, but hey thats football.

FA Premier League predictions – Week 13

So another week draws to a close but we have the joys of a Friday night game. I say joys but it’s only West Ham against Leicester City. I’m sure Hammers fans would rather be doing something else than watching Moyes lead the team to another defeat or am I just being harsh? Anyway it’s another busy weekend ahead as we finish a European Competition week (one that Everton fans will want to forget, although that’s most weeks)

Before I waffle on, lets get back to the subject. So how did I do in week 12? Not too badly three correct scores and three correct results, but the question is can I follow it up again? It’s going to be an interesting round of games. Liverpool host Chelsea, struggling Everton go to the South coast, Arsenal travel to confident Burnley being some of the big games.

  1.                                         Burnley 1-2  Arsenal            Gunners march on
  2.                              Crystal Palace  2-1  Stoke City       Eagles steal the points
  3.                   Huddersfield Town   0-4  Man City         City stroll astruggle
  4.                                      Liverpool  2-1 Chelsea            Reds take the honours
  5.                                        Man Utd  3-0 Brighton          United stroll to home win
  6.                             Newcastle Utd  1-2 Watford           Watford win to maintain top 10
  7.                              Southampton  3-1  Everton           Misery continues for Everton
  8.                              Swansea City   0-2 Bournemouth Another defeat for Swans
  9.                                   Tottenham  1-1 West Brom      Baggies nick a point at Wembley
  10.                                   West Ham   1-2 Leicester         More Moyes misery

Some potential interesting games here which could also turn out to be disappointments, but then that is the beautiful game.

FA Premier League Predictions – Week 7

Week six saw more positive outcomes as the Premier League hit week six. I managed six correct results and one perfect result as Man City roared on ( I was a bit optimistic in that Palace might score against City) Tottenham nearly letting the Hammers ruin that six correct results. It was those Hornets at Swansea that nailed the perfect result. Im sure my Watford supporting friend Simon Nobbs was glad to see that after the battering by Man City previously. My team Liverpool, giving me another 90 minute roller coaster ride as they held on to beat Leicester City.

So to week seven and the final round of September matches including the first October games. It’s also the an International break after this round, so Premier League predictions gets a week off.

  1. Arsenal             2-0 Brighton
  2. Bournemouth 1-1 Leicester City
  3. Chelsea             2-2 Man City
  4. Everton             2-0 Burnley
  5. Huddersfield   0-2 Tottenham
  6. Man Utd           4-0  C.Palace
  7. Newcastle Utd 0-2 Liverpool
  8. Stoke City         1-2 Southampton
  9. West Brom       0-2 Watford
  10. West Ham        2-1 Swansea

 

An interesting weekend ahead, post midweek European football for our British representatives.With Chelsea and Man City facing off against each other, will either suffer post Champions League hangover. Im going for a draw as they will no doubt cancel each other out. Man Utd will add to the Palace misery with a hammering at Old Trafford. Roy Hodgson is having a behind closed doors friendly against Bromley as a way of team building, well it couldn’t happen surely? Well at the weekend it will.

Liverpool will roll on post Russia trip with a win at St James. Whilst the reds defence is a bit shakey, don’t expect another classic goal fest. Tottenham will also be victorious on the road as their charge for Premier League glory starts to take shape.

Europa League representatives Arsenal and Everton will be bagging wins again, good news for Everton as they look to get their season going. For Arsenal they look to be uniting at last.

Bournemouth and Leicester who are both at the wrong end of the table will end up taking a point each on the South coast. The visitors who nearly took a point off Liverpool last week, will be disappointed not to get nothing more.

Saints overcome their disappointment from losing last weekend as they beat Swansea, whilst Watford win and West Ham take three points at home.