Sunday, 20 January 2013

Weekend review

Liverpool 5-0 Norwich
I said: 2-0, +1pt
Del said: 2-0, +1pt
Carl said: 1-1
Kingsley said: 3-1, +1pt

From the first few times they've played together, that Sturridge-Suarez parternship looks to be coming together nicely. At first I wasn't sure about Liverpool signing Sturridge, when he was at Chelsea I thought he was another overrated Englishman, of whom Liverpool seem to have signed so many. I thought Rodgers would have been better gambling on a young, South American or Spanish striker who suits his preferred style of football. A few good games for Sturridge hasn't changed that opinion entirely, but it was important he got off to a good start.

Man City 2-0 Fulham

I said: 3-1, +1pt
Del said: 3-0, +1pt
Carl said: 3-0+1pt
Kingsley said: 2-0, +3pts

I don't think anyone expected anything other than a routine win for City, which keeps the heat on United and they seem to keep delivering gentle reminders to their neighbours that the title is far from finished. I think for City it's a case of keeping themselves in it, because they've arguably got slightly trickier games over the next few weeks, but towards the end of the season United could be in 3 competitions and the teams still got to play each other. City musn't loosen their grip.

Newcastle 1-2 Reading

I said: 0-1+1pt
Del said: 0-2+1pt
Carl said: 2-0
Kingsley said: 2-1

Reading seem to be becoming the 'comeback kings', as they came from behind again and they've now given themselves genuine hope in the relegation battle- with favourable fixtures coming up also. I did rule them 'down' a few weeks ago, but if they can build on these two wins, then I'll have to reassess. That defeat certainly leaves Newcastle in peril as well, as I said before the game, it's imperative that they can get Cabaye and Ben Arfa back to full fitness, leave the hinderances of the Europa League early in the knockout rounds, sign a goalscorer and persuade Coloccini to stay. Other than that they've got no problems.

Swansea 3-1 Stoke

I said: 0-1
Del said: 0-1
Carl said: 2-2
Kingsley said: 1-1

All of us predicted Swansea to struggle, with their congested fixture schedule, against such a physical team such as Stoke. We were all to be proved wrong as Swansea played some terrific football, particularly for their third goal, to clinch an impressive win. If Laudrup can keep his Swansea team playing with the confidence that they are at the moment over a long period of time, I would rule out European football being played at the Liberty stadium in 5 years or so. If you can play tiki-taka as well as Swansea are, I think it's the future of the modern game.

West Ham 1-1 QPR

I said: 0-1
Del said: 2-0
Carl said: 0-0+1pt
Kingsley said: 1-2

The draw does at least keep QPR alive and kicking, and they could still climb out of the relegation zone in a couple of weeks, but a win would have provided more impetus. In a similar way to Reading, I had QPR as goners a few weeks ago when they lost 3-0 at home to Liverpool, but they've not lost a match since then. The £8 million signing of Remy is certainly a statement of intent.

Wigan 2-3 Sunderland

I said: 0-2+1pt
Del said: 1-1
Carl said: 2-0
Kingsley said: 0-1+1pt

It was actually a last minute change for me to go from Wigan to Sunderland winning this, but I'm glad I went for it- the loss of Ramis has clearly hurt Wigan and I reckoned their 3 at the back system would be exploited by Sunderland's strength on the flanks. That said, the result had more to do with Steven Fletcher's clinical finishing in front of goal, because both goals were very confidently taken. 

West Brom 2-2 Aston Villa

I said: 1-1+1pt
Del said: 2-1
Carl said: 1-0
Kingsley said: 2-0

Villa can take heart from that performance. I watched the first half of the match on the box, they played some good stuff and Benteke scored a cracking goal early on. They might be disappointed to let a 2-goal lead slip, but it was vital for Villa that they didn't lose this. It only takes one positive result for the confidence cycle of their young players to go back up again,  but the next crucial step will be to make sure they win a match after a terrible run. As a Blues fan I don't like to say this, but I do think it was just a blip- people have been overreacting because of the level of scorelines.

Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal

I said: 0-2
Del said: 2-3
Carl said: 2-2
Kingsley said: 3-1+1pt

I keep thinking that having to play so many matches over this winter period would eventually take it's toll on Chelsea, but despite losing a 2-goal lead to Southampton, they managed to hold on for a win. A small part of me feels a bit sorry for Torres, because I really want to see him back to his best and there have been times when he's shown brief signs of doing that, but it's not been consistent enough. Demba Ba at the moment you'd have to say is the better goalscorer- I think the best thing for Torres to do for his career, is move back to Spain where he may still have some of his pace left ahead of defenders.

Tottenham 1-1 Man Utd

I said: 1-2
Del said: 0-3
Carl said: 1-2
Kingsley said: 1-0

I watched this game and I thought, though Tottenham had the majority of the play, Ferguson showed yet again why he's the world-class manager he is, in his plan for Bale. Rafael and Phil Jones on the right side of midfield did well to get tight to him, and the likes of Cleverley, Carrick and Kagawa all did their bit to force Bale inside, which they did so successfully. I was surprised Ferdinand said they would have taken a point before the game though, because 5pts isn't quite a comfortable enough lead to have given that United will have to compete in the Champions League and the Manchester derby is coming up. The City/United title race is still reasonably open in my book.


Let's have a look at who got these right then...

Correct results- 3
Perfect scorelines- 1, Man City 2-0 Fulham
Points- 6

Correct results- 5
Perfect scorelines- 0
Points- 5

Correct results- 3
Perfect scorelines- 0
Points- 3

Correct results- 2
Perfect scorelines- 0
Points- 2

Congratulations to @KingsleyBates who is this week's prediction winner for the second time running, and is the only person to guess a perfect score. You can check out Kingsley's sports blog here at

My thanks also to Del, and commiserations to Carl Hudson, @jabbinho- now you're without Demba Ba you need to stop predicting Newcastle wins!

My predictions game is done on a weekly basis, so if you fancy having a go, send your predictions and perhaps a few comments in to my twitter account: @_thescore
Alternatively, you can email me at:

Until then, have a good week.

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