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Premier League Week 1: Predictions August 13, 2010

Posted by Alex Tomchak Scott in English soccer.
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The most exciting story of this season may just be Liverpool. Under Benitez, the team’s problem often appeared to be overorganization, that it was composed of sumptuously talented footballers being forced to play like automatons. The new coach, Roy Hodgson, also loves organization, but his Fulham team also had the capacity to be very expressive.

Of course, morale is still pretty low at Anfield, along with the cash balance, but the team will still be fun to watch.

That said, they’ll probably lose to Arsenal on Saturday. I’m not sure Daniel Agger, who will probably be playing at left-back, can deal with Theo Walcott’s pace on the right and I’m also skeptical that a defensive midfield axis of Steven Gerrard and Lucas will be able to stop Abou Diaby and Cesc Fabregas. That’s why I’m calling this one 2-0 to Arsenal.

Other results in equation form:

  • Club in turmoil – fit, nippy striker + central defensive injury crisis * Frederic Piquionne’s chances-to-goals ratio = Aston Villa 0-1 West Ham.
  • Sturdy, organized Lancashire team + Everton’s traditional slow start/inability to sign creative winger + possible emergence of Mame Biram Diouf = Blackburn 1-0 Everton
  • (Fulham’s use of an extra central midfielder * lightweight qualities of Muamba’s probable partner)/likelihood that much of the game will be about wing play + slightly more competent Fulham fullbacks + (Damien Duff’s pace – Gretar Steinsson’s lack thereof) = Bolton 1-3 Fulham
  • Slow West Brom fullbacks + general superiority of Chelsea in every position * Michael Essien’s energy = Chelsea 4-0 West Brom
  • Left-back who is Newcastle’s chief attacking threat/likelihood he’s not quite Premiership standard + number of long passes Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick play to Nani and Luis ValenciaAlan Smith’s desire to prove himself = Man Utd 3-1 Newcastle
  • Number of Sunderland defenders who have never played together – number of them it would take standing on one another’s shoulders to look into Nikola Zigic’s eyes + number of knockdowns Kenwyne Jones might otherwise have presented to Darren Bent * percentage of Sunderland’s strategy constituted by crosses from Kieran Richardson to create said knockdowns = Sunderland 0-1 Birmingham City
  • Probability Roberto Mancini won’t get it right first-time out * degrees of deviation between the Harry Redknapp gameplan and what Mancini will expect + creative midfielders not in Man City midfield/(Yaya Toure’s size – Luka Modric’s size) + speed of Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale – speed of Micah Richards and Aleksandar Kolarov = Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 Manchester City
  • Deviation between Wigan’s performances and expectations + passes Charlie Adam plays between Hendry Thomas’ legs = Wigan 0-1 Blackpool
  • Wolves’ reliance on Kevin Doyle – Kevin Doyle + height of Wolves back four – Ricardo Fuller’s goalscoring tally = Wolves 0-0 Stoke
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