Predict360: Spurs v Man Utd the focus as Arsenal extend lead
Is there any stopping Arsenal at the moment? Another impressive win last weekend saw the Gunners extend their lead at the top of the table...and we're not just talking about the Premier League!
Our very own Predict360 league is also being led by the Arsenal, with Gunners fan Ted once again correctly predicting last weekend's 2-0 win over Southampton.
Behind Arsenal, the rest of the league is starting to bunch up, with Simon (Tottenham) and Moe (Man Utd) occupying second, while Darren (Man City) sits in third. Shivam (Chelsea) and Obaydah (Liverpool) are both a point back, while Neil (Newcastle) remains rooted to the bottom of the table.
This week, Sunday's fixture between Spurs and Man Utd pit two of our players against each other, while everyone else will be looking to bridge the gap on our runaway leader, Ted.
Good luck gents!
PREDICT360 TABLE (after 12 rounds)
Arsenal (Ted) - 14pts
Tottenham (Simon) - 8
Man Utd (Moe) - 8
Man City (Darren) - 7
Liverpool (Obaydah) - 6
Chelsea (Shivam) - 6
Newcastle (Neil) - 3
TED TOTSIDIS - @TedTots (Arsenal)
What happened last time? Another perfect score prediction, another three points and top of the table for another week. Conceited much? ;)
Delving a little deeper, I think there's more too it than that. Last season I was constantly asking myself how @MoeAnabtawi was able to stay on top of the league so comfortably and so consistently.
This season I'm starting to see a direct correlation between my team, my predictions and those of Moe and his Man Utd mob last season. It's quite simple really. Most weeks, if not all, you're going to back your team for the win (unless you're Spurs supporter @SimonPThurston - then you've got bigger problems).
If your team is playing consistently and winning tough matches, regardless of how they play, you essentially start racking up the points and climbing the Predict360 ladder where you and your team are destined for the title. As long as Arsenal keep winning things should go well this end too.
This week: The Arsenal travel to Wales to face a very unpredictable Cardiff City side who have taken points off some big scalps at home this season. Man City, Everton and Man Utd have all dropped points there and I expect a difficult task for the Gunners today.
What gives me comfort is knowing that Newcastle and the Spurs both travelled there recently and won. It will be tough, but it is possible however given our midweek Champions League win against Marseille was fraught with missed opportunities, we'll need to be more clinical today to maintain our league lead and for me to continue my stay atop the Predict360 league. Cardiff 1 - 2 Arsenal
SHIVAM MANGHNANI - @ShivamLM (Chelsea)
What happened last time? Jekyll and Hyde and is the best way to describe Chelsea at the moment. A good result against West Ham's Bubble Mafia (and a lot more comfortable than I predicted) followed by an absolute stinker in Switzerland. Just a case of which Chelsea show up, but a lot is down to the make up of the side as against Basel the width was completely non-existent.
This week: Southampton have been excellent this season and they will be very difficult to breakdown unless of course Mr Boruc decides to play Santa Claus again.
Their key player is Victor Wanyama, if Chelsea can get Oscar to do to him what Oscar did to Pirlo then I think Chelsea will succeed. It will be a difficult game,as per usual but given Chelsea's home record and the fact Mourinho has probably given them a kick up the backside, I think Chelsea will win. Chelsea 2-0 Cardiff
MARK SCHUMANN - @MarkSchuey (Everton)
What happened last time? Most people will agree that last weekends 3-3 merseyside derby was one of the greatest. As a fan, it was absolutely exhausting. What a match and what a great advert for the Premier League.
This week: Home to Stoke. Following last week's exhilaration I can't see thus match living up to it. I fully expect Everton to play the same type of football which has been part of Martinez's style and blow stoke away. Stoke are struggling and lack goals. This should be 3 points for Everton. Everton 2-0 Stoke
OBAYDAH AL-NAMER - @LFCArabia (Liverpool)
What happened last time out? Conceding three goals isn't healthy and had Joe Allen scored that "miss of the year", we would have been talking of a Liverpool thrashing of Everton on their own turf, only for the chance Welsh Xavi wasted.
Kevin Mirallas was very lucky to stay on the pitch after the assult on Luis Suarez, but all in all I was happy with the performance of the reds, especially Simon Mignolet between the sticks and I loved Rodgers adventerous approach to the game in the last 15 minutes. In my opinion it was 2 points droped not a crucial one gained in the last 2 minutes of normal time.
This week: An easy weasy lemon squeezy game for Rodgers red army, facing a toothless Hull attack force managed by the big fat head, Steve Bruce. Our defence will not have a problem in keeping a clean sheet for the first time since September.
The Daniel Sturridge injury is a huge blow for us in this make or break month, especially with a host of teams breathing down our neck. With three crucial games away at City, Chelsea and hapless Tottenham, Liverpool have to win the game against Hull.
Suarez will be able to guide us through this crucial period but he can't carry the team on his shoulders alone, and the headless chicken Aspas does give opposition defenders hope when playing against them. Hull 0-2 Liverpool
DARREN BALL - @AbuDhabiDaz (Man City)
What happened last time? Last week I was expecting a game that would give us a good marker on how our season is developing, instead Spurs decided to offer very little and we ran away with a crushing 6-0 victory.
I still think City were only playing at about 80% strength and believe they still have another gear to shift into.
This week: We have another home game against foreign opposition as Swansea travel up from Wales. City still without Kompany at the back do look shaky but if we are scoring 6 then we can afford the odd goal here and there right? City will be looking at bringing Joe Hart back into the fold and this could be the game.
Whilst Vincent Kompany is fit it looks likely he will continue on the sidelines along with Silva, Jovetic and Nastasic who are all probably 2-3 weeks away. City's home performances have been pretty exceptional this season and Swansea will need to bring something extra special to change that. Man City 3-1 Swansea
MOHAMMED ANABTAWI - @MoeAnabtawi (Man Utd)
What happened last week? There is no doubt that we as MUFC supporters were upset and disappointed at throwing away a win at Cardiff. However, we will be buoyant in defeating of Germanys teams in Bayer Leverkusen. We are on a 10 match unbeaten run in all competitions and that is not a bad thing.
This week: Our matchup with Spurs is always one I mark on my calendar as I am always a big fan of the attacking style of this fixture. AVB seems to be under a lot of pressure, however I admire his bold approach.
Spurs fans need to give him some time, they have a great young team. That being said, Moyes will fancy his squads confidence after our massive European win in midweek. Both teams need the wins to further move up the table and I really fancy Manchester United on Sunday. Tottenham 2-3 Manchester United
NEIL MITCHELL - @geordiedentist (Newcastle United)
What happened last time? We scored from a corner. An actual goal. From a corner. Last time that happened was October 2011. By my reckoning this means we win football and are now de facto world champions.
What a baffling, schizophrenic side. Capable of pulling off magnificent flowing football and dominating games then all of a sudden emerging after half time timid and on the back foot when we should be finishing a team off.
We had a nervy last 10 minutes which was utterly unnecessary having threatened to run riot for the first 45. It is, however, nice to be moaning about a win and we have a real opportunity to get a bit of a run going. I'm still trying to work out just which is the real Newcastle United, and I suspect most people are too including the manager!
Ultimately it's a results business (yes I've had the Ron Atkinson Big Book of Football Cliché's out) and as long as the points are accumulating and we are climbing the table, confidence will remain high and everyone happy. There's always the feeling while Mike Ashley is around, however, that a new crisis is never far away.
This week: The Baggies arrive on Tyneside and they should prove a harder nut to crack than Norwich. They have in their side a player who always seems to turn it on against us in Shane Long; a clever player who runs the channels and takes up intelligent positions.
If we can control his movement and, as I often say, match desire and work rate in the midfield we have more than enough potential match winners to see them off, which I believe we should. I'm lucky this week.
Our match is a later kick off. I'll get to see it. Thanks to the ongoing issues between Al Jazeera Sport and the Premier League, last week I was left watching on a poor quality Internet stream. I missed the first goal from a corner in 2 years because of it. I'm still not sure if it actually happened.
What a mess this leaves for football fans outside of certain premier league clubs. We have paid our money in good faith, Abu Dhabi Sports delivered us every game last season. Why can't you? And why no real apology and no real explanation? But will you care Al Jazeera?
I suppose as long as you get to show MUFC, MCFC, LFC, CFC and AFC every week the rest of us can go hang can't we? And by this you prove you utterly miss the whole essence of English football. No matter how hard it tries, the Premier League is not just about the so called "big teams".
Newcastle and West Brom, to name just two, have intelligent, passionate fans that care about their club. It's not something you just change, like going to a different supermarket because their fruit and veg is better or cheaper.
And it's fans like these that you're letting down, fans who just want to be able to watch and support their teams whilst in exile. Fans who live for that 90 minutes that transports them home and reconnects them to their club and community.
Not that I expect you to care Al Jazeera, because increasingly in football it's the fans that are taken for granted. I'm quite sure a solution is in your hands to resolve this. The question is, do you have the guts to make it happen? I won't hold my breath. Newcastle 2-1 West Brom
SIMON THURSTON - @SimonPThurston (Tottenham)
What happened last week? A poor performance against a free-scoring Man City outfit in their own back yard. They had already scored 28 league goals and the last thing needed was to concede an early goal, but that's exactly what happened. Anyway, that was last week, and we move on.
This week: Another test of character comes this weekend with the visit of City's red neighbours, who are unbeaten in their last six. There is no question they are not the force they were under Sir Alex, however they are still a formidable team with one of the best strike forces in the league.
Spurs will look to end their goal scoring drought against a defence which is currently conceding more than one goal per game, but will need to do so without the influential Eriksen. Adebayor will also undergo a late fitness test on a groin injury.
All eyes will be on AVB this Sunday, with much of the media (wrongly) feeling he needs to win his next two or three matches to save his job. Given where both teams are at right now, I can see this being a draw, and so am predicting: Tottenham 1-1 Man Utd