West Brom hasn’t won a match in two months and prevailed just once in the last 15 fixtures, which explains why they are the underdogs tonight. Newcastle is not the best traveling team but the players don’t settle for second best and are more than willing to put everything on the line. The best proof is that the team didn’t draw a single match on the road and won 5/9 fixtures.
Keith Downing has good reasons to be worried about his position as manager, given the fact that his team is winless in 10 games. To be perfectly fair, he is not to be blamed for most of these defeats as he only took over in early December when Steve Clarke was sacked. Unless he finds a way of turning the ship around soon, West Bromwich is very likely to relegate at the end of the regular season, which would be a catastrophic event for the club.
Right now, they stand two points clear of the relegation zone, which is hardly encouraging and they can’t afford to slip any further. By contrast, Newcastle won eight out of the last 10 games and except for the narrow margin defeat to Arsenal, they were impressive throughout December. Furthermore, they have an impeccable track record in head to head games, winning or drawing all games played against West Bromwich in the last two years.
For the first time this season they have a genuine chance of tying Manchester United and Tottenham for the sixth place, even if for just a couple of hours. The aforementioned teams will compete in the final match of the day and the winner will probably leapfrog two teams to secure the fourth place. The visitors will make very few changes in the starting formation as the 1-0 defeat to Arsenal is hardly worrisome.
The odds for an away victory stand that 2.80 with most bookmakers, which is plenty of value Given the Way, Newcastle played recently. West Bromwich drew the last three games but it is unlikely for them to secure another point, so there is no point in sacrificing these odds for a double chance wager. The least risk-averse players can do is to take the visiting team with the cover of a 0:0 Asian handicap which has the stakes returned if the game ends in a draw.
Manchester United is winless in the last four games against Chelsea and they hope to put an end to this streak tonight when the two teams meet on an old Trafford. The hosts are trained by a new coach and Moyes needs to prove his worth against one of the best coaches in the world, as Jose Mourinho returns to Chelsea. He will also have to do without five of his veteran players as Hernandez, Nani, Fletcher, Young and Rafael are all missing due to injuries.
On the bright side, he will have a formidable trident upfront and with Danny Welbeck and Robin van Persie scoring two times in the opening game, so he has reasons to be optimistic. Manchester United made short work of Swansea and will count on a similar offensive output against their arch rivals. What they should expect is an airtight defense, as Jose Mourinho knows all too well how to counter an aggressive opponent that has home pitch advantage.
The Portuguese coach won both games so far with Chelsea and will try to capitalize on the numerous absentees that Manchester United is dealing with. Without Sir Alex Ferguson to worry about, he should have an easier task at keeping the winning streak alive although Old Trafford is a hard place to play. One thing that punters are particularly interested in is whether Manchester’s new coach will give Wayne Rooney a chance or keep him on the bench.
What is interesting about the striker’s situation is that he submitted transfer requests recently and Chelsea is one of the teams where he could land in a not so distant future. Moyes told the media that he has no intention of selling the striker and he doubled up on his claims by saying that he might start the match tonight. By having these three strikers in the grass from the first minute, United should have an easier task in taking the initiative and hopefully for them the fail of shots at Cech’s net will bring a goal.
An interesting take on this match is available at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2401912/Manchester-United-v-Chelsea–Martin-Keowns-guide.html. The visitors don’t have any fitness concerns except for David Luiz and are not intimidated by Manchester United’s impressive home record. The Red Devils won 51/59 games but lost twice against Chelsea, which means that the match could go either way and makes the odds of 2.50 for home victory fully justified.
Here is the 08/09 Premier League Table. I will be updating the Table as soon as the Premiership kicks off on 16th August. Which team will be sitting proudly at the top come next May? Cast your own vote now in the Poll just to the left of the page. At the time of writing it looks like a 2 horse race this year between Liverpool and Man Utd, both with 33% of the vote. Update: Chelsea are receiving a lot more votes now. Very interesting and I hope the actually title race is as hotly contested! Continue reading
Unfortunately due to technical difficulties we lost a lot of data in March 08 and were unable to continue updating this Fixtures & Results page. We apologise for any inconvenience caused! Continue reading
Tottenham Hotspur remain unbeaten at home under new boss Harry Redknapp as they beat a 10-man Blackburn Rovers 1-0 thanks to another goal by the rejuvenated Roman Pavlyuchenkol. Tottenham as a result also moved out of the Premier League’s bottom three, however Blackburn, who had defender Martin Olsson sent off on 39 minutes, are now in 19th position. Continue reading
You’ve got got to love this game, haven’t you? (Unless you’re a Gunner this morning I suppose!) But this was a classic North London derby. Not only that, this was one of the classic Premier League matches. You think of those Liverpool v Newcastle 4 – 4 draws many years ago, this is up there too. It had just about everything including a contender for Goal of The Season. Continue reading
You’ve got got to love the English Premier League, haven’t you? Enough talking points from this latest round of fixtures for you? It’s a little hard to know where to start and really concentrate on, so I’ll go with the first game of the weekend, and despite what I have been reading a lot of over the weekend, this was still the biggest game to take place this weekend, not only in England but in world football. Not the new “Oil Firm Derby” or “The Clash of The Cash” as it was being called. The game between Man City and Chelsea. Continue reading
Day 1 of the new Barclays Premier League was excellent, I’m sure you’ll agree. Some very entertaining games and even better goals. So what would Day 2 on this first weekend going to throw up, would they continue in the same vein? I certainly hoped so as I sat down to watch. Continue reading
I wrote a couple of days ago about Thaksin Shinawatra, the Man City owner and how he had skipped bail in Thailand and and was effectively “on the run” in London. I speculated on what Mark Hughes must have been thinking with the whole situation after only being in charge at Eastlands for three months and not having actually managed the club in a proper competitive game. There were reports in the press suggesting that he was about to walk out and others that he was committing himself to the club for the long term. Continue reading
So good old Thaksin what’s his name, the former Prime Minister of Thailand, is supposedly “on the run” after a Thai court issued an arrest warrant for both him and his wife. Why? Because they both skipped bail, failed to appear in court in Bangkok on Monday and high tailed it to London instead. They probably had a bit of site seeing to do! Let’s not forget, this is the Chairman of a Premier League team, you could make it up, could you!? Continue reading