Wednesday, August 21, 2013

BPL Week 2

Wednesday August 21, 2013
Live on NBCSP 3pm et
Chelsea Aston Villa 0

Coming off the shock result of the weekend over Arsenal, Christian Benteke and Aston Villa will be looking to fully erase the memory of the 8-0 drubbing they took at Stamford Bridge last year.  Although, claiming another scalp of a top team might be difficult given Chelsea's revitalized attitude which was on full display as two early goals allowed them to cruise in their opener against an outclassed Hull City.  Aston Villa may look to adapt to a different style of play than in their match against Arsenal as Chelsea present a more ruthless style of attacking play in the final third.  Another comfortable win for the Blues will allow them to supplement the good feeling generated by their fantastic opening day performance and newly returned manager.  

Saturday Aug 24th, 2013
745am NBCSN
Fulham Arsenal 1
Although a much needed win midweek in the champions league playoff first leg has at least put some of the criticism on hold, Arsenal still face the reality of having a quick turnaround with an injury hit squad to tricky Craven Cottage.  With the Luis Suarez saga now over (for them), gunner fans must now hold out hope that the latest transfer rumors involving Karim Benzema have more than a little bit of merit, as the desperation for signing a big name player grows exponentially by the day.  Fulham will be in good spirits having secured an away win at Sunderland in their first match of the season, and will be looking to capitalize on the gunners short rest.  A rough start to the premier league season could continue for Arsenal.

10am NBC Premier League Extra Time
Everton West Brom 1
Whether or not Manchester United's pursuit of Everton's Marouane Fellani and Leighton Banes is successful will go a long way in determining the latter's place in the table.  After managing an opening away draw at Carrow Road last week, young phenom Ross Barkley and Everton will look to give the home fans enough of a show to take their mind off two of their best players possibly being sold.  A very disappointing West Brom will be looking to bounce back and bring some of the exciting attacking flair that saw them surprise last season. Everton pull this out at home behind another superb performance from Ross Barkley, who after a few years being loaned out, is looking like he will realize his potential.

10am NBC Premier League Extra Time
Hull City Norwich City 2
Despite being overmatched against a strong Chelsea squad, Hull by no means embarrassed themselves in their return to the premier league in week one.  Making their home debut in front of a good crowd against a side more their equal should produce quite an entertaining affair.  Norwich earned a very strong away point against Everton and will be looking to sneak out a possible three points this time.  For teams who will be fighting to stay up this year, these are the games that prove to be the most telling in terms of survival, and not coincidentally, very fun to watch.

10am NBC Premier League Extra Time
Newcastle West Ham 1
A truly poor display against Manchester City was not the way Newcastle fans hoped their season would begin.  A surprise bid from Arsenal for Yohan Cabaye being turned down, they should be able to refocus to get a positive result in their home opener at St. James's Park.  West Ham enjoyed a fantastic opener as they produced plenty of chances and were able to get 3 points against Cardiff City.  This should be a much stiffer test and while they looked good last week it will take a much more disciplined effort to get a result against a talented and angry Newcastle side playing at home.

10am NBCSN
Southampton Sunderland 1
A full solid 90 minutes for American Jozy Altidore on his debut for Sunderland wasn't enough as they fell to Fulham at home last week.  They were more dangerous going forward than statistics would indicate and will be hoping to turn some of that misfortune into quality goalscoring chances this week against a surprising Southampton side.  Going away to West Brom and getting all three points was worthy of applause, and building on successes with a nice string of games will go a long way in creating a foundation to stay afloat in this league. 

10am NBC Sports Live Extra
Stoke City Crystal Palace 1
After being thoroughly outplayed by Liverpool and still be flattered by only a one goal scoreline should be ammunition enough for Stoke to put forth a better effort in their home opener.  They have a top goalkeeper in the league in Begovic and would be wise not to let games like he had last week go by without at least salvaging a point.  Crystal Palace acquitted themselves fairly well against Tottenham even if the scoreline wasn't a good indicator of Spurs' dominance.  Traveling to stoke is an interesting chance to get points but I don't see them having enough this week.

1230pm NBC
Aston Villa 1 Liverpool 2
No rest for the weary as Aston Villa continue the gauntlet at home to Liverpool.  If we're going to be honest they were unlucky not to squeeze a point out of Chelsea after a few missed opportunities and an unfortunate referee miscue.  So they enter their first home match of the season with a sense of confidence I'm sure many of their fans wouldn't even have thought possible given the fixture list at the beginning of the season.  Liverpool fans can now take solitude that Luis Suarez won't be sold to another english team, but with the impending approach of Real Madrid the soap opera may yet endure another twist.  Their mix of youth and experience produced an excellent showing against a tricky opponent in week one and I think they have enough repeat this week against a tired Aston Villa.

Sunday Aug 25th, 2013

11am NBC Sports Live Extra
Cardiff City Manchester City 3
A tough matchup on their home premier league debut for Cardiff should be a tasty one for fans and one many of the players will be relishing.  Manchester City's firepower should prove to be too much for Cardiff even with the raucous crowd that will no doubt lift the players spirits.  Keep an eye on this one as an early goal from Cardiff could have them feeling like they could sneak something out of this game.

11am NBCSN
Tottenham Swansea 1
Spurs look to have finally parted with now the most expensive player in the history of the sport.  The figures for Gareth Bale aren't finalized but it is almost a certainty that he will hold that title.  Although no player is worth the rumored price tag Tottenham and their fans will certainly miss the brilliance they have been privileged to witness over the past few seasons.  With a debut goal from new striker Roberto Soldado in week one Tottenham were able to reap the benefits of an otherwise sluggish performance.  Always an entertaining watch their midweek Europa league qualifier should give them confidence as they were able to run up the score.  Swansea were certainly given the toughest task of week one against the champions Manchester United.  Having gotten that game out of the way might seem like a relief if they were not facing another team who has as much talent as the Spurs.  Certainly a candidate for most entertaining game of the week, there should be some goals in this one.

Monday August 26, 2013
Manchester United Chelsea 1
This is the type of matche where the hype and intrigue are seemingly never ending, and new story lines are created up until kickoff.  You can't have an incredibly meaningful game this early in the season, but this is about as close as you're going to get.  If nothing else this match provides us with the opportunity to watch two of the three unabashed title contenders go head to head at one of the world's most iconic stadiums.  With their talisman Van Persie quickly approaching the best goalscoring form of his career, a healthy defensive center back pairing, and an exciting young midfield, the red devils would be hard pressed not to believe they should come out of this game with three points.  However they are facing a squad that has bolstered their midfield and who's manager has brought in a renewed sense of arrogance that been evidenced by the players performance.  Although much of the time these kind of games never produce the quality one would hope for, enjoy the speed of the game and the level of competition amongst many players that truly have a profound dislike for one another, the gem of the young season. enjoy.

Last Week's record (7-3)
This Week's Record (1-0)

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