Friday, August 30, 2013

BPL Week 3

Saturday August 31, 2013
7:45am NBCSN

Manchester City 4 Hull City 0
Last week is what makes the premier league top to bottom the most exciting and competitive league in the world.  While the quality of the teams at the very top of their respective leagues may seem stronger across Europe, you won't get results like you did in Cardiff last week as they pulled off the shock upset of Manchester City.  You might not see games like that all the time, but the competitiveness of the games between the top teams and the rest of the field is higher in this league than any other.  Credit to parody aside, Manchester City will most certainly make amends this week against a Hull City squad that earned a hard fought first win last week.  Being drawn with trophy rich Bayern Munich for the Champions league group stage in the near future should provide City extra motivation to quickly redirect their ship, comfortable win.

10am NBC Premier League Extra Time
Newcastle 1 Fulham 1
With their sought after central midfielder's price deemed too high for prospective suitors Newcastle will welcome Yohan Cabaye back into the team this week in hopes of kickstarting a sluggish beginning to the season.  Newcastle must look at this as another vital opportunity to earn three points against a team they will feel that they are better than.  A loss last week will have seen Fulham lose some of the good feeling after their opening road win but a point in this fixture and they would be happy.

10am NBC Premier League Extra Time
West Ham United 2 Stoke City 1
An excellent start to the season for West Ham United has seen a revitalized Joe Cole lead an exciting brand of attacking soccer and good feeling back around the London side.  Stoke got their first three points of the season last week but I see them falling short on the road to the Hammers

10am NBC Premier League Extra Time
Norwich City 2 Southampton 0
Dropped points for Norwich in this fixture means an early start to their battle for relegation.  Anybody who has seen them play at home can notice how the Canaries home fans are able to lift the energy of the squad to a level that they wouldn't normally reach.  They do not always convert this energy into goals but I believe they do tomorrow against a Southampton squad who have been exposed defensively at time this year.  Although Southampton have been able to weather some lackluster defensive performances and grind out some decent results I see the Canaries grinding out a tough first win of the season.

10am NBCSN
Cardiff City 1 Everton 1
The only better feeling the Cardiff fans have experienced than last week's victory against the free-spending giants of Manchester city was gaining promotion into the premier league.  As huge and exciting a win as you'll see, they earned the same three points they would have gotten had they beat any other side.  So they must stay the course and focus on building on that victory, because staying up is their main focus this year and early season form can go a long way in dictating whether that is a real possibility.  Everton's start to the season has been relatively ambivalent, although they are notorious slow starters and won't be too stressed having yet to taste defeat.  Cardiff builds on last week and gets a home point.

10am NBC Premier League Extra Time
Crystal Palace 2 Sunderland 3
Take my goalfest predictions with a grain of salt as I haven't been close to correct both times I've surmised it might happen.  So consider this a shot in the dark, I don't actually know if these two teams can put together a game like this so more than likely my prediction will turn out wrong again.  Sunderland's late flurry in the Capital One Cup midweek will have them arguing otherwise as a Jozy Altidore goal saw them come from behind late and then pour it on in a very odd ending to a game.  Two games two losses for Crystal Palace leaves them second from bottom already and Sunderland will look to pour on the misery for the newcomers, Sunderland in a goalfest! (or not).

Sunday September 1st, 2013
830am NBCSN
Liverpool Manchester United 1
A fantastic set of Sunday games kicks off with another mammoth matchup.  Although Liverpool haven't been near where they've needed to be the last few years this game rightly generates a large amount of buzz do to the storied history of the two clubs.  Manchester United has just recently overtaken Liverpool's record of premier league titles which has admittedly come during the biggest drought of the latter clubs existence.  A good solid start from Liverpool this season has been nice to see as the league is always in much better shape when they are fighting for one of the top spots.  Although Luis Suarez (I had to mention him) is not yet cleared to make his return, knowing that he will be a squad member for the foreseeable future brings some much welcomed stability to a volatile situation.  Manchester United also has some positive news on the transfer front as it looks like Wayne Rooney will be staying after his well-received man of the match performance in a 0-0 draw with Chelsea last week.  I have a strong feeling that this game will be much more engaging then last weeks giant fixture, but I still see a draw.

830am NBC Premier League Extra Time
West Brom 2 Swansea 1
With both teams struggling to start the season they will both see this game as an opportunity to get three rather than just a point.  Swansea have admittedly had a beginning to the season that no one would have asked for fixture wise but you have to play who they put in front of you and they have been soundly beaten on both occasions.  West Brom wins this one.

11am NBCSN
Arsenal 2 Tottenham 2
Never a dull game between these two teams as arguably the fiercest rivalry in the league kicks off for yet another episode early in the season.  Far be it from me to correctly predict these types of games as they usually involve huge momentum swings, goals, and cards.  Arsenal have rebounded from their opening week loss to qualify for Champions League and get back into a good offensive flow.  However the news that Lukas Podolski will be out for a while furthers the need for Arsene Wenger to sign somebody, as the gunners are in desperate need for healthy bodies to provide insurance to a linguine thin squad.  Meanwhile their London neighbors have been spending more than they have in the clubs history in an attempt to replace Gareth Bale.  That should further the animosity between the two teams along with the fact that Spurs feel like they have been the better club over the last few years. Definitely a must watch for pure entertainment value, don't be surprised if you see some fireworks in this one. Let's go.

Last week (6-5)
Season (13-8)

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