It’s all about Jose Mourinho at the moment in the EPL, as if the West Ham game wasn’t enough ammunition for the press to be whipped into a sacking frenzy, the penalty shootout loss to Stoke with a full strength side added another couple of grenades. The saga over whether he will be fired will continue unless Chelsea see off Liverpool in style this weekend, and it will be the Portuguese manager in the spotlight, just the way he likes it.
Notables from midweek feature the League Cup exits of Arsenal and Manchester United to Championship teams, with Sheffield Wednesday winning impressively 3-0 and Middlesbrough knocking out the Manchester side in a penalty shootout. Hull too flew the flag for the second tier disposing of Leicester. Just Liverpool and Manchester City remain of the big six.
Notables from last weekend’s action was the disappointment of the Manchester derby which went the way of a lot of big games with a pure dross 0-0 scoreline. The other derby between Newcastle and Sunderland was robbed of it’s full potential when Coloccini gave a penalty away and was red carded.
Here’s the full rundown and our thoughts ofall this weekend’s EPL games.
CHELSEA v LIVERPOOL SAT 12:45 UK – FOX SPORTS 4
A tale of two managers going in different directions. New boy Jurgen Klopp got his first win against Bournemouth in the midweek League Cup fixture after a run of draws and still seems to be universally loved. Joes Mourinho seems to be bouncing from one incident to another, and a loss or any more antics on Saturday will probably see him bounced out of Stamford Bridge.
STATISTICS PLEASE – CHELSEA have lost just 3 of their last 38 home games – 2 of those in the last 4. LIVERPOOL have scored 3 goals away from home – the second lowest.
GURGLER TIPS: UNDER 2.5 GOALS
CRYSTAL PALACE v MANCHESTER UTD SAT 15:00 UK – FOX SPORTS 4
Both teams will be licking their wounds after a slightly embarrassing midweek League Cup exit. Palace were thrashed by Manchester City 5-1 to go with their loss at Leicester last weekend. Manchester Utd proved their ineffectiveness in front of goal is not limited to top EPL sides as they went down to Middlesbrough with only one goal in the penalty shootout to show for their efforts from the last two matches. Van gall thinks ‘Boro didn’t deserve to win, the same could be said for a side who can’t put a goal past a Championship side.
STATISTICS PLEASE – CRYSTAL PALACE’s last 5 matches at home – L W L W L – MANCHESTER UTD’s last 5 matches away W L W L W. So following that trend it’s Palace win ad Utd loss.
GURGLER TIPS: CRYSTAL PALACE to win.
SWANSEA CITY v ARSENAL SAT 15:00 UK – FOX SPORTS 1
Swansea finally put a 5 game winless streak at Aston Villa last weekend and cost Tim Sherwood his job in the process. Arsenal continue doing what they do best – looking like bombing out of Champions League before stunning Bayern Munich and then looking like EPL winners before losing 3-0 to Sheffield Wednesday. No wonder the fans love the ring into BBC and Talksport and vent. But who cares about the League Cup if you can win the EPL, and this weeknd should be another step to that.
STATISTICS PLEASE – ARSENAL have won 4 straight in the EPL.
GURGLER TIPS: ARSENAL to win
WATFORD v WEST HAM SAT 15:00 UK – FOX SPORTS RED BUTTON
The away kings take the trip across the capital to the team with the least amount of hype in the EPL this season. Watford have done well thus far, and look the most likely to survive at the moment ahead of more hyped Bournemouth and more fancied Norwich of the new boys. West Ham could hardly be more impressive away from home beating Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City and Crystal Palace. Their worst result away? To Sunderland. Are they better away from home against the better sides, we shall see this weekend.
STATISTICS PLEASE – WEST HAM unbeaten away (4 wins 1 draw). WATFORD have scored just 1 goal at home this season. They do have a win though.
GURGLER TIPS: DRAW
NEWCASTLE v STOKE SAT 15:00 UK – FOX SPORTS RED BUTTON
Newcastle were hard done by last weekend as they looked the better side until a red card and penalty put them on the back foot. They may just take that out on stoke this weekend. Stoke seem to do things in runs going 6 games without winning to start the year and then winning 3 in a row. A loss last weekend to Watford could start another run but the win over Chelsea in the League Cup will give them confidence.
STATISTICS PLEASE – NEWCASTLE have the equal most Red Cards with 3. STOKE have won last two away games.
GURGLER TIPS: NEWCASTLE to win
WBA v LEICESTER SAT 15:00 UK – FOX SPORTS RED BUTTON
West Brom have turned around some surprising non-Tony Pulis performances with a 1-0 win at home and away. Leicester remain the surprise of the season thus far and lie fifth and just outside an unlikely European adventure. They took care of fellow surprise for 2015-16 last weekend in Crystal Palace.
STATISTICS PLEASE – WBA have one win at home. LEICESTER are unbeaten away.
GURGLER TIPS: WBA to win
MANCHESTER CITY v NORWICH SAT 15:00 UK – FOX SPORTS RED BUTTON
Manchester City flexed their muscles against Crystal Palace midweek to make up for the stalemate of a Manchester derby. Aside from the draw last weekend they have been in very good form. Norwich have not won since their previous round of the League Cup in September, and the 6-2 loss at Newcastle doesn’t bode well for this weekend.
STATISTICS PLEASE – MANCHESTER CITY have scored 18 goals in last 4 home games.
GURGLER TIPS: MANCHESTER CITY to win
EVERTON v SUNDERLAND SUN 13:30 UK – FOX SPORTS
Sunderland got the better of Newcastle again in their derby clash – and with big Sam Allardyce now in charge and claiming responsibility for the good times maybe the north east side will go on a run to get them into mid table mediocrity safety. Everton have lost two in a row but did get a penalty shoot out win in the League Cup midweek.
STATISTICS PLEASE – EVERTON have 1 win at Home. SUNDERLAND have just 1 point away from home
GURGLER TIPS: SUNDERLAND or DRAW v Everton
SOUTHAMPTON v BOURNEMOUTH SUN 16:00 UK – FOX SPORTS
A south coast derby for the first time since 2011 in League One, and an indication how far these teams have come. Southampton have now established themselves in the EPL and are on the edge of more European football, whereas Bournemouth have been unlucky with injuries and the hype of their arrival to the EPL is calming down as they continue dropping towards the bottom three.
STATISTICS PLEASE – BOURNEMOUTH haven’t beaten Southampton since 2009.
GURGLER TIPS: SOUTHAMPTON to win.
SPURS v ASTON VILLA MON 20:00 UK – FOX SPORTS
It is a match up on paper that looks one sided – a team that has the fewest losses against a team with the fewest wins. Those few wins have seen Tim Sherwood given the boot at Aston Villa, and they need that new manager bounce unless they want to be playing in the Championship next season. They have a chance for something as Spurs for all the undefeatedness have drawn 5 of their 10 games.
STATISTICS PLEASE – SPURS are undefeated since Round 1. ASTON VILLA haven’t won since Round 1.
GURGLER TIPS: SPURS to win.