The EPL returns and to Fox Sports screens for Australians, and enjoy it whilst you can, with Optus snaring the EPL rights for the next 3 years from 2016-17. Who knows how you’ll be able to view it from next years, so enjoy it whilst it is part of your current Fox Sports package.
The multi view on the Red Button and the ability to watch four games at once will be sorely missed next year.
MANCHESTER CITY v LIVERPOOL – Sat 17:30 UK – FOX SPORTS 4
SPURS v WEST HAM – Sun 16:00 UK – FOX SPORTS 4
WATFORD v MANCHESTER UTD – Sat 12:30 UK – OZ TV – FOX SPORTS 4
Watford were the most opaque of the promoted teams, put in the bottom three as very few knew what they were capable of and had no heart warming story of Bournemouth, but they are currently the best of the promoted teams in 11th, just a point behind both Liverpool based clubs with their record of 4-4-4 from 12 games. Manchester Utd are currently just two points behind the leaders on the other side of Manchester, but depending on who you ask depends on how they’re going. They are missing both Rooney and Martial for this game, and depending on who you ask again if Rooney will be missed. It looks a low scoring affair at best.
WATFORD have scored just 3 goals at home in 6 games. MAN UTD have not conceded in their last 3 games.
GURGLER TIP – UNDER 2.5 GOALS
CHELSEA v NORWICH – Sat 15:00 UK – OZ TV – FOX SPORTS 3
Hard to imagine Chelsea are just three points from the bottom three after 12 games, and the question is how bad will it get before the recovery, which will no doubt start in January where Russian money can make all the difference. As a fan of a Championship side, we don’t want Chelsea’s season to get much worse as promotion is hard enough without a behemoth in the division. A team who were promoted last year are Norwich, who owed a lot of their season to some very strong away form under Alex Neil. This year that away form is not quite as good, highlighted by 1 win in 6 and a 6-2 thrashing at Newcastle. Previous clashes would have this a certain Chelsea win, but who knows at the moment.
CHELSEA have just 7 points at home this season, NORWICH just 5 points away.
GURGLER TIP – CHELSEA to win
EVERTON v ASTON VILLA – Sat 15:00 UK – OZ TV – FOX SPORTS RED BUTTON
Aston Villa’s new manager Remy Garde got a reasonable result last start at home to Manchester City, and a trip to Everton will prove if there has been any progress. Everton are going slightly under the radar this season, with no big name German manager of their local rivals, whilst being neither particularly outstanding or awful.
ASTON VILLA are still winless since the first round.
GURGLER TIP – Too hard, maybe a draw.
NEWCASTLE v LEICESTER – Sat 15:00 UK – OZ TV – FOX SPORTS RED BUTTON
Newcastle got out of the bottom three by Bournemouth somehow not being able to translate dominance into winning goals, and they should be riding high for this home game. Leicester are still third and just one point from the top and deservedly so. It provides a great example to all the lower tier EPL sides that it’s not impossible to compete. Leicester are unbeaten away from home this season too. (6-3-3-0). They are also third in both home and away form. This should be one of the more interesting 3pm kick offs.
LEICESTER and NEWCASTLE have almost the same goals for and against away and home respectively. LEICESTER are 12-9 from 6 away, NEWCASTLE are 11-9 at home.
GURGLER TIP – DRAW
SOUTHAMPTON v STOKE – Sat 15:00 UK – OZ TV – FOX SPORTS RED BUTTON
Battle amongst two teams that wouldn’t mind playing in the Europa League by the end of the year and are currently 4 points apart in the compacted midfield.
SOUTHAMPTON and STOKE are second and third in the last 6 form guide respectively.
SWANSEA v BOURNEMOUTH – Sat 15:00 UK – OZ TV – FOX SPORTS RED BUTTON
Could be Gary Monk’s last game in charge or he was already sacked depending on what you read, but he is still in charge and luckily in charge of Swansea as another club would probably have moved him on by now. Not that he deserves, but sometimes deserve got nothing to do with it. Bournemouth were the feel good story at the beginning of the season but the footballing gods weren’t listening as injuries and bad luck has seen them drop into the bottom three, a place that will be hard to get out of given their lack of goals at the moment. Silver lining is that with a quieter star no one will try and steal Eddie Howe for now.
BOURNEMOUTH have won just one of their last 9 games. SWANSEA are 1 in 8.
GURGLER TIP – SWANSEA to win.
WBA v ARSENAL – Sat 15:00 UK – OZ TV – FOX SPORTS 4
The Arsenal factor keeps this game off the Red Button, but as a neutral it doesn’t enthuse that much. WBA aren’t the most interesting team to watch and with Arsenal’s injuries and international fatigued players this could one of the quieter games of the weekend. Wait for the 6 goals thriller now that has been said.
ARSENAL have the best away record, WBA have the second worse home record.
GURGLER TIP – ARSENAL to win.
MANCHESTER CITY v LIVERPOOL – Sat 17:30 UK – OZ TV – FOX SPORTS 4
The closest thing to a blockbuster this weekend, but it’s a bit of a “Meh” Blockbuster. The big interest is Raheem Sterling’s form and reaction to playing against his old side after the acrimonious split in the English summer. And there’s also the side attraction of Jurgen Klopp and whether he can claim another big scalp after defeating Chelsea away last start. Could be a great game, but one to record for Sunday morning for Australian viewers. Stuff 3:30am.
MANCHESTER CITY have the best home form in the EPL. LIVERPOOL have lost just once one the road – but won just twice.
SPURS v WEST HAM – Sun 16:00 UK – OZ TV – FOX SPORTS 4
A cross London rivalry that may grow over the next decade when West Ham get their keys to their massive new home at the Olympic Stadium. Spurs are unbeaten since the first game of the season, and West Ham have been one of the surprise teams of the season, and currently sit in 6th just five points from the top and equal with this weekend’s opponents.
SPURS are unbeaten at home, and WEST HAM have lost just once away, and have beaten Arsenal, Manchester City ad Liverpool away this season.
CRYSTAL PALACE v SUNDERLAND – Mon 20:00 UK – OZ TV – FOX SPORTS 4
A game that some outside of the fan base of these two sides might forget is on. Not The Gurgler, we like Crystal Palace and the way they play. Sunderland meanwhile continue their annual progress – sacking a manager – hiring anew hope – beating Newcastle in the local derby and underwhelming from that point on. Only the late season revival remains to complete the cycle.
SUNDERLAND have just 1 point and a negative 12 goal difference away from home this season.
GURGLER TIP – DRAW
SUPER MULTI 1 – WINS
MANCHESTER UTD to beat Watford
CHELSEA to beat Norwich
SWANSEA to beat Bournemouth
SOUTHAMPTON to beat Stoke
ARSENAL to beat WBA
MANCHESTER CITY to beat Liverpool
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SUPER MULTI 2 – DRAWS
Newcastle v Leicester
Spurs v West Ham
Crystal Palace v Sunderland
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