The Premier League is finally upon us! After a long summer of big name signings, player dumps, and big name player pursuit rumors only to be let down once again by a frugal manager who keeps his wallet locked tighter than Fort Knox (sorry fellow Gooners), the long awaited season is here. To kick off the season (no pun intended) and the start of each week, Chris Wirth and I will be giving you our picks to win each game and offering our insight for each matchup. Now, to make this a little fun, we’re going to make this competitive. Each correct pick gets a point, and an extra point goes to whoever get’s the score-line correct. The points will be tallied up at the end of each week, and the person with the most points at the end of the season wins. Now, without further adieu, here are our picks for week 1 of the Premier League Season.
Saturday, August 17, 2013
7:45 ET Liverpool v Stoke City
Gage- This one can go either way, but I say given the drama surrounding Liverpool and Suarez, they’ll be lucky to salvage a point against Stoke. This one ends in a 1-1 draw.
Chris- Liverpool 2-1, Suarez drama will not hold Liverpool back far enough for stoke to get points.
10:00 ET Arsenal v Aston Villa
Gage- Arsenal 2-0. I’m trying very hard not to be biased on this one. Wenger’s side may not have had the big name summer fans had hoped for but they may not need it. The boys hit their stride late last season, and could see similar success at the start of this one. They’ve had time to gel; now they’re out to prove they have what it takes to contend.
Chris- Arsenal 3-2, Aston Villa have been putting up some big goal numbers this summer. Arsenal fall behind early but battle back and dominate the majority of play.
10:00 ET Norwich City v Everton
Gage- Everton come in and squeak out a 1-0 victory. The Everton attack will test Norwich, but Norwich is physical enough to keep this from being a rout. However, they’re lack of scorers up front won’t help them.
Chris- Draw 1-1, Everton will be more attacking but Norwich are a strong physical team to deal with early on with the change in style for Everton.
10:00 ET Sunderland v Fulham
Gage- Altidore is coming off an impressive run with the USA national squad netting 7 goals in his last 5 matches. He’ll net one for Sunderland in his Premier League debut and give them the win over Fulham. Sunderland 2 Fulham 1.
Chris- Sunderland 1-0, Could go either way with this game but I’ll commit to Sunderland.
10:00 ET West Bromwich Albion v Southampton
Gage- West Brom got off to a good start last season, and I expect similar success at the start of this one as well. Newly promoted Southampton could stave off relegation in the long run, but I’m giving advantage in this one to the home team. West Brom 1-0 Southampton.
Chris- Draw 1-1, West Brom started out last season on a great run but some changes at the club could lead to some growing pains early this season.
10:00 ET West Ham United v Cardiff City
Gage- It would be hard for me not to pick West Ham in this one, simply because I don’t know that Cardiff can compete in the Premier League. 2-0 win for the Hammers.
Chris- West Ham 2-0, Welcome to the Premier League Cardiff City. Have to go with West Ham until Cardiff shows some form against the EPL shedule.
12:30 ET Swansea City v Manchester United
Gage- I’m going to go out on a limb here and say Swansea takes this game 1-0. Swansea is coming off their best season yet, and this game last season saw a hard fought 1-1 draw against the red devils.
Chris- Manchester United 3-2. I predict a shortage of goals overall this season but this early season matchup could see Manchester United rely on firepower for the 3 points.
Sunday, August 18, 2013
8:30 ET Crystal Palace v Tottenham Hotspur
Gage- Despite Spurs depressing summer player dump, while they desperately attempt to cling to Gareth Bale, one name for people to keep an eye on is Roberto Soldado. He is more than capable of providing firepower to assist Bale. However, unless Bale goes off, look for this to end 2-0 to Spurs. But don’t expect this same success throughout the season, especially if Bale leaves for La Liga.
Chris- Draw 1-1, Going out on a limb here, Crystal Palace are riding the newly promoted high while Tottenham have had a depressing off season sending players away and clinging to Bale. Bale could always go off for 3 but I will take the underdogs getting a point.
11:00 ET Chelsea v Hull City
Gage- 3-0 Rout by Chelsea AT LEAST. If Chelsea adapts to Mourinho’s style of coaching, they could be very dangerous. Look for them to flex their muscles in this game. Sorry Hull, welcome back to the big leagues.
Chris- Chelsea 2-0, This could be a game that gets lopsided quickly but I think Chelsea will adopt that Mourinho “defense first and score just enough to win” approach. And let me predict Lampard will be back in favor and rightfully so.
Monday, August 19, 2013
3:00 ET Manchester City v Newcastle United
Gage- Manchester City looked miserable at best in their 3-1 rout at the hands of Arsenal. While it was only a friendly, they showed some obvious signs of growing pains with their new coach. They’ll pull out the narrow 2-1 win, but only just.
Chris- Manchester City 3-1, Manchester City have the best group of players, they have players who do not make the game day squad that could start for most other EPL teams.