Liverpool did not manage to beat Everton in their derby match last week and but a draw is an okay result as well. This week, they’ve been linked and rumored with quite a few players on the market but I won’t speculate or comment on it. Also, Babel is on the way out of Liverpool to Hoffenheim, Darren Bent has gone on to Aston Villa, Steven Pienaar has joined Tottenham. If I had to pick, a solid defender who can play left/center/right and an established striker will be the must buys for Liverpool.
On to last week’s predictions then. As mentioned earlier, Liverpool drew with Everton and ruined my prediction. But Chelsea performed up to expectations with a precise 2-0 victory over Blackburn. Nice! ManC just managed to edge out Wolves in a high scoring 4-3 game while ManU and Tottenham played to a 0-0 draw. I had thought the last game would be a scoring game but seems like both were playing it defensive. Oh well. On to another week after a disappointing 1-3 prediction loss.
This week sees quite a few teams with double games. Liverpool travel to Wolves on Saturday before welcoming Fulham on Wednesday. This gives them 3 days in between to recover and train. I must note that this space of 3 days is the most of any team (except Fulham) playing 2 games this week. The other 4 teams play on Tuesday which only gives a space of 2 days in between.
Liverpool should pick up on the momentum and pace from their draw against Everton but they’ve not played well away from home this season (or indeed in most seasons past). Still, Wolves are in the bottom 3 and they are Wolves. I am sorely tempted to predict a victory for Liverpool (2 years ago I’d have said 2-0 to Liverpool) but at the moment, I’m sure that many will be happy as long as we don’t lose this game. The players will hopefully be up for this game and give the fans some happiness. WTH, 2-1 victory to Liverpool. Sorry, can’t resist.
Next game, Liverpool vs Fulham on Wednesday. A home game which should be in Liverpool’s favor. Though the last one didn’t go as I predicted, I will still stick with my guts and call this a 2-0 win for Liverpool. That’s 6 points (hopefully) for Liverpool to pick up over this game week.
Other interesting games are ManU vs Birmingham and then ManU @ Blackpool. ManU are league leaders and have not lost a game all season. I doubt they will be losing this game week either. Birmingham is quite solid at home and they usually rise to their oppositions level. However, this is an away game and Rooney will be keen to put in a performance after having Berbatov and Nani grabbing most headlines. Blackpool is not doing badly in their first season in the top flight are they? They have a few talented players and coupled with a good dose of hardwork and teamwork, it is no surprise that they remain quite comfortably away from the drop zone. ManU to win 3-1 against Birmingham then proceed to win 2-1 @ Blackpool.
Those will be my 4 predictions for this week and hopefully I will raise my right-wrong ratio higher this week.
My team this week will be made up of many double gamers as I hope to capitalize on them to try and catch up with my brother.
Carson (WBA) remains in goal for the value of 1 and will never return -ve points.
Skrtel (LIV), Evatt (BPL), Eardley (BPL) makes up my defense (might still swap Eardley for Kelly (LIV)).
Barton (NEW), VdV (TOT), Fletcher (MANU), Meireles (LIV) are in my midfield.
Dzeko (MANC), Torres (LIV) and Rooney (MANU) lead my strikeforce.
So that’s a total of 7 double gamers this week with 2 from ManU, 3 from Liverpool and 2 from Blackpool.
Additional – Thoughts on the transfers so far
Darren Bent leaving for Aston Villa is a move that will boost Aston Villa’s survival chances but at £18 million, I think it is a gamble that Aston Villa is playing. If they survive to play in the Permiership next season, they can start building the team with Bent in place but their only worry is if this is still not enough to get them higher up the table. In contrast, VdV’s £8 million move to Spurs is a bargain.
Steven Pienaar moving to Spurs is puzzling me to be honest. Tottenham are not short of midfielders as they have Bale, VdV, Kranjcar, Modric, O’Hara, Lennon, Jenas and Huddlestone already. Besides, they’ve just let Bentley go. Steven Pienaar was enjoying a good time in Everton with regular playing time. Its hard to see him replacing Bale, VdV, Lennon or Modric anytime soon. Though at only £3 million, it is a bargain to be sure. I’d have preferred Spurs getting a defender or proven striker (most goals are coming from midfield at the moment) to make them more formidable.
Ryan Babel’s imminent departure to Hoffenheim. There was a lot of hype around this player when he first signed for Liverpool and I recall that I had also supported his move to Liverpool as I felt that he could be a useful player for us up front. However, due to reasons best known to himself and the coaching staff at Anfield, he did not really impress the managers there and now looks to be on his way out. With Torres and Ngog left as the primary strikeforce, I would love Liverpool to bring in another striker of reasonable talent to help out Torres as I feel that Ngog is not yet mature enough to play consistently. Maybe in a few years. I wish Babel the best of luck in his new endeavor.