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September 25, 2018

Desire to climb up should bolster the Gunners today

Arsenal's head coach Arsene Wenger looks on ahead of the UEFA Champions League Play Off first leg match between Fenerbahce and Arsenal at Sukru Saracoglu Stadium in Istanbul on August 21, 2013.
Arsenal's head coach Arsene Wenger looks on ahead of the UEFA Champions League Play Off first leg match between Fenerbahce and Arsenal at Sukru Saracoglu Stadium in Istanbul on August 21, 2013.

Aston Villa Vs Arsenal Today 5pm

My Prediction: Villa 1-2 The Gunners

Aston Villa shocked everyone by securing a 1-0 victory over Liverpool last weekend so they will be high on confidence. Of course it was a Liverpool side dearly missing Daniel Sturridge and I think that affected them psychologically. Villa are having a pretty decent season. They are currently in the enviable position of 2nd in the log with three wins and a draw under their belts; which is a lot more than I can say for my dear Gunners! Arsenal languish down the standings in 7th position, just one point ahead of Man United who are 9th. Ouch! The Gunners have a striking problem with Danny Welbeck yet to show us why manager Arsene Wenger bought him. Alexis Sanchez is probably our overall most consistent player of the season so far with two goals under his belt and an admirable work-rate. Villa have Gabriel Agbonlahor, who also has two goals under his belt. Jack Wilshere has also seen his form return somewhat but the injury to his ankle is a worry going into this weekend’s fixtures. Right now we cannot afford to lose any important player and Wilshere is as important as they come right now. I just hope Wenger will make wise choices this weekend. He’s asked fans to be patient with Welbeck but I ask why he never plays Lukas Podolski up front. The German cannot be worse than Welbeck or Yaya Sanogo for that matter. The Gunners strength will be at home according to captain Mikel Arteta; but I think our desire to climb up the standings and not fall to far behind the leading pack, will drive us today.

 

West Ham Vs Liverpool 730pm

My Prediction: The Hammers 1-2 The Reds

Liverpool did a Man United last weekend and lost a very important game against Aston Villa. The Reds clearly struggled without the services of Daniel Sturridge but it baffled me that Brendan Rodgers chose to keep Rahim Sterling on the bench at such a time. I guess he expected more from Mario Balotelli but he didn’t deliver. He did however score an amazing goal during the week in the Champions League and something tells me that the flood gates are now open. I wouldn’t like to be West Ham right now because the beast in Balotelli has been unleashed – clearly. The Reds were lucky to get that penalty at the end of the Champions League game, and I’m sure they’ll want to prove back in the league that their midweek success wasn’t a fluke. Rodgers just needs to relax and instill belief in his squad, that they can deliver with our without Sturridge. The Hammers have had a strange run so far. They were so unlucky to concede an injury time goal in their game against Spurs on the opening day of the league. They had earned a draw but lost everything. They recovered to beat Crystal Palace, before losing again; this time a convincing 3-1 loss to Southampton. On Monday they drew 2-2 with Hull City so what they will do tonight is unpredictable. They could give the Reds a hard time knowing Villa did it last weekend, but I doubt it. Rodgers has shown he is a smart manager and he will walk away victorious today.

 

Leicester Vs Manchester United Sunday 330pm

My Prediction: Leicester 1-1 The Reds Devils

Oh Leicester, you annoying Leicester. This club is just full of hard committed players who fight to the death! They’ve got some surprise results already in the league with a draw against both Arsenal and Everton, not to mention they beat Stoke City last weekend. They have this annoying player, Leonardo Ulloa who can’t stop scoring; while Jeffrey Schlupp runs riot on the best of defense. They play like a team that has nothing to lose; and they don’t, so the mighty Man United had better watch out. But, United are clearly on their way back. Their performance last weekend, albeit against QPR, was brilliant! Yes this is me talking. Angel Di Maria has fitted in well in the side. It’s only a matter of time before Radamel Falcao begins to score. Wayne Rooney is still his brilliant self and RVP knows he must start scoring again if he is to secure his position up front. Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind have taken control of the midfield and defence so I would not want to be facing these boys right now. But fearless Leicester could still rattle the “devils” cage and stop them in their tracks. Anything is possible in football and I am praying for that anything right now.

 

Manchester City Vs Chelsea Sunday 6pm

My prediction: The Citizens 2-2 The Blues

The fixture of the weekend is slated for kesho and I want a draw. Chelsea have had the much better season; playing and looking like the superstars they are. Four wins out of four in the league and top of the table. But in my view, they haven’t exactly been tested in the league and this will be their first real test of strength. They were humbled at Stamford Bridge midweek when they drew 1-1 with Schalke; a game that Jose Mourinho really should have won. His worry now is that Diego Costa “may not be able to start more than one game a week”. A hamstring strain acquired during his game with Spain early this month has seen his fitness level drop. But even if he comes in late, chances are the wonderman can get a goal. City meanwhile drew 2-2 with The Gunners last weekend in a match that either side could have won. Despite their superior line-up last weekend, they didn’t feel like defending champions. But both these club have players who thrive on the big games so this one will be tough to predict. So I’ll just be safe and bank on a draw.

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