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Soccer Update: Match Day 2 By Ahmed Mustafa

With the jitters of the opening day out of the way and each new signing for those who had the wisdom to invest in players getting that nerve racking debut out of the way, we can now treat ourselves to the best of football.

With none of the newly promoted teams making a splash on the opening day, they will look better their luck this time out.

 Liverpool and spurs both won without Sauraz and Bale, Moyes got off to a winning start and Mourinho returned to the Stamford Bridge with a hard fought victory. Soldado got off the a flyer with spurs, Norwich City’s record Ricky van Wolfswinkel rescued a point for the home team against Everton and Bony Wilfried also got a debut goal.

 Robin van Persie started where he left off last season and Lampard extended his goal scoring record with a wonderfully struck set piece.

Wayne Rooney is cuts an unhappy figure at old trafford and that is sure to be a major source of concern for Manchester United with Chelsea and Arsenal lurking, oh did I say Arsenal, apologies.

Wenger’s team got their season to the worst possible start with a humiliating home defeat to Aston Villa and are already on the back foot in the league race though some would argue that they were never in contention for the title.

Moving on from the trills of match day one, I will look at what we can expect from the fixtures this weekend. There is an early kick off at craven cottage as Fulham trade tackles with Arsenal.

SATURDAY 24th AUGUST.

FULHAM VS ARSENAL

KICK OFF 12.45 pm

VENUE : CRAVERN COTTAGE

With a new Billionaire owner and an away win at sunderland on the opening day, its a dream start to the new league season for Matin jol’s side. Fulham have always had it tough against the gunners in the past but in recent times have held their own against their more illustrious neighbors.

With only one defeat in their last five premiership games against Wenger’s side coupled with arsenal’s uninspiring performance at home to Aston villa on the opening , Fulham must fancy their chances of inflicting more misery on the gunners.

Arsenal were short in numbers at the start of the league last weekend and with further injuries to key players and the suspension of Laurent Koscieny, the arsenal squad looks rather scanty.

The team traveled to Turkey for the all important Champions League qualifier against fenerbache and this must have taken its toll on the players.

Tomas Rosicky was undoubtedly Arsenal’s brightest player on the pitch against the Villains, pulling the strings in midfield, going close to scoring but he alone can’t do it and without any sign of movement in the transfer market of the gunners coupled with a growing injury list, I dare say they would be fortunate to emerge from this game with a draw.

MATCH FACTS : Arsenal have won two of their last five visits to craven cottage, the last a one nil win.

The last two games between these two teams have seen players sent off.

Martin Jol has not won any of his last ten meetings against Arsenal. (L5 D5).

Since the start of 2010, Arsenal have won only four of their last fourteen london derbies away from home.

Arsenal won this fixture last season by just a lone goal.

Arsenal have won their last 5 away games in the premier league.

Fulham have lost their last four home matches in the premier league.

There have been less the three goals in Arsenal’s last three away games in the premier league.

Arsenal. Have kept five clean sheets in their last seven away games.

BETTING TIPS : Under 2.5 goals.

EVERTON VS WESTBROM.

KICK OFF 3.PM

VENUE : GOODISON PARK

Roberto Martinez would take charge of his first home game as Everton manager when Westbrom come call. Everton were unlucky not to collect all three point last weekend against Norwich and the fans would be hoping lady luck smiles on them this time out.

 Goodison park faithfuls would be hoping this would not be the last time they would see Maroune Fellaini and Leighton Baines play for Everton as both are linked with a move to Old trafford.

Westbrom were beaten by Fulham on the opening day and would look to upset the odds when they face a formidable Everton side. Steve clark’s men would have to do without new signing Nicholas Anelka who has been given a leave to mourn his friend and agent.

  Fellow summer acquisition Diego Lugano is also likely to have to wait a bit longer for his debut as well.

 I think Everton should win the game fairly easily.

MATCH FACTS.

  Everton dropped just four points from a possible twenty one from their last seven Premier League home meetings with Westbrom.

   Westbrom have failed to score a goal in four of their last six Premier league games away from home.

   Just one of the previous 14  Premier League games between these two sides has ended in a draw.

 Everton averaged the highest possession figure of all Premier League sides on the opening weekend (67%), as well as the second best passing accuracy (88%).

   Shane Long scored in each of the two Premier League meeting between the two sides in the 65th minute.

  Roberto Martinez has won just one of his last nine game as a manager in the Premier league.(W1,D4,L5).

 The Baggies have won just one of the last ten Premier League games.(W1,D3, L6).

   Jelavic has scored just one goal in his last 20 hours and 36 minutes of Premier league football for Everton.

BETTING TIPS: home team win.

HULL CITY VS NORWICH CITY.

TIME: 3.pm

VENUE:KC STADIUM.

Hull City’s return to top flight football couldn’t have started any tougher as they had to play pre tournament favorites chelsea at the Stanford bridge.

   Hull City would therefore look to register their first goal and possibly points went Norwich City come calling.

   Norwich secured a good point with a draw against Everton and would be expected to build on that and capitalize on Hull City’s premier league inexperience to punish them.

    Norwich would be favorites against newly promoted hull, but they don’t travel well, having won only 1 of their last 10 away games in the Premier League, losing on 7 occasions. Norwich drew 14 times last season, and this might just be their second of the season.

MATCH FACTS:

This is the first time these two teams would meet in the Premier League.

  The two teams last met in the 2010/2011 season in the Championship, Hull city won two nil at Carrow Road and drew at the KC stadium.

   Of the 22 players that started the last time they met, only five , two for Hull and three of Norwich started their opening fixture.

 Norwich City won only two of their away games last season.

  Hull City’s record signing Tom Huddlestone is set to make is full debut against Norwich City.

BETTING TIPS: Both teams to score.

SOUTHAMPTON VS SUNDERLAND.

KICK OFF : 3pm

 VENUE : Saint Mary’s Stadium.

Maurico Pochettino could name an unchanged lineup from the one that won one nil away at Westbrom for this encounter.

   Nathaniel cylne remains the only doubt after he missed the opening day fixture.

   Southampton would be looking to new signing Victor Wanyama and Morgan Schneiderlin to stifle the midfield creativity of Sunderland and free up space for Gaston Ramirez to operate.

   Both teams enter this game coming different ends of a 1-0 scoreline. While southampton beat West Brom, Sunderland lost to Fulham.

  Both teams would be looking to get 3 points in this game but my guts tell me the Saints will nick the one.

MATCH FACTS:

 Southampton have now broken their transfer record with the signing of Pablo Osvaldo from Roma for 15m pounds.

Following defeat at Fulham, Sunderland have won just two of their last 16 Premier league games.

 Sunderland only scored two headed goals last season, the lowest by any team.

Sunderland have lost 6 of their last 7 games away from home in the Premier League. (W1,L6).

The last 3 Premier League meeting between these two sides have seen just 4 goals scored in total.

No English player has scored more goals than Rickie Lambert since the start of 2012/2013 (16).

Following his goal against West Brom last weekend, Rickie Lambert has now scored 29 of 29 penalties he has taken for Southampton.

BETTING TIPS : Home team win.

NEWCASTLE VS WEST HAM.

KICK OFF: 3pm

VENUE :    Saint James park.

Newcastle slumped to a heavy 4-0 defeated to Manchester City on the opening weekend and would be looking to bounce back.

   It would be interesting to watch if Yohan Cabaye who missed the last game, would be featured in this game. Cabaye is at the center of a transfer saga that might see him join Arsenal.

 Steven Taylor is suspended after picking up a red card in the defeat at the city of Manchester stadium. Yannga-Mbiwa is set to fill at center back while Davide Santon would return to left back.

   West Ham began this campaign with a comfortable 2-0 home win over newly promoted Cardiff but Newcastle United offers a different level of challenge.

  Stewart Downing would have to wait a bit longer to  make his debut for the club as Big Sam is set to named an unchanged site from the side that defeated Cardiff.

MATCH FACTS

Newcastle have failed to score in 5 of their last 7 games in the Premier League.

Newcastle have lost their last 3 games at home in the Premier League.they have never lost 4 in a row.

Newcastle have suffered just 1 defeat in their last 10 premier League home games against West Ham (W5, D4 L1) but this 1 lose came last season.

West Ham have failed to win 13 of their last 14 away games.

The hammers are the only side to have stopped Newcastle from scoring home and away  last season.

Kevin Nolan has scored in three of his last four games between this two sides although 2 of those goals came for Newcastle.

West Ham were the only team not to win consecutive Premier League games last season. They can do that with a win in this game.

After creating the most chances without an assist in the Premier League last term (46), Matt Jarvis assisted Joe Cole’s goal with his first chance created in 2013/2014.

BETTING TIPS : home win /draw.

STOKE CITY VS CRYSTAL PALACE.

KICK OFF :3 pm

VENUE : Britannia Stadium.

Both these teams lost their opening games by the same score line. Stoke lose by a lone goal at Anfield while Palace surrendered 3 points to Tottenham.

 Asmir Begovic would be wishing he  has  quite afternoon where he does not have to do too much.

 Mark Hughes will look to get his side to a winning start to the new season and I can already see the difference in the managerial styles between him and Tony Pulis.

 Under Pulis though, Stoke were difficult and sometimes impossible to beat at the Britannia stadium.

 It would be interesting to see if they can continue the same tradition under the watchful eyes of Mark Hughes.

  Roberto Soldado marked his arrival to the Premier League with a powerfully stuck penalty that condemned Palace to their first home defeat of the season and with the Eagles as odds on favorites for the drop, it would be nothing short of an upset if they got anything from this game.

  They are a team that love to play the typical English game of fast paces and quick breaks with a lot of long balls and this might just they undoing.

 The two sides last met in the F.A cup third round last season, with Stoke winning comfortably 4-1 in the replay after a goalless stalemate in london.

MATCH FACTS

Stoke have scored three goals in their their last six home games in the Premier League.

Asmir Begovic was forced into making the most in the Premier League on the opening weekend (10) also equaling his record tally in a Premier League game.

Stoke allowed Liverpool 11 shots on target in their game last weekend. The Potters have not allowed their opponent more than this in a single Premier League game since April 2010.

Jon Walters has started 92 consecutive games for Stoke City, the current record for an outfield player in the Premier League.

Stoke have won four and lost just one of their last six meetings with Palace.

Crystal Palace have not won an away game in the Premier League since October 30th 2004, losing 8 and drawing 5.

Crystal Palaca have won just two of their previous 19 Premier League games in the month of August. (W2,D7,L10).

Crystal Palace picked up just 35% (25 of 72) of their Championship points away from home.

BETTING TIPS: home team win with under 2.5 goals.

ASTON VILLA VS LIVERPOOL.

KICK OFF: 5.30 pm

New manchester United manager David Moyes had complained about the fixtures his team had to face in the opening weeks of the Premier League season nut for me, no team have been dealt a harder blow than the Villains by the fixture.

 Away to Arsenal of the opening weekend ( they did win that by the way) away in midweek to Chelsea (gave them a scare) and now at home to Liverpool this weekend. Don’t rule out a surprise in this games.

 With free scoring Christian Benteke in this side there will always be goals. The Belgian got two at the Emirates and one at Stanford bridge. I would not bet against him scoring again this weekend.

 Liverpool got their season off the a winning start, thanks to a solitary goal by Daniel Sturidge but they could have gotten more but for the magnificent Asmir Begovic.

 Luiz Suarez is still out of contention for a starting place as he still has a 5 match suspension to serve, whether he will still be an Anfield player by the end of the transfer window is other matter entirely.

 Liverpool will want to keep up the pace with the top teams in the Premier League this season and they must fancy their chance of steal all 3 point at villa park.

MATCH FACTS

Liverpool have kept a clean sheet in 6 of their last 8 Premier League games.

Liverpool has won their last 3 Premier league games.

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has scored 7 goals in his last 6 Premiers League games.

Liverpool attempted more shots than any other side on the opening weekend (20) to follow up their league-high tally of 528 shots in 2012/2013.

Since his Premier League debut, Liverpool have had a higher win percentage without Luis Suarez in the side (64%) than they have won with him (39%) in the competition.

Steven Gerrard have scored more goals against Aston Villa(11) in the Premier league than he has against any other team including one each in the their last two Premier League meetings.

Overall only Manchester United(13) have won more games than Liverpool(10) against Aston Villa at the Villa park in the Premier League.

Aston Villa have conceded a goal in each of their last 11 Premier League games at Villa park.

Aston Villa have won just one of their last 15 Premier League games at home to Liverpool. (D5,L9).

Christian Benteke scored 3 goals against liverpool last season, more than any other player against the reds.

Benteke has scored 8 goals in his last 8 games in the Premier League at Villa park.

BETTING TIPS : there will be goals in this game. Both teams will find the net.

CARDIFF VS MANCHESTER CITY.

KICK OFF 4pm ( August 25th)

VENUE :Cardiif city stadium

Table topping Manchester City travel to newly promoted side Cardiff this weekend in what is expected to be a second Premier League win for Manuel Pellegrini’s side.

 Having already blown Newcastle aside on the opening weekend, many are beginning to tip City to reclaim the title.

 Pellegrini seems to have added the missing piece to the juganuat of a team with the arrival of Navas, Fernandinho and Negredo.

City would look to play some fast paced football as they will want to use the speed of Navas to break down defenses and we know he has got the quality.

 Though he didn’t get on the scorers sheet last time out, I still think Edin Dzenko should get the nod to start upfront in the games as should Sergio Aguero.

City have a team that can strike fear into the hearts of any team across Europe and I just can’t see past them winning this game.

 Cardiff fell to a 2-0 defeat away to West Ham and I saw nothing in that game that suggests they have what it takes to trouble this hugely talented Manchester City side and it would be the result of the weekend if they are able to get even a draw in the match.

Andreas Cornelius is a doubt but could take his place on the bench after missing the 2-0 defeat at West Ham, Andrew Taylor is expected to replace Declan John at left back after serving his suspension.

City would miss the leadership of Kompany but should deploy Javier Garcia to fill in at center back.

MATCH FACTS:

Cardiif City won more points at home in the Championship than any other team in 2012/2013.

Cardiff have lost just one of their last 12 home games in the league competition.(W5,D6,L1).

The Bluebirds attempted just one shot one target in their opening Premier League game against West Ham.

Should Craig Bellamy score, he would become the first player in the history to the Premeir league to score for seven different clubs in the competition.

Manchester City have kept a clean sheet in 12 of their 19 Premier League games so far in 2013.

Despite not scoring, Edin Dzenko’s total of 8 shots versus Newcastle was more than he managed in any Premier League game last season.

Just 12 (33%) of Sergio Aguero’s goals in the Premier League have come away from home.

Manchester City  won just one of their last three away games in the Premier league against newly promoted sides in 2012/2013; losing at Southampton (1-3) and drawing at West Ham (0-0).

BETTING TIPS:  Manchester City win.

TOTTENHAM VS SWANSEA.

KICK OFF: 4pm

VENUE : White hart lane

Both these teams had impressive showing in the Europa league on Thursday and they will want to continue in that winning state.

 Andreas Villas-Boas should have a few selection headache after the impressive showing by his team on thusday.

Etienne Capoue did well once again after an impressive debut against Crystal Palace and could replace Moussa Dembele in midfield.

 Adros Townsend stole the show on thursday and I would be hugely surprised if the young man doesn’t get a starting berth in this game.

With Gareth Bale’s deal to Real Madrid all but done, it would be nice to see other spurs players step up and Soldado is already endearing himself to the fans with stellar performances early on.

Swansea fell the superiority of Manchester United but quickly picked themselves up and responded brilliantly with a comprehensive victory on Thursday in the Europa league.

Their free flowing attacking football is always a beauty to behold and with their confidence sky high, who says they cannot cause problems for Tottenham.

This is sure to be an interesting match and the result can go either way, but I have to fancy tottenham for a win simply because they are at home.

MATCH FACTS.

 Tottenham have won all 3 of their last Premier League home games.

Tottenham have won 3 of the last meetings with Swansea in all competition.

Swansea have lost their last 3 games in the Premier League.

Swansea have won just one of they last nine(D3,L5)  games away in the Premier League.

Swansea have lost and failed to score in three of their last four visits to london.

Wilfried Bony scored with his first shot on target in the Premier league last weekend against Manchester United. He was the top scorer in the Dutch ervdividie in 2012/2013, with 31 goals.

BETTING TIPS: Tottenham win with both teams scoring.

MANCHESTER UNITED VS CHELSEA.

KICK OFF 8pm (Monday 26th August).

VENUE: Old Trafford.

David Moyes could not have had a tougher opposition for his first home game in charge as United’s manager,the Scotsman will make his formal bow at Old trafforad when his team face familiar foes in Chelsea.

Chelsea of course have a new man back in charge and Jose Mourinho would be looking to hurt Manchester United’s title defense early on.

Mourinho remember made his Premier League debut with a win over United thanks to a goal by Eidur Gudjohnsen.

With both sides starting the season perfectly, it would be interesting to see who has the advantage in the game.

With chelsea winning easy over newly promoted Hull city and also rising to see off Aston Villa in midweek, a win in this clash could see them put some daylight between themselves and United.

United have one of the best strikers in the world in Robin van Persie and them ability to bring him into play could swing the result of this game. The likes of Carrick who had a brilliant game against swansea would once again when to be at his best and dictate the play from midfield.

 The Red Devils however need to keep a close watch on the likes on Hazard, Oscar and Mata as they could hurt United on the break.

Chelsea front men could need all of the craftiness to get any sniff of goal with the ever present and reliable Nemanja Vidic marshaling the United back line.

The midfield battle in the all important fixture will be epic, which ever team is able to control the midfield play is most likely going to pick the 3 points on offer monday night.

Wayne Rooney would be at the center of media attention when these to teams clash as chelsea have made no secrets of their intention to snatch him off United’s payroll.

It is very unlike that he will feature in the games, at least from the start of it and we will look to see whether Moyes will deploy Rooney at all in this game.

Will mourinho keep faith with Torres or will he go for raw power and deploy Lukaku who had a storming game last time out against United.

All this questions and more will be answered on monday night.

 MATCH FACTS:

Manchester United have won 14 of their last 16 home games in the Premier League.

Chelsea have scored at least 2 goals in 9 of the last 10 premier League games.

Chelsea have won 6 of the last 7 games in the Premier League.

Chelsea could become the first ever team to win 2 Premier league games at Old Trafford in a calendar year.

BETTING TIPS : Both teams to score with a possible but risky home win.

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