So the second addition of predictions has arrived, eagerly anticipated by at least 2 people, so without further ado, lets start.
Arsenal vs Spurs
Having looked at the games this week nothing stood out as special, other than a London derby.
On paper this looks like a tight affair, but the teams couldn’t be performing more differently. Arsenal sit 4th with Spurs way down in 17th. Bowes side have notched up 7 wins in their last 8 games all told and are performing well. It’s a very strong first team and with any amount of depth in there. With no first team injuries or suspensions, Bowes will be expecting to put out his strongest side for this.
Spurs by contrast have picked up just one win all season, and that was against the equally pants Internacional. Goals have been hard to come by for Foxy Piero’s side, but not as hard as clean sheets, with them so far keeping out the opposition on a massive no occasions. Its hard to see why the side are underperforming so badly, it’s a good team with plenty of good players, but perhaps bad tactics, poor motivation, bad luck, or just being hated by the gods of RNG have contributed to the current situation.
So as mentioned, a good match-up on paper, but an awful match-up on form. I’ll take Arsenal to carry on carrying on and win this by a couple.
Arsenal 2-0 Spurs
Villarreal vs Genoa
This promised to be a tight affair as 6th play 7th.
Villarreal have looked a little patchy this season so far, some stonking good wins followed by some awful losses and the only thing they’ve been consistent about is being inconsistent. Gangster’s side look ok at this level, a decent starting 11, but a poorer aging second string. They’re not bad right through the side but lack any stand out quality, unlike their opponents.
Genoa looks a class above their opposition here, with at least 4 potential match winners in the side. They also recently picked up Andy Robertson from some mug (honestly, who’s stupid enough to sell him!) and have a lot of quality right through the side. They didn’t get off to the best of starts but have been playing well over the last few games and look like a tough opponent. The team also has some sort of Merseyside vibe to it I can’t quite put my finger on…
Villarreal aren’t bad, but I can’t see past Genoa here and fancy their firepower to be too much for Villarreal.
Hellas Verona vs Chievo Verona – Derby della Scala
Division 3 was another where nothing immediately jumped out, but this looks the most interesting game on paper. Or Word, more specifically.
Hellas have enjoyed a good start to the season and have just 1 league defeat so far. They’ve been scoring plenty and kept it fairly tight at the back at the same time. Despite this, they find themselves 5 points from top of the table Liege who have been steamrollering opposition, so will be hoping they can keep their momentum up to challenge at the top. It’s a fairly solid side for this division, especially across the middle where they have a glut of options. Its also a relatively young side and has fair scope to improve going forward. All in all a bright future looks on the horizon for Libras-Boas side.
Chievo made a fairly poor start to the season and dropped a lot of points. They’ve got back on the boil recently with 3 wins from 3 however and will also be hoping their momentum carries them forward. The side isn’t as strong as Hellas’s though, and they’re another team who are noticeably weaker at the back than other areas. They’ll be relying on their midfield to cover most of the work here, and while it’s a good midfield, its simply not as good as their opponents. Chievo have scored a fair amount this season though, so if they can get ahead they may be able to grind a result out.
Looking at the two sides its hard not to fancy Hellas for this, a strong side and better form, couple that with home advantage and I think Chievo’s mini revival will come to a halt here.
Hellas V 2-1 Chievo V
Levante vs Celt Vigo
This was an easy game to pick as 2nd play 3rdwith just 1 point between them.
Levant have been excellent so far this season and might be forgiven for wondering just how they aren’t top (they should probably write to Dr. Martinez about this, but its unlikely they’ll be able to understand the Dr’s hand writing in any reply). It’s a strong side at this level and unlike every team I looked at last week, have decent defenders. They also look to have some younger legs than their opponents and I have to wonder if that’ll be telling come the end of the game.
Celta have also been performing very well so far and have lost just once all season. Like their opponents, they’re pretty well balanced right through with no obvious weak areas, but also no stand out players. They’ve also been scoring for fun (and well, because they also get paid for it) having bagged at least 1 goal in every game so far. Malcom’s side are a little older than Levante’s, and I have to wonder if that experience will be telling come the end of the game. Have I used that line already somewhere?
This looks to be very tight, and I wouldn’t like to pick a winner, so I won’t.
Levante 2-2 Celta Vigo
Flamengo vs Malaga
This was another game that picked itself. A relegation dogfight that could turn out to be critical later in the season.
Flamengo started the season horribly and only got their first win on Sunday. Clearly the Brazilians are slow starters, but seem to have found a little form in the last few matches. Its certainly not a bad side on paper, so there’s no obvious reason for such a poor start. Their recent upward trend seems to have coincided with the manager being on holiday however, so read into that what you will.
Malaga seem to be the most black or white side in the leagues, they either win or they lose with nothing, so far, in between. They’ve lost more than won however and have shipped a fair amount of goals in the process. Again, its another side that isn’t bad at all, but it’s aging in some key areas and perhaps those old legs are starting to struggle.
These two sides are well matched with players, and neither has a clear advantage in any area of personnel or form. I can’t pick a winner here.
Flamengo 1-1 Malaga
That’s yer lot this week. Happy reading.