EPL Week 24: Bleacher Report Writers Make Their Expert EPL Picks

Dan TalintyreSenior Analyst IIJanuary 28, 2013

EPL Week 24: Bleacher Report Writers Make Their Expert EPL Picks

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    After a drama-filled weekend of FA Cup action, it's time for us to head back into the English Premier League and all that's taking place within it at the moment.

    The title race heating up, the quest for a top-four finish continuing to sort itself out, the relegation battle waging on—it's no doubt going to be another great week of EPL action.

    Read on to see who our Bleacher Report writers think will and won't be in the winners circle after this week with another round of their expert EPL predictions.

Leaderboard

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    For those not familiar with the way this works, each writer has to pick a team and a score for every match in the Premier League that week.

    A correct pick (e.g. Chelsea win) will earn them one point, and a correct score (e.g. Chelsea win 3-0) sees them earn three points.

    Also, for the next few weeks or so, our writers will try to predict the total number of goals scored over the course of the round—predicting whether the goals will be "over" or "under" a determined amount.

    For example, the goal limit might be set at 28.5 goals. Our writers will predict whether there will be (a) 28 goals or fewer or (b) more than 29 goals over the weekend. A correct selection will earn them five points, with the total goal amount changing from week to week.

    Let's take a look at our Bleacher Report experts and how their predictions have held up through the opening weeks of the competition.

    Mohamed Al-Hendy World Football Featured Columnist 189 points
    Dan Talintyre World Football Featured Columnist 185 points
    Joe Tansey EPL Featured Columnist 175 points
    Karl Matchett World Football Featured Columnist 160 points
    Michael Cummings World Football Lead Writer 158 points
    Sam Tighe World Football Tactical Analyst 152 points
    Will Tidey World Football Lead Writer & Editor 148 points

Aston Villa vs. Newcastle United

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    Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 2:45 p.m. ET

    Our Premier League action kicks off this week with a match that could turn out to have serious ramifications in the relegation battle this season.

    Both Aston Villa and Newcastle United are struggling domestically, and both could desperately use the points here to further their survival campaign.

    The Magpies are yet to record a win away from home all season, but if they're going to do it this year, surely playing an out-of-sorts Villa side is one of their better chances.

    Paul Lambert's men have been eliminated in two competitions in the space of a week and are certainly no guarantees to get themselves the win at home, especially given the defensive recruits that Alan Pardew has brought in over the transfer window.

    Dan Talintyre Draw, 0-0
    Joe Tansey Aston Villa win 1-0 
    Karl Matchett Aston Villa win 2-1 
    Michael Cummings Newcastle win 2-1 
    Mohamed Al-Hendy Newcastle win 2-1 
    Sam Tighe Draw, 1-1 
    Will Tidey Newcastle win 2-1 

Queens Park Rangers vs. Manchester City

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    Tuesday, November 29, 2013 at 2:45 p.m. ET

    Bottom-placed Queens Park Rangers will host the defending Premier League champions Manchester City this weekend in one of the more lopsided fixtures on the table.

    It would appear like a simple win for Roberto Mancini's men, but given the way that Harry Redknapp's men have played domestically of late, they certainly cannot be counted out. Performances against Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea prove that to the true.

    In fact, the London club haven't lost in any of their past three matches, whilst City will be looking to make it five wins in a row after this weekend's fixture.

    Assuming they get the three points, that is.

    Dan Talintyre Manchester City win 3-1
    Joe Tansey Draw, 2-2 
    Karl Matchett Manchester City win 2-0 
    Michael Cummings Manchester City win 2-0 
    Mohamed Al-Hendy Manchester City win 2-1 
    Sam Tighe Manchester City win 2-0 
    Will Tidey Manchester City win 3-1 

Stoke City vs. Wigan Athletic

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    Tuesday, November 29, 2013 at 2:45 p.m. ET

    Usual-defensive stalwarts Stoke City will be back at the Britannia Stadium this weekend to take on Wigan Athletic, with the Potters defense expected to shine once again here.

    Tony Pulis' team have been notoriously tough to break down at home this season, but over the last couple of weeks, they have started to slip up in that regard—allowing a number of goals to Southampton and Chelsea as well as goals away from home.

    They've only won one of their past eight matches heading into this one, but the Latics can only boast a similar record over their past two months of football.

    That could mean either we're in for a long night of football, or we're in for a great match between two sides desperate to get back into the winners circle.

    Dan Talintyre Draw, 1-1
    Joe Tansey Draw, 1-1 
    Karl Matchett Stoke win 1-0 
    Michael Cummings Stoke win 2-1 
    Mohamed Al-Hendy Stoke win 2-0 
    Sam Tighe Draw, 0-0 
    Will Tidey Stoke win 1-0

Sunderland vs. Swansea City

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    Tuesday, November 29, 2013 at 2:45 p.m. ET

    Swansea will look to make it seven games in a row undefeated when they travel to the Stadium of Light to take on Sunderland this week in the Premier League.

    The Black Cats have won two in a row heading into this one and will be confident that they can perform in front of their home fans as they have done this season—providing for what should be a tough little encounter here for Michael Laudrup's men.

    On their day, the Swans can be one of the best attacking teams in the competition, and the way they simply opened up Stoke last weekend is a great testament to that. 

    But Martin O'Neill's side, on their day, can also be one of the better defensive teams in the league (particularly at home) and possess in their side the ability to net goals from seemingly nothing—meaning this, too, is another evenly poised matchup.

    Dan Talintyre Draw, 1-1
    Joe Tansey Sunderland win 2-1 
    Karl Matchett Sunderland win 2-1 
    Michael Cummings Draw, 2-2 
    Mohamed Al-Hendy Draw, 1-1 
    Sam Tighe Swansea win 2-1 
    Will Tidey Draw, 1-1

Arsenal vs. Liverpool

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    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 2:45 p.m. ET

    The headline match of this week's fixtures sees two underperforming clubs this year—Arsenal and Liverpool—square off for what could turn out to be a very important match in the top-four race.

    Neither played well during the week in their FA Cup matches, with the Reds the embarrassment of the league after going down to Oldham Athletic, whilst Arsenal only just managed to scrape by lowly Brighton & Hove Albion in their match.

    Both will be looking for better performances here, with the battle of the midfield seemingly holding the key for both sides. If Steven Gerrard and Joe Allen can impress themselves on the likes of Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere, the Reds have shown they have the offensive capabilities to make some serious headway in this one—something that could also be said for the Gunners.

    Arsenal picked up their first win of the year against Liverpool at Anfield earlier this season; can they do the same thing again here at the Emirates?

    Dan Talintyre Arsenal win 2-0
    Joe Tansey Liverpool win 2-1 
    Karl Matchett Liverpool win 2-1 
    Michael Cummings Draw, 2-2
    Mohamed Al-Hendy Draw, 2-2 
    Sam Tighe Arsenal win 2-1 
    Will Tidey Arsenal win 3-1 

Everton vs. West Bromwich Albion

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    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 2:45 p.m. ET

    Everton have suffered just one loss in their 11 matches and just one home defeat for the season, yet they still only sit in fifth position coming into this one.

    The Toffees have failed to find the back of the net in their last two matches against teams they really should have beaten, and will enter this match against West Bromwich Albion, therefore, under a little bit of pressure to perform.

    The Baggies' strong start to the season is quickly slipping away with every passing week, but they have still shown that they can be notoriously sound on attack and in defense and must be considered a genuine threat here for David Moyes' side.

    Could this be the game where Everton finally get it going again?

    Dan Talintyre Everton win 4-1
    Joe Tansey Everton win 2-0 
    Karl Matchett Everton win 1-0 
    Michael Cummings Everton win 2-1 
    Mohamed Al-Hendy Everton win 2-1 
    Sam Tighe Everton win 2-1 
    Will Tidey Everton win 2-0 

Norwich City vs. Tottenham Hotspur

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    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 2:45 p.m. ET

    Both Norwich City and Tottenham Hotspur lost matches they shouldn't have in the FA Cup on the weekend and both will be looking for far better performances during the week here.

    The Canaries have been relatively solid at home this year, but come into this week's clash without a single win in their past six league matches.

    Tottenham, by comparison, come into this one undefeated in their past seven matches and having held league leaders Manchester United to a 1-1 draw in their last fixture.

    Andre Villas-Boas' side will clearly be the favorite here, and rightly so, with Spurs showcasing their full attacking potential right throughout the season.

    But with injuries and international duties wreaking havoc at the moment for the London club, could this be the match that Norwich play themselves back into form?

    Dan Talintyre Tottenham win 1-0
    Joe Tansey Tottenham win 3-1 
    Karl Matchett Tottenham win 3-1 
    Michael Cummings Tottenham win 2-1 
    Mohamed Al-Hendy Tottenham win 2-0 
    Sam Tighe Tottenham win 2-1 
    Will Tidey Tottenham win 2-0 

Fulham vs. West Ham United

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    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. ET

    West Ham were simply embarrassed by Arsenal 5-1 last weekend and will be desperate to make sure that similar numbers aren't posted against them again this week.

    However, it doesn't look all that promising for the Hammers, who enter this one with just one win in their last eight league matches and without a win away from home since November earlier in the season, when they beat Newcastle 1-0.

    The story hasn't been a whole lot better for Martin Jol's side either, who sit two points below West Ham on the table and with just one win from their past seven fixtures.

    Dan Talintyre Fulham win 1-0
    Joe Tansey Fulham win 2-0 
    Karl Matchett Fulham win 1-0 
    Michael Cummings Fulham win 3-2
    Mohamed Al-Hendy Fulham win 2-1 
    Sam Tighe Fulham win 1-0 
    Will Tidey West Ham win 2-1 

Manchester United vs. Southampton

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    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. ET

    Manchester United will be keen to get their Premier League title chase back on track when they welcome Southampton to Old Trafford this week—desperate to avoid a repeat of last week's result.

    The Red Devils somehow let their one-goal lead slip against Tottenham in the final minutes of the match to allow Manchester City to close the gap at the top of the table to five points. They'll be keen to make sure that the gap stays at at least five by the end of this week also.

    The Saints do look out of their depth on paper here, but given how they've been playing at the moment under various managers and how they pushed United when they met earlier in the season, don't expect this one to just be a walk in the park for the league leaders.

    Southampton haven't lost in their last six matches; United haven't lost in their last 11. This one could, surprisingly, turn out to be a very good football match.

    Dan Talintyre Manchester United win 3-0
    Joe Tansey Manchester United win 4-1 
    Karl Matchett Manchester United win 3-0 
    Michael Cummings Manchester United win 4-2 
    Mohamed Al-Hendy Manchester United win 4-1 
    Sam Tighe Manchester United win 3-0 
    Will Tidey Manchester United win 3-0 

Reading vs. Chelsea

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    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. ET

    You'd nearly argue that no club needs a win to restore some faith as much as Chelsea do, which is seemingly very bizarre given the fact that the Blues are flying high in third position.

    The West London club continues to have internal trouble regarding Rafa Benitez's management, and if they drop points this weekend away to lowly Reading, you'd have to think that it could nearly be the end of the Spanish manager at Stamford Bridge in 2013.

    The Royals are by no means slouches in the league this year despite their position and have shown against the top teams this year that they can certainly mix it with the best.

    Yet Chelsea have travelled well domestically under Benitez this year and will enter this one as the clear favorites—and rightly so given their depth of talent.

    But with Fernando Torres and Benitez never far from the headlines, the Blues could somehow get lost in all of the speculation and media attention they're receiving right now. Which could very well end up playing right into the hands of Reading.

    Dan Talintyre Chelsea win 3-0
    Joe Tansey Chelsea win 3-1 
    Karl Matchett Draw, 1-1 
    Michael Cummings Draw, 2-2 
    Mohamed Al-Hendy Chelsea win 2-1 
    Sam Tighe Chelsea win 4-1 
    Will Tidey Chelsea win 2-1

Total Goals for EPL Week 24

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    As mentioned before, every week our writers will try to predict the total number of goals scored over the course of the round.

    This week's total goals:

    29.5 goals.

     

     

    Those picking under 29.5 goals for the week:

    Dan Talintyre, Karl Matchett, Sam Tighe, Will Tidey 

     

    Those picking over 29.5 goals for the week:

    Joe Tansey, Michael Cummings, Mohamed Al-Hendy

     

    What did you make of our predictions this week in the EPL?

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