EPL Week 32: Bleacher Report Writers Make Their Expert EPL Picks

Dan Talintyre@@dantalintyreSenior Analyst IIApril 5, 2013

EPL Week 32: Bleacher Report Writers Make Their Expert EPL Picks

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    The English Premier League is back this weekend, and back in a big way.

    With the European action from the Champions League and the Europa League dominating mid-week discussions, we can focus our attention back to the domestic English competitions and all the intriguing storylines set to take place.

    And looking at this week's schedule, there's plenty to look forward to.

    From a top-of-the-table clash in the Manchester derby, to a key fixture in the race for the top four to a relegation dogfight that will have everybody using the phrase "six-pointer," the Premier League this week is set to play out a number of thrilling matches that will have profound impacts on the 2013 season.

    Who do our Bleacher Report experts see winning (and losing) this week?

    Read on and find out.

Leaderboard and Explanation

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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 him one point, and a correct score (e.g. Chelsea win 3-0) sees him 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.

    Dan Talintyre

    (@dantalintyre)

    Breaking News and World Football Writer 275 points

    Mohamed Al-Hendy

    (@Mo_Hendy)

    World Football Featured Columnist 268 points

    Joe Tansey

    (@JTansey90)

    World Football Featured Columnist 239 points

    Karl Matchett

    (@karlmatchett)

    World Football Staff Writer 237 points

    Michael Cummings

    (@MikeCummings37)

    World Football Lead Blogger and Writer 230 points

    Will Tidey

    (@willtidey)

    World Football Lead Writer and Editor 225 points

    Sam Tighe

    (@stighefootball)

    World Football Tactical Analyst 213 points

Reading vs. Southampton

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    4/6/2013 at 7:45 a.m. ET

    If Reading are going to work their way out of relegation, they're going to need to start winning against the teams that are close to them on the table.

    Southampton are one of those teams, but with an impressive run of form ever since their change of managers, they'll be a very tough team to take down this week.

    The Royals will have home advantage, and plenty of desire to win this one, but do they have enough to knock off the Saints?

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

Norwich City vs. Swansea City

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    4/6/2013 at 10:00 a.m. ET

    Norwich City have been very strong at Carrow Road this season, and will fancy their chances to continue that run when they take on Swansea City in the Battle of the Birds.

    Swansea have lost five of their last seven games and are a far cry from the team that was so dominant at the start of the year, dropping off dramatically since their Capital One Cup win.

    Will that slide continue here, or will the Swans bounce back against the Canaries?

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

Stoke City vs. Aston Villa

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    4/6/2013 at 10:00 a.m. ET

    Travelling to the Britannia Stadium is never easy, with few teams able to boast the ability to beat Stoke City on their home ground this season.

    Aston Villa will be looking to try and to that this week when they take on the Potters, as they desperately try to avoid relegation this season. Currently tied on points with Wigan, who play a key game as well this week, anything other than a loss would be a big win here for Villa.

    But they'll have to get past Stoke on their own ground first.

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

West Bromwich Albion vs. Arsenal

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    4/6/2013 at 10:00 a.m. ET

    West Brom have surprised many with their performances throughout the year, but have not shown that form of late—winning just three of their last eight fixtures.

    And despite being at home, they appear likely to continue that slump against an Arsenal side desperate to crack into the top for and the European competition for next season.

    Can they hold out at the Hawthorns here, or will the Gunners—who have everything to play for—be too good for Steve Clarke's side?

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

Liverpool vs. West Ham

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    4/7/2013 at 8:30 a.m. ET

    As crazy as it seems, Liverpool are only seven points off fourth position and only five points off fifth—meaning that they could still make it through to the European competition next season.

    They'll need to win nearly every game remaining this season to do so, however, and they'll look to start that when they take on West Ham at Anfield this year.

    West Ham have been woeful on the road this year, and appear destined to fall to the Reds, but as we've seen so many times this year, anything can happen in the EPL.

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

Tottenham Hotspur vs. Everton

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    4/7/2013 at 9:05 a.m. ET

    With a key Europa League game looming next week, Tottenham find themselves in a difficult position here as they play a key top four game against the sixth-place Everton.

    Do they push for the win here and try and wrap up their place in the Champions League next year, or do they perhaps push for European glory this year? And while the answer that question may well be the first answer, they're certainly no lock to beat David Moyes' men this weekend.

    Everton have won three in a row, while Tottenham have lost two of their last three. Could the Toffees make it back-to-back home defeats for the North London club?

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

Chelsea vs. Sunderland

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    4/7/2013 at 10:00 a.m. ET

    Chelsea dropped points last weekend to Southampton as they rested players for their FA Cup game. Will they incur the same fate here against Sunderland given their Europa League game next week?

    Probably not, but it is still an interesting thought to consider here for the Blues, who showed just how good they can be in attack with a nice win over Rubin Kazan on Thursday.

    Meanwhile, Sunderland haven't won in their past eight and don't appear likely to challenge the Londoners here, who will be trying to wrap up a top-four spot as well.

    Dan Talintyre Chelsea win 5-0 
    Joe Tansey Chelsea win 3-1 
    Karl Matchett Chelsea win 3-0
    Mike Cummings Chelsea win 2-0 
    Mohamed Al-Hendy Chelsea win 2-0 
    Sam Tighe Chelsea win 2-0 
    Will Tidey Chelsea win 3-1 

Newcastle United vs. Fulham

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    4/7/2013 at 10:00 a.m. ET

    Two consecutive wins have dragged Fulham away from the relegation mire, making this something of a meaningless game for them, but there's still plenty at stake for the home side in this one.

    Newcastle aren't completely assured of safety sitting just three points off the relegation zone, and while they will carry a big home advantage here, Fulham are more than capable of beating big teams away from home.

    They beat Spurs at White Hart Lane two-and-a-half weeks ago—could they do the same Sunday as they head north?

    Dan Talintyre Newcastle win 2-1 
    Joe Tansey Newcastle win 3-2 
    Karl Matchett Newcastle win 2-1 
    Mike Cummings Draw, 2-2 
    Mohamed Al-Hendy Newcastle win 2-1 
    Sam Tighe Draw, 1-1 
    Will Tidey Newcastle win 2-1 

Queens Park Rangers vs. Wigan Athletic

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    4/7/2013 at 11:10 a.m. ET

    The big relegation six-pointer takes place in London as QPR desperately seek to keep their season alive. And after dropping points to Fulham last week, this one will seemingly be a make-or-break game for Rangers as they try to work their way out of the bottom three.

    Playing at Loftus Road will give them an advantage, but Wigan Athletic are a very strong team on their day, and could challenge the home side throughout this one.

    They'll be looking to avoid relegation as well given the fact they're only out of the drop zone on goal difference, and are likely to show the same fight and determination as their opponents here.

    Someone's season could well end here with a loss.

    Dan Talintyre QPR win 3-2
    Joe Tansey Draw, 2-2 
    Karl Matchett Wigan win 2-1 
    Mike Cummings Wigan win 2-1 
    Mohamed Al-Hendy QPR win 2-1 
    Sam Tighe Draw, 2-2 
    Will Tidey Draw, 1-1 

Manchester United vs. Manchester City

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    4/8/2013 at 3:00 p.m. ET

    But there is no bigger game this weekend than the Manchester derby which sees league leaders United at home to defending league champions City. 

    The title is all but secure given the Red Devils' 15-point lead, and with no other titles or competitions to play in, United's last goal for the year could be to beat their rivals again in this one, having triumphed 3-2 over the Citizens when they played at the Etihad Stadium earlier in the year.

    Roberto Mancini's men will no doubt still fire up for this one, and will look to have one last hurrah over United in 2013, even if they are surrendering the title.

    Memories of their 6-1 victory will still be fresh (as will their last-second defeat earlier in the year) and the emotion should be on show for all to see here.

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

Total Goals for EPL Week 32

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    As mentioned before, 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

    This week, the total goals is set at 30.5 goals.

     

    Those taking "over" goals: Those taking "under" goals:

    Joe Tansey

     

     

     

     

     

    Dan Talintyre 

    Karl Matchett

    Michael Cummings

    Mohamed Al-Hendy 

    Sam Tighe

    Will Tidey 

     

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