EPL Week 28: Bleacher Report Writers Make Their Expert EPL Picks

Dan Talintyre@@dantalintyreSenior Analyst IIMarch 2, 2013

EPL Week 28: Bleacher Report Writers Make Their Expert EPL Picks

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    Week 28 of the English Premier League comes this week with several great and potentially memorable fixtures coming our way from the domestic competition.

    Chelsea face a difficult home fixture against West Bromwich Albion, as do Manchester Untied against an in-form Norwich City side.

    Manchester City have a difficult away trip to Aston Villa, as do Liverpool against Wigan. Meanwhile, the North London derby between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal caps off what is bound to be a thrilling week of Premier League action.

    Who do our experts see running out winners and losers from the week? Read on to find predictions, scores and the must-needed stats heading into Week 28.

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 241 points
    Mohamed Al-Hendy @Mo_Hendy 230 points
    Joe Tansey @JTansey90 210 points
    Karl Matchett @karlmatchett 203 points
    Michael Cummings @MikeCummings37 199 points
    Will Tidey @willtidey 193 points
    Sam Tighe @stighefootball 191 points

Chelsea vs. West Bromwich Albion

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    Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. ET

    Chelsea definitely won't have Rafa Benitez at the end of the season, and they certainly won be able to win the English Premier League, but the Blues still have a lot to play for in 2013.

    They'll be eyeing off a top-four spot once more (which is what West Brom were incredibly looking at also over Christmas and New Year) and will be looking to keep the pressure on Everton, Arsenal and Spurs.

    West Brom will just be looking to further extent Benitez's nightmare.

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

Everton vs. Reading

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    Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. ET

    Everton have slipped away from fifth-place Arsenal over the last few weeks, with just one win from their last six matches in the English Premier League.

    They'll be looking to close that gap this week against Reading, who will look to continue their run out of the bottom three on the table with a strong away performance.

    The Royals have been a real mixed bag this year, with their last two defeats coming after a four-game undefeated streak before that. You'd think they'll be second-best against the Toffees at home, but you never quite know what you're going to get from the EPL's newcomers.

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

Manchester United vs. Norwich City

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    Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. ET

    Manchester United have only lost three times all season, with Norwich City proving to be a real threat to the Red Devils when they played earlier in the year.

    Granted, that was at home, but like they showed last week against Everton, the Canaries are still certainly capable of ruffling a few feathers and challenging the league leaders.

    But it is hard to see United dropping points at Old Trafford here. Not in the form they're in at the moment, with the title just around the corner.

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

Southampton vs. Queens Park Rangers

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    Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. ET

    Southampton and QPR do battle in a relegation blockbuster, with both knowing that three points here could dramatically change their chance at staying in the top class.

    The Saints have been on a great run of late, but they have only won one of their last six. They have shown great inconsistency at the back in that time also. However, you'd have to say the same exists for QPR, who now haven't won at all in their past six matches.

    Who will triumph here, and whose season will be changed because of it?

    Dan Talintyre Southampton win 2-0
    Joe Tansey QPR win 3-2 
    Karl Matchett Southampton win 2-1 
    Mike Cummings Draw, 1-1 
    Mo Al-Hendy Southampton win 2-0 
    Sam Tighe Southampton win 1-0 
    Will Tidey Southampton win 2-0 

Stoke City vs. West Ham

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    Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. ET

    Stoke and West Ham really doesn't have anything really on the line this week other than pride and league position, with the London club potentially able to jump the Potters with a win on the road here.

    Stoke have been incredibly tight and strong at the Britannia Stadium all season, but have dipped of late in their defensive solidity, picking up just four points in 2013 so far.

    Having said that, the Hammers have lost nine of their 11 road games this year and won't find the trip to Potter-land an easy task this week.

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

Sunderland vs. Fulham

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    Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. ET

    Sunderland won't want to admit it, but with defeat here against Fulham, they'll almost certainly find themselves in the relegation mix once more, with no wins from their last five matches.

    The Black Cats have shown spells this year to suggest that they're better than that, but it is hard to argue with the form line presented each week—especially when it isn't netting the results that Martin O'Neill would have wanted at the start of the year.

    Fulham continue to just chug along and are comfortable in mid-table. Can they break into the top 10 once more with a momentum-builidng win on the road?

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

Swansea City vs. Newcastle United

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    Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. ET

    Swansea are the first English side to win a major trophy this year (which is perhaps the most bizarre statement of the season so far), and they will look to build on that confidence with a good win here.

    The Swans have been typically tough and dominant in attack at the Liberty Stadium throughout the year, but the Magpies' defense has certainly improved through the transfer window period and has Alan Pardew's side now all but certain to avoid relegation in 2013.

    Three wins from their last four make the Magpies a dangerous side here, but do they have enough discipline and consistency to beat the Swans at home?

    Dan Talintyre Swansea win 2-1 
    Joe Tansey Swansea win 3-1 
    Karl Matchett Newcastle win 2-1 
    Mike Cummings Swansea win 2-1 
    Mo Al-Hendy Swansea win 2-0 
    Sam Tighe Swansea win 2-0 
    Will Tidey Swansea win 1-0 

Wigan Athletic vs. Liverpool

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    Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 12:30 p.m. ET

    Wigan at their best can be a real contender and counterattacking threat in the English Premier League. Only problem is that the season so far has shown them to be far from their best. And with Liverpool coming to town this week, you wonder if that will continue again in this one.

    The Reds haven't been world class either, mind you, but they have been very good since the arrival of Daniel Sturridge and look to have the extra piece needed to take their game to the next level in 2013. But will it continue or drop off when they travel to the DW Stadium?

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

Tottenham Hotspur vs. Arsenal

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    Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. ET

    The North London derby never fails to disappoint, and the 2013 version should be no different given all that’s transpired so far this year.

    From Arsenal’s “disappointing” year that still has them sitting fifth to Spurs’ incredible run into third spot, London is truly turning in a very fascinating battle. And both clubs will certainly be geared up for this one.

    If the 5-2, red-card, drama-filled story that we saw the first time they played this year was anything to go by, this one should be a very special match indeed.

    Dan Talintyre Tottenham win 3-1 
    Joe Tansey Draw, 3-3 
    Karl Matchett Tottenham win 4-3 
    Mike Cummings Tottenham win 2-1 
    Mo Al-Hendy Tottenham win 2-0 
    Sam Tighe Tottenham win 3-2 
    Will Tidey Arsenal win 2-1

Aston Villa vs. Manchester City

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    Monday, March 4, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. ET

    The Premier League round concludes this week with Aston Villa taking on Manchester City—a fixture that seems like a pretty straightforward one to predict.

    One team is good and the other is Aston Villa, right?

    Perhaps not. The Villans have pushed the top teams on a number of times this season with the home ground advantage, and Roberto Mancini’s men have shown vulnerability when playing away from the Etihad.

    City no doubt have the class and the talent to win here, but if their mind is somewhere else for this one (like the 12-point title gap that is seemingly unsurmountable at the moment and could well be 15 by the time they line up), we could just see something special happen at Villa Park.

    I’d say watch this space.

    Dan Talintyre Manchester City win 2-1 
    Joe Tansey Manchester City win 2-0 
    Karl Matchett Manchester City win 2-1 
    Mike Cummings Manchester City win 2-1 
    Mo Al-Hendy Aston Villa win 2-0 
    Sam Tighe Manchester City win 3-0 
    Will Tidey Manchester City win 4-1

Total Goals for the Week

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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: 27.5 goals.

    Those picking over 27.5 goals: All.