Premier League Midweek Preview (April 15th and 16th)

Published: Apr 14, 2014 10:41am EDT
By Jason Bardwell, Sports Writer for Konsume Sports

Please Note: This article was updated Apr 14, 2014 @ 10:41am EDT


In the Premier League we have some catch up games coming up in midweek. One game is taking place on Tuesday whilst another two are settled on Wednesday. At this stage of the season a lot of sides still have things to play for and even in these three games, many storylines are intertwined. Arsenal take on West Ham in Tuesdays match, while on Wednesday Sunderland travel to Manchester City and Everton host Crystal Palace. All kick off times are 7:45 local time which is 2:45 pm on the American east coast.

The weekend saw Chelsea and Liverpool cement their place at the top of the tree with Manchester City slipping at the top of the table. Down at the bottom, Sunderland slipped further off the pace while Norwich did their survival prospects no favors at all with a dire performance against Fulham.




Arsenal v West Ham:

In typical Arsenal style the Arsene Wenger side is limping its way over the line in the English Premier League. Yes they are in this years FA Cup Final against Hull City after beating Wigan in the Semi Final, but even that win was hard fought and far from convincing.

Currently out of the top four the Gunners have the chance to regain that spot, for 24 hours at least, with a win against West Ham tomorrow night.

For Big Sam and West Ham, it looks as though Premiership survival is sorted for next season but I am sure all the Hammers fans will be looking at Stoke City, just above them in the table, and thinking that maybe a top ten finish may not be out of the question.

Typically, as I said earlier, Arsenal are limping home, but typically they also haven’t missed out on a top four finish in years. I am not sure this will be the year either when that happens.

Prediction: 2-0.




Everton v Crystal Palace:

The same elements are at play in this game as was evident in the Arsenal game. The home side are looking for that top four finish while the visitors are mathematically safe, you cannot really see any teams in the relegation zone catching them.

The difference for Everton is that their bad run happened a few weeks ago and now, it seems, has passed with Roberto Martinez having his guys playing some attractive soccer. The fans would expect a home win in this game but the truth is that finishing fourth or fifth doesn’t matter as much to them. Don’t get me wrong, it would be fantastic for them to finish fourth, but they have had a really good season either way.

We must not forget the turn around at Crystal Palace either who are now two wins away from absolute safety, although I think they are safe right now. At the beginning of November, after 11 games, Palace were bottom of the League with only four points. Now they have got 33 points from their last 22 games and are now eight points above Cardiff, who they actually trailed by eight at that point in November.

Prediction: 2-1.


Manchester City v Sunderland:

Both of these two teams have played the least amount of games in the Premier League at this point. The away side are in desperate need for points and find themselves seven points away from safety, rooted to the bottom of the table. A replay of the League Cup Final from just over a month ago things have changed dramatically for both sides. The away side haven’t been able to buy a win since that game while the home side have seen a potential quadruple disappear with now only an outside chance of a double still on the cards after Sunday.

The defeat to top of the table Liverpool now sees the title currently out of City’s hands, but have no fear, this is City. City never do anything the easy way. 1999 they got promotion from the third tier of English football after making heavy work of the season, securing a playoff Final place and then go 2-0 down with minutes left. They pulled that around and prevailed. Two seasons ago they had the title in their hands before going 2-1 down to a ten men, struggling QPR side. We all know what happened there. Well there is a reason for City fans to still be positive, other than the fact Chelsea and Liverpool still have to play each other. In 2012 in their seventh from last game City traveled away to a ‘big’ club and lost by the odd goal, that year it was Arsenal 1-0 and this past 3-2 defeat away to Liverpool leaves City with six more games left.

That year City were missing an Argentinian striker for large chunks of the season. Then it was Carlos Tevez, this time it is Sergio Aguero (although not Argentinian, I would look to Stevan Jovetic as the possible comparison). Finally, in that season after 32 games, City had 71 points and were eight points behind the leaders with six games to go. Right now City have 70 points and are only seven behind the leaders with six games to go. Finally, after that defeat away to a big club in 2012 City had a midweek game and beat West Brom 4-0. This time, believe it or not, City are in a much better position this time around. That said, they have to win, and win convincingly on Wednesday.

Prediction: 4-0.


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