EPL Preview Plus Chelsea/Man Utd FA Cup Showdown

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There are just four premiership matches this weekend. Due to FA Cup engagements, Manchester City 0-0 Stoke City was played on Wednesday and five matches are postponed. We bring you the four EPL matches plus two FA Cup matches involving all premiership sides. Matches involving Tottenham and Arsenal who play non-EPL sides are excluded (and the less said about Arsenal the better).

Last week, we predicted seven matches correctly including Manchester United 1-1 Bournemouth perfect scoreline. The United match was funny because we said ‘Manchester United to win 2-1 but we at BuzzNigeria won’t count one goal’. So when late in the match Ibrahimovic stepped up to take the penalty, karma stepped in. Now the ghost of Gabbiadini’s disallowed league cup final goal may rest in peace.

EPL Preview: Saturday, March 11, 2017

Bournemouth V West Ham, 4.00pm

Bournemouth are without Mings who has been banned for five matches for using Ibrahimovic’s head as stepping stone and Surman who saw red last week. Gaining a point at Old Trafford with ten men is huge, but Eddie Howe has to build on this to push out of their unsavoury company of relegation. The Cherries haven’t won a league match in 2017.

Coming against a tricky West Ham, Bournemouth must dig deep to take maximum points. West Ham are off the back of defeat to Chelsea on Monday. Bilic can do with three points. This match can fo either way, but the safest bet is to delay Bournemouth search for their first win in 2017.

Final Score: 2:2 #BOUWHU

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Everton V West Brom, 4.00pm

Everton league unbeaten run ended at White Hart Lane. They are now zero matches unbeaten and smarting. West Brom too, are smarting, losing 2-0 at home, last week, to relegation struggling Crystal Palace. West Brom have forty points, nine short of their best ever season but they have cause to be dissatisfied.

For one, West Brom’s highest goal-scorer is a defender. This match is an opportunity to advance their pursuit of satisfaction. But It will take something more than special for Gareth McAuley led West Brom attack to take points off a recharged Everton team. Fancy both team scoring

Final Score: 2:1 #EVEWBA

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Gareth McAuley, an attacking defender

Hull City V Swansea, 4.00pm

Marcos Sylva’s Hull City honeymoon is over. After earning four points in dreadful fixtures of Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United, the East riding of Yorkshire club earned one point in two fixtures against fellow bottom-half teams. Placed 19th with Leicester, Swansea and Crystal Palace pulling away, anything short of three points is a disaster.

Final Score: 1:1 #HULSWA

EPL Preview: Sunday, March 12, 2017

Liverpool V Burnley

It is usually stated that Liverpool fare poorly against the lower teams. Indeed, Liverpool’s five league losses have come from the bottom ten but that is not the whole story. Liverpool have been ruthless with the small teams when they choose to. They defeated Watford 6-1, Hull City 5-1, and Middlesbrough 3-0.

Burnley won the first leg 2-0. This time, Burnley should be afraid. Klopp is not going to always carry gifts down the table. With Liverpool being the only top six team playing over the weekend, with no European or cup distraction, basking on the confidence of the Arsenal win, Burnley should be terrified.

Burnley away record is dismal. Can they get a shock point to improve that? They can only try. Little chance of success.



Final Score: 3:1 #LIVBUR

FA Cup Quarterfinals

Saturday, March 12, 2017

Middlesbrough V Manchester City, 1.15pm

Manchester City are active in three competitions; this is the only one they can win, realistically. Miracles still happen. To win this, they have to deal with Middlesbrough. Even though Middlesbrough endured bullying in the league, they have enjoyed a smooth ride in the cup. So far. Manchester City must be on top of their game to take this. If the Manchester City that stuttered against Stoke City turn up, they are out.

Improbable but not impossible (remember Wigan in 2014).

Pep Guardiola is a studious type. He should find a way through Middlesbrough defense that Karanka has mastered ways of tightening. He would.

Final Score: 0:2 #MIDMCI

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Monday, March 13, 2017

Chelsea V Manchester United, 8.45pm

Stamford Bridge is sizzling.

Mourinho leads his squad without squadron leader, Zlatan Ibrahimovic to a ground he lost 4-0 in October. A lot of things have happened since then but a lot hasn’t changed. Chelsea are tearing clubs apart and Manchester United are still sixth.

But this is the FA Cup, Manchester United are defending champions. Considering that Chelsea have won the league (more or less), this is their attempt to win the double. Whoever wins this will become the favourite to win the FA cup.

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Conte has made Stamford Bridge a fortress

Will Manchester United win double cups? Will Chelsea win the double? It is fastidious to answer these questions with just this match, but this match is a huge pointer.

The two clubs boast of two tacticians who would have spent a few sleepless nights probing over this encounter. Since the FA has cancelled replays for quarterfinals, Chelsea should expect Manchester United to attack as much as they attack. Who would out-attack the other?

The absence of Ibrahimovic and home advantage would make the difference. Chelsea will take this.

Final Score: 2:1 #CHEMUN

Notes: All times in Nigerian Time

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