Archive for October 2015

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Bi-weekly match previews – Jason Pettigrove

Week 10 of the Premier League campaign throws up some mouth-watering fixtures including three super local derbies.

Things remain tight at the top and bottom, and for the moment a win here or there has a significant impact.

Let’s get into it…

West Ham v Chelsea

Jose Mourinho’s side head to the opposite side of town still languishing in 11th position despite picking up a much needed three points against Aston Villa last weekend.

The Portuguese could be encouraged by the Hammers’ poor home form, the only thing that is stopping Slaven Bilic’s side from topping the table.

Away from Upton Park, West Ham have been peerless with the best away record in the division. Only Sunderland have stopped them from winning on their travels thus far.

Chelsea are in desperate need of a run of wins. A second successive one here would leave them just one more win away from West Ham’s current points total despite their worst start to a top-flight campaign since 1977.

It won’t be a match for the faint-hearted but it’s sure to be full of incident.

Bilic will hope to finally get the monkey off of his back in front of an adoring east London public. What better way to do it than against one of your fiercest rivals.

Manchester United v Manchester City

The stakes couldn’t be higher at Old Trafford.

Louis Van Gaal is finally getting things right in the red half of Manchester and United are just about hanging onto the coat tails of their free-scoring neighbours.

Another high scoring performance against Bournemouth where Raheem Sterling was in top form surely gives the Dutchman more than enough to worry about despite the loss of David Silva and Sergio Aguero for the visitors.

A win will take the hosts to the top of the table. A summit that they’ve not inhabited on a regular basis for a while now. Three points for Manuel Pellegrini’s men will see them streak ahead again and further their claims as champions-elect. Even at this early stage.

Juventus, West Ham and Tottenham have exposed the weaknesses that City still have so it’s imperative that United get on top early in the game if they want to get a foothold.

A high-pressing game is needed to curtail the marauding City midfield. Players who will drive through the channels given half an opportunity.

Goals are a given in this one.

Sunderland v Newcastle

As if the first two games weren’t enough to whet the appetite, the third derby of the week takes place at the Stadium of Light.

“Big Sam” Allardyce returns home, his first game in charge as manager of Sunderland, a team he served with aplomb in his playing career.

His appointment will have put a few extra bums on seats but in truth, despite their appalling league position, this is the one fixture where you can always guarantee a sell out.

The passion in this part of the world from both sets of fans is legendary, and it will hurt the north east that their two biggest teams are struggling so badly at this juncture.

This is a game to grab by the scruff of the neck and get the job done. Steve McClaren would likely swap pretty passing triangles for a much needed three points here.

A positive result for either side here could have the galvanizing effect required to kick start their season.

There’s something to be said for the “new manager bounce” but it was sadly lacking in Allardyce’s first game in charge last weekend against West Bromwich Albion.

Playing without fear will be the first ingredient that the ex-West Ham man will try to change.

That and assuaging the expectations of the locals who won’t be backwards in coming forwards with their opinions if things aren’t going the way of the Black Cats.

Liverpool v Southampton

Another manager taking charge of his first Premier League home game is Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp.

Although they’ll have had a glimpse of him when the Reds take on Rubin Kazan in the Europa League, Anfield will be bouncing as the affable German takes his seat for the bread and butter of the English top flight.

After a dismal 0-0 draw in his opening game at Tottenham, Klopp could well have made a few tweaks to his side in time for this one. More positionally rather than in personnel terms because an extensive injury list rather limits his options at this stage.

Southampton will come to play football and will hope to silence the crowd from the first whistle.

Ronald Koeman’s Barcelona education can be seen very much in the way that Southampton like to play football and keep the ball and it should make this one an extremely entertaining contest.

A leaky defence is what’s stopping the Saints from climbing the table and that’ll be a concern for the Dutchman, however his team do have enough about them in an attacking sense to cause Liverpool problems.

“Klopp-mania” won’t settle down until this game is out of the way but Rome wasn’t built in a day and Liverpool fans shouldn’t be expecting miracles immediately.

Other games available on IPTVKING.COM this weekend are: Leicester v Crystal Palace, Norwich v West Brom, Stoke v Watford, Aston Villa v Swansea, Arsenal v Everton and Bournmouth v Tottenham.

Sit back, relax, enjoy…

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Bi-weekly match previews – Jason Pettigrove

Welcome to the second of this season’s bi-weekly Premier League reviews brought to you by UEFA accredited journalist Jason Pettigrove.

As before, we’ll be taking a look at four of the biggest games of the weekend, all of which will be shown by IPTVKING.COM

Everton vs. Manchester United

No other place to start than Goodison Park and the game of week nine.

The Red Devils are in a far healthier position now than they were when they travelled to the blue half of Merseyside last season.

Wayne Rooney generally writes the narrative in this one but England’s record goalscorer has been in poor form of late. It wouldn’t be a surprise if he didn’t affect things in this match, such is his demeanour at present.

Fortunately for United, Anthony Martial looks the business. The real deal. For a player that seemingly no one had heard of before his capture, everyone knows his name now.

The youngster has made a tremendous impact, as has Gerard Deulofeu for Everton. The summer signing from Barcelona has taken a while to settle this time around but is starting to reproduce the form of his Barca B days when he was too hot to handle most weeks.

Both sides are providing some entertaining fare and it should be a game for the purist.

Everton have won the last three against the Red Devils at home, without conceding a goal in the process. Louis Van Gaal’s side will therefore need to work extra hard to maintain their position in the table.

Manchester City vs. Bournemouth

United’s rivals Manchester City host newcomers Bournemouth in a game that will be high on quality from both sides.

Eddie Howe has won plaudits from all sides for the way that he likes his Cherries’ sides to play football and the south coast side certaintly won’t be overawed at the Etihad Stadium.

Those patrons arriving and expecting a cricket score will be sorely disappointed. City already found out to their cost when playing Borussia Monchengladbach that if you underestimate your opponents, it could be to your detriment.

Only a 90th-minute Sergio Aguero penalty saved Manuel Pellegrini’s men on that occasion, and much more application and desire will be required here.

Bournemouth have an intoxicating mix of skill and desire aligned to youth and experience throughout the side.
The visitors have struggle with injuries to some key players but to Howe’s credit, they still remain competitive.

Write them off at your peril.

Tottenham v Liverpool

One of the Premier League’s classic fixtures and almost always one that provides goals.

Only two goalless draws in the last 10 years highlights the exciting nature of this match up and with Liverpool more desperate for points than ever, we could be in for a fascinating contest.

How Jurgen Klopp would love a repeat of the 5-0 drubbing of the north Londoners on their own patch, as happened two season’s ago. Last season’s 3-0 victory would be just as well received.

With Daniel Sturridge fit again and back amongst the goals, Klopp can perhaps see some light at the end of what was a very long tunnel in that area of his squad.

There is some coherence to Liverpool’s play now but they are still not getting quite the results that the locals demand.

Already off the pace as far as the front runners are concerned, the Reds are already playing catch up to those teams below the Champions League places.

Tottenham are beginning to find their feet and the 4-1 victory over Manchester City will sound alarm bells at Anfield.

On their day, the Lilywhites are capable of beating just about anyone, but they’ve not had too much to shout about recently.

Harry Kane needs better service from the wide areas and his midfield players if he is expected to replicate the form of 2014/15, whilst the rest of the front six need to chip in too.

Just the one defeat at home so far, against Arsenal in the Football League Cup, shows that this is going be another tough test for the Merseysiders.

A loss could spell the end of Rodgers’ time in charge or a win could be just the beginning of their charge up the table.

Strap yourselves in, it’s going to be some ride at White Hart Lane!

Crystal Palace vs. West Ham

Nothing like an old manager coming back to haunt you.
Alan Pardew’s success at West Ham, in taking them to the FA Cup Final and having them promoted back to the Premier League after relegation to the Championship, is arguably the most successful period enjoyed by a West Ham manager in the recent past.

Now at Crystal Palace via Newcastle, Pardew continues to work wonders. His Eagles team will be well up for the fight that a London derby almost always promises and the Hammers will have to provide a performance equal to that of their other away games if they want to continue their climb up the Premier League table.

Slaven Bilic – “Super Slav” to West Ham’s merry band of supporters – has shown within a short space of time in charge at Upton Park, that he can bring a very different and more effective blueprint to the table.

Although at Upton Park his side are still withering under the weight of great expectation, away from home they have the best record in the division.

They still pass the ball as well as they ever did with Dimitri Payet chief creator, but now there is no longer a soft core to the Irons.

A strong, mobile and intelligent spine to the side is serving them well and if they can continue in the same vein, then European football isn’t out of the question next season.

Selhurst Park will be full to bursting, and with fans so close to the pitch, there’s sure to be a raucous and quite brilliant atmosphere as a backdrop to this match.

Let battle commence…

Other fixtures available on IPTVKING.COM this coming weekend are West Bromwich Albion vs. Sunderland, Chelsea vs. Aston Villa, Southampton vs. Leicester, Watford vs. Arsenal, Newcastle vs. Norwich City and Swansea City vs. Stoke City. Enjoy!

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