Football Predictions: Mystic Matt is Back
First off, a bit of explanation. Mystic Matt has, for several weeks, been deep in the darkest jungles of Africa, exploring ancient and mystical magics, being taught by the most skilled of medicine men, and hiding like a massive wuss from the group of men who lost all their savings after betting them on his recommendations last time (correct scores predicted: 0). Luckily, with their various blunt instruments have finally been reclaimed by the bailiffs, he feels safe enough to come back, and has prepared a small selection of predictions for the upcoming Premier League weekend…
Liverpool vs Cardiff: 3-1 (Suarez (2), Allen (yes, Allen!); Caulker)
Definitely a fixture to get you frothing at the mouth, with Luis Suarez’ recent form having pushed Liverpool to heights not seen since the heady days of about four years ago. Despite B-Rodge’s gushing support for Malky Mackay over the Vincent Tan affair (which sounds far more sleazy and exciting than it actually is), I wouldn’t expect the Reds to do the Bluebirds any favours. Let’s face it, Liverpool are just much better than Cardiff, and after they dismantled Spurs will be riding high on confidence, whilst the Welsh club lost to Crystal Palace a couple of weeks ago. Crystal Palace. Now I’ve said that, expect Cardiff to win after a Simon Mignolet comedy own-goal and an unprecedented 100-match ban for Suarez after he swallows Gary Medel whole with just a pinch of salt.
Fulham vs Man City: 0-4 (Silva, Negredo (2), Dzeko)
Quite probably the best team in the Premier League travel to almost certainly the laziest in the pick of the 3 o’clocks. The attacking quartet of Bent, Berbatov, Taarabt and (if he plays) Ruiz will have plenty of opportunity to stand by and impassively watch Man City walk through what passes for a Fulham midfield and defence, with headless chicken Scott Parker and living statue Brede Hangeland having their work cut out stopping the waves of sky blue attack. All isn’t lost, though; City will have to do without the injured Aguero, having to rely only on Negredo, Dzeko, Jovetic, Nasri, Navas, Silva, Toure and Fernandinho for attacking threat, and they have fictional daemon Pantilimon in goal, so Fulham should fancy their chances of at least getting a consolation. But they won’t get one, so don’t get your hopes up.
Southampton vs Tottenham: 2-0 (Lambert, Rodriguez)
Oh, Spurs. Where did it all go wrong? £100 million spent in the summer, a coach bedded into the club and the Premier League, real optimism of not just a Top Four Challenge ™ but maybe a run at the title… And now, managed by Tim Sherwood (for a little while at least), loads of players out injured, expensive signings yet to adapt without a guarantee they ever will. Really, it’s far more entertaining than any of the football they’ve managed to produce this season. Saints’ momentum has been curtailed a little in the last few weeks as well, their heavy pressing game probably not sustainable with such a small squad; but they have genuine quality in their ranks, and a reeling Tottenham won’t be relishing this one. Expect Rickie Lambert to wear a Suarez mask just to bring back some of those nightmares for Capoue and Dawson…
Arsenal vs Chelsea: 0-0 (One shot on target from each side)
The Monday night game is a big one, two real title contenders going head to head in a battle of exciting technical attacking midfielders. So, expect something incredibly boring and dour, especially with Mr Mourinho hinting he wants to go more defensive after their recent struggles and with Arsenal just starting to be a little tired. One point of entertainment will be the customary “open-goal miss in a big game” from Torres, though, so it won’t be all bad.