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The SQ Premier League Predictor: Matchday Ten

Austin Taliaferro

Stats and predictions for all this weekend’s games

Let’s be honest. In soccer, we all like to think that we can predict what the scores will be and take unrivaled joy in correctly guessing the outcomes of the biggest games. That sentiment is echoed by the soccer writers here at SQ, so we have decided to put our claims to the test with a weekly competition in which we will try and predict the scores for all of the Premier League games.

The outcome of each week’s predictions will be decided in a points format with a subsequent rankings table that will run until the end of the season to see who is the best predictor. The scoring system is as follows:

  • No points - for failing to guess the correct result. (Example, you pick Chelsea to win against Aston Villa, but the match ends in a win or draw for Aston Villa. Likewise, if you pick a draw and one of the sides win)

  • One Point - for correctly guessing the result without the score line. (Example, you pick Chelsea to win 3-0 but they win 4-0 instead, or you pick a 2-2 draw but it finishes 1-1 etc.)

  • Three Points - for correctly guessing the result and score line. (Example, you pick Chelsea to win 3-0, and they win 3-0) 

New ‘Banker’ Feature

Ahead of the 2015-16 season, we here at SQ have decided to give all of our predictors the chance to earn even more points. The ‘banker’ is designed to double the points of one particular prediction and can be used only once per week by each player. The aim is to choose the prediction you are most confident in, select it as your banker and hopefully earn double points from that game. The following image will indicate which game each player has chosen as their banker:

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Game of the Week

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Stadium: Old Trafford, Manchester

Kick-Off: Sunday 2.05pm (BST), 8.05am (CDT), 9.05am (EDT), 5.05am (PDT)

Last Season: Manchester City 1-0 Manchester United (Nov. 2, 2014)

Manchester United 4-2 Manchester City (Apr. 12, 2015)

Form (Last Six): Man Utd: LWWWLW - 12 Points.     Man City: WWLLWW - 12 Points.

League Position: Man Utd: 3rd - 19 Points.     Man City: 1st - 21 Points.

Last Week: Everton 0-3 Man Utd     Manchester City 5-1 Bournemouth

Top Scorers & Assists:

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Prediction: Can United replicate what they did in the corresponding fixture last season? They quickly recovered from a goal down to win 4-2 that day and completely shut the door on City’s attack. If they can reproduce the pressure on the visitor’s back-line then they might be able to get some joy, especially if Vincent Kompany isn’t in the side. But Manuel Pellegrini should have learned from the match last year and with the added threat of Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne, should be good for at least a goal. Hopefully both sides will go for the win but a scoring draw is the safest bet here.

Manchester United 2-2 Manchester City

Other Games

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Stadium: Villa Park, Birmingham.

Kick-Off: Saturday 3pm (BST), 9am (CDT), 10am (EDT), 6am (PDT)

Last Season: Swansea 1-0 Aston Villa (Dec. 26, 2015)

Aston Villa 0-1 Swansea (Mar. 21, 2015)

Form: Aston Villa: DLLLLL - 1 Point.     Swansea: WLDLDL - 5 Points.

League Position: Aston Villa: 19th - 4 Points.     Swansea: 14th - 10 Points.

Last Week: Chelsea 2-0 Aston Villa     Swansea 0-1 Stoke City

Top Scorers & Assists: 

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Key Stats:

  • Head-to-head record: Aston Villa 15 wins, Swansea 7 wins and 3 draws from 25 games.

  • Aston Villa have only won once in the last nine meetings between the pair, losing the last three.

  • The hosts are searching for their first win since the opening day while Swansea are looking to improve upon a poor spell of just two wins from their last eleven.

  • Swansea have failed to keep a clean sheet in six of their last seven matches.

  • Aston Villa have lost all four of the matches in which Jack Grealish has played this season.

  • Andre Ayew is the most fouled player in the Premier League this season (31), while summer signing Eder is the most used substitute with seven appearances from the bench.

  • Bafetimbi Gomis has been caught offside 20 times this season; 12 more than any other player.

Prediction: Neither side is in form right now and goals have been at a premium. Villa will desperately need the three points after five consecutive defeats; even more so when you take into account their gruelling upcoming fixtures. Swansea have also been poor of late and they need the likes of Shelvey, Montero and Cork to take the pressure off Gomis and Ayew in the goal-scoring department. All signs point to a low-scoring affair that could go either way, but Swansea know that Villa need to come at them and their patient possession style may be enough to stifle the hosts and pinch a win.

Aston Villa 0-1 Swansea

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Stadium: The King Power Stadium, Leicester.

Kick-Off: Saturday 3pm (BST), 9am (CDT), 10am (EDT), 6am (PDT)

Last Season: Crystal Palace 2-0 Leicester City (Sep. 27, 2014)

Leicester City 0-1 Crystal Palace (Feb. 7, 2015)

Form: Leicester: DWDLWD - 9 Points.     Crystal Palace: WLLWWL - 9 Points.

League Position: Leicester: 5th - 16 Points.     Crystal Palace: 6th - 15 Points.

Last Week: Southampton 2-2 Leicester City     Crystal Palace 1-3 West Ham

Top Scorers & Assists: 

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Key Stats:

  • Head-to-head record: Leicester 23 wins, Crystal Palace 23 wins and 17 draws from 63 games.

  • Crystal Palace are unbeaten in the last four meetings, winning both matches between the pair last season.

  • Jamie Vardy is in a rich vein of form, netting in each of his last six games as he leads the Premier League goal-scoring charts with nine.

  • Leicester’s team spirit has been highly praised this season and they have earned a league-high seven points from losing positions so far.

  • Yohan Cabaye has scored a penalty in each of his last three appearances.

  • Alan Pardew’s men have won nine of their last twelve away matches in the Premier League including three from four this season.

  • Leicester have the lowest percentage of possession (46%), the least amount of successful passes (1,984), the lowest pass completion rate (72%) and the least amount of total passes (2,744) of all the teams in the league so far this season.

  • Aside from the pass completion rate, Crystal Palace are the second-worst team for all of the above stats as well.

  • These sides also share the highest number of set-piece goals this season (6).


Prediction: These two have been the surprise packages so far this season and will be hoping to carry on their impressive starts. Leicester have been banging goals in for fun and have the Premier League’s deadliest hit-man looking to score for a seventh consecutive game; which is highly likely given Palace’s clean sheet record. Neither side is particularly strong defensively and hopefully that should apply to the meeting this weekend. With both sides favouring a counter-attacking style it should be tight, but Palace have been brilliant away from home and should be able to nick it.

Leicester City 1-2 Crystal Palace

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Stadium: Carrow Road, Norwich.

Kick-Off: Saturday 3pm (BST), 9am (CDT), 10am (EDT), 6am (PDT)

Last Season: N/A

Form: Norwich: LWDDLL - 5 Points.     West Brom: WDWLLW - 10 Points.

League Position: Norwich: 16th - 9 Points.     West Brom: 13th - 11 Points.

Last Week: Newcastle 6-2 Norwich     West Brom 1-0 Sunderland

Top Scorers & Assists:

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Key Stats:

  • Head-to-head record: West Brom 24 wins, Norwich 20 wins and 15 draws from 59 games.

  • Norwich have won five of the last seven meetings between the pair, including a 3-0 triumph in the Capital One Cup earlier this season.

  • Norwich’s Alex Tettey has received the joint-highest number of yellow cards this season (5), alongside Tottenham’s Eric Dier.

  • West Brom have a surprisingly good away record this season. Before the 2-0 defeat at Crystal Palace last time out, the Baggies were unbeaten in three games on their travels and hadn’t conceded a goal.

  • Tony Pulis’ side have kept the joint-highest number of clean sheets; joining Manchester City and Arsenal with five.

  • It’s a different story for Alex Neil’s men. They are yet to keep a clean sheet this season and have conceded a league-high 20 goals from their 9 games.

  • Norwich have also conceded the highest number of goals from inside the area this season with 19 so far.

  • The Baggies are the only side in the Premier League yet to score in the first 30 minutes of any game.


Prediction: Probably the least exciting game of the weekend on paper, although there is the potential for goals. Norwich have conceded the most and regularly find the net themselves while Saido Berahino has started to bang in the goals once again for the Baggies. But in all honesty this will most likely be a draw, what with West Brom’s excellent defensive record and Norwich’s need to tighten up after shipping six last weekend.

Norwich 1-1 West Brom

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Stadium: Britannia Stadium, Stoke.

Kick-Off: Saturday 3pm (BST), 9am (CDT), 10am (EDT), 6am (PDT)

Last Season: N/A

Form: Stoke: LLDWWW - 10 Points.     Watford: LWWLDL - 7 Points.

League Position: Stoke: 11th - 12 Points.     Watford: 15th - 10 Points.

Last Week: Swansea 0-1 Stoke     Watford 0-3 Arsenal

Top Scorers & Assists:

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Key Stats:

  • Head-to-head record: Stoke 11 wins, Watford 13 wins and 6 draws in 30 games.

  • Watford are unbeaten in their last five meetings with Stoke and haven’t conceded a goal in any of them.

  • In fact, this particular fixture is not renowned for goals. There have been just six goals in the last six games between the pair and only a third of the total matches have seen both sides score a goal.

  • After Miguel Layun was loaned to Porto at the end of August, Odion Ighalo is the only current Watford player to have scored in the Premier League so far.

  • Etienne Capoue has commited the most fouls in the league this season (26)

  • Stoke’s 1-0 win at Swansea on Monday was the first time they have won consecutive away games since 2011; ironically it was also the last time the Potters notched four straight Premier League wins, which they will equal with three points on Saturday.


Prediction: Despite having the upper hand in recent meetings, Watford would do very well to avoid another defeat this weekend. They’re not a bad side, in fact they’re quite organized, but they lack any threat going forward and are always likely to concede at least one. Stoke have slowly clicked into gear after a poor start and the return of Bojan has rekindled their attacking flair. This is also the type of game that the fans expect Xherdan Shaqiri to show his worth, so look out for the Swiss winger’s contribution.

Stoke City 2-0 Watford

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Stadium: Upton Park, West Ham.

Kick-Off: Saturday 3pm (BST), 9am (CDT), 10am (EDT), 6am (PDT)

Last Season: Chelsea 2-0 West Ham (Dec. 26, 2014)

West Ham 0-1 Chelsea (Mar. 4, 2015)

Form: West Ham: WWWDDW - 14 Points.     Chelsea: LLWDLW - 7 Points.

League Position: West Ham: 4th - 17 Points.     Chelsea: 12th - 11 Points.

Last Week: Crystal Palace 1-3 West Ham     Chelsea 2-0 Aston Villa

Top Scorers & Assists: 

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Key Stats: 

  • Head-to-head record: West Ham 37 wins, Chelsea 47 wins and 19 draws in 103 games.

  • Chelsea are unbeaten in the last five meetings between the pair and haven’t conceded since West Ham last beat them in 2012.

  • That 3-1 win for the Hammers is their only victory against the Blues in the last nineteen matches, a run that stretches back to May 2003.

  • Dimitri Payet is not only West Ham’s top scorer and assister, he has also made the highest number of key passes (35) in the Premier League this season.

  • West Ham have scored the most right-footed goals this season (15), while Chelsea have scored the most from outside the area (5) -over a third of their total goals.

  • Despite wins against Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City this season, West Ham have made the highest amount of defensive errors that have led to a goal (5).

  • Don’t rule out a red card this weekend; these sides lead the disciplinary charts with the most this season, sharing five in total (West Ham 3, Chelsea 2)

  • Chelsea have scored the most direct free-kicks this season (3).


Prediction: Form will point to a Hammers win, but history and stature make Chelsea clear favourites. One thing is for sure, Jose Mourinho’s men will face their toughest test at Upton Park for quite some time against a confident West Ham side. Slaven Bilic has turned them into a well-drilled, efficient outfit and may employ similar counter-attacking tactics to that of the impressive wins at Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City. But you have to think that Chelsea will turn their awful start around at some point. They are too good as a team to continue their current form for much longer and this is just the tough test that can kick-start their season. 

West Ham 1-2 Chelsea

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Stadium: Emirates Stadium, London.

Kick-Off: Saturday 5.30pm (BST), 11.30am (CDT), 12.30pm (EDT), 8.30am (PDT)

Last Season: Everton 2-2 Arsenal (Aug. 23, 2014)

Arsenal 2-0 Everton (Mar. 1, 2015)

Form: Arsenal: WWLWWW - 15 Points.     Everton: DWDWDL - 9 Points.

League Position: Arsenal: 2nd - 19 Points.     Everton: 9th - 13 Points.

Last Week: Watford 0-3 Arsenal     Everton 0-3 Manchester United

Top Scorers & Assists:

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Key Stats:

  • Head-to-head record: Arsenal 99 wins, Everton 59 wins and 45 draws in 203 games.

  • Arsenal have the upper hand in recent meetings with a 3-0 defeat in 2014 the only blemish against Everton in the last 17 matches.

  • The visitors dread a trip to the Gunners. They haven’t won at their ground since 1996 (21 attempts) and are yet to taste victory at the Emirates.

  • This game should produce goals; there have only been two 0-0 draws since the Premier League’s inception and only nine in the all 203 meetings between the pair.

  • Arsenal have conceded the joint-lowest goals so far this season (7) alongside bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

  • Gareth Barry started his 550th match against Manchester United last weekend and now sits 21 behind the only man to have more, David James.

  • Arsenal haven’t conceded at the Emirates since West Ham’s opening day victory, while Everton have conceded the fewest goals away from home this season (2).

  • Arsenal are certainly beginning to click. Alexis Sanchez has taken the most shots this season (45), Mesut Ozil has the joint-highest number of assists (6), while Santi Cazorla has attempted the most passes (733) and completed the highest number of them (667).

  • Everton boss Roberto Martinez will be hoping his side can keep their cool; The Toffees have racked up the most yellow cards for dissent this season (3) but the least amount for fouls (7).


Prediction: Everton are a very good side but there should only be one winner here. Arsenal are bang in form; they come into this match on the back of a huge win over Bayern Munich, they’re scoring goals for fun and their key players—Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez—are at the top of their game. Add in Everton’s miserable record at the Emirates and against the Gunners in general, and everything points to a home win. The Toffees’ sturdy defense and organisation will keep the score down but that’s about as good as the away fans can expect.

Arsenal 2-0 Everton

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Stadium: Stadium of Light, Sunderland.

Kick-Off: Sunday 12pm (BST), 6am (CDT), 7am (EDT), 3am (PDT)

Last Season: Newcastle 0-1 Sunderland (Dec. 21, 2014)

Sunderland 1-0 Newcastle (Apr. 5, 2015)

Form: Sunderland: DLLLDL - 2 Points.     Newcastle: LLLDLW - 4 Points.

League Position: Sunderland: 20th - 3 Points.     Newcastle: 18th - 6 Points.

Last Week: West Brom 1-0 Sunderland     Newcastle 6-2 Norwich

Top Scorers & Assists:

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Key Stats:

  • Head-to-head record: Sunderland 49 wins, Newcastle 53 wins and 49 draws in 151 games.

  • Sunderland have won each of the last five meetings between the pair and are unbeaten in seven in total.

  • Each of Sunderland’s last three managers (Paolo Di Canio, Gus Poyet and Dick Advocaat) have had their second match in charge of the club against Newcastle. All three of them lost their first game but won against the Magpies. Amazingly, this weekend Sam Allardyce will also have his second game in charge against Newcastle, after overseeing a 1-0 defeat at West Brom last week.

  • Last week’s four-goal hero, Georginio Wijnaldum, leads the Premier League charts for headed goals this season (4).

  • These two sides have made the least amount of key passes this season. Sunderland have only had 60 and Newcastle a paltry 52.

  • Newcastle have conceded the most right-footed goals (13) and goals from outside the area (5).

  • It doesn’t look good for goals. Both clubs have taken the fewest number of shots from inside the area (Sunderland - 42, Newcastle - 43), the visitors have also had the least amount of shots from outside the area (30) and together they sit bottom of the table for total shots (Sunderland - 85, Newcastle - 78)


Prediction: What is it about Sunderland and their managers in this fixture? In each of the last three seasons the new man at the helm has kick-started his tenure with a win over their bitter rivals and Sam Allardyce is strangely in the same position this weekend. As always with Derbies form goes out the window for the most part, and despite a terrific six-goal win last week, don’t expect the Magpies to start turning on the style here. It will be tight with maybe just the one goal in the game, but given the stat surrounding Sunderland managers in this fixture coupled with the fact that they haven’t won a game yet…football has it’s romantic script ready.

Sunderland 1-0 Newcastle

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Stadium: Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth.

Kick-Off: Sunday 2.05pm (BST), 8.05am (CDT), 9.05am (EDT), 5.05am (PDT)

Last Season: N/A

Form: Bournemouth: DLWLDL - 5 Points.     Tottenham: DWWWDD - 12 Points.

League Position: Bournemouth: 17th - 8 Points.    Tottenham: 7th - 14 Points.

Last Week: Manchester City 5-1 Bournemouth     Tottenham 0-0 Liverpool

Top Scorers & Assists:

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Key Stats:

  • Head-to-head record: These sides have only met once; in the F.A Cup in 1957 which resulted in a 3-1 win for Tottenham. They have never played each other in the league.

  • Tottenham have won the highest percentage of tackles away from home (49%) but have the worst percentage for successful duels across all games this season (Aerial, tackles and take-ons - 45%)

  • Tottenham have committed the most fouls this season (132)

  • Bournemouth have the lowest tackling success rate in the league (36%)

  • Only Manchester United (18) have blocked fewer shots than Bournemouth (19)

  • Tottenham will be hoping that Heung Min Son is available after injury. The Lilywhites have won all of the three games that he has played this season.


Prediction: Spurs have been strong in the league and finally look like they’re becoming a more defensively solid outfit under Pochettino. But their trip to Anderlecht in midweek exposed the same problem that has maligned their season—converting chances into goals. Last year’s wonder-boy Harry Kane has seen his goals dry up and, aside from Christian Eriksen, there isn’t another attacking threat. Bournemouth have been naive in their approach at times this season, but their hammering at Man City has led to Eddie Howe admitting it needs to change. What with Spurs’ preference to dominate the football but inability to find a cutting edge, the Cherries have every chance of grabbing a point or snatching it on the break. Spurs should win, but it’s not as cut-and-dry as everyone may think.

Bournemouth 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur

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Stadium: Anfield, Liverpool.

Kick-Off: Sunday 4pm (BST), 10am (CDT), 11am (EDT), 7am (PDT)

Last Season: Liverpool 2-1 Southampton (Aug. 17, 2014)

Southampton 0-2 Liverpool (Feb. 22, 2015)

Form: Liverpool: LLDWDD - 6 Points.     Southampton: WDLWWD - 11 Points.

League Position: Liverpool: 10th - 13 Points.     Southampton: 8th - 13 Points.

Last Week: Tottenham 0-0 Liverpool     Southampton 2-2 Leicester

Top Scorers & Assists:

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Key Stats:

  • Head-to-head record: Liverpool 50 wins, Southampton 27 wins and 22 draws in 99 games.

  • This will be the 100th meeting between the sides.

  • There has only been one 0-0 draw between the pair since the Premier League was established and that came in May 2000.

  • Liverpool have scored the fewest right-footed shots (4) and goals from inside the area this season (6), while they are also the 3rd lowest scorers in the division (8).

  • However, the Reds have conceded the fewest headed goals (1) and are yet to concede from outside the area this season.

  • After his clean sheet at Tottenham last weekend, Simon Mignolet has had the most shutouts (13) of any other goalkeeper in 2015.

  • Liverpool racked up 614 sprints against Spurs. They are the first team to out-sprint the North London club this season.

  • Graziano Pelle has had the second highest number of shots this season (38) and the most from inside the area so far (36).


Prediction: This is probably the hardest game to judge. Liverpool are still in the first week of a new manager’s regime and Southampton are bouncing between looking brilliant and looking poor, which was signalled in their collapse at home to Leicester last week. Jurgen Klopp will ensure his new side works hard but there are bound to be teething problems during the first few outings. Goals have also been hard to come by for the Reds so they will have to be solid defensively to keep out Pelle and co. If the Saints can replicate the performance against Chelsea a few weeks ago, then they could seal a famous win. But Liverpool should be up for this in Klopp’s first home league game and may sneak a narrow win.

Liverpool 1-0 Southampton

Our Predictions

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Last Week

Winner: Lucas Morel (15 Points)

Lucas gained his first-ever win in Predictor by amassing a huge total of 15 points. He correctly guessed three scores; Southampton and Leicester’s 2-2 draw, Chelsea’s 2-0 win at home to Villa and Arsenal’s comprehensive 3-0 success at Watford. But he also made the most of his banker, adding it to the Arsenal game for a full six points. Lucas also had wins for Manchester City, Manchester United and Stoke to take the win for gameweek nine. Congratulations Lucas!

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Overall Rankings

Lucas’ huge total sees him leapfrog four places into 5th, sandwiched between Max and Noah. Mark stretches his lead further with another 12 point haul and is averaging 9.3 points per week, while at the other end Stephen Wood got off the mark in his first week with a steady 6 points.

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Think you can do better?

We here at SQ want to know what you think. Send us your predictions for all 10 Premier League games in the comments section below, and we will add your name to the rankings table and weekly scores. Go head-to-head with our writers to earn the title of “SQ Predictor Champion.”

The overall winner at the end of the season will win a Premier League jersey of their choice! Send us your predictions each week to be in with a shout!

Edited by Julian Boireau, William Ledy.

SQuiz
Which player has had the most consecutive shots without scoring (110) in the Premier League?
Created 10/22/15
  1. Karl Henry
  2. Papa Bouba Diop
  3. Nabil Bentaleb
  4. Luke Shaw

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