Thursday, December 24, 2009

EPL Boxing Day to 2010 Preview

As usual, the last week of the year is filled with English football. This season the fixtures list is as well organized as Germany sitting on a 1-0 lead. Each club plays one match at home and one away. Most clubs play on Boxing Day and then again two days later. There are, however, two matches on the 27th, 29th and 30th so after Christmas you are covered until New Year's Eve.

I'm going to make this a long preview, going through each club starting at the top of the table.

at Birmingham the 26th
vs Fulham the 28th

Chelsea are relatively injury free, they should only be missing Essien and Bosingwa. Essien, who was hurt two weeks ago in a meaningless Champions League match, is a huge loss but their injury situation is not nearly as bad as their two main rivals for the title. Chelsea have two fairly tough matches. While they are favored in each match, they are underdogs to win both of them.

The model says:
Expected points: 4.44
6 points: 45.3% chance
4 points: 27%
3 points: 17.5%
2 points: 3.8%
1 point: 4.9%
0 points: 1.5%

Manchester United
at Hull the 27th
vs Wigan the 30th

It seems like the Red Devils are missing just about everybody. Certainly out for both matches are van der Sar, O'Shea, Evans, Ferdinand and Hargreaves. Nani should be out for both as well. Probably out for the first, and maybe out for the second as well are Vidic, Giggs, Neville and Brown. The good news if you're a United fan is that both matches are against weak opponents. In fact, Hull and Wigan are the worst in the league in goal differential.

The model says:
Expected points: 4.96
6 points: 60.3% chance
4 points: 22.5%
3 points: 12.8%
2 points: 1.8%
1 point: 2%
0 points: 0.6%

vs Aston Villa the 27th
at Portsmouth the 30th

Arsenal are also in bad shape as far as injuries go. van Persie, Rosicky, Gibbs, Clichy and Bendtner will be out for both matches. Traore and most importantly Fabregas are questionable for the first match against Villa. That match should be a great one that is big for both sides. I think the Portsmouth match will be tougher than it appears as well. Arsenal should be ok and playing later than most teams should help them slightly since it give Cesc an extra day to heal. Plus they get two days off in between instead of the more common one.

The model says:
4.14 expected points
6 points: 37.5% chance
4 points: 28.0%
3 points: 20.3%
2 points: 4.9%
1 point: 6.9%
0 points: 2.4%

Aston Villa
at Arsenal the 27th
vs Liverpool the 29th

If you are a neutral and have to watch just one club this week it should probably be Villa as they play what look like the two best fixtures. Heskey went down with a groin strain last weekend and is questionable for both matches, otherwise they are healthy. That's good news as they'll need to put full effort into both matches against potential rivals for European spots. Their second match may be extra tough since they only have one day off in between whilst Liverpool will have two.

Expected points: 1.84
6 points: 4.0%
4 points: 9.9%
3 points: 27.1%
2 points: 5.7%
1 point: 27.3%
0 points: 26%

Tottenham Hotspur
at Fulham the 26th
vs West Ham the 28th

Two fairly tough matches await Spurs who are hoping to take advantage of recent form. Nothing new on the injury front. They will still be without Woodgate as well as the out-of-favo(u)r Bentley. Luka Modric, returning from breaking his leg last August, came on as a sub on the 12th against Wolves but did not play against Man City. He may not start both matches but it seems like he should play in one or both matches. Given Aston Villa's two matches, this would be a great opportunity for Spurs to slide into the fourth Champions League spot, at least temporarily.

Expected points: 3.72
6 points: 25.3%
4 points: 27.3%
3 points: 31.5%
2 points: 4.4%
1 point: 8.3%
0 points: 3.2%

Man City
vs Stoke City on the 26th
at Wolverhampton Wanderers the 28th
Expected Points: 3.98

vs Chelsea on the 26th
at Stoke City on the 28th
Expected Points: 1.91

vs Wolves the 26th
at Aston Villa the 29th
Expected Points: 3.88

vs Tottenham the 26th
at Chelsea the 28th
Expected Points: 1.9

vs Everton the 26th
at Blackburn the 28th
Expected Points: 2.65

vs Bolton the 26th
at Everton the 28th
Expected Points: 2.6

at Sunderland the 26th
vs Burnley the 28th
Expected Points: 3.09

vs Blackburn the 26th
at Manchester United the 30th
Expected Points: 1.94

vs Manchester United on the 27th
at Bolton the 29th
Expected Points: 1.28

at Burnley the 26th
vs Hull City the 29th
Expected Points: 2.91

West Ham
vs Portsmouth the 26th
at Tottenham the 28th
Expected Points: 1.98

at West Ham the 26th
vs Arsenal the 30th
Expected Points: 1.99

1 comment:

  1. Chelsea are placing great emphasis on league title this season. They were only won 1 out of 4 recent matches so the Blue is thirst to win this match.

    Birmingham on the other hand has reach the top form and starts falling.