What a crazy return to the Premier League after a week off! For the first time in....(maybe ever?), I went 0-3 on my predictions as well. Although Crystal Palace has been looking like a new team under Pardew, Everton decided it was time to finally get a win and snuck by the Eagles with a 1-0 win. All signs pointed towards Chelsea breaking open their lead against second place, Manchester City, but all they could muster was a draw. Southampton had the opportunity to make up some ground against the leaders of the pack, but instead fell to the spoilers of the season, Swansea City.
Yes, week 23 was pretty exciting, but the soccer world wasn't all crazy this week, let's start with.....
The Transfer Deadline
What a snorefest that was this year! Plenty of great rumors leading up to it this season, but in the end? Not a whole lot to write home about.
Arguably the biggest move was Juan Cuadrado heading to Chelsea to take the place of Andre Schurrle who left Chelsea for Wolfsburg shortly before. Now don't get me wrong, I use the term "take the place of" very lightly, Schurrle and Cuadrado are both very different from each other, but I actually think Cuadrado could make Chelsea even more deadly. He's one of those players who can do magical things with the ball and although I love Schurrle's more straight forward approach, it should be fun to see what Cuadrado can do for the Blues.
Aaron Lennon also came up with a big payday transferring from Serie A's Fiorentina to Everton. Sounds like just what the Doctor ordered for Martinez's squad, but allegedly there are some photos out there of Lennon that make Grumpy Cat look happy.....I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
Arsenal decimates Villa
The Villains are en route to having the worst offensive season in recent Premier League history. That, however didn't stop the Gunners from running the score against them as they destroyed Villa 5-0 in front of a packed house at Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal may be 11 points away from the top of the table, but it still might be a good time for the Gunners to get hot. Right now they look unstoppable (I apologize to any Arsenal fans if I have jinxed them) and who knows how Chelsea and Man City will be able to close out the season? Of course they still have Man U (one point ahead of Arsenal) and Southampton (tied with Arsenal) to get past before that, but all signs point toward Arsenal making a run.
But hey, let's not forget about the Spurs quite yet....
Although even 11 points seems like a large mountain to climb for the Gunners, it isn't out of the question and 13 for Tottenham isn't either.
The Spurs looked good against West Brom this past weekend, defeating Albion 3-0 at The Hawthorns. Although the Baggies are mid table, much like Arsenal, the Spurs have shown a spark lately that could make things interesting headed down the stretch. If not a Premier League title, both of these teams could be looking at UEFA Champion's League spots.
Alright, time for my matches of the week, please do chime in with your predictions in the comment section below.
Tottenham v. Arsenal
Well hey would you look at that? After saying these two should be fun headed down the stretch....they meet in Week 24.
Although I really do believe both sides are finally becoming more consistent this season, I do think Arsenal is the stronger team all together and even though the Gunners are on the road for this one, I think they'll come away with all three points. My Prediction: Tottenham 2 - 3 Arsenal
Everton v. Liverpool
The battle of Merseyside wages on this week as the Toffees host the Reds. As I have stated way too many times on this blog through the season....neither of these teams have quite lived up to expectations, however Liverpool has looked a little better as of late.
So of course I am picking Everton to upset their rivals at home. My prediction: Everton 2 - 1 Liverpool
Leicester City v. Crystal Palace
Both teams are coming off of Week 23 losses, but there are many who still believe in Pardew raising Crystal Palace from the ashes.
The Eagles probably should have at least had a draw against Everton while the Foxes struggled mightily against Manchester United.
My prediction: Leicester City 1 - 3 Crystal Palace.