Friday, 12 August 2016

Football Survivor: A Game by Game Guide, Part Two

I've had a go at predicting which team you should back in the first 20 weeks of the Premier League! So have a read about the perfect strategy to survive in Football Survivor!

Match 11: Bournemouth v. Sunderland 
This is a big game, make no mistake, as both teams will be fighting for the drop this season. Bournemouth, having lost Matt Ritchie, will be looking to assert themselves as a Premier League side this season. Last year, they were fantastic at points, beating Manchester United at home and battling to stay alive. Striker, Wilson, was very unlucky with injuries last season and Bournemouth’s form slumped as a result, but with Eddie Howe in charge, and some decent summer acquisitions, you’d expect them to kick on. These are exactly the sort of games that the Cherries will have to win if they are to stay in the PL this season. 

Match 12: West Brom v. Burnley 
Tony Pulis will be looking to kick on this season at the Hawthorns. His tenure as Baggies manager has been disappointing thus far, with many expecting him to inspire the club to the mid table of the Premier League. The almost certain loss of Saido Berahino ought to act as a catalyst for improved performance as the young Englishman has been flirting with a move away from the midlands for the last several seasons. Pulis will have a big job on his hands invigorating an ageing squad. But, the visitors in this particular clash ought to be dealt with. If Rondon is scoring goals and performing to the level that he can manage, than it ought to be an easy home win. 

Match 13: Leicester v. Middlesborough 
The Champions will fancy this one. Leicester still look a real threat heading into the new season, even with the loss of N’Golo Kante and the rumours surrounding Riyad Mahrez’s future. In reality, Leicester have a stronger team than last year around, the signing of Musa looks a real bargain given his impressive cameo performances against both Barcelona and Manchester United in pre-season. Expect teams to face Leicester in a different way this season, no longer are they unpredictable. Ranieri’s men will stay behind the ball and counter attack as much as possible; but with the quality players that Leicester have at their disposal, knowing what they’re going to do and stopping them doing it are two very different things. 

Match 14: Everton v. Manchester United
This is what Football Survivor is all about, backing teams against the odds, when up against it and in desperate need of some points. Yet, don't rule Everton out of this clash against United. For the Red Devils, Goodison Park is never an easy place to go. Although running out convincing winners last time around, United under Fergusson had a very mixed record at the home of the Toffees. Mourinho and co will need to be at there very best to get a result here, in an atmosphere which is sure to be intimidating and vocal.

Ronald Koeman

Match 15: Hull City v. Crystal Palace
Surely the’ve got to win at least one of their games? Here’s hoping that this is one of a few.. or even the only one? The KC Stadium will need to be at its very rocking best to inspire a result from the Tigers here. Yet, Palace might be the type of team that suits Hull. Lets not forget, there are some talented individuals still in Humberside; Hernandez, Snodgrass and Davies will all fancy themselves as Premier League quality players. Lets hope they can prove it in this fixture!

Match 16: Stoke City v. Southampton 
This is a very even game, on paper. Stoke, as mentioned previously, have some fantastic players, as do Southampton, so we expect this to be a very tight affair. Stoke will press the Saints all over the park, and this might be why Southampton could knick it with a goal on the counter attack using their pace. Shane Long is a fantastic striker to have when running in behind and in the channels and up against a relatively physical and slower Stoke backline, he’ll fancy it. Claude Puel will need to win this type of away game if he wants to push his team into the higher places in the league. 

Match 17: Man City v. Arsenal 
I’ve saved one of the big guns for late in the game… but now I’ve gotta back them in a clash of the titans. Pep Guardiola will look at these games as must win if City are to win another Premier League title. No doubt, Arsenal will go into this expecting a very tough game, certainly if Wenger doesn’t strengthen any further in the transfer market. City, on the other hand, should be well up for this given that they would’ve had the appropriate time frame to begin to adopt some of Pep’s ideas and philosophies. I would expect a close game here, but ultimately home advantage counting enough for the Citizens to grab a precious three points.

Pep Guardiola

Match  18: Watford v. Crystal Palace
The Hornets will need to be at their best to win this - but they ought to think that the atmosphere at Vicarage Road will get them through this. It seems that Watford have successfully managed to keep hold of Troy Deeney, which is huge for any chance of success. This is a repeat of the FA Cup Semi Final at Wembley last season, which Palace eventually won 2-1, so revenge will be on the cards for Watford. Expect Watford to sneak this one!

Match 19: Burnley v. Sunderland 
You can’t really pick a winner here - but you’ve got to. Thats what Football Survivor is all about and thats why its such fun. In what could be an absolutely vital game at the bottom of the table; Sunderland need to go to Turf Moore and win. By this point, its anyones game really here. So its time to start praying and hoping that a Jermain Defoe inspired Sunderland can get those vital points they need! 

Match 20: Crystal Place v. Swansea

This is it… it all comes down to this. Alan Pardew and his little dance has gotta inspire Palace to a home win in order for you to survive… Can it be done? Hell yeah, Jason Puncheon rolls back those years for a late Palace winner which not only sends the Selhurst Park faithful into pandemonium but you into the promised land. You’re now officially in Football Survivor folklore as the greatest player ever… Or, Swansea spoil the party and you’ll forever be remembered by your mates as a Specialist in Failure. 

Disclaimer: Following these guides may not actually let you win... 

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