6 Ways To Help Your Child Discover Their Talents

6 Ways To Help Your Child Discover Their Talents

A child’s talent is one of the things that significantly increases their self-esteem and purpose in life. Having that one thing that they do effortlessly will also enable them to make friends with similar interests, choose a career, and have a great way to spend their free time, all which will increase their quality of life. In case you are trying to figure out your child’s gifts, here are a few tips that can help you:

Observe their interests

You might be tempted to sign them up for volleyball or science club because you were a star player or have a career in research, but the better thing to do would be to sit back and watch where they naturally gravitate towards. This way you will be sure of their interests, instead of wasting valuable time and energy in areas that they simply do not fit. For instance, if your child enjoys kicking a ball, or playing Sudoku, you can easily deduce where their talents lie.

Help them discover their interests

You are encouraged to take your kids to schools that expose your kids to a wide variety of subjects and extracurricular activities. If they start thriving in a specific sport or form of art, you should consider enrolling them in a camp or hiring a tutor to hone their skills. Camps like Lionville Soccer exist to enhance their skills further, leading to a rewarding career.

Avoid having high expectations too soon

Some kids have seized the headlines with their extraordinary gifts as early as five years of age, but that might not be your child. Having unreasonable expectations may make them feel overwhelmed, inadequate and might make them drop the interest eventually.

Find the delicate balance between pushing them and taking a step back

Understanding whether your child gave up a particular interest because they feel inadequate or it simply does not work is somewhat complicated. The opinions of their coach or teacher will come in handy, as they will give unbiased, professional advice. They will tell you how to support them and resources they can use to practice and better themselves.

However, if your child does not like it, let it go, as they will end up harboring resentment. Maybe they found something else that they love better than the first interest.

Accept the child as they are

If you are going to discover your child’s actual talents, you need to start by accepting who they are, their unique gifts and limitations. Avoid comparing them to the kids next door, their siblings, cousins, and classmates. Embracing your child as they are opens your mind up to all possibilities and helps you support them regardless of what path they choose.

Look out for certain traits

If your child has an excellent memory and vast vocabulary, enjoys reading and intellectually challenging activities and is unusually critical and skeptical, they may be exceptionally gifted. There are tests online that you can use to determine if your child has an extraordinarily high IQ (130 and above).

Conclusion:

Identifying your child’s gift outside of academics is a great way to enhance their well being. Imagination, creativity, and fun can also go a long way in ensuring your child’s long term stability, and often make for great careers.

West Ham v Fulham: the psychology and the predictions

This has not been a good year for West Ham – indeed it was not a good end to the old year either.

Among the low points there was the end of the year defeat to Burnley, the FA Cup trauma against AFC Wimbledon, and now five games without a win.

30 Dec 2018 Burnley v West Ham United L 2-0
02 Jan 2019 West Ham United v Brighton and Hove Albion D 2-2
05 Jan 2019 West Ham United v Birmingham City FAC W 2-0
12 Jan 2019 West Ham United v Arsenal W 1-0
19 Jan 2019 AFC Bournemouth v West Ham United L 2-0
26 Jan 2019 AFC Wimbledon v West Ham United FAC L 4-2
29 Jan 2019 Wolverhampton Wanderers v West Ham United L 3-0
04 Feb 2019 West Ham United v Liverpool D 1-1
09 Feb 2019 Crystal Palace v West Ham United D 1-1

Normally comparing Fulham with any other team, Fulham come off worst, but not in this case…

29 Dec 2018 Fulham v Huddersfield Town W 1-0
01 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Fulham L 4-1
06 Jan 2019 Fulham v Oldham Athletic FAC L 1-2
12 Jan 2019 Burnley v Fulham L 2-1
20 Jan 2019 Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur L 1-2
29 Jan 2019 Fulham v Brighton and Hove Albion W 4-2
02 Feb 2019 Crystal Palace v Fulham L 2-0
09 Feb 2019 Fulham v Manchester United L 0-3

Fulham across the same period also have two wins – beating Huddersfield (who seem to find it impossible to beat anyone) and Brighton (which was more of a surprise).  But otherwise it is defeats all the way.

Fulham of course are still relegation favourites however while West Ham are solidly mid-table.  It would take a continuing collapse in confidence for West Ham to slip below 12th position – but a defeat in this game could well give them that dark feeling.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
10 West Ham United 26 9 6 11 32 39 -7 33
11 AFC Bournemouth 26 10 3 13 37 47 -10 33
12 Leicester City 26 9 5 12 31 34 -3 32
13 Crystal Palace 26 7 6 13 27 34 -7 27
14 Brighton and Hove Albion 26 7 6 13 28 39 -11 27
15 Burnley 26 7 6 13 29 47 -18 27
16 Newcastle United 26 6 7 13 22 34 -12 25
17 Cardiff City 26 7 4 15 24 47 -23 25
18 Southampton 26 5 9 12 28 44 -16 24
19 Fulham 26 4 5 17 25 58 -33 17
20 Huddersfield Town 26 2 5 19 14 48 -34 11

Looking at the home only games West Ham are not that impressive

Home games only

11 Brighton and Hove Albion 13 5 4 4 16 15 1 19
12 West Ham United 13 5 3 5 18 19 -1 18
13 Cardiff City 13 5 2 6 15 23 -8 17
14 Fulham 13 4 3 6 17 26 -9 15

Five wins and five defeats at home and a goal difference at the “London Stadium” of minus one is not impressive for a club that seem to start each season with the owners suggesting they have major aspirations.

But they are playing Fulham, a team whose away record is beyond catastrophic

Away games only

17 Brighton and Hove Albion 13 2 2 9 12 24 -12 8
18 Cardiff City 13 2 2 9 9 24 -15 8
19 Huddersfield Town 12 1 3 8 8 26 -18 6
20 Fulham 13 0 2 11 8 32 -24 2

No wins, two draws.  The Fulham team psychologist will have to perform miracles in order to get the players of Fulham to believe that they can get their first away win.  They will need luck, and a collapse in belief by WHU.  It could happen, but a 2-0 win to WHU seems more likely.

Cardiff City v Watford: the psychology and the predictions

Cardiff City are moderately placed in the home games league table

Home matches only

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 14 13 0 1 49 11 38 39
2 Liverpool 13 11 2 0 35 7 28 35
3 Arsenal 13 10 2 1 28 11 17 32
4 Chelsea 13 8 4 1 26 9 17 28
5 Tottenham Hotspur 13 9 0 4 24 12 12 27
6 Manchester United 12 7 4 1 25 16 9 25
7 AFC Bournemouth 13 7 3 3 25 17 8 24
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 14 6 3 5 20 19 1 21
9 Everton 14 6 3 5 21 21 0 21
10 Watford 13 6 2 5 17 18 -1 20
11 Brighton and Hove Albion 13 5 4 4 16 15 1 19
12 West Ham United 13 5 3 5 18 19 -1 18
13 Cardiff City 13 5 2 6 15 23 -8 17

But they have lost more game at home than they have won, and their goal difference is particularly poor for a home team.

Watford away from home look more convincing and at this stage of the season that certainly can affect the psychology of the team.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 13 11 0 2 30 13 17 33
2 Liverpool 13 9 3 1 24 8 16 30
3 Manchester City 13 8 2 3 25 9 16 26
4 Manchester United 14 8 2 4 27 19 8 26
5 Chelsea 13 7 1 5 19 20 -1 22
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers 12 5 3 4 14 14 0 18
7 Arsenal 13 5 3 5 25 26 -1 18
8 Leicester City 14 5 3 6 18 21 -3 18
9 Watford 13 4 5 4 17 16 1 17

A positive goal difference (ok just +1 but still better than Cardiff at home) and a balance of wins and losses – four of each.

From the start of the year Cardiff have not had the best of times – there has of course been the terrible trauma of their attempted transfer which ended in a tragic plane crash – and on the pitch things have been difficult…

01 Jan 2019 Cardiff City v Tottenham Hotspur L 0-3
05 Jan 2019 Gillingham v Cardiff City FAC L 1-0
12 Jan 2019 Cardiff City v Huddersfield Town D 0-0
19 Jan 2019 Newcastle United v Cardiff City L 3-0
29 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Cardiff City L 2-1
02 Feb 2019 Cardiff City v AFC Bournemouth W 2-0
09 Feb 2019 Southampton v Cardiff City W 1-2

Watford on the other hand have had a much better run

02 Jan 2019 AFC Bournemouth v Watford D 3-3
06 Jan 2019 Woking v Watford FAC W 0-2
12 Jan 2019 Crystal Palace v Watford W 1-2
19 Jan 2019 Watford v Burnley D 0-0
26 Jan 2019 Newcastle United v Watford FAC W 0-2
30 Jan 2019 Tottenham Hotspur v Watford L 2-1
02 Feb 2019 Brighton and Hove Albion v Watford D 0-0
09 Feb 2019 Watford v Everton W 1-0
15 Feb 2019 Queens Park Rangers v Watford FAC W 0-1

Only one defeat in this run since the start of the new year, and that against high-flying Tottenham – otherwise it is progress both in the league and the cup.

True, the FA Cup run might well disrupt their focus a little, now that they are in the sixth round, but it should be noted that they are very much in the habit of not losing.  Cardiff on the other hand have lost four league matches and won just two.

But those two wins were the last two games played by Cardiff, beating Bournemouth and Southampton.  That will help Cardiff’s morale.

I suspect the best Cardiff can expect is a draw, and that they will be happy with that.  Cardiff have lost their last two games against Watford (one in the Championship, one in the Premier League) and so a draw will be an improvement.

Overall Cardiff are still possibles for relegation, so every point they can get could help – and with Southampton away to Arsenal (who have a very strong home record) it could help them pull one further point away from the bottom three.

Home and away

Pos P W D L F A GD Pts
16 Newcastle United 26 6 7 13 22 34 -12 25
17 Cardiff City 26 7 4 15 24 47 -23 25
18 Southampton 26 5 9 12 28 44 -16 24
19 Fulham 26 4 5 17 25 58 -33 17
20 Huddersfield Town 26 2 5 19 14 48 -34 11

I’ll go for a draw because of the boost of recent Cardiff results, but a decent Watford game could give them the victory by 1-2, as they must be feeling able to beat any team lower than them in the league.  The only thing that could disturb their psychology, is thoughts of the FA Cup.

Arsenal v Southampton: the predictions, the form and the psychology

It was a defeat away to Southampton that started Arsenal on a downward turn earlier in the season after a very long unbeaten run.  But Arsenal’s away form is nothing like their home form, and so they should feel confident.

However Southampton will enter the game knowing that they did give Arsenal a rough time of it at their home ground.  So who will come out on top?

Arsenal’s home form remains very positive

Home games only…

P Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 14 13 0 1 49 11 38 39
2 Liverpool 13 11 2 0 35 7 28 35
3 Arsenal 13 10 2 1 28 11 17 32
4 Chelsea 13 8 4 1 26 9 17 28
5 Tottenham Hotspur 13 9 0 4 24 12 12 27
6 Manchester United 12 7 4 1 25 16 9 25

Whereas Southampton’s away form is anything but positive…

Away games only

15 Southampton 13 3 3 7 13 23 -10 12
16 AFC Bournemouth 13 3 0 10 12 30 -18 9
17 Brighton and Hove 13 2 2 9 12 24 -12 8
18 Cardiff City 13 2 2 9 9 24 -15 8
19 Huddersfield Town 12 1 3 8 8 26 -18 6
20 Fulham 13 0 2 11 8 32 -24 2

The goal difference of the two clubs looks significant as well: Arsenal have scored 28 and conceded 11 at home, while Southampton have scored 13 and conceded 23 away.   Just on average scores Arsenal should win 2-1, but if we take into account that Arsenal do have a powerful forward line who can exploit the situation against lower positioned clubs, it would be foolish to bank against Arsenal getting three or four.  One might also look out for a couple of goals coming in the last ten minutes of the game as Southampton wilt.

Of course, Arsenal’s form this year has not been what was hoped for by Arsenal fans…

01 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Fulham W 4-1
05 Jan 2019 Blackpool v Arsenal FAC W 0-3
12 Jan 2019 West Ham United v Arsenal L 1-0
19 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Chelsea W 2-0
25 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Manchester United FAC L 1-3
29 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Cardiff City W 2-1
03 Feb 2019 Manchester City v Arsenal L 3-1
09 Feb 2019 Huddersfield Town v Arsenal W 1-2
14 Feb 2019 FC BATE Borisov v Arsenal Europa L 1-0

But although the figures for this year read five wins and four defeats, only one of those defeats was at Arsenal Stadium.

Southampton from the start of the year…

02 Jan 2019 Chelsea v Southampton D 0-0
05 Jan 2019 Derby County v Southampton FAC D 2-2
12 Jan 2019 Leicester City v Southampton W 1-2
16 Jan 2019 Southampton v Derby County FAC L 2-2 (3-5)
19 Jan 2019 Southampton v Everton W 2-1
30 Jan 2019 Southampton v Crystal Palace D 1-1
02 Feb 2019 Burnley v Southampton D 1-1
09 Feb 2019 Southampton v Cardiff City L 1-2

Of the eight matches, four were away from home, resulting in one win, three draws and no defeats.   And this is where Southampton will start to find confidence.  Their last away defeat was back on 8 December, away to Cardiff, and for them a draw would be a victory.

But looking at the January scores Southampton have never scored more than two goals in a match, and although Arsenal’s defence is widely noted to be not of the best, Southampton probably recognise that knocking in two past Arsenal in London is going to be tough.

It can happen that a team will put two or more past Arsenal on their own patch – but it is rare…

Date Match Res Score Competition
12 Aug 2018 Arsenal v Manchester City L 0-2 Premier League
20 Sep 2018 Arsenal v Vorskla Poltava W 4-2 Europa League
02 Dec 2018 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur W 4-2 Premier League
19 Dec 2018 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur L 0-2 League Cup
25 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Manchester United L 1-3 FA Cup

It has happened five times this season that teams have scored two or more goals against Arsenal at the Arsenal Stadium.  Of those five Arsenal still won the match twice.  The other three games were against top six clubs, which suggests Southampton are going to have to have a wonderful day, while Arsenal will have very much an off day for Southampton to get anything from the game…

And Arsenal have another incentive as the league table shows

P Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 27 21 2 4 74 20 54 65
2 Liverpool 26 20 5 1 59 15 44 65
3 Tottenham Hotspur 26 20 0 6 54 25 29 60
4 Manchester United 26 15 6 5 52 35 17 51
5 Arsenal 26 15 5 6 53 37 16 50
6 Chelsea 26 15 5 6 45 29 16 50

Three clubs are chasing fourth position in the league, and there is only one point and one goal between them.  No one wants to slip up, and extra goals really could count at the end of the season.

Burnley v Tottenham: the predictions and the psychology

Tottenham Hotspur may be third in the league, with only the most optimistic of their supporters thinking they might overtake both of the clubs above them to win the league in colour (as their manager suggested the other day), but when it comes to away form, they are supreme.

Away games only

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 13 11 0 2 30 13 17 33
2 Liverpool 13 9 3 1 24 8 16 30
3 Manchester City 13 8 2 3 25 9 16 26
4 Manchester United 14 8 2 4 27 19 8 26

Over two goals a game away from home scored, and only two matches all season that they have not won.  It is quite a remarkable record.

This form hasn’t come completely out of the blue (they were second in the away league last season) but it is an improvement.  Last season they had four away draws and five away defeats by the end of the season.

Burnley at home however are in the lower part of the league

Home games only

14 Fulham 13 4 3 6 17 26 -9 15
15 Leicester City 12 4 2 6 13 13 0 14
16 Burnley 12 4 2 6 15 22 -7 14
17 Crystal Palace 13 3 4 6 9 12 -3 13
18 Newcastle United 13 4 1 8 12 18 -6 13
19 Southampton 13 2 6 5 15 21 -6 12
20 Huddersfield Town 14 1 2 11 6 22 -16 5

15 goals scored at home and 22 conceded.   On the basis of home and away form this looks very much like Tottenham’s game.

The only thing that might work in Burnley’s favour is Tottenham’s champions league game (this preview being written before that is played).  But other than that there is not too much to unsettle the team.  There have been three defeats in the last seven games, which is unusual, but the last three have been won.

13 Jan 2019 Tottenham H v Manchester United L 0-1
20 Jan 2019 Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur W 1-2
24 Jan 2019 Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur LC L 2-1 (4-2)
27 Jan 2019 Crystal Palace v Tottenham H  FAC L 2-0
30 Jan 2019 Tottenham Hotspur v Watford W 2-1
02 Feb 2019 Tottenham H v Newcastle United W 1-0
10 Feb 2019 Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City W 3-1

Burnley however are having a tougher time of it

19 Jan 2019 Watford v Burnley D 0-0
26 Jan 2019 Manchester City v Burnley FAC L 5-0
29 Jan 2019 Manchester United v Burnley D 2-2
02 Feb 2019 Burnley v Southampton D 1-1
09 Feb 2019 Brighton and Hove Albion v Burnley W 1-3

The draw with Manchester United game them some hope but otherwise it looks like Tottenham all the way.  I can’t see any psychological factor that will be likely to get in the way.

Huddersfield Town v Arsenal: how Town can get a point – or maybe three.

This ought to be a simple walkover, what with Huddersfield being at the bottom of the league and looking certain to go back down to the Championship…

Pos Team P W D L F A GD
Pts
16 Southampton 25 5 9 11 27 42 -15 24
17 Burnley 25 6 6 13 26 46 -20 24
18 Cardiff City 25 6 4 15 22 46 -24 22
19 Fulham 25 4 5 16 25 55 -30 17
20 Huddersfield Town 25 2 5 18 13 46 -33 11

So what makes us pause even for a second?

The answer of course is Arsenal’s away form…

Away games only

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 13 11 0 2 30 13 17 33
2 Liverpool 13 9 3 1 24 8 16 30
3 Manchester City 13 8 2 3 25 9 16 26
4 Manchester United 13 7 2 4 24 19 5 23
5 Chelsea 12 7 1 4 19 14 5 22
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers 12 5 3 4 14 14 0 18
7 Leicester City 13 5 3 5 17 18 -1 18
8 Watford 13 4 5 4 17 16 1 17
9 Arsenal 12 4 3 5 23 25 -2 15

Arsenal needed to up their away form this season if they were going to improve on their sixth placed finish last season, but have so far only won 4 away games, and having a goal difference of -2.  So when we come to the psychology, this is where worries might start to occur.

But even with Arsenal’s poor form, they have managed 23 goals away from home, almost double Huddersfield’s entire home and away total.

However the psychology twists back the other way as the Town players contemplate their current run of form…

01 Dec 2018 Huddersfield Town v Brighton and Hove L 1-2
04 Dec 2018 AFC Bournemouth v Huddersfield Town L 2-1
08 Dec 2018 Arsenal v Huddersfield Town L 1-0
15 Dec 2018 Huddersfield Town v Newcastle United L 0-1
22 Dec 2018 Huddersfield Town v Southampton L 1-3
26 Dec 2018 Manchester United v Huddersfield Town L 3-1
29 Dec 2018 Fulham v Huddersfield Town L 1-0
02 Jan 2019 Huddersfield Town v Burnley L 1-2
05 Jan 2019 Bristol City v Huddersfield Town FAC L 1-0
12 Jan 2019 Cardiff City v Huddersfield Town D 0-0
20 Jan 2019 Huddersfield Town v Manchester City L 0-3
29 Jan 2019 Huddersfield Town v Everton L 0-1
02 Feb 2019 Chelsea v Huddersfield Town L 5-0

That is 13 games and all they have to show for it is a single point with an away goalless draw against Cardiff.

Of course a draw would be a great result for the club at the moment and if Arsenal fail to score early on they certainly could begin to get the nerves in the second half.   But Arsenal are the fifth highest scoring away team in the league.  Indeed if we look at the away form table on goals scored we find…

Away games only, by goals scored

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 13 11 0 2 30 13 17 33
3 Manchester City 13 8 2 3 25 9 16 26
2 Liverpool 13 9 3 1 24 8 16 30
4 Manchester United 13 7 2 4 24 19 5 23
9 Arsenal 12 4 3 5 23 25 -2 15

Arsenal have scored only one goal fewer than Liverpool and Manchester Utd away, and only two fewer than Manchester City.  A single goal from them on Saturday will mean Huddersfield will have to open up in order to attack.  And here is Arsenal’s hope.  Only three teams in the league have a worse away form in defence than Arsenal: Huddersfield, Bournemouth and Fulham.

If they can hold their nerve, Huddersfield ought to attack Arsenal, aim to get an early goal, and then try and hold on.  It is going to be tough, but it might just unnerve Arsenal and get Huddersfield an unlikely point.  Or three.

Manchester City v Arsenal; the psychology and form

This year, Arsenal’s form has been erratic.  Having suffered a 5-1 defeat by Liverpool they have been through ups and downs…

01 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Fulham W 4-1
05 Jan 2019 Blackpool v Arsenal FAC W 0-3
12 Jan 2019 West Ham United v Arsenal L 1-0
19 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Chelsea W 2-0
25 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Manchester United FAC L 1-3
29 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Cardiff City W 2-1

The win over Chelsea looked particularly encouraging until Bournemouth went two better, and suggested Chelsea were not all we thought they were.  The win over Cardiff was not emphatic against a team with such a poor away record, and Arsenal were completely beaten by Manchester United.

Manchester City started the new year like a team going for the title but had one little wobble last week.

03 Jan 2019 Manchester City v Liverpool W 2-1
06 Jan 2019 Manchester City v Rotherham United FAC W 7-0
09 Jan 2019 Manchester City v Burton Albion Lge Cup W 9-0
14 Jan 2019 Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers W 3-0
20 Jan 2019 Huddersfield Town v Manchester City W 0-3
23 Jan 2019 Burton Albion v Manchester City Lge Cup W 0-1
26 Jan 2019 Manchester City v Burnley FAC W 5-0
29 Jan 2019 Newcastle United v Manchester City L 2-1

and as we can see they slipped up against Newcastle, perhaps mistaking the team for another Burton.

Such results can give players extra nerves – a sense of “not letting that happen again” entering their play.

But their home form is probably far too impressive to allow for such nerves and it would need a team who are brilliant away from home to upset them.

The home form league table shows us just how solid Manchester City are at home

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 12 11 0 1 40 10 30 33
2 Liverpool 12 10 2 0 32 7 25 32
3 Arsenal 13 10 2 1 28 11 17 32
4 Chelsea 12 7 4 1 21 9 12 25
5 Manchester United 12 7 4 1 25 16 9 25

11 wins and just one defeat – showing the team scoring almost four goals a game.   Away from home Arsenal don’t have any form remotely like this…

1 Tottenham H 13 11 0 2 30 13 17 33
2 Liverpool 12 9 2 1 23 7 16 29
3 Manchester City 12 7 2 3 23 9 14 23
4 Chelsea 12 7 1 4 19 14 5 22
5 Manchester Utd 12 6 2 4 23 19 4 20
6 Leicester City 13 5 3 5 17 18 -1 18
7 Watford 12 4 4 4 17 16 1 16
8 Arsenal 11 4 3 4 22 22 0 15

Arsenal away have won four, drawn three and lost four and they are equal in goals scored and goals conceded.

Which really places the psychological issues at Arsenal’s door.  What is worse is that the psychological issue of Arsenal’s 5-1 defeat to Liverpool will still be raw, and a couple of early goals for Manchester City could lead to disaster.

Even a recourse to recent history doesn’t help Arsenal much… – results again from Arsenal’s point of view…

08 May 2016 Manchester City v Arsenal D 2-2 Premier League
18 Dec 2016 Manchester City v Arsenal L 2-1 Premier League
02 Apr 2017 Arsenal v Manchester City D 2-2 Premier League
23 Apr 2017 Arsenal v Manchester City W 2-1 FA Cup
05 Nov 2017 Manchester City v Arsenal L 3-1 Premier League
25 Feb 2018 Arsenal v Manchester City L 0-3 League Cup
01 Mar 2018 Arsenal v Manchester City L 0-3 Premier League
12 Aug 2018 Arsenal v Manchester City L 0-2 Premier League

Four straight defeats in the last four games, with only one goal scored and 11 conceded, and just one win in the last eight matches.  This will also weigh on Arsenal minds.  I think it will be a win for Manchester City with much difficulty.

 

 

Newcastle v Watford (FA Cup) Predictions, injuries, psychology

Newcastle are having a tough time of it at home this season…

Pos Club P W D L F A GD
Pts
16 Fulham 11 3 3 5 13 21 -8 12
17 Southampton 11 2 5 4 13 18 -5 11
18 Newcastle United 12 3 1 8 10 17 -7 10
19 Crystal Palace 11 2 3 6 6 11 -5 9
20 Huddersfield Town 12 1 2 9 5 19 -14 5

Just three wins and one draw with eight defeats.  And indeed only 10 goals scored at home in 12 games.

Watford away from home however are a top half team…

3 Manchester City 11 7 2 2 22 7 15 23
4 Chelsea 11 7 1 3 19 10 9 22
5 Manchester United 12 6 2 4 23 19 4 20
6 Leicester City 12 5 2 5 16 17 -1 17
7 Watford 11 4 4 3 16 14 2 16
8 Arsenal 11 4 3 4 22 22 0 15

But even so it is just four wins and four draws.  However they have scored 16 goals away from home – more than Newcastle have managed at home.

After a stream of games without a win Newcastle have come good just recently.

26 Dec 2018 Liverpool v Newcastle United L 4-0
29 Dec 2018 Watford v Newcastle United D 1-1
02 Jan 2019 Newcastle United v Manchester United L 0-2
05 Jan 2019 Newcastle United v Blackburn Rovers FAC D 1-1
12 Jan 2019 Chelsea v Newcastle United L 2-1
15 Jan 2019 Blackburn Rovers v Newcastle United FAC W 2-4
19 Jan 2019 Newcastle United v Cardiff City W 3-0

So two wins in a row, but neither against top ranking teams.   However the away game to Watford on 29 December did suggest there was not much between the two teams.

And when we come to look at it Watford have not been in shining form of late either…

26 Dec 2018 Watford v Chelsea L 1-2
29 Dec 2018 Watford v Newcastle United D 1-1
02 Jan 2019 AFC Bournemouth v Watford D 3-3
06 Jan 2019 Woking v Watford FAC W 0-2
12 Jan 2019 Crystal Palace v Watford W 1-2
19 Jan 2019 Watford v Burnley D 0-0

Yes they beat Palace away and only just lost to Chelsea, but the goalless draw with Burnley was not that brilliant a performance.

Newcastle are showing six injured or unavailable players at the present, but several of them look like they could be ready for return for the match and in the best of circumstances they could be suddenly down to just one player missing.  Data from Physioroom.

PLAYER CONDITION EXPECTED RETURN
 Kenedy Illness January 26, 2019
 F Fernandez Illness January 26, 2019
 K Sung-yeung Hamstring Injury No Return Date
 J Shelvey Thigh January 26, 2019
 M Diame Hip Injury January 26, 2019
 P Dummett Hamstring Injury January 26, 2019

Watford are curiously showing the same sort of situation.

PLAYER CONDITION EXPECTED RETURN
 K Femenia Hamstring Injury No Return Date
 A Doucoure Knee Injury January 26, 2019
 C Cathcart Knee Injury January 26, 2019
 W Hughes Conussion January 26, 2019
 S Prodl Knee Injury January 26, 2019

The psychology

Quite possibly how many players come back for each team will determine who gets through, but I suspect both sides will be nervous and this will remove any gung ho attitude on either side.   Newcastle will probably be happy for a draw as anything other than a defeat is to be welcome.  Watford will accept a draw feeling they could win the replay.

I’m going for 1-1.

Crystal Palace v Tottenham Hotspur: predictions, psychology, injuries

For Crystal Palace, home advantage is hardly any advantage at all in this match given their record thus far to date…

Home matches only

Pos Team P W D L F A GD
Pts
17 Southampton 11 2 5 4 13 18 -5 11
18 Newcastle United 12 3 1 8 10 17 -7 10
19 Crystal Palace 11 2 3 6 6 11 -5 9
20 Huddersfield Town 12 1 2 9 5 19 -14 5

Two wins, three draws, six defeats and just six goals scored at home in the league all season.

Tottenham however are the away team of the season

Away games only

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 13 11 0 2 30 13 17 33
2 Liverpool 12 9 2 1 23 7 16 29
3 Manchester City 11 7 2 2 22 7 15 23
4 Chelsea 11 7 1 3 19 10 9 22

Tottenham have scored five times as many goals away from home as Palace have at home, although they have also conceded two more.

Since the 3rd round of the FA Cup Palace have had two defeats

05 Jan 2019 Crystal Palace v Grimsby Town FAC W 1-0
12 Jan 2019 Crystal Palace v Watford L 1-2
19 Jan 2019 Liverpool v Crystal Palace L 4-3

As for Tottenham, since the third round…

04 Jan 2019 Tranmere Rovers v Tottenham Hotspur FAC W 0-7
08 Jan 2019 Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea Lge Cup W 1-0
13 Jan 2019 Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United L 0-1
20 Jan 2019 Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur W 1-2

Tottenham have beaten Chelsea in the league cup, lost at home to Manchester United and won away to Fulham – although the latter by only 2-1.

But things get interesting when we look at the injuries…

Tottenham’s injury list includes Alli and Kane.  So while Sissoko, Moura and Wanyama all stand a chance of being fit for the game – the two players they probably want most, certainly can’t play.

Palace have three injuries: Guaita, Hannessey, Souare.

The question is will the injuries to Tottenham’s famous pair unbalance the team?  It is possible.

The psychological issues

Palace have been runners up in the FA Cup twice (1990 and 2016) while Tottenham have won it eight times.  But they have not got the trophy since 1991 – a long wait for a club whose main triumphs have been in the cup competitions rather than the league.

Tottenham will expect to knock Palace aside easily, and I suspect they will do just that – but there is that one psychological issue: the lack of their two key players.  If they think on that, and if Palace sneak the first goal, anything could happen.

Arsenal v Manchester United predictions psychology injuries

Arsenal v Manchester United: FA Cup 4th round

For a team which is being heavily criticised, especially for its defence, Arsenal’s home form remains unquestionably good…

Home games only

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 12 11 0 1 40 10 30 33
2 Liverpool 11 10 1 0 31 6 25 31
3 Arsenal 12 9 2 1 26 10 16 29
4 Chelsea 12 7 4 1 21 9 12 25
5 Manchester United 11 7 3 1 23 14 9 24

Nine wins, two draws and a single defeat at the very start of the season to Manchester City.   Their goals against total at home is 10, exactly the same as Manchester City.

Manchester United’s away form is good, but not quite as good as Arsenal’s.

Away teams only

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 13 11 0 2 30 13 17 33
2 Liverpool 12 9 2 1 23 7 16 29
3 Manchester City 11 7 2 2 22 7 15 23
4 Chelsea 11 7 1 3 19 10 9 22
5 Manchester United 12 6 2 4 23 19 4 20

Six wins, two draws, four defeats.

Both teams have very strong FA Cup histories – in fact they are the top two performing FA Cup teams, by some distance…

Results by team
Club Wins Last final won Total final appearances
Arsenal 13 2017 20
Manchester United 12 2016 20
Chelsea 8 2018 13
Tottenham Hotspur 8 1991 9
Liverpool 7 2006 14
Aston Villa 7 1957 11

So trying to separate the teams is hard – although if we look at current form we can see quite a boost for Manchester United

22 Dec 2018 Cardiff City v Manchester United W 1-5
26 Dec 2018 Manchester United v Huddersfield Town W 3-1
30 Dec 2018 Manchester United v AFC Bournemouth W 4-1
02 Jan 2019 Newcastle United v Manchester United W 0-2
05 Jan 2019 Manchester United v Reading FAC W 2-0
13 Jan 2019 Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United W 0-1
19 Jan 2019 Manchester United v Brighton and Hove Albion W 2-1

The scoring has eased up recently but the list of victories cannot be denied.  Arsenal by comparison has

22 Dec 2018 Arsenal v Burnley W 3-1
26 Dec 2018 Brighton and Hove Albion v Arsenal D 1-1
29 Dec 2018 Liverpool v Arsenal L 5-1
01 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Fulham W 4-1
05 Jan 2019 Blackpool v Arsenal FAC W 0-3
12 Jan 2019 West Ham United v Arsenal L 1-0
19 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Chelsea W 2-0

Arsenal have four wins, two defeats and a draw, compared with seven straight wins for Manchester United.

In the injury charts Manchester United have five men down, Arsenal four.

Fellani, Mojo and Smalling are all out for Manchester United with Shaw and Rashford in doubt.  For Arsenal Bellerin, Welbeck and Holding are all out, and Mkhitaryan is slowly coming back to full fitness.

So on form and team availability it looks like Manchester United will shade it.  And in going further and looking at games between the two sides Arsenal have not won any of the last three.

Thus everything points to Manchester United, although Arsenal are slightly edging it in terms of home vs away fixtures.  But Emery as a manager has for many years been a cup man, while the key issue for Manchester United this season is getting back to the top four for the Champions League.   This final psychological issue might just swing it Arsenal’s way – the FA Cup for Manchester United is less important than the league.  I doubt that it is for Arsenal.

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