Well, last week’s Premier League action was full of goals and controversy, but it was one to forget for me as Everton succumbed to Fulham on the Sunday and I racked up just three right results with my Premiership Predictions and no perfect scores. Still, just like Everton I remain confident that I’ll bounce back to the good form I showed last season, so I’m pulling my socks up, my magic predictions hat on and getting cracking again…
Saturday Fixtures, 3pm kick off unless stated.
Burnley vs. Sunderland (12.45pm)
Burnley have had a decent start to the season, though they’ve been beaten by Liverpool and Chelsea on the road on their last two outings they did pick up the scalps of Man Utd and Everton at Turf Moor and so will fancy making the most of home advantage again today. The Black Cats have started well too and Darren Bent looks in top form since his drawn out move from Spurs. Both these sides will play good attacking stuff but I think Sunderland may just sneak this one.
Arsenal vs. Wigan Athletic
Arsenal have now lost two Premier League games on the bounce but to be fair, could have won them both. Against United they were pretty much robbed by a poor penalty decision while they dominated Man City for much of their controversial game last week, with only their defending letting them down. A spirited midweek performance will have lifted morale though and they’ll be pretty confident about facing Roberto Martinez’s Jekyll and Hyde like Wigan side who beat West Ham last time out after a few defeats. I can’t look past the Gunners today though.
Aston Villa vs. Portsmouth
Villa picked up a vital win in the second-city derby last weekend after previously struggling at home, and that will give them some much needed confidence going into this game. Pompey are still a bit all over the place and lost the battle of the league’s poorest sides against Bolton last weekend. They’ve signed plenty of new players to replace the plenty they lost but things will take time to settle. They’ll make it hard and physical for Villa, but as long as O’Neill’s side retain their composure and play their football, they’ll get the win.
Bolton Wanderers vs. Stoke City
This is a game that probably won’t be too pleasant on the eye, but Gary Megson will be thinking that this game has come at a good time for them. Formidable at home, Stoke are a different proposition away from the Britannia and after putting three past Pompey last time out, Wanderers will be confident. However Stoke have players who can score goals and Bolton also conceded twice against Pompey so it’ll be an interesting game. If Megson’s had his defence working hard in training though, I feel this should be a home win.
Hull City vs. Birmingham City
I look at Birmingham’s side and keep thinking that at some point they’re going to click and start firing. However, with a couple of wee niggles – particularly to the mercurial McFadden – it’s hard to see where the goals are going to come from, with Christian Benitez yet to stamp his mark on the league. That said, Hull are struggling a bit too and got thumped by Sunderland last week. Home advantage will give them the edge but I think the Blues might just nick this one. A draw wouldn’t shock me either though.
West Ham United vs. Liverpool (5.30pm)
West Ham lost to Wigan last time out, but it’s hard to read much into that given Wigan’s topsy turvy form. The Hammers haven’t quite got going yet this term though, but with Zola at the helm you have to think it’s only a matter of time and at home they will be difficult to beat for Liverpool here. The Reds seem to be getting going now after a comfortable win over Burnley last weekend but a stuttery win in Europe suggests things still aren’t as smooth as Benitez would like. I’d like to say a draw but I’ve a horrible feeling that Liverpool may sneak a late winner.
Sunday Fixtures, kick off times as stated.
Manchester United vs. Manchester City (1.30pm)
City will doubtless be buoyed from their win against Arsenal last weekend but I reckon that coming up against Man Utd with such momentum will just be like running into a brick wall. With the idiotic Adebayor suspended and joining Robinho, Santa Cruz and possibly Tevez on the sidelines, City’s attack will have much of its sting taken out of it. With Ferguson unquestionably riled by City’s antics this term expect United to be really up for this one as he attempts to dispel the sky blue challenge to his red dominance. I’ll be very surprised if there are 22 men still on the pitch at the end of this match, and it’s going to be well worth watching.
Wolverhampton Wandereres vs. Fulham (2pm)
Fulham picked up three points at home to Everton last week but may still be asking themselves how. They were outplayed for 45 minutes before the Toffees drifted off to sleep and allowed them to take two goals and all three points despite not actually looking much cop. I don’t expect Wolves to be so accommodating at Molyneux though, and after losing at Blackburn last time out, Mick McCarthy will be desperate to add to their points tally. I’m picking this as a draw though I think.
Everton vs. Blackburn Rovers (3pm)
Everton absolutely annihilated AEK Athens in the Europa League on Thursday – and they bloody well needed to. A lacklustre second half let three points slip against Fulham last weekend and leaves them with just three points from four games so far this term. The full debut of Bilyaletdinov was encouraging though and with Jo getting a goal and Yakubu back fit, things may be looking up for the Toffees. Allardyce’s Blackburn certainly aren’t a tasty proposition though, it’ll be hard work and not very pretty, but I think Everton with a home crowd should kickstart their season.
Chelsea vs. Tottenham Hotspur (4pm)
Tottenham found out last week against Old Trafford that to be a top side requires balance: Spurs under Redknapp are great going forward and Jermaine Defoe and Aaron Lennon are on fire, but they’re a touch top-heavy and will struggle to contain top class attackers like Wayne Rooney last week and Didier Drogba this. Chelsea ground out another win against Stoke last weekend and really have the look of Champions about them. They’re not at their best but so far they haven’t slipped up, which can’t be said for Man Utd or Liverpool.
Do you agree with my predictions? Any you’d change? Please leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts ahead of this week’s action…