Premiership Predictions

It seems wherever I look on the internet at the moment, everyone is busy discussing the old ‘Hand of Henry’ incident and of course They Think It’s All Over… is no exception, international weeks can be slow old things after all. However, today we interrupt a two-part replay special to bring you our usual batch of predictions for this weekend’s Premier League action. There are plenty of tasty looking ties for our viewing pleasure, and there’s bound to be more controversy too, it wouldn’t be football if there wasn’t after all!

Saturday Fixtures; all kick-offs 3pm unless stated.
Liverpool vs. Manchester City (12.45pm)
It’s probably fair to say that the international break came at the perfect time for Rafa Benitez who has come under overwhelming pressure as they continue to struggle, a 2-2 draw with Birmingham the last result to enrage the Anfield faithful. Man City are quietly struggling too though, they haven’t won a game since September and have drawn their last five matches
– hardly the form of a top four side. A trip to Anfield is never easy though, especially with Liverpool likely to see the return of talisman Steven Gerrard, but City seem to raise their games against the big boys and I think this’ll be a close one. Maybe another draw.
Prediction: 1-1.

Birmingham City vs. Fulham
Both these teams were having decent little runs and picking up points regularly before they were rudely interrupted by the international break, so whether they’ll pick up where they left off is anyone’s guess really. I do rate Birmingham’s chances of staying up though and as the weeks have gone on you can see them adapting to life in the big league, while they’ve undoubtedly got players of sufficient quality. Hodgson still hasn’t got Fulham back to the form of last season when they were excellent at home, but struggled away, and I think Birmingham’s home advantage could edge this for them.
Prediction 2-1.

Burnley vs. Aston Villa
Burnley understand the importance of a strong home record – Stoke proved last season that it can be enough to keep you up – and they’ve done very well at Turf Moor so far. However, in Villa they come up against specialists at playing away from home and I think this will really test them. The new look back line that O’Neill has assembled has gelled incredibly quickly and is looking very solid indeed, while Gabby Agbonlahor in particular is on fire at the moment and provides a potent threat on the break. Burnley will probably have lots of pressure, and they’ll need to take their chances when they come, but I think Villa will soak it up and perhaps smash and grab a win.
Prediction: 0-1.

Chelsea vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers
It’s a shame for Chelsea that their victory over United in their last Premier League outing came just before the international break, as the confidence that gave them would have been immense. That said though, their slip ups this season so far have arguably been a result of complacency so maybe Ancelotti will have been glad to get his troops back down to earth, because Wolves aren’t to be underestimated. McCarthy’s men will be glad to see that Drogba is a doubt, and they’ll hope that their own strikers can be more clinical today – they’ve been creating chances but not putting them away, and they need that to change today, big time. Can’t see anything but a home win though.
Prediction: 3-0.

Hull City vs. West Ham United
Hull got a massive, much-needed win over Stoke in their last game and that alleviated a little of the pressure that was on Phil Brown. Still, you sense that he needs to put a bit of a run together rather than just getting the odd result here and there if he wants to keep his job, and this is a good opportunity to pick up back to back wins for the first time this season. The Hammers are struggling, the loss of Carlton Cole (who’s unlikely to return today) has been a big blow but they showed against Everton last time out that they’re actually playing OK, they just need a cutting edge.
Prediction: 2-1.

Sunderland vs. Arsenal
Arsenal will be gutted by the loss of Robin Van Persie, who along with Cesc Fabregas and Andrey Arshavin had made them a major force so far this season. They’ll hope that someone can step in to fill that void – probably Eduardo – and will look to take advantage of a Sunderland side that have struggled since their beach-ball fuelled victory over Liverpool. Sunderland are a good side though, with a lot of quality; and at home I think they’ll be a tough proposition for Arsenal who’ll need to mix it with the likes of Cana and Bardsley. This could well end in stalemate, but I think the Gunners will just about sneak it.
Prediction: 1-2.

Manchester United vs. Everton (5.30pm)
Regular readers will remember my seemingly endless optimism when it comes to Everton’s fortunes, but of late even my resolve is being tested. We’re really struggling with a whole host of injuries which is doubly frustrating because if we had a fully fit squad, we could realistically expect to make a splash at Old Trafford. As it is, Moyes will rely on the battling spirit of his few fit players, and hope that they’ve had chance to recuperate over the break. United will also be stretched in defence, though Vidic may return, which could make this quite an open contest and if all goes well, we may snatch a draw… fingers crossed!
Prediction: 2-2.

Sunday Fixtures; kick-offs as stated.
Bolton Wanderers vs. Blackburn Rovers (1.30pm)
Big Sam returns to the Reebok Stadium where the fans at present, will be crying our for the sort of solidity they were accustomed to under his leadership, and that Blackburn are likely to showcase. They’ve shipped nine goals in their last two games against Chelsea and Villa as well as picking up a couple of red cards – all is not looking too rosy for Gary Megson. Blackburn themselves recovered from a thumping at United a couple of weeks ago with a convincing 3-1 win over Pompey last time out and Allardyce will be keen to double up with an away win at his old stomping ground – it won’t necessarily be pretty, but I think Rovers might win this one.
Prediction: 1-2.

Tottenham Hotspur vs. Wigan Athletic (4pm)
Wigan have been very difficult to predict all season, at times they can be quite brilliant (eg. 3-1 win against Chelsea) while at others they’ve been simply awful (eg. 4-0 defeat to Portsmouth). Tottenham however, have been pretty consistently good for the most part and are sitting pretty in fourth after shaking off consecutive defeats with a win against Sunderland last time out. With Defoe, Keane and Crouch all fit and available again, the smart money has to be on a home win for Tottenham, but if Wigan do turn up in the right mood, this could go any way, and might see a few goals scored too.
Prediction: 3-2.

Stoke City vs. Portsmouth (4pm)
Pompey remain rock bottom and although we keep saying that they’re playing better than their results suggest, that doesn’t actually mean anything. They do play some good stuff at times, but it rarely produces a win and you’ve got to question their ability to grind out results – they may be suffering from having so many new or loan players who see this simply as a stepping stone to another club. Unfortunately, any side lacking in resilience will not get much from the Britannia Stadium where they’ll be bombarded from all angles from the world go, and I just don’t think Portsmouth have the mental toughness to scrap it out.
Prediction: 2-0.

So what is your take on the weekend’s fixtures? Do you disagree with my predictions? Let me know your own thoughts about the weekend’s likely results in a comment below…


6 Responses to Premiership Predictions

  1. Maurice Baker says:

    Liverpool v Man City
    Sixth-placed City are one point and one place better off than Liverpool and they have conceded only six away goals, better than all their rivals apart from Man U (5).
    The usual caveat applies with Man City.
    They are in the business of re-writing their history.
    This is a good place to start because they have not been good at Anfield, in fact, in their last 18 visits they have won just once, in 2003.
    City managed a draw last season ending a sequence of five straight losses there.
    They were beaten by the odd goal in the previous four seasons.
    Liverpool have scored 17 goals at Anfield.
    Only Arsenal (20) have more goals at home in the Premier League.
    In a total of 12 Premier League clashes between these teams there, Liverpool have won nine and drawn two.
    There is no logic to it, disagree 1-2.

    Birmingham v Fulham
    Birmingham have shown some form recently with a point against Man City and victory against Sunderland.
    Fulham have drawn the last three matches away from home.
    There have been just eight goals at St Andrews, four from Birmingham and four by the opposition, the fewest at any Premier League ground.
    Fulham will get a draw, because that’s what they do.
    Disagree 1-1.

    We have no recent history, this is Villa’s first League visit to Turf Moor since February 1976.
    Villa have not won at Burnley since 1936.
    In 22 subsequent visits, they have drawn four and lost the remaining 18.
    Villa have failed to win in their last three away games – at Blackburn, Wolves and West Ham, but have Petrov and Beye available after suspensions.
    Burnley have depended upon solid home performances to make up for consistent defeats away from home.
    Burnley will be happy if they get a penalty, especially as Villa have already conceded three this season: Graham Alexander has scored 18 out of 18 in the League in the last four seasons.
    Villa’s away form is thin with five points from the last five matches.
    Disagree 2-1.

    Chelski v Wolves
    Apart from their last visit, a 5-2 defeat in 2004, Wolves have a reasonable record at Stamford Bridge.
    That was their only defeat in eight visits, with Wolves winning three times in that period.
    But Mick McCarthy’s side have gone six Premier League games without a win and face a Chelsea side boasting six wins out of six at Stamford Bridge while scoring 16 goals and conceding just one in the process.
    Wolves drew their last two away games but lost the three before that!
    In their only previous Premier League campaign of 2003-04, Wolves conceded five goals both at Molineux (0-5) and Stamford Bridge (5-2).
    A 5-0 Chelsea win is 14-1.
    Agree 3-0.

    Hull v West Ham
    Hull won this fixture 1-0 last season and I’m guessing that a repeat score would do nicely!
    West Ham have only two draws to show from their last five away matches, whereas Hull have only been beaten once in their last five home matches.
    West Ham have not won at Hull since 1954.
    Since then, in four visits, they have lost two and drawn two.
    Hull have gone 41 games since they last won by more than one goal.
    Sometimes the beautiful game bucks the trend.
    Disagree 1-2.

    Sunderland v Arsenal
    This was a 1-1 draw last season.
    Arsenal won the only other two matches played in the last five years.
    Sunderland have won four and drawn one of their last five homes, whereas Arsenal have won two, drawn one and lost two of their last five away matches.
    Since beating Liverpool, Sunderland have gone three games without a win.
    They are still without the suspended Jones and Turner and Cattermole remains unavailable through injury.
    Arsenal arrive in the North East unbeaten in their last seven Premier League games.
    In those games they have scored 23 goals while conceding just six.
    Arsenal are without Van Persie, Clichy, Denilson, Bendtner, Walcott and Djourou.
    Arsenal have scored three goals or more in seven of their 11 Premier League games!
    Disagree 1-1.

    Man U v Everton
    Everton have two goals to show from the last five Premiership matches at Old Trafford.
    They lost by the odd goal in the last two years but went down 3-0 three years ago.
    United’s three defeats have all come away, but at home they have taken 16 points from a possible 18.
    Berbatov could be fit after a knee problem.
    Everton’s lengthy injury list remains but Osman and Pienaar have outside chances of returning.
    Jagielka, Neville and Arteta remain on the sidelines while Bilyaletdinov is suspended.
    Everton will not relish their trip.
    In 17 Premier League visits they have won just once, the inaugural campaign, 1992-93.
    Since then, they have lost 13, (including the last three) and drawn three.
    Disagree 3-1.

    Bolton v Blackburn
    There’s a bit of a story here.
    In the last five years, if there’s been a goal, Blackburn have won.
    The Reebok tends to be a happy hunting ground for Blackburn.
    Blackburn have lost at Chelsea and Manchester United in their previous two away games but they are unbeaten at Bolton since 2000.
    In nine visits they have won four and drawn five.
    Bolton have managed just two 0-0 draws in the last five years.
    Also Bolton have only won one of the last five at home, but Blackburn have lost all of their last five away.
    Bolton have conceded nine goals in their last two games and in their last Reebok outing they lost 4-0 to Chelsea, meaning that the 13 goals conceded at home is the heaviest in the EPL.
    I think this game will be tough, but not follow what history dictates.
    Disagree 2-1.

    Spurs v Wigan
    Wigan have never won at WHL.
    In four League visits they have lost two and drawn two while, in last season’s FA Cup, they were beaten 3-1.
    The other two were 3-1 and 4-0 victories for Spurs.
    Spurs have wobbled recently against Stoke and Arsenal and have to get back to winning ways if they are stay in the hunt for a Champions’ League place.
    Wigan have one win in their last five away.
    Robbie Keane has scored six goals in his last four appearances at WHL.
    Agree the result, but 2-0, Spurs too strong.

    Stoke v Portsmouth
    This was a 2-2 draw last year.
    Stoke have failed to make the Britannia Stadium a fortress this season, managing just eight goals at home, but they have won three and drawn one of their six.
    Wins at home kept them up last season.
    Portsmouth’s only EPL away win this season has been at Molyneux.
    They beat a weakened Stoke side 4-0 in the Carling Cup last month, but they have failed to win in their last five visits to the Potteries.
    Their last victory was in 1995.
    Agree 2-0.

    Adam, don’t forget the Wedneday matches; Fulham v Blackburn and Hull v Everton.

    Are you commenting upon the likely seeds for the World Cup draw that sees Australia and New Zealand both in Pot 3?

  2. mario says:

    thanks for sharing to both of u

  3. Matilda says:

    I will be waking up at 7:30 AM tomorrow to watch the Bolton v. Blackburn game. I’m sure it’ll be rubbish, we’ll probably let in about 7 more goals. Oh to not be a Bolton fan…

  4. Maurice Baker says:

    Dear Matilda,
    I watched it.
    These are the matches where Bolton should be looking to get something.
    Bolton’s limitations are there for all to see.
    If Davies plays in support of the front man – neither Elmander nor the other guy (Klasnic?)are substantial enough – then they get no service.
    If he drops back then he’s too slow and the pace of the game negates him.
    Gardner tried but just seems to lose his way in the latter stages of a move.
    I think Bolton were unlucky.
    But it was a moment of class that got Blackburn’s goal.
    Until Ricketts did one, Blackburn did not look like getting another.
    Matt Taylor is too ambitious and takes on too much.
    They should try working the one two’s so he can get closer to goal.
    These long range shots aren’t going to beat class keepers.
    Relying on a deflection can’t be embraced as a policy.
    It’ll be a long hard winter for Bolton, but I feel they have enough grit about them to stay above Portsmouth and Hull.
    They’ve just got to find another.
    It may come down to the last day.
    Bolton have Brum at home.
    You’d expect Brum to be safe by then.
    West Ham entertain Man City who might need the points!
    Wolves are playing Sunderland at Molyneux.
    But that’s a long way off yet.

  5. Matilda says:

    Bolton can play well, in fact we had a great run (by Bolton standards) in October, but then the apathy and negativity returns. I feel like Gary Megson is sucking the heart from my club. We may have been unlucky, but we’re unlucky every bloody week and there comes a point where it has to stop. There are the makings of a semi-decent side in there, I promise, but Megson isn’t the man to make that side. That being said I don’t know if I want him sacked just because Bolton’s not the kind of club that will attract quality managers. Megson may be the best we can get.

  6. Maurice Baker says:

    Very true Matilda. Watching Bolton has to be a labour of love. The highs don’t come that often and it’s a real effort to grind out enough points.
    They do well to survive, year on year.

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