Premiership Predictions

Last weekend’s Premier League action can only really be described as ‘shocktastic’ after Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham and Sunderland were all arguably held to a draw or defeated unexpectedly and it has been this unpredictability that has made the 09/10 season so exciting so far. It also makes predicting the results nigh on impossible, but I do my best and it works as a preview to the action too, so here goes…

Saturday Fixtures; kick-offs 3pm unless stated.
Portsmouth vs. Liverpool (12.45pm)
Portsmouth are starting to drift away again at the foot of the Premier League but with a creditable draw thanks to a late goal at Sunderland and a closely fought midweek defeat against Chelsea, they’re at least showing some signs of fight under Avram Grant. The new boss will recognise Liverpool as a potential upset in the making as the Reds have struggled for consistency this season but will probably be able to call on Torres and Gerrard and for that reason I expect them to build on their midweek win against Wigan.
Prediction: 0-2.

Aston Villa vs. Stoke City
Both of these sides have added strings to their bow this season, with Stoke attempting to play football on a more regular basis with Sanli Tuncay especially giving them more options up front while Villa are now less reliant on the counter attack with a midfield featuring Downing, Milner, Petrov and Young ably supporting the front two and capable of bossing games. Stoke’s away record has picked up slightly this ter, but I fully expect Villa to continue their great form and pick up a reasonably straight forward home win today.
Prediction: 3-1.

Blackburn Rovers vs. Tottenham Hotspur
Tensions will be heightened around the Tottenham squad after the hilarious revelation that the players held a ‘secret’ Christmas party in Dublin days before last weeks defeat to Wolves but they should also be full of confidence after easily despatching rivals Man City in midweek with an excellent performance. Allardyce will be hoping Redknapp has layed into his boozehogs players this week but I think he’ll keep them focused and will keep his belt on until after this weekend so Spurs will probably have a bit too much quality for Blackburn to hold out against here
Prediction: 1-2.

Fulham vs. Manchester United
United were the beneficiaries of Mick McCarthy’s newly established rotation policy in midweek (much to Arsene Wenger’s displeasure) but still put in a rather unconvincing performance that didn’t really justify the 3-0 scoreline. Fulham will pose much more of a threat, especially with Bobby Zamora in such fine fettle at present. However, Hodgson’s men had a Europa league match in midweek to contend with which will have left the squad tired and United may take advantage of that. I’m not sure though, I’m thinking honours even.
Prediction: 1-1.

Manchester City vs. Sunderland
City were really, really poor in midweek against Spurs. Really bad. If they play like that too often then their dreams of Champions League qualification are ludicrous and Steve Bruce will certainly be hoping for more of the same from them this weekend. Hughes’ men are usually better at home though and will have had a rigorous kick up the backside from the Welshman while Sunderland too are struggling to find the sort of form we know they’re capable of with last weeks draw with Portsmouth compounded by a comfortable defeat by Villa in midweek. They do raise their game well for the bigger games though, so I think this one will be pretty even.
Prediction: 2-2.

Arsenal vs. Hull City (5.30pm)
Wenger’s men will be keen to continue their good home form and make up for the disappointing midweek draw with Burnley by returning to winning ways. They should do too, as they’re at least twice the side of Phil Brown’s men but that doesn’t count for much in football. Hull will be fresher, having benefitted from the Europa League clashes in midweek which has annoyed Wenger no end and with Fabregas possibly joining Van Persie on the sidelines the Frenchman will be glancing nervously at his not over large squad list. I still think they’ve got too much quality for Hull though, and should win.
Prediction: 2-0.

Sunday Fixtures, kick-offs as stated.
Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Burnley (1.30pm)
Mick McCarthy has sure ruffled some feathers with his decision to field a weakened side against Man United in midweek (how dare small clubs rest players!) and the upshot of that is that there is now MASSIVE pressure on his side to justify his decision by beating Burnley. That’s easier said than done though, Burnley do struggle away from Turf Moor but will have this one down as a great chance to pick up point away from home against a struggling Wolves side. Will the freshness of the Wolves players pay off? I’m not sure, I think it’ll be a draw. And for the record, I have absolutely no problem with what McCarthy did: his squad, his call.

Everton vs. Birmingham City (3pm)
Moyes was another manager who rested players in midweek, but it has been less controversial because it was a nothing game in the Europa League. Typically though, we still managed to pick up another injured first teamer with Jack Rodwell apparently doing a hamstring so it’s still fairly slim pickings for Moyes this weekend. That’s a problem, because Birmingham are the Premier League’s form team bar none at the moment. Five wins on the bounce, they’re scoring goals and have a sturdy back line, McLeish has really got them going. However, Everton may have started to turn the corner with draws against Chelsea and Spurs and I wouldn’t bet against seeing us end the Midlanders’ run this weekend.
Prediction: 2-1.

West Ham United vs. Chelsea (4pm)
Deary me, West Ham are in serious trouble I thought they’d have another solid season this time around but things just aren’t going right for Zola are they? Without Carlton Cole they look pretty tame up front and their defence is so dodgy as to raise serious questions about the sanity of Spurs and City’s interest in relieving the Hammers of Matthew Upson. Chelsea have stuttered of late though, but an unconvincing win against Pompey may have them back on track and I’d be very surprised if they don’t roll West Ham over tomorrow.
Prediction: 0-3.

Monday Fixture, kick-off 8pm.
Wigan Athletic vs. Bolton Wanderers
After a good draw with Man City Bolton picked up a much-needed win from the Hapless Hammers in midweek and Megson will fancy another three points from Wigan on Monday night. To decide whether or not he’ll get them though, you might as well take a coin and flip it. Heads says Wigan turn up and play well for the three points, Tails says they play like a bunch of dead grandmothers and lose. Honestly, I can’t say which side the coin will come down but I suppose home advantage may shade it their way. Strangely, perhaps most likely is that the coin lands on its edge and we get a draw, that’s what I’m going for anyway.
Prediction: 1-1.

That’s it for another weekend’s worth of predictions, who disagrees with me? Please feel free to leave your own thoughts and predictions below…

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One Response to Premiership Predictions

  1. Maurice Baker says:

    Portsmouth v Liverpool
    In the last five years Portsmouth have won once and Liverpool have won three times.
    There was a 0-0 draw in the 07/08 season.
    There’s not usually much in it though.
    This is a match that Liverpool ought to win.
    Portsmouth have started to put some substance behind the promise, but need to start to get the points.
    Lawro is fishing in the hope pond on this one, “Predicting the result with Liverpool at the moment is almost impossible, not least because you can’t second guess Rafa in terms of the team he is going to play. Having said that, I think that after the win against Wigan in midweek I’m going to go for a Liverpool victory There’s no bias intended in that, I just wonder if they might now string a bit of a run together.”
    Liverpool have lost just once in their last five visits to Fratton Park.
    Agree, but 0-3.

    Aston Villa v Stoke
    Last year this was a 2-2 draw.
    Stoke have improved their away form and are proving hard to beat.
    Villa are unbeaten at Villa Park and are very much the form team of the moment.
    Last season’s matches were good value.
    At the Britannia Stadium, Stoke led twice, Villa fought back twice – and then Sidibé claimed a last minute winner.
    When they switched to Villa Park, in March, Villa led 2-0 with goals from Petrov and Carew but Shawcross responded with two minutes to go and Whelan netted another last minute goal to earn a draw.
    Villa are now third thanks to three straight wins and an unbeaten sequence of six EPL games.
    On Tuesday they won 2-0 at Sunderland and could be unchanged.
    Stoke have gone three games without a League win.
    Agree, but 2-0.

    Blackburn v Spurs
    Spurs haven’t won this match for four years.
    There haven’t been many goals either, eight in the last five years.
    Blackburn are playing it tight, trying not to lose.
    Spurs have the momentum following their win against Man City in mid week.
    But you just don’t know with Spurs away from home.
    They take the lead at places then suddenly fall apart, playing like strangers.
    The north west, especially, has not been a good place for them to go.
    Blackburn will impose a really physical examination on them and their home form has generally been good.
    Spurs last won at Ewood Park in December 2004.
    Agree, but 0-2, Blackburn struggle to score.

    Fulham v Man U
    Man U will not forget this game last season.
    Scholes was sent off in the 18th minute incident that led to Murphy’s penalty.
    Gera scored Fulham’s second before Rooney was also sent off.
    That was Fulham’s first win over Man U since October 2003, at Old Trafford.
    Fulham haven’t lost at home since 26 September.
    They don’t give the opposition many chances at Craven Cottage.
    Wednesday’s qualification for the Europa Cup knock out stage is a major achievement, but at what cost?
    Man U only had a canter against Wolves’ reserves.
    Man U have won eight of their last nine EPL games against Fulham, home and away.
    Disagree: 1-3.

    Man City v Sunderland
    This match has been played three times in the last five years and Man City have won each time.
    It was 1-0 for the last two years.
    Sunderland have lost the last four away matches.
    Man City are unbeaten at Middle Eastlands.
    Lawro says he can’t see Sunderland winning in Manchester.
    In fact City have a very good record in games against Sunderland.
    They have won their last eight meetings, scoring 17 goals and conceding just three.
    In last season’s game at Middle Eastlands, Sunderland had McCartney sent off, before Richards scored the 56th minute winner.
    City’s recent form is poor; City have won just once in their last 10 Premier League games and continued the poor run with a 3-0 defeat at Spurs in midweek.
    On the other hand they have only lost two matches this season, a record only bettered by in the football league by Leeds.
    In 10 EPL clashes home and away, Man City have won nine.
    Disagree: 3-0.

    Arsenal v Hull
    Hull won this match last year, 1-2.
    It was the fixture that announced their arrival in the EPL!
    Arsenal will have revenge in mind.
    Only Chelski have come away with anything from the Emirates Stadium this season.
    Hull’s away form has been very poor.
    Lawro is opting for a comfortable Arsenal victory.
    Hull have not won away in the EPL since March, at Fulham.
    Agree, but 3-0.

    Wolves v Burnley
    Even though these teams are two of the newcomers to the EPL this fixture has some history.
    Victory alternated in the Championship and if that trend continues through to the EPL it is Burnley’s turn to win.
    Wolves come into this match with the stated aim of winning as a result of keeping their powder dry when they went to Old Trafford in mid week.
    Burnley’s away form is woeful!
    As Lawro puts it, quite simply, Wolves have to win.
    This is the first time these teams have met in top flight football since February 1976, in the old First Division.
    Wolves won that game, at Molinuex, 3-2.
    Disagree: 2-1.

    Everton v Birmingham
    This match has been played three times in the last five years, most recently two seasons ago when Everton won 3-1.
    The other two games were drawn.
    But Everton’s home form is patchy, having drawn four of the last five.
    In fact, you have to go back to 20 September to find the last time that Everton won at home.
    This could be a tricky one, ‘interesting’ as Lawro says!
    Birmingham are the form team, like city rivals Aston Villa.
    They have won five straight games in the EPL, though Everton will be lying in wait.
    Everton have gone five games without a win in the EPL.
    Agree: 2-1.

    West Ham v Chelski
    Chelski have given West Ham a roasting in three of the four times this game has been played over the last five years.
    Last season West Ham managed to keep it to 0-1.
    This is top against next to bottom!
    West Ham come with no form, no momentum and no strikers!
    Chelski have just endured a bit of a rough patch, though some say the blip is over!
    Lawro tells it like it is: “West Ham are in a mess. Results are going against them; Dean Ashton had to retire; all sorts of players are missing; and they can’t seem to get the balance of the team right. The opposition don’t have to work too hard for their chances, which is a worry. You just feel that with Chelsea’s strength they will be good enough to win in east London.”
    West Ham have failed to beat Chelski in their last eight EPL games.
    Agree: 0-3.

    Wigan v Bolton
    I guess the only saving grace about the choice of this fixture for Monday night viewing is that we don’t have to feel so sorry for the travelling fans given that the towns are a mere half hour apart either side of the M61!
    This match has been played four times in the last five years.
    Wigan have won twice, Bolton have won once, but last year it was a 0-0 draw.
    If there is any momentum it lies with Bolton after the 3-1 win against West Ham in mid week and the 3-3 draw with Man City last weekend.
    Wigan lost to Liverpool in mid week and lost to Mirmingham last weekend.
    Wigan have nine home goals.
    Only Birmingham (8) and Wolves (7) have fewer.
    Lawro opines “it’s an interesting game this one” and we know what that means.
    He’s clueless and opts for a draw with a goal each.
    When these teams met at Wigan last season it ended goalless.
    Wigan are unbeaten in their last three games against Bolton.
    Disagree: 2-1.

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