12:45: Manchester City vs Chelsea. Both teams with wins last weekend and losses in mid-week although I would say I think Mancini will be more concerned about his side losing to West Brom than Ancelotti losing to Newcast since City should really win something this year and for me, that was the cup. Chelsea haven’t been tested once,yet,this season. This should be the game where they are. All of Chelsea’s opponents so far have been brushed away because every team plays one forward and he gets marked out the game. Once Chelsea score, no team has a reply or threat up the other end. I expect Mancini to play a 433 formation and really go at Chelsea. Tested but not broken. 1-1.
15:00. Arsenal vs West Brom. Being at the Carling Cup game in mid-week, Arsenal were absoloutely brilliant. And that is a painful thing to say as a Tottenham fan. There slick passing and speed in which they move the ball around is breathtaking. West Brom will be exceptionally happy that there still in the Carling Cup. All Premier League sides now, start in the last 32 which I think is a bit harsh on the lower divisions considering a team like Newcastle could have a couple of good games and suddenly find themselves at Wembley whereas a team like Burnely has to get round 5 or 6 sides to get to Wembley. Anyway, Albion will be pleased. Don’t be put off with the fact that City rested all there players because so did Albion. Even with that great result in mid-week, they will be swept aside here. 5-0.
15:00: Birmingham vs Wigan. Both teams were brushed aside by there opponents. Birmingham showed no determination to go at West Brom and try to hurt them last week and were punished as Albion demolished them. Wigan were to comfortabely beaten by Manchester City. It was a stroll in the park for Mancini’s men. Wigan have been worse at home this season than away, amazingly. Both sides will not want to lose this one. Mcleish will gee up his players for this encounter and I think they will get the win. This will once again heat pressure on Wigan boss Roberto Martinez. 2-1
15:00: Blackpool vs Blackburn. Blackpool, after this game, would have played 2 home games out of a possible six. If they beat Blackburn, they will have 10 points and could possibly climb as high as 4th! For neutral fans this may sound like a match that has no real added spice to it but that’s where I think your wrong. If the tangerines are to stay up this season they will have to be physical against the likes of Stoke, Bolton and Blackburn. This will be a real test in that departement. Will they come out on top? I think a win for Blackpool is inevitable here but a very entertaining win aswell. 3-2.
15:00: Fulham vs Everton. Fulham grabbed a terrific away point last week with a draw at Blackburn. That is the one thing that Mark Hughes has done well so far this season, form a solid defensive unit. There doing well in their away fixtures so far this season against Bolton and Blackburn picking up valuable draws. Everton have had a poor start to the season. They always do. I cannot see them picking up anything here. With loses against Newcastle and Brentford hot in the memory, David Moyes is going to have a tough task picking up his side from this defeat. 2-1
15:00. Liverpool vs Sunderland. Liverpool were very poor against Northampton. Even with a weakened side you should be beating that kind of opponent. Man United did it. But then, can you comapre Liverpool to Manchester United anymore? Maybe you can’t. Sunderland were also poor in mid-week, well the result was atleast. They were so wasteful. And I mean really, really, wasteful. They should have got more goals if their finishing was better in the final third. Liverpool are struggling a lot. Even though Hodgson says Liverpool will “turn a corner”, i believe that corner may take a while to get round. 1-1.
15:00: West Ham vs Tottenham. West Ham are coming into this game on the back of 2 decent results. 2 away games without defeat. Stoke played poor at the Brittania last weekend but the Hammers were good on the ball and deserved a battling point. I didn’t see the game against Sunderland but I watched the highlights and can say that a positive from Avram Grant’s point of view is that Victor Obinha looks like a very decent signing indeed. Spurs were completely ourclassed against Arsenal on Tuesday although it was essentially their third choice Xl. Harry has quite obviously taken the route of the Champions League as his main priority. A route I think is a mistake. Anyhow, I can see him resting the likes of Bale, Van der Vaart and Crouch at the weekend and for that reason alone I’m going for a West Ham win. 1-0
12:00. Bolton vs Man Utd. I know the first thing that comes into your head when you read the time this match kicks off you think I must have got it wrong but it really is a very early kick off. Midday! However I think both teams will be wide awake. Bolton have to be because I think they will be physically pushed, with every bone in their body, by Chelsea, on Sunday. But Bolton will stick to their style of play and I think they will have to resort to more long ball than neat and tidy football against the Devils because otherwise they will be outrun in every area of the pitch. Despite this, Wanderers will put up a fight, like every side that Coyle is at the helm with. This one however has a Man U win written all over it. 0-2
14:05: Wolves vs Aston Villa. Villa and Gerard Houllier got off to winning ways in mid-week with a comfortable 3-1 win over last years semi-final, Carling Cup opponents Blackburn. Ashely Young played well, scoring 2 goals and he will take credit in that by trying to show he is capable of playing for England. Although I still think he is to weak. Also, Heskey grabbed a rare goal. Not suprising though considering Houllier probably gets more out of him than any other manager could, as he recruited him to liverpool, over 10 years ago. Wolves finally overcame Notts County in mid-week by four goals to two. Doyle carried his side through and showed a real “leading from the front” type attitude. McCarthy has done well so far this season as I thought they would have struggled but that doesn’t seem the case. He seems like a boring old man but when it comes down to it, he does his job well, which is motivating his players to the best of their abilities. Which is hard for a club like Wolves. Which way is this one going to go? 1-2 Villa.
16:10. Newcastle vs Stoke. Newcastle are the most up and down team so far this year. Like I said before the season started, Newcastle are a very tricky team to analyis. And that has continued to be the case now the season has begun. Wins over Everton and Chelsea have really lifted the magpies in this past week. They will be right up for this one. Tony Pulis has been getting stick of late and I think that’s very harsh. Their fixtures have been very tough at the start of the season. Playing away, first game is always tight, especially playing at Molineaux where its always a hostile atmosphere. And games against Spurs and Chelsea are always going to be uphill tasks. But now, having beaten Villa and Stoke in the Cup. A draw inbetween the 2 with West Ham, things are looking up. This is a real tough one to call and I wouldn’t be suprisde with any outcome but I will go for a Newcastle win. 2-1.