15:00: Arsenal vs Birmingham. Arsenal played well last week at Chelsea and deserved to get something with the amount of posession they had. Although that is always the case with Arsenal isn’t it? Have loads of possession and can kill you with their passing, but they don’t have that killer finish like the Chelsea’s of the Premier League. Birmingham’s home record of going a year unbeaten came to a screeching hault last weekend as they were beaten convincingely by Everton, 2-0. This is a tough game for them to bounce back from and I can’t see them getting anything from the Emirates, especially as Arsenal are fired up after their defeat last week to Chelsea. It will be interesting how Birmingham bounce back from this though because I can see them going on a poor run. 3-0 Arsenal
15:00: Bolton vs Stoke. This game will be very similar to Tony Pulis sides last Premier League game which was against Blackburn before the international game. Stoke won that 1-0 and if they can win here they will well and truly state that they are the most physically demanding team in the top flight. There will, though, be one fundimental difference in this game to the one that took Stoke beating Blackburn to a 1-0 win. This match has Bolton in it. And, they play much more on the ground football than Blackburn so this will be a little more pleasing to the eye. What will the score be? Hard to call but I’ll go for a Bolton win. 1-0.
15:00: Fulham vs Tottenham. I’ll say before I begin that I think this will end a draw, a goalless draw. Now I’ll go on. Fulham have drawn 6 of their 7 games this season and they need to turn these draws into wins. I believe Mark Hughes when he says that his teams don’t go out to “play for draws” but I do think Mark sets his teams up to be hard to beat rather than free flowing football. That’s clever though of Mark, especially with 3 of his best strikers out, I’d do the same. Harry will have one eye on the San Siro and the biggest game in his managerial career as of yet. I don’t blame him ,either. Spurs do need to finish in the top 4 though if there to keep their players for seasons to come. So they need to do well in the Premier League as on paper they will be in a real battle to stay there this season. 0-0
15:00: Man Utd vs West Brom. West Brom did absoloutely fantastic last week and should have beaten Bolton. On the back of the amazing 3-2 victory over Arsenal at the Emirates which the Albion fans won’t forget for a long while, even if they do go down this season. I dont think they will stay up although i think they’ll make a bigger fist of it than i first thought. Manchester United need a win here after drawing to Bolton last PL game. To be honest, Fulham,Everton,Bolton and Sunderland are 4 really tough away games so I wouldn’t judge United’s away form on those games although everybody is since they are the only travels the Reds have been on so far this campaign and have drawn all of them. They will beat West Brom and look to mid-week. 4-0.
15:00: Newcastle vs Wigan. A very unpredictable game with 2 very unpredictable teams. Newcastle beat Villa 6-0 and Everton away 0-1 but then lose to Blackpool and Stoke at home so at the moment whatever result you put on Newcastle, there going to do the opposite. There up against a Wigan Athletic side who well and truly do the same things as Newcastle in which they lose one weak by 5 or 6 goals and then win the next game 1-0. They haven’t lost away yet this season with a draw against Birmingham and a win at Spurs but that is only 2 games. Martinez got a hard working performance last week-end against Wolves and I still think they would have beaten Mick McCarthy’s side, even if Karl Henry hadn’t been sent off early on. I think Wigan will sneak a win here but Newcastle won’t be in any trouble despite the table possibly looking so. 0-2.
15:00: Wolves vs West Ham. A battle between the bottom 2 so this will be a very cagey encounter although there will be some hefty tackles being thrown in by the likes of Scott Parker and Matt Jarvis. West Ham are playing well at the moment but can’t let this form slip away as if that happens they could well find them in a huge struggle to stay up. Despite this, last campaign they did beat Wolves which incidentely was their last away victory. Mick defends his team every week for the label “dirty team” and up until last week I was defending that name tag also. But seeing that tackle from Karl Henry, which in my opinion, there was a whole lot more intention to get the player than in the De Jong tackle, I am now starting to doubt whether they are a clean side. Can they get anything here? I think they will and I think Mick will pick up a win. In saying this I can’t see the Hammers going down this season. There to a good club to drop. 2-1.
17:30: Aston Villa vs Chelsea. Aston Villa were unlucky not to get anything against Spurs and a draw probably would have been a more fair result. However Tottenham have more clinical finishers and when you look at the likes of Van der Vaart, Crouch and Bale compared to Villa’s strike force of Agbonlahor, Carew and Delfounso. Theres a clear deffirence in the strength in depth between the 2 sides and that’s why, even though Houllier will do well at Villa, I can’t see them coming in the top 5 for sure this season. The 2 Manchester Clubs, Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs are too good now for the likes of Villa, Liverpool and Everton throughout a whole season. Villa will give Chelsea a game here and I think they’ll get something. 1-1.
13:300: Everton vs Liverpool. They’ll be a red card, a goal, and a controversial decision for sure in this game. I don’t think it will be a Merseyside derby to rememeber in terms of how pleasing the game is to the eye because, both teams will go out with the intention not to lose the game rather than to win it. Fernanado Torres looks completely lost everytime he plays for Liverpool and I haven’t sen any improvement in the last few games. Everton won’t go down and I think that they are a better team than Liverpool. There a great club and it’s really well run. A good structure, good fans, good manager and a bunch of good players right down the spine of the team. The Toffees will be right up for this one and I’m expecting them to come out with a scrapy victory. This, however is a tough start for Liverpool coming off the back of the takeover as everyone expects there to be an instant change but that won’t happen. It will be gradual and if they can finish top half this season, I’d be satisfied as a Liverpudlian this year. 1-0.
16:00: Blackpool vs Manchester City. This is the biggest mis-match in terms of finances that you could possibly get. Blackpool can’t afford to play somebody 20,000 pounds per week whereas City can pay someone in expense of 10 times more than that and not break sweat. I really want to see Blackpool come out of this game with something as they always have spirit and you sore that last week at Anfield. Last week-end in my predictions I got the Liverpool vs Blackpool game spot on and I could see it happen. Liverpool were in a mess and Blackpool have to much spirit to lay down. I can’t see them getting anything here but that shouldn’t put them off beating big teams in the future. 0-3.
20:00: Blackburn vs Sunderland. People would look at this game as a very dull and boring game that, considering it’s on a Monday, everyone forgets about and we move on. But I think this could be a show of the quality that Sunderland actually possess. Especially going forward. In my opinion, Steve Bruce should be getting Sunderland into the top 9 or 10 with what he has. Asamoah Gyan, Darren Bent, Fraizer Campbell are all top strikers and although Campbell is out, he still has two International strikers there who can score 30 goals betwen them per season. Blackburn are a solid side who don’t possess much of the attacking nature of the game and I do get the impression Allardyce uses the “we dont have any money” rule as an excuse whenever they lose. For example last week he said “We don’t have the money to go out and buy a Kenwyn Jones, we have to stick with the lieks of Nicola Kalinic” which I think is a pathetic statement because other clubs have to deal with that too like, West Brom, Blackpool, Newcastle, Bolton, Birmingham. But you don’t see these clubs moaning do you? Prediction for this game. 1-0 Rovers.