Apologies for not doing one last week but it was a lot to ask, to do it all as I only remembered that I hadn’t done it early Saturday morning and so I didnt have the time to release one. Anyway here is Week 16 Preview with some really great matches on the card. From now, I won’t be doing the Monday matches as I just want to do the matches that are played in the week-end as I have a chance to see all of those games. However I will just give you my prediction on the Monday Night fixture but not a preview of it. So this week it’s Liverpool vs Villa and I will go for a Villa win, 1-3.
15:00: Arsenal vs Fulham, After Arsenals 2 defeats against Spurs and Braga, they seemed to be back on track with wins against, first Aston Villa and secondly, they reached a semi-final of the Carling Cup after a 2-0 win over Wigan, in a match they probably should have scored atleast 5 in. The Gunners now have a real chance of winning the Carling Cup and getting over that hoodoo of not having won a trophy in 6 years. That would be big for them, and their fans despite it only being a Carling Cup. Fulham were forgotten about last weekend because there were 42 goals in the Prem, and only 2 at Craven Cottage, it wasn’t taken any notic of. However Mark Hughes must be starting to worry that his side cannot seem to win games and they currently sit 17th in the table, just 1 point from the relegation zone. Fulham don’t have any attacking threat so Arsenal will win this and I think they could enialate them. 5-0.
15:00: Birmingham vs Tottenham. Birmingham got through to the semi-finals of the Carling Cup on Wednesday and will now think that with a 2 legged tie against West Ham, they can win it and reach a Cup final at Wembley.Tottenham had the best week, possibly in their history with getting over the fact that they hadn’t beaten a “big four” club in 17 years by defeating Arsenal from 2 goals down at the Emirates. They then thumped Werder Bremen in mid-week to win progression to the last 16 of the competition. And to top off a very memorable week, Aarron Lennon scored a late winner as Spurs fought off a battling Liverpool to win 2-1. A hard week. Will that effect them against Birmingham. I hope not. 1-2 Spurs.
15:00: Blackburn vs Wolves. The less said about Blackburn last time out, the better. After it got to 4-0, Blackburn just layed down and died, Sam sore that as an opportunity to put his younger players on, which I don’t think the Rovers fans would be to pleased with considering, conceding more goals will just humiliate them even more. Still, it’s a new week and Blackburn will want to get a win in the bag and forget about the trip to Old Trafford. Wolves can thank Sylvain Ebanks Blake for picking up a victory against Sunderland by 3 goals to 2 as he scored a late winner to get them their first points in 5 games. I think on the back of that, Wanderers will pick up a valuable point. 1-1.
15:00: Chelsea vs Everton. Chelsea were held, again last week-end at a snowy Tyneside but they should have won if it wasn’t for an awful defensive lapse between goalkeeper Petr Cech and Alex. Just not what Ancelotti wanted when his defenders were already being criticised by the media. This match up will be no easy task for The Blues, especially as their last 3 home matches have been Zilina,Sunderland and Fulham, winning 2 of them but not playing well in any. Everton were completely outclassed against West Brom. There is no excuse for any side in the Premier League to concede 4 goals at home. The only silver lining for this game is that their is no pressure on David Moyes, there is never pressure on any manager going to Stamford Bridge. Had Everton been playing a weaker side, David Moyes would have so much pressure on his shoulders but here he doesn’t. A very unpredictable one considering nobody knows what Chelsea side will turn up. I’m going to go for a Chelsea win though. 2-0.
15:00: Manchester City vs Bolton. Man City cruised through to the last 32 of the Uefa Cup on Thrusday against Salzburg but then again you would expect them to considering this season they should already be a Champions League side. In theory, City should win the Europa Cup but that’s not always the nature of football now is it. Bolton showed great charachter to fight from 2 goals down to earn a point against Blackpool last Saturday at The Reebok. Also, how much quality of football was involved in that 2nd Bolton goal scored by Mark Davies! Sensational goal, one the Pepe Guardiola and Barcelona would have been proud of. The transition that Owen Coyle has made is one that no one predicted……..well except me as I did say they would have a top 8 finish! Just check my pre-season Preview! I think Bolton have enough quality to score goals and force a point at Eastlands. 2-2.
15:00: Wigan vs Stoke. Wigan were awful against West Ham on Saturday. When a team like West Ham is playing so poorely defensively, atleast test their defence. Roberto Martinez set his side up like he wanted a draw and against bottom of the league, that’s ridicoulously negative. Stoke got what they deserved against Manchester City. If you argue with that statement then it would have to be that Stoke maybe deserved the win but being 1-0 down with 93 minutes played, I think they would have taken a point at that point. Finally some luck as come Tony Pulis’ way which is pleasing to see. Both sides will be very grateful for a victory here and don’t want to lose it so it could get very cagey. 1 goal will win this game and I think Wigan will get that goal, 1-0 Wigan.
17:30: Blackpool vs Manchester United. Blackpool gave as good as they got against Bolton and they just couldn’t hold out for a win. Most managers would tell their players to shut up shop once they go 2-0 up after constantely losing leads slip, but Holloway won’t because he wants to stay up playing attacking football or go down playing attacking football. Becoming a defensive side just isn’t in his nature and so far it’s working. I love Iam, his a great charachter to the Premier League and it would be sad to see him leave if they go back down so I hope, just for entertainment’s sake, he stays. Man Utd finally gave what everybody in the country had been waiting for, a great performance, aswell as the result too boost. 7-1 is a great turning point for Ferguson, Phelan and all of the players. Dimitar played well when he scored 5 goals, they were all fairely average goals, with the exception of the 2nd one, but he still needed to be their for the other 4 so he did put in a good strikers performance. I think Blackpool could pick a point up here. 1-1.
13:30: West Brom vs Newcastle. Both of these sides would have been pleased with their results last week-end. West Brom demolished Everton 4-1 at Goodison Park, meanwhile the next day Newcastle frustrated the Champions as Tyneside sore the black and white army, see out a 1-1 draw against Chelsea. Newcastle would have felt they could have won the game but would have not been dissappointed with a draw. Albion showed real encouraging signs with 2 spectacular goals. Chris Brunt and Tchoi scored 2 very good goals and contributed well to their thumping win. I can see this being a very close derby encounter as both teams will want to win the game, so I can see goals. I don’t want to say it will be another draw but it could well be, but just in hope that one side wins, I’ll go for an Albion win. 3-1.
16:00: Sunderland vs West Ham. Sunderland were beaten by a late winner at Molineaux. With the form Sundrland have been on, you would not have expected them to be beaten by any side in the bottom half, let alone bottom 3. In saying that, they will want to pick themselves up for this match against West Ham who are the only team to sit below Wolves. Ironic. The Black Cats have incredible attacking threat with Gyan, Bent and Welbeck all on form. They will definately score in this match. West Ham beat Manchester United 4-0 on Tuesday to reach their first League Cup semi-final in 20 years. For that I congratulate them, even if it was a second string United side, the Hammers needed a win against anyone and so they will be grateful for that. They also picked up a valuable win before that against a poor Wigan side and so are playing better, not great, but better. However Sunderland have only lost once at home this season however West Hams tails are up. 2-3 West Ham.