As I didn’t do a preview last weekend as there were only 2 games on in the premier league and so I didn’t see the need to do a preview, just for those 2 matches. However for this week, I thought i would do the Boxing Day games. I was going to do the 28th/29th of December games but I can’t predict those games now because they haven’t played the game before hand. Anyway, here is my Boxing Day Preview
Sunday: Boxing Day
12:00: Fulham vs West Ham. As it’s now the second half of the seaon, I can now start to look back on the result between 2 sides when they first met at the start of the season. So I will do that in this case. It was a solid match when Fulham and the Hammers met at Upton Park earlier on in the season. It came out as a 1-1 with Clint Dempsey putting past Robert Green again and bringing back the nightmares. I can see that happening again you know. At least, I would be able to see that coming if Fulham could score a bloody goal! I mean, 3 goals in more than 500 minutes is unacceptable to a side that set aims at the start of the season, of finishing in the top 10. West Ham were 1 of 4 teams to play their match at the week-end and drew to Blackburn. They could have won but then agin, could have lost. They need a win, and that was their opportunity against a side who had had a reckless week. Both sides are struggling for goals from open play so I have to go for a no score draw. 0-0
15:00: Blackburn vs Stoke. First of all Stoke will be safe by the end of the season and should be realisticly looking at a 9th-14th placed finish which will please Tony Pulis as a side like Stoke’s priority should be to turn them into a Blackburn and make themselves a regular, slip off the tongue, Prem side. Now, Blackburn, Blackburn, Blackburn. In my opinion there are 2 ways that you can take the sacking of Sam Allardyce. 1) You see the positive that now you might actually play some attractive footy. Or 2) You are in with a shot of going down now Allardyce has gone. I look at both and I’m on the side of option number 2. Blackburn fans have to accept the fact that they will never be a Tottenham or Arsenal, playing free flowing, attacking football. Becuase they don’t have the players to do it. And they never will unless they get taken over by an Arab. So they have to take it that, no matter what football they play, it keeps them in the top league. I think Stoke will nick this. 0-1.
15:00: Blackpool vs Liverpool. This reverse fixture was a day to remember for Blackpool as they won at Anfield by 2 goals to 1 in a tremendous day for the Tangerine army. Liverpool will really want this game to go ahead and more than Liverpool, Hodgson himself will want this game to go ahead despite the snow because the rumours of Rafa Beintez returning to the Reds and replacing his replacer, will put a lot of pressure onto Roy. He will want this victory more than anything. If it does go ahead, which I happen to think it won’t. But if it does, it won’t be easy by any stretch for Liverpool as they have a poor defence and Blackpool have a tremendous attacking threat. I can see this being a Blackpool win again you know. 2-1 to the Tangerine Army!
15:00: Bolton vs West Brom. Bolton are in form depsite their loss to Sunderland last week-end and will see this as a game where they can freely score goals which is a complement to how much Owen Coyle has improved the side. West Brom, however, will also go there with the mentality that they will try and win the game despite being the underdogs. Di Matteo will not go for a draw by any stretch of the imagination and so I can see a free scoring match. Bolton have a bit more quality upfront though with Elmander and Davies, with the added substitute of Ivan Klasnic, those 3 can be quite a force. 3-2 Wanderers.
15:00: Everton vs Birmingham. As I expected, Moysey lifts his side for another big game, and what a time to do it too. With City on the rocks from the Tevez situation, the Toffees took full advantage and in the first half, dismantled City like they were above them in the league. That sort of performance will egt them, once again, back in the top 7 and I still believe they will accomplish that. Birmingham are a bit wobbly as they can’t score goals. Zigic and McFadden just aren’t lethal enough, and although Cameron Jerome is a decent, 10 goal a season striker, he won’t score you any more than that. They rely on the likes of Bowyerand Larsson to score the goals which is a worry. This is a tricky one as Everton are awful at Goodison at the moment. But they should find goals from somewhere. 2-0 Toffees.
15:00: Manchester United vs Sunderland. Everton helped out United big time on Monday. Fergie’s side will get an extra boost over Christmas knowing they are top of the league, and that they will only improve come the new year. Sunderland have been given a huge boost with the win over Bolton. That’s a massive win and Steve Bruce will be telling his players now, that they can’t get overconfident and carried away because they still aren’t a huge gulf of talent away from being in the bottom half of the table so they can’t afford to get too compacent. United will win this one but possibly not easily. 2-1.
15:00: Newcastle vs Manchester City. This is Alan Pardew’s first big test with City coming to town. It will be really tough to get anything here as the Jordies defending isn’t great to say the least and we all know about Manchester City’s attacking threat with players that include Adam Johnson, Yaya Toure, David Silva, Mario Balotelli, James Milner and of course the recently ended saga that surrounded City’s main threat, Carlos Tevez. Newcastle were robbed last game against the light blue side with the toon army not being awarded a blatent penalty and conceded a penalty that never was. This fixture at Eastlands earlier this season ened 2-1 but the main headline was that horror tackle by Nigel de Jong that broke Hatem Ben Arfa’s leg. That was an awful scene. Another hard one to call. 1-3 City.
15:00: Wolves vs Wigan Athletic. Wigan are so up and down it’s ridiculous. They could win here 3-0 but they could quite easily lose by the same margine. I never know how to predict Wigan matches. They’ve taken points off of Liverpool, Tottenham and Everton but have been beaten by West Ham, Blackburn and Fulham. Wolves need to climb out of the relegation zone as quick as possible. You could see it coming because they relied so much on Kevin Doyle last year and if he wasn’t firing on all cylinder’s this campaign, they would always be in trouble. That theary has now come to tuition. This looks like it should be a draw but I think Wolves just want this one a bit more. 1-0 to McCarthy’s men.
17:30: Aston Villa vs Tottenham.This encounter was an absoloute cracker earlier on in the season with 3 goals split 2-1 with Spurs coming out on top. Villa arguably deserved something from that game and so have revenge to take on the Yid army. But Tottenham will not lay down and die by any means and I fancy them for this one as they will look upon this game as they would against sides such as Stoke, Blackburn, Fulham, Birmingham etc as that is how bad Villa are playing at the moment. Tottenham have Villa away and then 2 home games against Newcastle and Fulham. Spurs fans, including myself will look too take 9 points out of those 3 games, well, at least 7. I said I fancied Tottenham and in hynesight I do. But this is Tottenham and you can never trust them with results that you expect them to get! Ah, hard one, draw or win for spurs? 2-3 Tottenham
Monday: 27th December
20:00: Arsenal vs Chelsea. This is a real mouthwatering match. Arsenal played really well, and possession wise, dominated Chelsea at The Bridge earlier on in the season however possession counts for nothing when you lose 2-0 which they did. It is vitally important to Wenger’s side that they score goals in this game and don’t try to walk the ball into the net which they do the majority of the time when they face the sides such as Tottenham, Man United and Chelsea. You cannot do that against the big teams because they will just take the ball off of you. Chelsea haven’t won since they beat Fulham in October. They need to rectify that run immediately if they are to even challenge for the title in this 2010/11 season. United are always better than Chelsea in the New Year and although history shouldn’t be looked at and comapred to the present, I do think that will continue this year. So Chelsea need a really good Christmas period. Mouthwatering, jawdropping, but a draw! 1-1.