From now on, I will only do the Saturday fixtures as that way everyone who reads it on Friday night/Saturday Morning will be ready for the fixture list that day!
12:45: West Brom vs Manchester United. Brummy wouldn’t have wanted the post christmas that they have had so far. 2 games, 2 defeats. They’ve shipped 5 goals and only score 1. Going to Bolton is a tough ask and so you can see how they were defeated there. However, their defeat against Blackburn is worrying. Rovers are awful on the road and so to concede 3 against them is very worrying indeed. I can’t see how, after shipping a set-piece created goal early on in the game, they seemed to not be able to defend the second set-piece that Rovers got. And this is just the match that they wouldn’t have wanted. Albion need a win. So the side that you don’t want to face, is a side that hasn’t lost since the spring of 2010, in the prem, which is quite incredible when you think about it. United will be disapointed after not holding on against Birmingham but they are top with a couple of games in hand at the top of the table. Fergie would have taken that on August 10t I can see this being a definate United win. 1-3.
15:00: Liverpool vs Bolton. How do you describe Liverpool’s performance on Monday night? I don’t want to just go over what everybody else has said as I know everyone has heard how horrific they were. I watched the last 20 minutes of the game but also sore the highlights on Match of the Day and to me it just seemed that Roy Hodgson had no clue whatsoever. He’ll be gone by the end of January in my opinion which is a shame because I thought he could stabilise the club when he came in. That just proves, in my opinion, that Roy was a one hit wonder at Fulham. His track record isn’t great if you take out his time at Craven Cottage. Poor at Blackburn and Liverpool. Did OK, I suppose at Inter, but that’s simply not good enough record to manage Liverpool FC. Bolton were seriously unlucky to come away from Stamford Bridge with nothing. They played just aswell as Sunderland did when they went to the Bridge but it’s just that on that day everything went in, and on Wednesday, nothing went in. It’s the way it goes sometimes in football. I think Bolton will tear Liverpool apart and this will be Hodgson’s first, and last game, managing Liverpool in 2011. 0-4.
15:00: Manchester City vs Blackpool. City demolished Aston Villa in mid-week but this is a very poor Villa side and lets be honest, when the Arab-run company went 3 up before the half hour mark, Villa gave up. A hat-trick for Mario Balotelli will give him confidence, not that he needs it. I can see that he has tremendous talent and believes in himeslf hugely. Maybe a little too much. His like an even lazier version of Dimitar Berbatov but he has more skill than Berbatov when his not sulking or moaning about being booked. What words can I use to describe Blackpool’s run over the last 5 games? Incredible. 4 of their last 5 games have been away and yet they’ve won 2 of them, at Stoke and most recently Sunderland, and drawn 2, at West Ham and Bolton. The other match was at home to Wolves which they won which means out of a possible 15 points from their last 5 games , they have picked up 11. That’s astonishing for a side who wasn’t even tipped to get 11 points come the end of the season. An Unbeleievable win at Sunderland, 2-0, just proves what great team spirit they do have within the club. Who’d have thought that the 1st team to beat Sunderland in the Premier League this season, would be Blackpool! Arsenal, United and City, all go and fail but Blackpool do the impossible, AGAIN! They’ll get hammered here though, unfortunately. 5-1.
15:00: Stoke vs Everton. What happened to Stoke at the Brittania on Tuesday?! Beaten 2-0 by Fulham. Yes, Chris Baird did strike the ball beautifully twice but even so, they had 80 minutes to rectify it and didn’t really threaten by what I’ve seen from the match. Still, Tony will gather his players round and fully pick them up for this game as it is a one that they will look to win, despite Everton, on paper, probably being the slight favourites although I think the draw will be a strong favourite for the booky’s. Everton would have looked to go to Upton Park and pick up all 3 points. As it is, they had to settle for 1. But they quite easily could have knicked it. David Moyes would have quite happily taken 4 points from the games against Man City and West Ham however after beating City, you would have wanted to beat bottom of the league West Ham. None the less, this will be a hard fought contest with Everton coming out as winners. 0-1.
15:00: Sunderland vs Blackburn. These 2 sides were probably expecting completely different results last time out. Sunderland, feeling they could beat Blackpool, were unfairely beaten 2-0. And Blackburn went to the Hawthorns off the back of a 2-0 thrashing at home by Stoke. In saying that, they went to Brummy, scored 3 goals, and ended the match, strolling to victory by 3 goals to 1. So, Sunderland will want to revive their form and Blackburn will look to continue or at least try and put a streak together off the back of the win in the black country. Sunderland have only lost once at home this season, and that number was 0 before the Blackpool game. So they won’t lose here but will the win? Yes. 2-0.
15:00: Tottenham vs Fulham. Spurs are in with a great shout of temporarily going joint 3rd with Arsenal at the week-end, even if it is only for a couple of hours. I hope they do win the title, not just because I’m a Tottenham fan, but also because the Barclays Premier League has become stale in the last 15 to 20 years. It’s the same 3, every year and so somebody else winning it will do the league good aswell as Spurs. I know City are also a new side but they have bought their way to the top which probably wouldn’t be as good for football as it is if the League title comes to White Hart Lane. Fulham got their biggest win since the Europa League semi-final second leg back in April, with the win over Stoke at the Brittania. Chris Baird can hit a ball can’t he? Jesus! They still, though, have an awful away record and going to the Brittania and going to White Hart Lane, is a different spectacle. Fulham handled Stoke’s direct approach but they won’t be able to contain Spurs’ superstars. 4-0.
15:00: West Ham vs Wolves. The Hammers picked up a vital win at Craven Cottage with Carlton Cole sealing the headlines with 2 goals to give his side their first victory on the road for 16 months. They then followed that up with a spirited performance at Upton Park against Everton and picked up a point to boost. Overall, a good post christmas period for the Hammers. So far anyway. Wolves were fantastic on Wednesday night and picked up their first victory at Anfield for 24 years is it? An incredible performance that was capped off by Mick saying after in the press conference that he had once got a 0-0 draw with Barnsley, at Anfield, many years ago. Thanks for that information Mick. Bottom vs second bottom. It shouldn’t be a classic by any stretch of the imagination as both teams will not want to lose. A crunch game, a 6 pointer every day of the week and one that I believe Wolves will win, however it’s incredibly hard to predict and could go either way. 1-2.
17:30: Birmingham vs Arsenal. Alex McLeish’s side were in jubilation, as well as their fans when they salvaged a late point against the Premier League leaders Manchester United which is a terrific point although the way that they went about getting that valuable point is less than admirable. I love Alex McLeish’s style of managing. Especially as he realises, that he doesn’t have the best bunch of players and probably has one of the 3 worst squads in the Prem however he sets out his side in a way where you have to break through them in order to win. But it was too negative on Wednesday. No threat. They came for a point. You could tell. They defended the whole game and only attacked when they were behind but I guarantee you, had they scored 10 minutes earlier, they would have once again, sat back before the game came to a close. Arsenal rested 8 players at the DW Stadium and payed the price as they dropped 2 valuable points in the race for the title. That is Wenger all over. That’s Arsenal all over. They beat Chelsea convincingly but then drop points against Wigan. He just won’t learn will he? I think they will drop points here. 1-1.