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Premier League Preview: Week 9

Now that the International break is over for another five weeks, it is time to get back to Premier League action. Before the break I had a horrible week going 3 for 10, which dropped me to 68% for the season. If you think you can do better than I can then go to http://scorefive.com/index.php/Register.html and register as a player (its free). After you login, it will ask you for the password to join a league. That password is soccertickets.

SATURDAY

Aston Villa v Chelsea (1245 BST)
Early games after an international break are always hard to predict as a lot of players did not get back from International duty until Thursday. Before the break Chelsea beat Liverpool comfortably at Stamford Bridge, without really hitting top gear. This will be a tight game, but I expect Chelsea to edge out a 2-1 victory.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-1

Arsenal v Birmingham
October is an important month for Arsenal as a lot of the other Championship contenders play each other, giving the Gunners a chance to get back into the top three. Arsenal were starting to hit their stride before the break and I cannot see any way that Birmingham gets anything from this game. This is my lock of the week.
Prediction: 3-0 Arsenal

Everton v Wolves
It has been over 30 years since Wolves beat Everton at Goodison Park and I don’t see that streak ending this weekend. Everton are too strong up front for a Wolves team that has lost their last three games away from home.
Prediction: Everton 2-1
Match preview

Man Utd v Bolton
United really struggled against a physical Sunderland team last time out and not they play another physical team in Bolton. With a big Champions league game in midweek coming up, it will be interesting to see what kind of team Sir Alex names. I expect this to be a close game with a late winner from United deciding the points.
Prediction: Manchester United 2-1

Portsmouth v Tottenham
This is a homecoming party for many in the Spurs camp, including manager Harry Redknapp. Redknapp did wonders at Pompey, bringing them out of the Championship, making them competitive in the Premier League and winning the FA Cup. All that will be forgotten Saturday, as he takes his Spurs team to Fratton Park to play a Pompey side that was beginning to show some life before the break. In front of a passionate crowd, I m looking for Pompey to grab a point as they start to pull themselves out of the bottom three.
Prediction: 1-1

Stoke v West Ham
This is a really tough game for a West Ham side that is struggling at the moment. Stoke are really difficult to beat at The Britannia Stadium and their work rate and effort will be too much for West ham here.
Prediction: Stoke 2-0

Sunderland v Liverpool
Sunderland were unlucky not to grab all three points at Old Trafford and Jones and Bent will be a real handful for Liverpool’s back four. This is a trap game for Liverpool as they have a huge Champions League game against Lyon in midweek followed by Man United. With Gerrard possibly sitting this one out due to injury, this one has upset all over it.
Prediction: Sunderland 2-1

Blackburn v Burnley (1300 BST)
This is a big derby game between two sets of fans who do not like each other. That translates into a great atmosphere, with lots of full-bloodied tackles and little flowing football. That type of game suits Blackburn more than Burnley and I am expecting a home win here
Prediction: Blackburn 1-0

Wigan v Man City (1600 BST)
What Wigan team will show up here? Is it the team that beat Chelsea or the one that Man United scored five against? Wigan are still finding themselves under Roberto Martinez while Mark Hughes has started to get his City team playing the way he likes. City have a lot of speed that will hurt Wigan on the counter-attack and I expect them to win for the first time at Wigan
Prediction: Manchester City 2-1

Fulham v Hull City
Hull got a huge victory before the break against Wigan to ease some of the pressure on Phil Brown, but repeating that victory at Craven Cottage will be difficult. Hull have given up 10 goals in their last two away games and I canot see them shutting Fulham out here. Fulham are a much better team at home than on the road and I expect them to win this one easily.
Prediction: Fulham 2-0

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