Aston Villa v Bolton
That was terrible loss to West Ham on Wednesday’s night for Villa and they will be looking to get back on the winning track against a Bolton tea, that just has to be glad that they are not playing Chelsea again. It is clear that Chelsea, Arsenal and Man Utd are the class of the Premier League. But four teams qualify for the European Cup and between them, Aston Villa, Man City, Tottenham and Liverpool have won just four of their last 20 games. At some point one of these pretendcers is going to get on a roll and put together a winning. Villa have a chance to start that winning against Bolton and I think they will
Verdict: 2-0 Villa
Blackburn v Portsmouth
It looks like Pompey turned a corner last week with the wins in the league and the Carling Cup. One thing I like about Paul Hart is that he is not s defensive minded coach and his team like to play football. That has never been the case for Big Sam, who if he thinks that he will get the job at Old Trafford after Fergie leaves, then I want to have what he is drinking! Blackburn’s away form has been dismal so they need to pick up points at home and I see both teams getting a share of the points here.
Man City v Burnley
Burnley is typical of a lot of the bottom tier teams in that they are much better at home than they are on the road. The problem here is that they have to go the Eastlands where Mark Hughes needs his team to start converting draws into wins. And City will win this derby comfortably.
Verdict: 2-0 Manchester City
Tottenham v Sunderland
That was a tough loss for Spurs last week at Arsenal For 42 minutes they played well, then they shut down for 11 seconds and the game was over. Now they need to get back on the winning track. Sunderland is no pushover this season but I cannot see Spurs losing two in a row at home.
Verdict: 2-1 Spurs
Wolves v Arsenal
Arsenal are playing with a lot of confidence at the moment and they might be the prettiest team to watch in Europe. Arsenal come unstuck when they have to travel to hostile grounds and go against big, physical teams who knock them off their stride. Luckily for them, Wolves is not that type of team and I can see this game getting out of hand if Wolves are not careful. This is my lock of the week.
Verdict: 0-4 Arsenal
Hull v Stoke
If Hull lose this one, it might well be Phil Brown’s last game in charge. Hull were really unlucky to lose last week at Burnley, but this is the type of game they have to win. The problem I see though is that after 3 wins in 2009, how can you possibly pick Hull to end that losing streak. I cannot, although I expect them to get a share of the points here.
Verdict: Hull 1 Stoke 1
West Ham v Everton
Two teams with very different results in midweek. West Ham got a huge boost with that win against Villa while Everton lost again in the Europa League. Both teams are battling the injury bug and this game might some down to whose reserve team is better.
Verdict: West Ham 1 Everton 1
Wigan v Fulham
Fulham are always tough to beat at Craven Cottage as last weeks win over Liverpool showed. The problem for Roy Hodgson’s team is that this game takes place in Wigan. Wigan has been up and down all season, and like all struggling teams they are better at home than away from home. I am not sure what Wigan team shows up this week, but I am expecting the good Wigan to show and for them to grab all three points.
Verdict: 2-0 Wigan
Chelsea v Manchester United
This is the latest of the big games this season. It will be important in the final standings, but it will not determine the title. Chelsea are the best team in the Premier League at the moment, with Anelka and Drogba causing defences all kinds of trouble. Man United’s problem is that Rio and Vidic will both miss this game and that has to swing the advantage to Carlo Ancelotti’s side. Chelsea will win this game, which will put them in the drivers seat for the title. At least until the next big four game in less than a month.
Verdict: 2-0 Chelsea