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English Premier League Preview Week 12

It’s a huge weekend of action in the English Premier League that is highlighted by Saturday’s early match between Manchester United and Arsenal at the Emirates. Here are our predictions for this weekends games.

Arsenal v Man Utd

Arsene Wenger has been crying all week about how Stoke kicked his team off the park last week. They didn’t and the reason that Arsenal lost was because their defense and goalkeeper and not good enough. Both teams will be fired up for this game, but if United play for the whole 90 minutes they will be too strong for Arsenal. Berbatov, Rooney and Ronaldo are starting to click and I they will have too much power for the Arsenal defense. Manchester United win a good match 2-1.

Wigan v Stoke
This is an interesting match between two struggling teams who really helped themselves out with surprising wins last week. Stoke has the worst record away from home in the Premiership, while Wigan have been surprisingly lost two straight at home. In this one I expect Stoke’s dismal away form to continue as Wigan get back on the home winning track.

Hull v Bolton
Hull have had to play Chelsea and Manchester United in their last two games and it will be interesting to see how they react playing one of the “lesser” teams in the Premier League. Bolton got a great win last week against Manchester City but they still have trouble scoring goals, especially away from home. I expect Hull to continue their great start to the season by picking up all three points here.

Sunderland v Portsmouth
Interesting that on the weekend when Arsenal and Manchester United meet again that two veterans of this great rivalry, Tony Adams and Roy Keane will hook horns at the Stadium of Light. Sunderland are a much better team at home than on the road and are looking for a fifth league and cup game at home without defeat. Portsmouth on the other hand have failed to win any of their last five away from home. I expect the winless streak to continue here for Pompey as Sunderland grab 3 valuable points.

West Ham v Everton
Back to back 1-0 victories against Bolton and Fulham have Everton fans hoping to gain three victories in a row for the first time in eight months. West Ham on the other hand have claimed seven points out of 21 under Gianfranco Zola, but just one point from the last five outings. This match has a low-scoring draw written all over it.

Liverpool v West Brom
Shock defeat for Liverpool last week, but with Fernando Torres returning to the line-up I fully expect Liverpool to get back to their winning ways this weekend. West Brom have won only six of 62 away matches in their Premier League history and they will not be getting win number 7 here. Liverpool should win this game easily, by 2 or 3 goals.

Blackburn v Chelsea
Chelsea were embarrassed in losing to Roma mid-week in the Champions League and I expect them to take out their frustrations on Blackburn on Sunday. I expect Chelsea to win this one by a couple of goals.

Aston Villa v Middlesbrough
Villa had been picked by many pundits as a serious challenger to Arsenal for a Champions League place next season before a terrible loss to Newcastle on Monday. They followed that up with a good win against Slavia Prague on Thursday, but I am concerned that this will be their third game in 6 days, while it is Middlesbrough’s first. Boro’s play this year has been better than their record indicates and I expect them to get a point here against a tired Villa side.

Man City v Tottenham
This is an interesting match between two teams who had big UEFA Cup wins on Thursday. City’s win over FC Twente relieved some pressure of Mark Hughes’s shoulders as City had only won one of the last six Premier League matches, losing four of them. Spurs on the other hand have been flying since Harry took over. This should be an exciting game as both teams like to go forward and neither of them have good defenses. Spurs are playing with a lot of confidence at the moment and I expect them to win this one by the odd goal.

Fulham v Newcastle
A relegation battle/six pointer call it what you want, but this is a game that neither team can afford to lose. Fulham have failed to win six of their last seven Premier League matches, and now face a Newcastle side chasing a third successive league win. Fortunately for Fulham, Newcastle does not travel well, especially to London. I like the job that Joe Kinnear is doing at Newcastle, but I expect Newcastle’s poor away form to continue as Fulham take all three points here.