Last weekend was full of upsets in the Premier League as parity seems to be the word for most of the 20 teams. Here is a look at this weekends games and predictions.
Bolton v Liverpool
Liverpool suffered a bad loss to Spurs in the Carling Cup this week and now have to go a Bolton team who are getting some confidence after wining some games recently. This one will be a really tough game for Liverpool, but I expect them to get back on the winning track here.
Arsenal v Aston Villa
This is match of the weekend. Arsenal had a huge win over Manchester United last week and will want to out some space between themselves and the team who is most likely to challenge them for that fourth Champions League place. Villa have really disappointed recently with two bad losses on the trot. Until Martin O’Neill’s team can show that they are over their recent bad run I cannot pick them to get anything out of this game. So Arsenal wins this one by a couple of goals.
Blackburn v Sunderland
Blackburn won at Sunderland in the Carling Cup and that will give them enough confidence to win this game. Sunderland are absolutely terrible playing away from home and I do not expect them to get anything out of this game.
Fulham v Tottenham
Everything Harry touches at the moment is turning to gold. Even Darren Bent is scoring goals! Spurs are full of confidence at the moment, and while I think they are still very fragile at the back I don’t expect Fulham tot cause them to many problems in this game. The Spurs party continues as they win this one.
Man Utd v Stoke
Manchester United could have easily won the game at Arsenal last week, but poor finishing let them down once again. More worrisome to Sir Alex is that United have not played a complete 90 minutes in weeks. Luckily they should not need a complete 90 minute game this week to beat a Stoke team that is much better at home than away and I don’t expect that this is the week that they get their first ever Premier League win away from home. This should be a comfortable home win for United.
Newcastle v Wigan
Newcastle is another team that plays much better at home than away. JFK has done a good job stabilizing Newcastle and they have won two, drawn two and lost two Premier League games under his reign. Wigan on the other hand are really struggling at the moment to score goals having failed to score in three of the last four league games. This is a game I cannot see Newcastle losing.
West Ham v Portsmouth
Hammers are going through a tough time at the moment. They played Everton off the park last week and lost 3-1. The January transfer window is right around the corner and rumors of a West Ham fire sale become louder the nearer we get to the end of the year. Under Gianfranco Zola they have lost five of the last six, gained one point out of 18 and are bottom of the “Form” table.
Portsmouth on the other hand are getting settled under the Tony Adams regime and I expect him to tighten Pompey’s leaky defense. Both teams are desperate for points and I am looking for a draw here that will keep both managers happy.
West Brom v Chelsea
That was a terrible loss for Chelsea in the Carling Cup this week. At least we can now put any talk of the quadruple behind us for another season. This could be a really long day for West Brom fans as I expect Chelsea to bounce back from the Burnley defeat and beat West Brom comfortably here as Chelsea extend the only 100% away league record in England; having won six of six on the road this season, and last nine away league games going back to last season.
Everton v Middlesbrough
David Moyes has stabilized the ship at Everton and they are getting better every week. They will be looking to complete four wins on the bounce for the first time since 9 March in David Moyes’ 250th Premier League match in charge. Louis Sara is a great signing for them if he can stay healthy and Everton has tightened up that leaky defense. The Boro are playing better than their record suggests and are looking to complete their first back-to-back league wins in a single season since the last two matches of the last campaign.
I think that Everton to getting back to making Goodison a fortress again and I am looking for a home win here.
Hull v Man City
Has the bubble burst for Hull City? Losing to Chelsea and Manchester United was expected. Losing to Bolton last week was not. Hull needs to start winning or confidence will drop as everyone moves closer to them in the league. Problem for them is that Manchester City is a tough team to get back on the winning track against.
City have had a disappointing run of results recently losing their last three Premier League matches against Middlesbrough (a), Bolton (a) and Tottenham (h). City’s problem is its defense which has let in six goals in those three loses.
This game could go either way, so I am going for a draw that will make both managers somewhat happy.