Another season, another attempt to predict Premiership games. Here’s hoping it goes better than last time (118-131, if you’re wondering). For the first couple of weeks, I imagine it’ll be more of a crapshoot than usual, and thus, I’ll probably have less to say about each game as well.
For those who missed it last season, I don’t predict Liverpool games. Superstition and such. Full preview of the Villa game tomorrow instead.
Sunderland v Tottenham, 7:45am, Setanta: It’s too easy to pick a straight Tottenham win. Sunderland will come out guns blazing in front of their home fans by the time Keane’s done with them, while Tottenham’s never been known for their quick starts. Honestly (and very, very sadly), it’ll probably be a lot like Liverpool’s first game last season against Sheffield United. 1-1
West Ham v Manchester City, 10am, FSC: Two teams marginally fancied because of their summer spending that I don’t fancy at all. I don’t trust the new players either team has bought, nor am I a fan of either manager. At least it’ll probably be closely contested though. 0-0
Bolton v Newcastle, 10am, Setanta: Well, the folks who make the fixture list have a sense of humor. Even under Sammy Lee, Bolton will be tough to beat at the Reebok, but I think Allardyce will have an immediate impact on Newcastle’s away form. Plus, there’s no way he wants to lose this game, and his players will be well aware of that. 1-1
Everton v Wigan, 10am, Setanta Xtra: Ugh, predicting an Everton win to start the season is not high on my list of enjoyable acts, but I highly doubt they’ll lose their opening match at Goodison to a team I expect to be involved in the relegation battle all season long. Everton 2-0
Middlesbrough v Blackburn, 10am: Even though it’s the first match of the season, I expect to learn a few things about Blackburn here. As said earlier in the week, I like Blackburn to finish high up the table, and I think we’ll start to see if they have the potential to in this game. The Riverside is never an easy place to play, and Blackburn’s not been the best on the road. If they can come away with more than a point, it will bode well for them. I’m still taking the safe pick though. 2-2
Derby v Portsmouth, 10am: In contrast to predicting a Sunderland draw because they’re a promoted team at home and will come out strong, I reckon Derby will be in for a rude welcome to the Premiership. Portsmouth isn’t the strongest team, but when all’s said and done, I think Derby is probably going to struggle for any and all points. Doesn't help matters that Giles Barnes will miss this through injury either. Portsmouth 1-0
Arsenal v Fulham, 7am Sunday: London derbies are usually contentious and enjoyable, and while Fulham’s strengthened more than I thought they would over the summer (and I love the fact that McBride’s been named captain), I doubt that the Cottagers will pull off a surprise against the Gunners like they did last season. Arsenal 2-1
Chelsea v Birmingham, 8:30am Sunday, Setanta: No promotion team shocker here either, even with Terry and possibly Drogba (among others) out with injury. On the plus side, it’s comforting to get back to predicting 2-0 Chelsea wins. Chelsea 2-0
Manchester United v Reading, 11am Sunday, FSC: Reading was somewhat of a bogey team for United last year, with a draw at the Majeski, and fighting all the way to a 2-3 loss at Old Trafford. I may not think United will be as successful as they were last season, but they’re still winning this one. United 3-1
The three games that aren’t televised are supposedly broadcast on FoxSoccer.com broadband. I’ve no idea how that’s going to work, but I’m interested to see.