10 November 2006

Premiership Prediction Party 11.11-11.12

Manchester City v Newcastle (7:45am Setanta): City’s been inconsistent at best at home. Newcastle’s just been consistently awful in the league. This will probably be a close one; the question is whether it’s going to be close at something like 3-2 or 0-0. My suspicion is it’ll be the latter. 0-0

Chelsea v Watford (10am Setanta): I feel sorry for Watford. They just got their first win of the Premier League campaign last weekend, and now they’re up against Chelsea, who will be looking to avenge the surprise 2-1 loss to Tottenham last Sunday. Watford will be no match for a rampant Chelsea, especially at Stamford Bridge. 3-0 Chelsea

Everton v Aston Villa (10am FSC): I have a sneaking suspicion we’ll see amends made for all the talk of Andy Johnson being conspired against. For some reason, I’m certain Everton will get at least one key decision as some sort of karmic retribution. Or because the referee will be under orders to give them the benefit of the doubt thanks to Graham Poll screwing the pooch during the midweek Carling Cup tie against Arsenal. 1-0 Everton

Middlesbrough v West Ham (10am Setanta Xtra): Middlesbrough, while utterly disappointing, has been better at home than away. I hesitate to use the term “better” when talking about Boro, but they did beat Chelsea at the Riverside, which will continue to be Gareth Southgate’s claim to fame all season. But I can’t go against West Ham here, which is on somewhat of a resurgence, having picked up good wins against Blackburn and Arsenal in the last two games. 2-1 West Ham

Portsmouth v Fulham (10am): Fulham may have won at Everton last weekend, but I still have doubts over their away form. It really is a pity Jimmy Bullard’s lost for the season, because with Fulham’s improvement, Bullard could have made them a real threat. But I expect Portsmouth, which has also been pleasantly surprising, to return to winning ways. 2-1 Portsmouth

Sheffield United v Bolton (10am): No offense to Sheffield, which deservedly picked up its first win of the season last week at Newcastle, but the Geordies really should have done better. While I like Neil Warnock, as I have a soft spot for managers who’ll say exactly what they’re thinking, I still feel United is the weakest of the three promoted teams, and Bolton should be far too much for them. Especially a Bolton team that needs a win after home losses against Manchester United and Wigan. 2-0 Bolton

Wigan v Charlton (10am): With the way US television coverage usually is, I’m surprised this or the Bolton/Sheffield game isn’t the one on air. I firmly believe that Wigan is the superior team, and suspect that Charlton will have a tough time avoiding relegation, but we’re probably going to be treated to a draw, as Darren Bent always seems to sneak a goal in. 1-1

Blackburn v Manchester United (12:15pm FSC): Blackburn did the double over United last season, but I can’t see history repeating itself here. Not only is United one of the hottest teams in the league right now, but Ferguson will have screamed the paint off the walls, with his face redder than usual, after the mid-week loss to Championship strugglers Southend in the Carling Cup. 2-0 United

Reading v Tottenham (8:30am Sunday, Setanta): The last few weeks have not been good for Reading. After starting well in the league, they’re on a four-game losing streak. They’ve struggled with injuries to their small squad, the most significant being American Bobby Convey out indefinitely with a knee problem. Tottenham, on the other hand, is coming off their biggest win of the season away at Chelsea, and looks to be starting to play as the pundits expected. And yet, I don’t think they’re going to be pleased with this result; I expect to see the Spurs we saw earlier in the year, and a determined display from Reading. 1-1

Liverpool v Arsenal (11am Sunday, FSC) preview up sometime tomorrow.

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