Seeing as I absolutely bombed the Champions League guesses I made earlier in the week, I figured I’d attempt it again with this weekend’s Premier League matches. Just to further prove to you all I have no idea what I’m talking about. However, I firmly believe if Mark Lawrenson can do it, so can I.
Fulham v Everton (7:45am Setanta): I’m as surprised as anyone that Fulham currently sits in the top half of the table. They showed signs of improvement last season, with their excellent home record. They’ve continued that so far this season, with the only two losses at home this year coming against Chelsea and last week versus Wigan. I still imagine Everton will be too much for them to handle, especially the speed of Johnson versus Fulham’s back line, and Cahill’s awareness on set pieces. 2-1 Everton
Bolton v Wigan (10am Setanta Xtra): Wigan’s won two games in a row, helping them inch back up the Premier League table, and getting back to the form that saw them finish as last year's surprise package. Bolton’s coming off being demolished by Manchester United 4-0 at home last week. Shouldn’t matter. No one other than Manchester United has scored at the Reebok, and Bolton still sits in 3rd place. Doesn’t mean this one’s going to be a classic, though. We are still talking about Bolton and Wigan, who play tough, typical, ‘British’ soccer. 1-0 Bolton
Charlton v Manchester City (10am): Two strugglers in the League. Both City and Charlton sit in the bottom third of the table (with Charlton in 20th place), and both have been massively inconsistent (at best) this season. Don’t expect a ton of goals or sparkling soccer. Manchester City has the ability to win here, despite their poor play away from home, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. 0-0
Manchester Utd v Portsmouth, (10am Setanta): No matter Portsmouth’s great start to the season. No matter United’s loss to Copenhagen during the week. This is Manchester United versus Portsmouth, at Old Trafford. By the way, Saha, Giggs and Neville have all been declared fit after missing Wednesday’s game. 2-0 United
Watford v Middlesbrough (10am): I really think that this could be Watford’s first win of the season. They’ve been so close to getting their first PL victory (six draws out of ten games), it really has to be just a matter of time. Middlesbrough’s inconsistency and dreadfulness away from home should give Watford the opportunity for all 3 points. Not to mention it’s got to be worrying for Boro that their defensive frailties have led them to try and resign Abel Xavier now that he’s back from a 9 month ban. 1-0 Watford
Newcastle v Sheffield Utd, (12:15pm FSC): On paper, it really looks like Newcastle should carry this one. They won in Palermo midweek (which is not an easy place to play), despite being without Scott Parker, Damien Duff, Stephen Carr and Obafemi Martins. However, Glenn Roeder is in the papers this morning decrying the number of games Newcastle has to play this week, trying to reduce expectations for the weekend, and I just get the feeling they’re in for another letdown. 0-0
West Ham v Arsenal, (8:30am Setanta): Arsenal will bounce back from their disappointment in the Champions League mid-week, the question is only how much. I really think we could see 3 or 4 goals, with Arsenal rampant in trying to put the CSKA frustration behind them. It was nice to see West Ham get it together last week for their first win in 9 PL games, but I can’t see it continuing here. 3-0 Arsenal
Aston Villa v Blackburn (9am): Look for Aston Villa to rebound from last week’s loss to Liverpool. After being unbeaten all season long, I imagine Martin O’Neill drilled his team well for this weekend’s encounter. Meanwhile, I can’t help but think that this game will be a downer for Blackburn compared to their 3-0 win versus Basle in the UEFA Cup. 2-0 Aston Villa
Tottenham v Chelsea, (11am FSC): Being a London derby and all, I’m sure this will be an exemplary display of sportsmanship and pleasantness. Tottenham is starting to come good after a rocky start, with the strike-partnership of Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov looking particularly handy yesterday versus Club Brugge. But they are up against Chelsea, who have looked even more impressive of late, with Ballack and Sheva starting to find their feet in the league. 2-0 Chelsea
I try not to do predictions for Liverpool, as I tend to have bad luck with that. Full preview of tomorrow’s game with Reading (which is live 10am on FSC) later today/tonight.