29 December 2006

Premiership Predictions 12/30

Charlton v Aston Villa (7:45am, Setanta): Charlton was desperately unlucky to not get the full 3 points from Alan Pardew’s first match in charge, and I imagine they’ll continue to look a better side than they did under Les Reed. At the same time, Villa, while continuing to slide down the league table, has still been very good at grinding out draws on the road. 1-1

Chelsea v Fulham (10am, FSC): Fulham always gives Chelsea a good game; Chelsea was made to work very hard for their 2-0 victory earlier in the season and Fulham shocked Chelsea at Craven Cottage last season. However, I still can’t see Chelsea continuing to drop points, no matter Terry’s injury, and reckon they’ll come out looking to make amends for Tuesday’s draw. Chelsea 3-1

Manchester United v Reading (10am, Setanta): No matter Reading’s continued good play, including their hard-earned draw against Chelsea midweek, United is on an excellent run of form, and it will take a lot to pick up points at Old Trafford. Not to mention United will be looking to avenge the 1-1 draw at Reading earlier in the year. United 2-0

Blackburn v Middlesbrough (10am): If Blackburn plays the way they did against Liverpool, defending well enough, Friedel on a blinder, and converting the few chances they get, they should take the points. Boro defended very well at Everton midweek, despite having been very questionable away from home all season long, but I can’t see that trend continuing. Blackburn 1-0

Bolton v Portsmouth (10am): This will be an excellent test as to how far Pompey’s really come. We keep waiting for the other shoe to drop with Portsmouth, but it hasn’t happened yet. However, the Reebok Stadium is an extremely difficult place to go and pick up a victory no matter how well Bolton’s playing, and Bolton’s picked up 9 points in the last 3 matches. Bolton 2-1

Everton v Newcastle (10am): This one’s got draw written all over it. Newcastle’s been the better side of late (Glenn Roeder really should be commended), but Everton will be tough to beat at home. If Everton does better in the final third than they did against Boro midweek, they’ll have an excellent chance to win, but I can’t see either team pulling away from or dominating the other. 2-2

Watford v Wigan (10am): Not for the faint of heart. Both teams, as promoted teams are apt to do, defend deeply and defend well. Watford was unlucky not to earn a draw against Arsenal Tuesday, while Wigan had 3 put past them in the second half by United, but both teams should pretty much cancel each other out. 0-0

West Ham v Manchester City (10am): Manchester City on the road, combined with Curbishley having West Ham playing much better as a team. I expect the Hammers to continue to accrue points and get away from the relegation battle. West Ham 2-1

Sheffield United v Arsenal (12:15pm, FSC): Probably will be like Arsenal’s last game at Watford. Arsenal has struggled to break down teams on the road, and Sheffield United has exceeded expectations recently, but Arsenal should be able to beat Paddy Kenny and the Blades’ defense at least once, while I can’t see Sheffield troubling Lehmann. Arsenal 2-0

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