12 January 2007

Premiership Predictions 1/13-1/14

Chelsea v Wigan (10:00am, FSC): Wigan’s had an absolutely terrible last couple of months, winless since early November. They did give Chelsea all they could handle last month, with Chelsea barely scrapping a win through a last minute Robben strike at the JJB. I don't know if Terry will return after missing the last month due to keyhole surgery on his back, but honestly, I don’t know if it matter to the scoreline, despite Chelsea frailties during Terry’s absence. Chelsea 3-1

Manchester United v Aston Villa (10:00am, Setanta): Can’t seem fair to Villans that they have to play United twice in less than a week (but you’ll get little sympathy from a Liverpool fan). Villa battled exceptionally hard in the FA Cup 3rd round, but with Petrov out and considering United’s dominance in the league, I imagine a similar result to last weekend. We’ll see if Larsson keeps his place after scoring over the weekend. United 2-0

West Ham v Fulham (10:00am, Setanta Xtra): I don’t know if it’s too soon to expect to see Clint Dempsey, but I’m thrilled he’s finally getting the chance to play in England, even if it is for America East in Fulham. Playing against better competition will do wonders for Deuce’s game, and his improvement is absolutely necessary to the national team’s success. Curbishley’s had a torrid time trying to improve West Ham’s results, with 3 losses and a draw (at Fulham) since beating Manchester United in his first game. The interesting subplot to this London derby will see Luis Boa Morte play against the side he used to captain for the first time. 1-1

Bolton v Manchester City (10:00am): Insert usual “not for the faint of heart,” “I expect Bolton to grind out a result” prediction here. Despite picking up two wins in the last two away games (and three wins in the last three games), City has been atrocious on the road for most of the season while Bolton is exceptionally tough to beat at home, so chances are Bolton will do more than grind out a result, but the game should still be less than aesthetically pleasing. Bolton 2-0

Charlton v Middlesbrough (10:00am): Now this one’s not for the faint of heart. Pardew’s still in the process of weeding out Dowie’s dead weight and Charlton still look to be favorites for the drop, while Boro has made Man City look like road powerhouses, still winless away for the entire season. Boro beat Charlton at home less than a month ago, but Charlton should put in a better performance at the Valley, especially, one would hope, with the season increasingly on the line.0-0

Sheffield United v Portsmouth (10:00am): No matter the fact that Sheffield’s played better as the season’s gone on, Portsmouth is still playing excellent soccer and look to remain amongst the European places in the top 6. The fact that this is in Sheffield means we should see a closer scoreline than the last time these teams met (3-1 Portsmouth), as Portsmouth’s much more beatable away from Fratton Park. Portsmouth 2-1

Blackburn v Arsenal (12:15pm, FSC): Two teams not high on my list of favorites right now. Blackburn will stifle and hope to frustrate Arsenal at Ewood Park, but I can’t pick against the Gunners after the scoring prowess they’ve displayed over the past week (shut up). Arse 2-0

Everton v Reading (8:45am, Sunday, Setanta): Everton will want to put the shocking 4-1 loss to Blackburn in the FA Cup behind them, while Reading is coming off a 3rd round victory and a 6-0 demolishment of West Ham in the league. No matter. Everton has been excellent at Goodison Park, and will come out looking to score early and score often. Everton 2-1

Tottenham v Newcastle (11:00am, Sunday, FSC): The match these two put on last month was excellent, and we should see another closely contested affair. Tottenham has been beaten only once at home since September (gee I can't seem to remember by whom), while Newcastle has shown the utmost resiliency in continuing to deliver results despite the injury list, and they should honestly be higher in the league table. Now that the Geordies are getting healthy, I can see them getting at least a point at the Lane. 2-2

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