02 February 2007

Premiership Predictions 2/03-2/04

Aston Villa v West Ham (10am, FSC): West Ham were better defensively against Liverpool than I thought they’d be, and after a sub par first half, they battled until the end. It’s a matter of the team being on their game and Curbs getting the line-up right, once he decides what it is. But despite losing to Newcastle, I still expect Villa to start to turn things around. As a sign of things to come, Ashley Young did get his first Villa goal Tuesday.Villa 2-1
Charlton v Chelsea (10am, Setanta): Away win. But congrats to Charlton for holding on for a draw at the Reebok last week. They are only 2 points behind Wigan and safety from relegation. Chelsea 3-0
Fulham v Newcastle (10am, Setanta Xtra): Chris Coleman was obviously disappointed in his team following their loss to Sheffield United mid-week, and I imagine he’ll bring better out of them this time. They’ll need it against an in-form Newcastle side that’s moved into the top 10 and signed the monster that is Oguchi Onyewu. But I still think that Fulham will be able to secure a draw, as they are apt to do at Craven Cottage this season. 1-1
Blackburn v Sheffield United (10am): I’ve got a hunch that Blackburn are due another good showing like those against Everton and Manchester City recently. Sheffield has been excellent at scrapping for a result, and I habitually underestimate them, but it feels as if Blackburn could put a few by the Blades. Blackburn 3-1
Manchester City v Reading (10am): I look for City to put in another decent performance at home as they did against Southampton last weekend. On a related note, it’s nice to see DaMarcus Beasley healthy and getting a consistent run-out, returning the favor with two goals in the past month. But Reading always seems likely to earn at least a point, and somewhere along the line, Lita or Long will probably pop up. 1-1
Wigan v Portsmouth (10am): Both teams will be looking to stop a poor run of form, with neither having won in the league since 2006. Wigan looks to be in a bit more trouble, sitting in 17th two points clear of relegation while Pompey clings to a European place, but I have a sneaking suspicion the Latics could earn a much needed point here. 0-0
Watford v Bolton (10am): Bolton is another team winless in 2007, but they should be able to pick up three points at Vicarage Road. Every week in these predictions, I end up treating Watford more harshly than I intend, but it’s fairly obvious they’re consolidating for the Championship and relying on the personality of Aidy Boothroyd for any hope of staying up. Bolton 2-0
Middlesbrough v Arsenal (12:15pm, FSC): After a 5-1 drubbing of Bolton, the Boro we know seems to be back (sometimes dour, frequently inconsistent) in the last two games. After letting the reserves have a run out to some success against Tottenham mid-week, Arsenal’s first team should be well rested. Arse 2-0
Tottenham v Manchester United (11am Sunday, FSC): I’m hoping that someone will be able to take points off United, and on face value, Tottenham aren’t a bad candidate. Spurs had been very good, and have beaten Chelsea, at White Hart Lane, except they’ve lost their last two in the league there. And suffered a fairly tough defeat to Arsenal on Wednesday. Sigh. United 2-1

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