08 February 2007

Premiership Predictions 2/10 – 2/11

Reading v Aston Villa (7:45am, Setanta): No matter how good Reading’s been (and they’ve been very good, a promoted team amongst the European places), I still believe Young and Carew will get Villa back on track. Being able to win away at the Majeski, which has been a difficult place to play (United only picked up a point there), would be a start to that. Villa 2-1
Manchester United v Charlton (10:00am, FSC): On current form, Charlton look the mostly likely on the bottom three to avoid the drop, but seriously, there’s no way you could bet against United taking all three points at Old Trafford, especially on the backs of two successive 4-0 victories. United 3-0
Chelsea v Middlesbrough (10:00am, Setanta Xtra): John Terry’s back, and honestly, Ballack's thigh injury may be a blessing in disguise, as it’ll remove some of the selection headaches in midfield. I firmly believe his continued inclusion is the main reason for Chelsea’s unbalanced midfield and the deviation from last season’s successful formation. Boro’s on the up, but I doubt they’ll see much go their way at the Bridge. Chelsea 2-0
Everton v Blackburn (10:00am): This won’t be like the 1-4 thrashing at Goodison in the FA Cup. Everton have Johnson, Arteta and Cahill back, and will have vengeance on their minds. And being at home, hopefully they’ll attempt to come out of their own half, unlike last week. Everton 2-1
Sheffield United v Tottenham (10:00am): If Martin Jol hopes to get Tottenham above mid-table (we’ve been saying that all season it seems), these are the sort of games they should be winning. But given Tottenham’s repeated disappointments and Sheffield’s strength at home, I’m going for a draw. 1-1
West Ham v Watford (10:00am): Payback for the FA Cup defeat or another step closer to relegation for the Hammers? The next two games will go a long way towards deciding the bottom three; after Watford, West Ham travels to Charlton. It would probably be helpful if any of their first-choice defenders, including the two recently acquired, were healthy. 1-1
Portsmouth v Manchester City (12:15pm, FSC): A home draw against Boro and a loss at Wigan has seen Pompey slide out of the European places, and they haven’t won in the league since Boxing Day. Luckily for them, City hasn’t had the best away record and, like Portsmouth, has been struggling for goals. And no matter Pompey’s form, Fratton Park is always a difficult place to play. Portsmouth 1-0
Bolton v Fulham (8:30am, Sunday, Setanta): Bolton’s 1-0 win over Watford last Saturday was their first of 2007, while I still maintain Fulham’s January transfer period was as good as any other club in the Premier league, but I just can’t see the Cottagers picking up any points at the Reebok. Bolton 2-0
Arsenal v Wigan (11:00am, Sunday, FSC): I was pleased to see Wigan pick up a win last week, seeing them move ever so slowly towards safety in their second Premiership season. However, I doubt they’ll have as much fortune at the Emirates (where Arsenal is still unbeaten), against an Arsenal team smarting from a disappointing performance and draw against Boro last weekend and looking to keep 3rd place within touching distance. Arsenal 3-0

Liverpool at Newcastle is on Setanta at 10am on Saturday. Preview later.

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