12 April 2007

Predictions 4/14-4/16

Arsenal v Bolton, 10am, Setanta: If Bolton win here, they’ll overtake Arsenal for 4th, although the Arse will still have a game in hand. It’s a bit of a surprise we’ve come to this point, but since Arsenal knocked Bolton out of the FA Cup on Valentine’s Day, they’ve won twice, drawn three, and lost 6, including the Carling Cup final and exits from both the FA Cup and Champions League. Season-ending injuries Henry and van Persie as well as a raft of suspensions might have had something to do with it. Maybe more because it will amuse me greatly (I am petty and hold grudges), but I think the trend of Arsenal underwhelming might continue and Bolton could not only get an elusive victory at Arsenal, but some retribution for the FA Cup exit. Bolton 1-0
Sheffield Utd v West Ham, 10am, Setanta Xtra: If Sheffield lose this game, they’re going to have a tough time staying up. More due to a probable loss of confidence following a tough “six-point” defeat at home than the fixture list; other than Man Utd, Sheffield doesn’t play any team higher than 14th in the last 5 games. West Ham’s been on a good run, while Sheffield’s struggled without Hulse’s goals, but I don’t think either team will come away with anything. 0-0
Middlesbrough v Aston Villa, 10am: In the past two weeks, Boro has been dominant against Watford and dire versus West Ham. As usual, consistently inconsistent. Villa picked up a nice win at Blackburn in their last away match, but returned to form drawing Wigan two days later, and going for the tried and true draw prediction here as well seems smart. 1-1
Portsmouth v Newcastle, 10am: If Pompey play like they did against United a week ago, they showed that on their day they can beat anyone. If they played like they did against Watford, they’re not beating anyone. Mainly, I’m just hoping Newcastle lose here to put even more pressure on Roeder, in the narrow hope that the tabloids are true, and Freddy Shepard’s considering Sven Goran Eriksson as his new manager. Because that would be fantastic. Pompey 2-1
Reading v Fulham, 10am: I do not like Coleman’s firing one bit. Not at all. Despite the fact I like Cookie a lot as a manager, I know he had to go, but the time was in the summer. I know the recent results were poor, but he still should have been able to keep Fulham up. Lawrie Sanchez is a great manager (despite the fact he played for Wimbledon), you just have to look at Northern Ireland’s results, but I cannot wrap my head around why you’d fire the staff with five games remaining in the season. I really hope Sanchez is a master motivator, and inspires confidence in his charges quickly, because despite what the results say, Reading is a good side playing good football. Reading 2-1

Wigan v Tottenham, 8:30am, Setanta: With a tough UEFA Cup exit, mainly thanks to eight minutes of defensive madness to start today’s game, Tottenham’s focus should now completely be on achieving a European spot next season. And while Wigan arguably has more to play for, clinging to a place outside the relegation zone, Tottenham has the firepower to get the away win. Spurs 3-1
Everton v Charlton, 10am: Alan Pardew has done a superb job getting Charlton from the foot of the table to safety in 17th place, with them unbeaten in six games, but it’s not over by a long shot. The remaining away games are all difficult: there’s this and another trip to the Merseyside in the last game of the season, and against Blackburn. They’ll also host a London derby against Spurs and a classic “six-pointer” against Sheffield. If they continue their trend of picking up points in this game, it’ll be a pretty clear sign they intend to stay up, but despite their excellent efforts over the past couple of months, I don’t think they’ll be able to. Everton 2-1

FA Cup Semifinals
Watford v Manchester Utd, 12:30pm Saturday, PPV: Less said about United recently, the better. Go Watford. United 3-0
Blackburn v Chelsea, 11am Sunday, FSC: Blackburn has already beaten Arsenal and Everton on their run to the semi. But they’ve also lost their last two games at home, and their last three in total. And Chelsea is, well, seemingly back to being Chelsea. Nevertheless, go Blackburn. I’m happy to root against Chelsea in most circumstances, but I can’t believe anyone who isn't a fan of the two clubs could want to see Chelsea and United in the final.Chelsea 2-0

Liverpool at Manchester City is on FSC at 10am Saturday.


Ace Cowboy said...

If I'm not mistaken, Blackburn's been a bit of a bogeyman team for Chelsea in recent years. But when I went over there, we took it to the Bridge for a night of Gamst & Co., and Blackburn got absolutely trounced by the Blues. Wasn't even close, wasn't even a possibility that Rovers were walking away with a point.

After watching that, and after seeing Chelsea's recent form, there's no chance in hell they lose to Hughes' Army. Looks like we're lookin' at a foregone conclusion, ManU and Chavski in the FA Cup finale.

I hope I'm doing a reverse jinx correctly right here...

nate said...

Soccerbase.com has a lovely little feature where you can see head to head matchups for PL teams over the past 10 games or so, if not more. Of course, the site is down at the moment, but off the top of my head, I know Chelsea's beaten Blackburn thrice this season, keeping clean sheets in all three. Helpfully, the Beeb tells me that Blackburn's only won once against Chelsea in the last 9, 1-0 last spring @ Ewood.


I second all hopes for this reverse jinx thing. Seems no way Lokomotiv London can lose.

Ace Cowboy said...

So what am I thinkin' about then? I could have sworn I saw somewhere that Blackburn had Chelsea's number over the past few seasons. Oh well, that's why it's best to ignore anything that spews from my brain.

Thanks for the recommendation on the website with head to head, though. Could be useful. Useful shot.