19 April 2007

Predictions 4/21-4/22

Setanta’s not showing a 10am game on Saturday (Liverpool v Wigan is on Setanta Xtra), instead airing the semi-finals of the Heineken Cup live. Yeah, rugby. Super.

Tottenham v Arsenal, 7:45am, Setanta: Me, I’m hoping for some fun David Dein fall-out in addition to what should be an interesting London derby. Spurs v Arse is always hot-blooded and hard-fought, and with European implications for both teams that should be the case here. And while we’re on history repeating itself, it's worth nothing that 4 of the last 5 matches between these two played at White Hart Lane have ended tied. 2-2
Charlton v Sheffield Utd, 10am, FSC: 17th place will probably come down to this game, with Sheffield on 34 points and Charlton one place behind on 32. Which, considering Charlton’s first half of the season, is a hell of an accomplishment for Alan Pardew. I’d probably go for Charlton no matter the location, but seeing as this is at the Valley, they should pick up all 3 points. And given Neil Warnock’s petulance lately (yes, worse than usual), I can’t say I’d be disappointed if that happens. Charlton 2-1
Bolton v Reading, 10am: All signs point to Bolton here: their form’s improved even if results haven’t, they’re still in competition for a UEFA Cup place (and while Reading’s in the hunt too, I can’t see Steve Coppell looking forward to a European excursion), the game’s at the Reebok, and Bolton’s got far more experience at this level and at this stage of the season. And yet, I still think Reading can and will get something from this game. On a related note, I’m pretty sure I’d detest playing against Stephen Hunt. 1-1
Fulham v Blackburn, 10am: Again, I like Lawrie Sanchez an awful lot, but I cannot wrap my head around firing a manager with 5 games left in the season. Absolutely reeks of desperation. Fulham did play better last week but still lost, and while this is Sanchez’s first home game, and managers' first home games usually go fairly well, I’ve got to go with the tried and true Fulham for the draw prediction. Blackburn played very well in the FA Cup semis, and walloped Watford midweek, but I don’t know if they can take all three points on the road. 1-1
Watford v Manchester City, 10am: The midweek match not withstanding, City’s been good on the road during this “resurgence.” And Watford’s waiting to be relegated; the 3-1 loss to Blackburn, with all 3 Blackburn goals scored in the first 35 minutes and on cruise control the rest of the way, shows that heads have dropped and fate’s been accepted. City 1-0
West Ham v Everton, 10am: With two tough defeats to Sheffield and Chelsea, West Ham’s fate is nearly sealed. Which, as I’m getting tired of saying (both now and in 2003), should not be happening to a team with West Ham’s stature and history. Unfortunately, it could be the blue half of the Mersey that could seal it. A pity all around. Everton 2-1
Manchester Utd v Middlesbrough, 12:15pm, FSC: Ugh. Another United win. And one where I doubt they’ll struggle for nearly an hour to break down Boro at their own place. Sigh. United 3-0
Newcastle v Chelsea, 8:30am Sunday, Setanta: It’d be a lot more interesting if this game saw Michael Owen’s return, but chances are we won’t (and probably shouldn’t, but since he’s not Liverpool’s player anymore, don’t really care on that front). Chances are what we will see is another dominating, yet grinding Chelsea performance, with the Newcastle backline typically shaky. Oh, and the usual 2-0 prediction. Chelsea 2-0
Aston Villa v Portsmouth, 11am Sunday, FSC: Pompey still sits in 7th, which would earn them a UEFA Cup place. While I don’t think they’ll stay there, that Redknapp has kept them up there this long must be commended. He’s really done excellent work at Portsmouth this go around, although he does have a bit more cash to play with. But picking a Villa draw, especially with them at home, is too easy and has happened too often. 2-2

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