05 April 2007

Premiership Predictions 4/6 - 4/9

Absolutely full slate of games this weekend, thanks to the Good Friday and Easter holidays. For American viewers, there’s upwards of 10 matches televised live, not even considering the games on tape-delay. Thank you, Jesus.

Friday, 06 April 2007
Manchester City v Charlton, 12:15pm, Setanta: This seems like it could be a true test of whether Charlton really has the firepower to escape the bottom three. They’ll be aided by Sheffield’s fall in form, but Charlton holds their own destiny. City are frequently easy targets, but they won without playing well against Newcastle last time out, and have gotten 3 points in each of their last two games, both away from home, where they had struggled. But I still think Alan Pardew’s men will keep on in their fight towards safety. Charlton 1-0
Everton v Fulham, 2:30pm, FSC: Come on, Fulham, continue being the media’s darling draw specialists (3 in their last 3 games). It looks as if the final UEFA Cup spot is going to go to either Tottenham or Everton, so the Blues should have plenty of impetus in this one. But Fulham should be able to keep close and stifle their opponents, as they’ve been prone to do, and hopefully nick one away from home. 1-1

Saturday, 07 April 2007
Chelsea v Tottenham, 7:45am, Setanta: Mourinho won’t be very pleased with Chelsea’s result in Europe (a home 1-1 draw, giving Valencia the advantage for the second leg) or Tottenham’s win at the Bridge earlier in the season. And despite Tottenham’s run of form to get themselves up to 6th, I think we’ll see full evidence of Mourinho’s displeasure. Chelsea 2-0
Arsenal v West Ham, 10:00am, Setanta: Another London derby, another game whether the favored team bears some resentment for a tough loss earlier in the season. Were this match at Upton Park, I could see West Ham nicking one with the tough run and dented morale Arsenal has had, but not at the Emirates. Although I will mention how pleased I am to see Tevez finally finding his feet (and at the same time as Mascherano, fancy that). Arsenal 2-1
Sheffield Utd v Newcastle, 10:00am, Setanta Xtra: I’m never one to rely on Newcastle away from home, but with Sheffield struggling to find goals, the Geordies should at least come away with a draw. Unfortunately, I reckon it’ll be an ugly draw with no goals. 0-0
Blackburn v Aston Villa, 10:00am: There’s a reason Mark Hughes has been publicly linked with both the Chelsea and United jobs recently, despite Blackburn losing their last two matches after taking the lead. They are a resilient, well-managed side and Hughes has done one hell of a job, especially after the sales of Bellamy and Lucas Neill. And they should get back to winning ways against Villa. Blackburn 2-1
Middlesbrough v Watford, 10:00am: Winless for over a month, this should be the game where Boro gets themselves back on track, and demonstrates why Gareth Southgate should be given another season (and I do believe he should). It’s Watford, you know they will battle all the way, but Boro really should have enough to get all 3 points, especially considering their strike partnership (Viduka and Yakubu) cost nearly as much as the entire Watford side. Boro 1-0
Wigan v Bolton, 10:00am: Like Sheffield, Wigan is a team clinging on to a place outside the drop zone by their fingernails. And Bolton finally put together a successful performance last time out, after going winless in their last four. Paul Jewell’s team has had little luck of late (coincidentally, since his tirade against referee Phil Dowd), and that’s going to have to change if they want to get something out of this one. Bolton 2-0
Portsmouth v Manchester Utd, 12:15pm, FSC: Not a bad time to play United in the league, considering their focus will surely be on Wednesday’s Champions League tie against Roma. But I doubt Pompey will be able to take advantage, having won only 2 games since the start of the new year. The key will be seeing how many players United chooses to rest. United 2-1

Monday, 09 April 2007
Watford v Portsmouth, 7:45am, Setanta: Now this should be where Pompey will aim to pick up their first 3 points in the last 5 games. But a lot will rely on Portsmouth’s morale following the United match. If heads go down, we know Watford will be in for the fight. But Harry Redknapp should have his team prepared, even with the quick turnaround between matches. Pompey 1-0
Fulham v Manchester City, 10:00am, FSC: If Fulham can sneak a goal, which isn’t ever assured, they’ll have an excellent chance to win this game. Even considering what I said about City only a few paragraphs up and their record over the past couple of games, I still don’t trust them away from home. Fulham 1-0
Newcastle v Arsenal, 10:00am, Setanta: It would be lovely to see Newcastle able to damage Arsenal’s designs on 3rd place with a win at home, but even given Arsenal’s poor away form and overall questionable confidence level, I can’t see them squandering more than 2 points from this one. Nevertheless, a draw would be an excellent result for Newcastle, as Glenn Roeder has come in for a bit of (warranted) criticism of late. Worth a mention that Newcastle did hold Arsenal at the Emirates earlier this season. 1-1
Bolton v Everton, 10:00am, Setanta Xtra: If results do stay true to how I’ve seen them (the chances of that are very little though, obviously), then we could be in line for another draw here. On paper, these teams seem to cancel each other out; neither are in the best form, but they are two of the better mid-table sides, and both are frequently more than happy to scrape out a result. 1-1
Aston Villa v Wigan, 10:00am: Villa haven’t won since February, and given all the changes Martin O’Neill has made this year, this is a game they really should be winning. I truly do believe O’Neill has made them a better side, both in aesthetics and personnel and they really should be able to show it here, especially in front of a home crowd. Villa 2-1
Charlton v Reading, 3:00pm, FSC: Again, a fair amount in this game will depend on the mindsets of both squads following their games on Saturday, but again, if Charlton want to move out of the drop zone and secure another season in the Prem, this is a game they should at least get a draw from. They’ve secured three wins out of their last three games at home, while Reading has fallen into something of a funk following their egregiously good start to the season. Charlton 1-0

Liverpool at Reading is on FSC at 10am on Saturday.

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