Hope everyone is having/has had a happy Thanksgiving.
I haven’t been able to bring myself to suffering through an elegy of England’s campaign, but the preview of Saturday’s Liverpool at Newcastle game (7:45am, Setanta) will be up sometime tomorrow morning.
Arsenal v Wigan, 10am, FSC: Even if Steve Bruce had been allowed to assume control on Monday, I’d have favored Arsenal here, new manager boost or not. But it looks like Wigan will continue with a caretaker manager and has shipped 6 goals while scoring none in their last two games, while Arsenal is, well, Arsenal. Arse 3-0
Bolton v Manchester Utd, 10am, Setanta: Three good draws for Megson and Bolton last three times out, but it won’t continue here. United might be troubled by injuries, especially that to Rooney, but they’re still on a hot streak and Ronaldo’s scored 4 times in the last 3 games. United 3-1
Everton v Sunderland, 10am, Setanta Xtra: Fantasy team pro-tip: Cahill’s return will assuredly improve Everton, you only saw the first glimpse of that with the late goal at Stamford Bridge last time out. As much as I’d like to see Keano get more points on the board, and expect his team to be full of fight, as usual, Everton should come away with all three points. Everton 2-1
Birmingham v Portsmouth, 10am: I’ve seen the suggestion that Birmingham should replace Bruce with McClaren, who’s in need of a job, but I’ve my doubts. The Yeung takeover talk (or lack thereof recently) must have been unsettling, because Bruce has had time at Brum to assemble a team of his own, and they have looked capable of staying in the Prem. But after losing the manager, and up against an in-form Pompey, I can’t see a home win. Portsmouth 2-0
Manchester City v Reading, 10am: Just when I thought Reading might be close to turning a corner, they’ve lost their last two, although the last 3-1 loss was at the Emirates. And while I still think we’ll see a dip in City’s fortunes compared to a month or two ago, they should still have enough to win here. City 1-0
Middlesbrough v Aston Villa, 10am: Villa may be the better team, but too often they’ve ended up with a draw on the road, Boro’s nowhere near as dreadful at home, and both Carson and Barry could see the effects of Wednesday’s match linger. 1-1
Derby v Chelsea, 12:15pm, FSC: So far, Derby has lost 4-0 (at Spurs), 5-0 (to West Ham last time out and at Arsenal), and 6-0 (at Liverpool). Not a good sign when they’re coming up against a team with the firepower of Chelsea, at Pride Park or not. Chelsea 4-0
West Ham v Tottenham, 8:30am Sunday, Setanta: Juande Ramos has improved and will continue to improve Spurs, but it’s a London derby, and West Ham’s coming off a 5-0 win. Even with the injuries to their front line, the Hammers should be able to tally, and Upton Park should be rollicking. 1-1
Fulham v Blackburn, 11am Sunday, FSC: Fulham’s more apt to get wins at Craven Cottage than they were last season, and Healy’s in fine form and full of confidence following his international performances (Simon Davies has been excellent for Fulham recently as well), but I expect Blackburn to continue pushing on for a European place. Blackburn 2-1