It’s amazing how things can sometime go full circle. It feels weird blogging back here again, but it’s safe to say I’m back. For those who don’t know me, I’m Johnathan Starling. Started out blogging on the old Community and it’s even safer to say plenty has changed here since I started blogging and hosting my own show over at CSRN. Most who have been around EPL Talk a while know me as ‘that Chelsea fan who used to host the EPL Talk Chat’, but I just call things like I see them and will be hardest on the club I support.
I try to mix a little of my own personal life before I write, it’s almost a little bit of a second calling card after being known as ‘that Chelsea fan’ as mentioned above. It keeps me saner than I already am.
However I also owe Chris many thanks for allowing me to in essence come back home. Maybe one day you’ll get the daily digests back, just not anytime soon (okay I promise I’ll stop with the inside jokes).
If you followed the EPL Talk Predictions League last year, I finished inside the top five (I think it was fourth, but I can’t remember). It was much higher than where my relegation bound fantasy football side finished. This year I thought it would be a good idea to do a blog with my quick thoughts of the weekend’s fixtures, TV Times on games for the entire week (so if you don’t have this fangled invention called a DVR or threw out your old VCR, you can still possibly catch the game either on Setanta Sports or Fox Soccer Channel). I’m also going to do these previews from the game I’m banking on this week all the way to the game I’m putting insurance on. Please note all times are Eastern and subject to change without notice.
Banker Chip Game of the Week: Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion (Saturday 7:45 am Setanta Sports. Replays Sunday 6:45 pm, Monday 12:45 pm, Thursday 6:15 am & 2:45 pm) West Brom gets a rude return to the Premier League going to the Emirates. West Brom may keep it close in the first half, but Arsenal should be able to pull away easily. I think West Brom gets a goal late. Arsenal 3 West Brom 1.
Manchester United v Newcastle United (Sunday Fox Soccer Channel 11 am & 11 pm, Tuesday 1 pm, Thursday 3 pm). It won’t be 6-0 like last season, but at Old Trafford, Manchester United shouldn’t have many problems dispatching of Newcastle. Manchester United 2 Newcastle United 0.
Sunderland v Liverpool (Saturday Fox Soccer Channel 12:15 pm and 11 pm, Wednesday 5 pm). Well Liverpool has to take their Champions League Performance out on someone and it’s unfortunate that Sunderland has to be it. However I do think the game will be closer than most people think. Sunderland 1 Liverpool 2.
Bolton Wanderers v Stoke City (Saturday 10 am. Same day delay Setanta Sports 4 pm, Sunday 1:15 pm, Wednesday 2:45 pm). Should be an interesting test for Stoke City in their bid to stay up. I don’t too many goals in it with an early goal being the difference. Bolton Wanderers 1 Stoke City 0.
Middlesbrough v Tottenham Hotspur (Saturday Setanta Sports 10 am & 5:45 pm, Monday 6:15 am, Tuesday 12:45 pm, Wednesday 6 pm, Thursday 11 am). Interesting tie to me as both sides need to get out to as quick a start as possible. I expect goals to be in this one, but no clear cut winner. In fact, I see this as a draw. Middlesbrough 2 Tottenham Hotspur 2.
Aston Villa v Manchester City (Sunday 10 am. Same day delay Fox Soccer Channel 1 pm). An interesting proposition for me as Manchester City looked lost on Thursday while Villa is looking like they’ve played a few games that mattered already (which they have). If Manchester City looked that bad at home, I hate to see what City looks like on the road. Aston Villa 2 Manchester City 0.
Everton v Blackburn Rovers (Saturday Fox Soccer Channel 10 am, Wednesday 1 pm). I honestly just can’t get a read on this game. Injuries to Everton and Ince’s first game league game in charge for Blackburn have had me tempted to use insurance on this game. But the more I think about it, the more I see draw. Everton 1 Blackburn Rovers 1.
West Ham United v Wigan Athletic (Saturday 10 am. Same day delay Fox Soccer Channel 2:30 pm, Monday 1 pm). To me these are two evenly matched sides, but in my mind West Ham have the better subs. That will make the difference in my mind. West Ham United 1 Wigan Athletic 0.
Chelsea v Portsmouth (Sunday Setanta Sports 8:30 am and 5 pm, Monday 6 pm, Wednesday 12:45 pm). Two sides that are still adjusting to the moves of the summer. It’s going to be tight and it’s going to be close but I see Chelsea taking it in the end. Chelsea 2 Portsmouth 1.
Insurance Game of the Week: Hull City v Fulham (Saturday 10 am. Same day delay Setanta Sports 2:15 pm, Sunday 11:30 am, Monday 4:30 am and 2:45 pm, Thursday 12:45 pm). This game has Derby County v Portsmouth from the open of last season written all over it. Fulham should win it, but I see Hull City pulling out a draw. Hull City 1 Fulham 1.
May we see an exciting weekend! I’ll be doing this throughout the season and keeping track of how well I do. Hopefully it’s just a little better than I did last season.