Matchday one is now gone and we look forward to another weekend of action from the Barclays Premier League. As I mentioned last week, I’m going to be tracking my performance in the same manner IKTS does.
Even I will admit I was pretty bad by predictions standards last week. Only six out of ten correct, none on the nose. The only solace was I had three goal differentials correct. I’m one for one on correctly picking the banker and in not losing points on my insurance game.
And now onto this week’s slate of games. Again, all times are Eastern and all TV times are subject to change without notice.
Banker Prediction of the Week: Fulham v Arsenal (Saturday 12:30 pm Fox Soccer Channel. Replay Thursday 3 pm). Yes both sides were completely unconvincing last week, but Fulham were just that weak at the back for me against Hull City. This won’t be like hosting Bolton, which Fulham has done in their past two home openers. It will a tight affair, but Arsenal have the quality see the game through. Fulham 0 Arsenal 1.
Blackburn Rovers v Hull City (Saturday 10 am, no TV). Hull City come crashing a bit back down to earth with their first road travel in the top flight. Blackburn were shaky against Everton, but I don’t know of anyone besides Geovanni who can cause the kind of havoc on Blackburn’s back line. I think Hull City will give a good account of themselves this weekend, but it won’t be enough. Blackburn Rovers 2 Hull City 1.
Stoke City v Aston Villa (Saturday 10 am. On delay Fox Soccer Channel Saturday 2:30 pm, Thursday 1 pm). Stoke City were just that bad last week. Aston Villa looked shaky in the first half, but came together at least up front in the second. I don’t see this being much of a competitive contest though as Aston Villa have the quality to see this game out without any problems. Stoke City 0 Aston Villa 2.
Wigan Athletic v Chelsea (Sunday 8:30 am. Setanta from 8:00 am. Replays 5 pm, Wednesday 6 pm). Chelsea were that good last Sunday, but going to the JJB has always been a bit of a tough ask. Zaki could prove to be a smart move for Wigan as he will keep them in any game this season. Chelsea though have just too much quality to not win here, however it will be tighter than Scolari will like. Wigan Athletic 1 Chelsea 2.
Liverpool v Middlesbrough (Saturday 10 am, Setanta from 9:30 am. Replays: 8:30 pm, Sunday 7 pm, Monday 12:30pm, Thursday 8:15 am). Both teams surprised me on the opening weekend. Liverpool in how poor they looked in getting a lucky 1-0 and Middlesbrough for how resolute they were in beating Spurs. This could very well be a case of history repeating itself as Boro haven’t won at Anfield in the Premier League. I don’t see this game being won until late. Liverpool 2 Middlesbrough 1.
West Bromwich Albion v Everton (Saturday 10 am, on delay Setanta Sports 6:45 pm. Replay Thursday 6:15 am). I’m almost tempted to call this game a draw. I personally was surprised as how disorganized Everton looked at the back last weekend. West Brom at the Hawthorns is a tough ask for a questionable Everton back line. However I don’t know if West Brom have the forwards to get a result in this one. I see this being won late. West Bromwich Albion 0 Everton 1.
Newcastle United v Bolton Wanderers (Saturday 10 am, on Setanta Broadband 2. On delay Setanta Sports Saturday 5 pm, Sunday 12:45 pm, Thursday 12:45 pm). To me this game depends on how Johan Elmander plays. Newcastle did what they needed to do at Old Trafford and come home with some confidence. Despite what Bolton did last week, I don’t expect them to get the result. Newcaslte United 2 Bolton Wanderers 0.
Portsmouth v Manchester United (Monday 3 pm Setanta Sports. Replay 7:45 pm). Two sides who have been the most disappointing and both need all three points. Manchester United’s form of late at Fratton Park isn’t spectacular, but right now I see them as having the lesser of two evils. Portsmouth are trying to figure out how to play without Muntari and with Crouch and Manchester United still can find goals from absolutely nothing. I almost don’t see this much as a competitive contest either. Portsmouth 0 Manchester United 2.
Manchester City v West Ham United (Sunday 11 am Fox Soccer Channel. Replay: 11 pm). I can’t get a read on this game. Manchester City looked really bad in their two games last week while West Ham United looked okay but not great against Wigan. When I take that into account, the only result I can come up with is draw. Mark Noble isn’t saving West Ham two weeks in a row. Manchester City 1 West Ham United 1.
Insurance Game of the Week: Tottenham Hotspur v Sunderland (Saturday 10 am Fox Soccer Channel. Replay Monday 1 pm). Is it too early in the season to say this is a must win for Tottenham? Has the Dimitar Berbatov situation affected them this much? You know Chimbonda and Malbranque will want to show up their former club, but have to take advantage of the chances they create. I don’t see Berbatov starting, coming on late, and getting the game winner. Tottenham 1 Sunderland 0.
An added feature to the top menu bar for everyone to enjoy. Check this page between 8 and 9 pm Eastern time in the US under the “Match Reports” page as it will be updated with all the full time reports from the major UK papers and other various sites.
Here’s to a good weekend of football!