Before I begin writing my predictions for this weekend, I would invite everyone into the EPL Talk Chat this weekend. Staring from 7:30 am Eastern/12:30 pm UK on Saturday and from 8:20 am Easter/1:20 pm UK on Sunday, join myself and many others as we discuss all the action from the Barclays Premier League…and whatever else comes to mind. In the morning, check this blog for a post with a simple link to the chat.
Well my predictions before the internationals flat out stunk. Only three predictions correct (14 of 29 this season, 2 perfect predictions), missed on my banker predictions (1 of 3 this season), and ended up getting points on my insurance (2 of 3 this season in not being punished for a wrong insurance prediction). Hopefully my predictions form after the international break changes.
As usual, I’ll be doing these from banker to insurance. However if I keep on the bad form, I may change that. All TV times are Eastern and are subject to change without notice.
Banker Game of the Weekend: Stoke City v Everton (Sunday 8:30 am live on Sirius. Replays: Fox Soccer Channel 11:00 am and 11:00 pm. Setanta Sports Sunday 6:45 pm). Not the safest of banker bets, but I have a feeling Everton will right the ship this weekend. Don’t know how good the quality will be on the field, but should be plenty of chances. Everton up front I think is the difference and I see them getting the goals that puts it away. Stoke City 0 Everton 2.
Portsmouth v Middlesbrough (Saturday 10 am. On delay Fox Soccer Channel 11 pm, Monday 1 pm). Portsmouth rides the pre-international break wave of defeating Everton at Goodison Park and parlay it into a late win against Middlesbrough. Portsmouth 2 Middlesbrough 1.
West Bromwich Albion v West Ham United (Saturday 10 am, Setanta Broadband 2. On delay Setanta Sports 4 pm). I don’t see when West Brom will score a goal. Despite the fact West Ham United has just changed managers, I see them finding a late goal to win a gritty affair. West Bromwich Albion 0 West Ham United 1.
Fulham v Bolton Wanderers (Saturday 10 am, Setanta Xtra. On delay Setanta Sports Monday 8 am, Thursday 6:15 am). Jimmy Bullard proves the difference in this one. Johan Elmander’s absence is hurting Bolton. Jussi Jaaskelainen will give Bolton a chance for a draw, but there isn’t enough up front for Bolton. Fulham 1 Bolton Wanderers 0.
Liverpool v Manchester United (Saturday 7:45 am, Setanta Sports. Replay: 5:45 pm, Sunday 5 pm). Was the game of the weekend until Robinho was bought by Manchester City. My problem with Liverpool right now is that without Fernando Torres in the lineup, stopping Liverpool for a Manchester United side is easy…stop Steven Gerrard. I don’t expect the football on offer to be all that great, but in games like this, Manchester United just always seem to find that late goal to win…and they have just the right person to do it (not that he isn’t sulking). Liverpool 0 Manchester United 1.
Tottenham v Aston Villa (Monday 3 pm, Setanta Sports. Replay 7:45 pm). I expect this to not be that much of a competitive contest. Aston Villa to me have just more class up front and that is the difference for me. Tottenham probably gets a late consolation goal. Tottenham 1 Aston Villa 2.
Blackburn Rovers v Arsenal (Saturday 10 am Setanta Sports). This game should be fun. Plenty of chances, a few hard tackles from Blackburn, and Paul Robinson making enough messes for Arsenal to pull one out. Blackburn Rovers 1 Arsenal 2.
Wigan Athletic v Sunderland (Saturday 10 am, no TV). Can Zaki be stopped? I have a feeling this is going to be more entertaining than most people expect. In the end, I think Zaki and the form he’s on will prove the difference. Wigan Athletic 2 Sunderland 1.
Manchester City v Chelsea (Saturday 12:30 pm, Fox Soccer Channel. Replay Tuesday 1 pm). The Oil Bowl, the Robinho Derby…whatever you want to call it, this has become a massive fixture. With Michael Essien out, can John Obi Mikel not show his red card tendancy? Manchester City fans will probably make this an interesting atmosphere, but I have a feeling they may be disappointed. I see two results for this game, 0-0 or 1-2. I think Chelsea steals this one late. Manchester City 1 Chelsea 2.
Insurance Game of the Week: Newcastle United v Hull City (Saturday 10 am Fox Soccer Channel). Newcaslte United are in turnmoil. Hull City are going to have to recover from a 5-0 pounding they took from Wigan Athletic. I have a feeling teams have quickly figured out that to neutralize Hull City, all you have to do is take Geovanni out of the game. Right now, I don’t see anything between these two teams. Newcasle United 1 Hull City 1.
May the weekend of football be a good one and I’ll see you all in the chat!