Premier League Preview: Manchester United v Chelsea
Please note all times are Eastern Time and TV Schedules are subject to change without notice.
Manchester United v Chelsea (Sunday 11 am, Fox Soccer Channel. Replays: Sunday 11 pm, Monday 1 pm, Friday 11 pm). This is a critical match for Chelsea. A loss here more than likely sees them drop to third once Manchester United play their game in hand. Sir Alex set up his team talk speech with the Derby County match and with the shambolic nature Chelsea have been playing of late, one would assume Old Trafford would see an easy home win. Chelsea’s previous three ‘big four’ clashes have resulted in only one point, and I see one point a piece in this one. Draw
The Rest of the Schedule
Aston Villa v West Bromwich Albion (Saturday 7:45 am, Setanta Sports. Replays: Saturday 10:15 pm, Monday 2:45 pm, Thursday 9:15 am). This West Midlands Derby has mismatch written all over it. However the last three times these two played at Villa Park in the Premier League, Villa has only won one of those (the other two were draws). If Martin O’Neil gets Martin Laursen and Gareth Barry back, I don’t think this result is a doubt. Aston Villa win.
Arsenal v Bolton Wanderers (Saturday 10 am, Setanta Sports. Replays: Saturday 8:30 pm, Sunday 6:45 pm, Monday 9:15 am, 7:45 pm, Tuesday 9:15 am, Wednesday 11 am, Thursday 6 pm). Arsenal at home against Bolton should be an easy win for the Gunners, but is never an easy fixture. With the injuries Arsenal have, this could be the same old tricky tie it always is. Add Bolton’s physicality to the mix, and it will make for yet another interesting fixture. Arsenal win.
Everton v Hull City (Saturday 10 am. On delay Setanta Sports: Saturday 6:30 pm, Monday 11 am, Wednesday 7:15 am). This is a watershed match I feel for both sides. Everton are taking on a side that is in free fall at home, where they haven’t exactly set the league alight. If Hull City lose this one, they will be dragged into the relegation fight. I just don’t see how Everton give points away in this one. Everton win.
Fulham v Blackburn Rovers (Saturday 10 am. No TV). Fulham have 8 draws this season, Blackburn have yet to lose under Sam Allardyce. Jimmy Bullard could be relegated to the bench, Roque Santa Cruz is making noises about leaving. I’m more curious to see if Blackburn’s resurgence continues or if Fulham will stop that dead in it’s tracks. Draw
Middlesbrough v Sunderland (Saturday 10 am. On delay Fox Soccer Channel: Saturday 8 pm, Thursday 1 pm). Boy I wouldn’t want to be Stewart Downing on Saturday. I have a feeling he could very well be booed out of the stadium. Maybe they will cut him some slack for the Tees-Wear Derby. It’s amazing to me what happened with Sunderland since Ricky Sbagria, but I have a hunch this is another draw for all of us to see. Draw
Newcastle United v West Ham United (Saturday 10 am, Fox Soccer Channel. Replay: Friday 3 am). Maybe the distraction of a football fixture will take things off the mind of West Ham United. It’s just been a while since they went up to St. James Park to get all three points. Things could change this matchday as Newcastle United have a growing injury list. This is a tie where the turmoil could unite the Hammers. West Ham Win
Portsmouth v Manchester City (Saturday 10 am, Setanta Xtra. Replays Setanta Sports: Saturday 5 pm, Monday 6 pm, Friday 3:45 am). It’s all up to Peter Crouch up front for Portsmouth. Manchester City away have been well below par. I don’t think this game is going to be as entertaining on the pitch as the current situations are off the park. Draw
Stoke City v Liverpool (Saturday 12:30 pm, Fox Soccer Channel. Replays: Tuesday 1 pm). I wonder if the word revenge is going to be going through Liverpool’s mind after the 0-0 draw at Anfield earlier this season? Stoke City of late haven’t exactly been a unit. Maybe Delap being fully fit gives them a tiny chance. This will probably be well in hand by halftime. Liverpool win.
Wigan Athletic v Tottenham Hotspur (Sunday 8:30 am, Setanta Sports. Replays: 1 pm, 5 pm, 10 pm, Monday 9:15 am, Tuesday 11 pm, Friday 5:30 am). If you were to believe the home/away table for these two teams, the words ‘complete mismatch’ come to mind. However with Defoe partnering Pavyluchenko up front, Tottenham may possibly get three points on the road. Wigan though will make that job every bit difficult. I do see Tottenham pulling this one out late. Tottenham win.
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