Premier League Weekend Preview and US TV Schedule
Saturday 7:45 am
Manchester City v Middlesbrough (Live Setanta Sports. Replays: Saturday 8:30 pm, Monday 11 am, Wednesday 9:15 am and 6 pm). The time has come for Gareth Southgate to shut up and simply get a win, something his side hasn’t done in twelve games. Shay Given should be between the posts for Manchester City. Manchester City will be looking to get the Stoke City game as far away from their minds as possible, and Middlesbrough are the perfect opponents to do that. The only real question is will we all be able to get a nap during the second half? Manchester City to win 3-1
Saturday 10 am
Blackburn Rovers v Aston Villa (Live Fox Soccer Channel. Replays: Monday 1 pm, Friday 3 am). This is a tricky tie for Martin O’Neill. Sam Allardyce has yet to lose, yet losing to Villa might see them at the foot of the table depending on other results. Both sides played midweek, but Aston Villa had an easier time of things. This has the makings of a draw, but I think Aston Villa will sneak one out in the end. Aston Villa to win 2-1.
Chelsea v Hull City (Live Setanta Sports. Replays: Saturday 6:45 pm, Sunday 1:45 am and 6:45 pm, Monday 7:40 pm, Wednesday 2:45 pm). Nothing is easy for Chelsea these days and despite Hull City’s recent form, they will be looking to make things tough. Chelsea though have something to prove after their pathetic performance against Liverpool. When it’s all said and done, this one will be tighter than many expect, but Chelsea pulling away late. Chelsea to win 2-0.
Everton v Bolton Wanderers (On Replay Fox Soccer Channel Saturday 8 pm, Thursday 1 pm). How much did 120 plus minutes of football take out of Everton? Was Bolton’s win over Tottenham the spring to bigger and better things? Bolton’s away form mixed with Everton’s home form makes this one also a tie that will probably end up in the snooze category. My gut says draw, and that’s what I’m predicting. 0-0 draw.
Sunderland v Stoke City (On Replay Setanta Sports: Saturday 5 pm, Sunday Midnight and 4:45 am, Monday 9:15 am, Tuesday 9:15 am, Thursday 7:30 am). Stoke City have yet to win away from home this season. I don’t think that changes here. Sunderland won’t win pretty, but they’ll win it late nonetheless. Sunderland to win 1-0.
West Bromwich Albion v Newcastle United (Live Setanta Xtra. Replays on Setanta Sports: Saturday 12:30 pm and 10:15 pm, Monday 2:45 pm, Tuesday 11 am, Wednesday 7:30 am). With everyone Newcastle are missing, plus their away form, one would think this could be an easy West Brom victory. I fall into that category. West Brom to win 3-0.
Wigan Athletic v Fulham (no TV). The battle of two on form teams won’t be on in the States, and that’s a shame. However it’s understandable when Fulham haven’t won on the road all season and Wigan’s home form has been very good. I’m very curious to see how the Mido/Zaki partnership grows and if Fulham can continue the form they showed against Portsmouth. Expect this one to be tight, but for Fulham to still look for their first away win. Wigan Athletic to win 2-1.
Saturday 12:30 pm
Portsmouth v Liverpool (Live Fox Soccer Channel. Replays Saturday 11 pm, Tuesday 5 pm, Thursday 8 pm). I wonder if Liverpool are happy to be seeing an opponent in the free fall as Portsmouth are this weekend? Liverpool will have a major chip on their shoulder after Wednesday night, and Portsmouth will be their perfect whipping boy, provided Rafa gets it right. Something tells me the players will get it right for him. Liverpool to win 2-0.
Sunday 8:30 am
Tottenham v Arsenal (Live Setanta Sports. Replays: Monday 6 pm, Wednesday 8:15 pm, Thursday 9:15 am). What will happen when Robbie Keane’s first match back at Tottenham? How will Andrei Arshavin do in his first competitive match for Arsenal? Those two storylines sell this match, and I expect plenty of fireworks in this North London Derby. Arsenal can’t afford anymore draws, and Tottenham needs a win to give themselves some breathing room away from the bottom. I don’t see either of those two happening. Expect Robin Van Persie to come to the rescue again. Arsenal to win 1-0.
Sunday 11 am
West Ham United v Manchester United (Live Fox Soccer Channel. Replays: Sunday 11 pm, Tuesday 1 pm, Wednesday 11 pm). West Ham have hit their stride under Giofranco Zola, while Edwin Van der Sar is looking to break Chris Woods shutout record. Can West Ham United side break down Manchester United’s stout defense? The only thing I’m certain of is a Manchester United victory, the only thing I’m not certain of is if Van der Sar gets that record. My prediction is he won’t. Manchester United to win 3-2.
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