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Premier League Preview, Oct. 31-Nov. 1

emirates Premier League Preview, Oct. 31 Nov. 1

The North London Derby highlights this week’s slate of games as Arsenal prepares to entertain Tottenham Hotspur this weekend.

Somebody in Bristol is smiling today, as the early match on ESPN figures to be the most-watched game yet on the network.

It’s on at 8:45 a.m. on ESPN2, if you’re wondering.

Here’s the rest of the TV schedule.

Let’s get right into the derby.

The series: Arsenal has 67 wins in all competition, compared to 50 for Spurs. There have also been 46 draws.

Table watch: Arsenal is in third place on 19 points, ahead of fourth-place Spurs on goal difference.

They said it: ”You look at the two squads and we’re definitely on a par,” he said. ”In the last four or five years Arsenal always managed to get ahead of us but if you look now it is even. It will be judged at the end of the season but if you look at the bench we have, it is probably a bit stronger than their bench.” – Spurs’ striker Robbie Keane, to ESPN

In and out:Arsenal’s first-choice keeper Manuel Almunia could return to the lineup Saturday. Meanwhile, Tottenham’s Aaron Lennon will miss the tie with an ankle injury.

Predict the winner with the EPL Talk Predictor

And now, the rest of the games:

Bolton Wanderers vs. Chelsea

The Blues will likely need a result to maintain their grip on the top spot in the standings when they visit Bolton on Saturday.

Table watch: Bolton is in 12th place on 11 points while Chelsea is in first with 24.

Deja vu?: Chelsea whipped Bolton, 4-0, in Carling Cup playon Wednesday at Stamford Bridge.  And that Chelsea team didn’t feature Petr ?ech, Frank Lampard or John Terry.

Turning the tide: ”If we don’t approach it in the right manner, the same thing will happen again,” Bolton manager Gary Megson told Sky Sports. “We have got to find a way to upset Chelsea, and I don’t mean physically. We have got to play at a tempo that suits us because last night, Chelsea dictated the tempo – they dictated absolutely everything, from minute one to 90.”

Predict the winner with the EPL Talk Predictor

Burnley vs. Hull City

The Clarets will look to take advantage of a Tigers’ team in turmoil at Turf Moor this weekend.

Table watch: Burnley is in 11th position on 12 points while Hull City is in 18th place on eight points.

Changing the nameplates – or not: According to the club, Phil Brown is still in chargeof the Tigers. Chairman Paul Duffen did, however, resign this week.

Road weary: Hull have one point in five away matches this season and have been outscored 15-4 in those contests.

Predict the winner with the EPL Talk Predictor

Everton vs. Aston Villa

The Toffees hope to right a recent drop in form as Aston Villa comes calling.

Table watch: Everton has 11 points, good for 14th spot while Villa in in seventh place on 17 points.

Same ol’ Everton, always hurting: Saturday’s match will be the fourth in 10 days for the Toffees, and the injury list is piling up.

Leon Osman (ankle), Joseph Yobo (concussion) and Steven Pienaar (knee) might play, but Diniyar Bilyaletdinov (thigh), Leighton Baines (calf), James Vaughan (knee), Phil Neville (knee), Victor Anichebe (knee), Phil Jagielka (knee) and Mikel Arteta (knee) will likely miss out on the match.

Recent history: Aston Villa has two wins and a draw in its last three visits to Goodison Park.

Predict the winner with the EPL Talk Predictor

Fulham vs. Liverpool

The Reds stayed in the title race with a 2-0 win over United last week, but a trip to Craven Cottage awaits this time out.

Table watch: Fulham are on 11 points in 13th place while Liverpoolhave 18 points and sit in fifth place.

Last year’s fixture: Yossi Benayoun scored an injury time winner as the Reds took a 1-0 win at Fulham in April.

They said it: Despite crashing out of the Carling Cup to Arsenal in mid-week, Liverpool striker Dirk Kuyt is feeling confident:

“We still go with a lot of confidence to Fulham because everyone knows this is a big week for the club and a few big games are coming up,” Kuyt told the Sporting Life. “If we can win this game hopefully we will be back in it.”

Predict the winner with the EPL Talk Predictor

Portsmouth vs. Wigan Athletic

Money problems and a transfer ban are the latest Pompey troubles as they gear up to host Wigan this weekend.

Table watch: Portsmouth is in 20th spot on four points while Wigan is in 10th position on 13 points.

A sinking ship?: Portsmouthhas been in the news for all the wrong reasons recently. They been hit with a transfer ban, and the club has been sniping with media outlets over interviews with its owner.

Did I mention the table?

Taking on nobility: Meanwhile, Wiganboss Roberto Martinez took a few shots at Sir Alex Ferguson and a few other Premier League managers in an interview with the Spanish paper, AS.

Now, he’s backing off a bit.

“It was an unfortunate article, I looked at the article and I found it really disrespectful and full of bad taste. It doesn’t represent myself or any of my views.” Martinez told Sky Sports News.

“I have spoken witheveryone, with Sir Alex Ferguson, Sam Allardyce, Steve Bruce and Rafa Benitez.

“Obviously, I want to have things very, very clear. I’ve got the utmost respect for all of them and their achievements in management and as colleagues in the best league in world football.”

Predict the winner with the EPL Talk Predictor

Stoke City vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers

The Potters will try to stay in the top 10 when Wolves arrive at the Britannia on Saturday.

Table watch: Stoke City is in ninth place on 15 points while Wolverhampton has nine points, good for 17th spot.

Match facts: From our friends at Eurosport - Stoke have won only once in their last seven meetings with Wolves. … Wolves have suffered only one defeat in their last five away trips against Stoke. … Stoke have shipped a league-high 45 per cent of their goals against) in the final 15 minutes of their games (five conceded in this period). … A victory over Stoke would move Wolves into double figures in terms of Premier League wins, giving them their 10th. … Only one of the last seven meetings between these two sides (all Championship games) has ended in a victory for the home side.

Predict the winner with the EPL Talk Predictor

Sunderland vs. West Ham United

The Black Cats will look to keep the Hammers mired in the drop zone when the two meet at the Stadium of Light.

Table watch: Sunderland is in eighth place on 16 points while West Ham resides in 18th position, eight points back.

Getting Bent back?: Darren Bent could feature this weekend, according to reports. ”

“He should be alright for the weekend,” manager Steve Bruce told the SunderlandEcho. “We didn’t take any risks with him during the week and it’s mainly been rest and recuperation for him because he jarred his knee badly in the game. But he’s responded well and I expect him to be available for what is an important game to us.”

Something to build on?: Fighting back for a 2-2 draw against Arsenal last week was an important result for manager Gianfranco Zola’s side. The Hammers have won only one match so far this term, but it was a road victory…

Predict the winner with the EPL Talk Predictor

Manchester United vs. Blackburn Rovers

The Red Devils head back to Old Traffordfor a date with Blackburn this weekend.

Table watch: Manchester United are in second place on 22 points while Blackburn is in 16th place on 10.

Bad omen: Blackburn won at Old Trafford in 2005. It is the only win at the Theatre of Dreams for Rovers in 15 Premier League tries. Of course, Phil Dowdis the referee. And he’s shown five red cards to United players, including two of them in the match with Fulham last March.

Predict the winner with the EPL Talk Predictor

Birmingham City vs. Manchester City

The lone Sunday match is a clash at St. Andrews Stadium between Birmingham and Man City.

Table watch: Birmingham is on 10 points in 15th place while City has 18 points and sits in sixth.

A trend both ways: Birmingham has dropped four of its last five Premmeetings with City, but have beaten them three of the last four times they’ve met at St. Andrews.

Predict the winner with the EPL Talk Predictor

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11 Responses to Premier League Preview, Oct. 31-Nov. 1

  1. Martin says:

    No Defoe, Modric or Lennon? Ouch. Trouble for Spurs

  2. b says:

    Let’s just get this out of the way right now: Robbie Keane wouldn’t even get a start for Arsenal’s Carling Cup team, let alone it’s 1st team. Which goes for pretty much every starter on that squad. Modric is good, but wouldn’t start for Arsenal. Lennon’s decent. Tottenham do appear to have a better crack supplier, as Robbie has clearly been smoking some.
    Palacios, on the other hand, would be nice to have around.

    • NetherHolland says:

      Yes, everyone would love to have Eboue starting for them. Song and maybe Diaby too. You probably didn’t even know who Vermaelen was before the season started.

      Trouble for you is, Arsenal have only played two really solid teams so far…and lost to ManU 2-1 and ManCity 4-2. After that, what?

      Wins over:

      10-Wigan
      14-Everton
      15-Birmingham
      16-Blackburn
      20-Portsmouth

      Draws with:

      13-Fulham
      19-West Ham

      Tis’ waaaay too early to be crowning the Gunners anything more than bottom feeders, regardless of their place in the table as of now.

      And how sad then if Spurs beat them on Saturday?????

      • b says:

        you know, i like to pretend eboue’s already been transferred to spain.

        and yes, i’d probably take palacios over song. but not by much, this year.

        i’m not crowning the gunners anything. i’m just saying robbie keane is talking out of his arse.

    • LI Matt says:

      Robbie Keane has scored more Premier League goals in his career than all of Arsenal’s forwards combined.

      OK, maybe you wouldn’t drop Arshavin for Modric. But can you seriously sit there and tell me you wouldn’t swap goalkeepers with Spurs right now? Or take any Spurs centerback for drama-queen Gallas?

      • b says:

        and robbie keane can think about all of his fantastic goals while riding the pine, because he’d never start over van persie.

        and no, i wouldn’t swap keepers or defenders. gallas was a drama queen last year. this year he’s barely opened his mouth, but played pretty solid d. and as much as our keeper situation is messy, no one at spurs is an upgrade.

        hey, i like a few spurs players. jenas, palacios, modric, even dos santos. but they’re not as good as arsenal’s healthy starting 11.

  3. Sarah says:

    The Arsenal vs Tottenham is ovviously the pick of the bunch, even thou I predict a draw, it is still going to be a great game.

    Fullham vs Liverpool I will aslo abviouly be interested in, and will like to see if Liverpool can keep the momentum going against a “non top 4 team”.

    Blackburn vs Man U, will only be interesting to see how many players catch the flu.

  4. Matilda says:

    Bolton were without key players too (Jaaskelainen, and Kevin Davies). Not to say that that takes away from the fact that we played a pathetic excuse for football Wednesday. Hopefully Saturday we will be stronger.

  5. epl-reporter says:

    “Tottenham have not beaten Arsenal in 19 of their last league matches at home”

    Need i say more?

    And without Defoe(suspended) and Lennon(injured), the probability for a Tottenham win or even a draw is pretty less…

  6. AtlantaPompey says:

    Like Italy at the 2006 World Cup, Pompey will take all of the adversity and turn it into another good performance with a chance to win. Now, let’s just hope we didn’t waste all of our goals for the week in Tuesday’s 4-0 defeat of Stoke’s reserves. If we’re not moving up the table, and really soon, then we’re doomed.

    The transfer ban will be lifted shortly, as it involves money owed to Chelsea and Arsenal, both of which are relatively small amounts. They will probably pass the hat (don’t laugh, it’s true) at the next couple of matches and have that paid off.

  7. sam says:

    lennon would definitley start on your team gooners fans, hes better than walcott and eboue and nasri, modric would start in the middle with fabregas, hes better than denilson and song, very simiar to rosicky, defoe would star easily with van persie, gomes and almunia are similiar

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