Sunderland vs. West Brom
Sunderland, before their match with Fulham last week end, were the lowest scorers in the whole of England. Sure, they managed to get an important away win, but I don’t see them getting a result against a very in-form West Brom. Steve Clark remains calm and is not getting carried away with all the hype surrounding the Baggies incredible start to the season. Two weeks ago, they proved that they can win away from home against clubs in the bottom half, and thus I feel they’ll take 3 points Saturday lunchtime.
Everton vs. Norwich
Everton are still unbeaten at home and although they had a minor hiccup last week end, they, for me are favourites for this clash. Norwich are on a good run at the moment in all competitions, and they’re win against Man. United will give them a boost, however due to a big gap in quality between the two teams, I think they’ll fall short in a narrow defeat at Goodison this week end.
Man United vs. QPR
Things couldn’t get worse for QPR at the moment. With Mark Hughes shown the exit door, it will be interesting to see who the new manager is and what impact he is on the team. Still, United rested most of their regular players mid-week against Galatasaray. Fergie’s men may have lost back-to-back 1-0 defeats in the past week; however they have a wealth of goal-scoring options thus essentially, the debate is how much they are going to win by this week end.
Stoke vs. Fulham
Stoke remain one of only three teams who are unbeaten on home turf this season, many of which have been draws. Fulham have looked very fragile at the back in recent games, conceding 13 goals in the last 6. However, we also need to remember that they can score goals with the likes of Berbatov and other attacking options such as Ruiz contributing to decent performances, most notably at the Emirates two weeks ago. I feel that this attacking flair will earn them at least a point at the Brittania.
Wigan vs. Reading
This is a very tough one to call. Reading have picked up 5 points in 3 games since their horror show in the Capital One Cup against Arsenal last month, which I think will give them confidence going into this game against a fellow relegation-battling team. The most they can get from it in my opinion is a draw. Wigan have just suffered back-to-back defeats and I don’t see them getting the three points at this week end.
Aston Villa vs. Arsenal
Arsenal have been in poor form over the last month or so, but went some way to rectifying this with a 5-2 win againstten man Spurs last week.. A 5-2 victory over their local rivals last season led to a 7 match winning streak. It is possible that a similar turning point can be achieved now. Furthermore, Wenger can take solace in the fact that Giroud also looks to have turned a corner. The Gunners have a decent record at Villa Park and Lambert’s side have only managed two wins this season, making it difficult to look past Arsenal for the victory.
Swansea vs. Liverpool
So, Brendan Rogers returns to the Liberty Stadium for the first time since his departure. This will no doubt be a thrilling encounter, which I believe will result in a Swansea victory. It was only a month ago that the Swans convincingly won at Anfield in the Capital One Cup. Swansea have the sufficient quality to do the same again this week end, but with Suarez in excellent form, it will not be as easy as it was on 31st October. Liverpool came out victorious against Wigan last week end, however they are yet to register consecutive League wins and I believe that this fixture is not the platform for that to occur.
Southampton vs. Newcastle
Many will disagree with this prediction, however I think Newcastle’s involvement in the Europa League has hurt their domestic form. Cisse is not the same player he was last season, they will be tired from their midweek game and they have now lost two league games in a row (both of which were at home). Southampton can see this as a great opportunity to kick start their survival bid. Playing at home, after a crucial victory to QPR will also add to their confidence, so I fancy them to get something from this game.
Tottenham vs. West Ham
The 5-2 score line against Arsenal can be seen as misleading in some respects. Who knows what would have happened if Adebayor didn’t get sent off? Spurs at times last Saturday they looked convincing and the return of Dembele is a boost. I don’t see them losing four on the trot and West Ham have a poor record at White Hart Lane. Big Sam deserves a lot of credit for what he’s doing at West Ham, however I feel they will struggle on Sunday.
Chelsea vs. Man City
It certainly has been a roller-coaster week for the blues eventually ending up in yet another dismissal of a manager. I do not believe Benitez is the right man for the job, however it is interesting to note that Chelsea were the ones who ended Man City’s unbeaten run last season. Will it happen again this season? I find it doubtful, as City were dumped out of the Champions League this week which will pave the way for them to put extra emphasis defending the Premier League title. They will use this fixture as a way to commence this dominance. In addition to the absence of John Terry, Chelsea’s on and off pitch issues are too much of a distraction for them to get a result this week end.