The Unofficial Arsenal Blog
It’s that time of the week again when I attempt to predict the outcome of all of this week’s Premier League games. I’m running a predictions league and my team would seem to be the yo yo team in the league as I’m now down to seventh place after rising to second place only two weeks ago. Sitting proudly on top of the table is Stephen Bradley and at least he’s a fellow Gooner which is far more preferable than him supporting another team and winning my league.
I’m hoping to have a great week this week and make my way back up the table but if I can’t improve on last week’s six wrong predictions I’ll be dropping further down the table.
Arsenal v West Ham
Arsenal have got their league campaign back on track with successive victories over Birmingham and Man City and they will be looking to continue that form in this game against bottom club West Ham. They are scoring goals for fun at the moment and with Cesc Fabregas back in the team they are a handful for any team.
West Ham are rock bottom of the table and they need some points very soon or their season will be over before it has got going. They can’t keep a clean sheet at the moment and are finding it hard to score themselves which is a recipe for disaster against free scoring Arsenal. I can’t see anything other than an Arsenal win.
Blackburn v Chelsea
Blackburn are a tough team to beat at home and they will be happy to welcome Christopher Samba back after suspension for this game. He was sorely missed away to Liverpool last week when Blackburn were flattered to only lose 2-1. If they can play their usual high tempo game when the ball rarely touches the ground they might just have a chance against a Chelsea team who weren’t too impressive at home to Wolves last week.
Chelsea are not double holders for nothing and they won’t be intimidated by Blackburn’s physical approach. With the players they have available to them they can match any team in the league physically but their away form was not great last season and I’m not too sure that it will be any better this time around. I know I’m sticking my neck out a bit but I think Blackburn can get a draw out of this game.
Everton v Stoke
Everton have put a pretty good run together and they leaking very few goals at the moment. With Tim Cahill in the team they are always likely to score although they are still short of a centre forward who can stay fit and score goals on a consistent basis.
Stoke RFC had a good run recently but it seems to have ended now with consecutive defeats against Bolton and “Manure” and they will be hoping to reverse that trend in this game. So far their away form has been as it was in previous seasons and it’s only their home form that keeps them in their usual mid table position. I can see Everton continuing their good run and climbing even further up the table in this game.
Fulham v Wigan
Fulham have still only won one game this season and now that they are losing games they are slipping down the table. They are still the draw specialists in the league but they need to get another win under their belts. This would seem to be an ideal opportunity for them to do just that.
Wigan have recovered very well from their horrendous start to the season and are looking increasingly more likely to steer clear of relegation trouble. They progressed to the last eight of the Carling Cup too and they will be hoping for another positive result in this game. Despite the fact that Wigan are now very difficult to beat I think Fulham will just about edge a very tight game.
Wolves v Man City
Wolves welcome their chief destroyer, Karl Henry back for this game and no doubt he will be putting himself about. With Nigel de Jong in the City team it should make for some very tasty tackling and hopefully they will kick each other out of the game and let the real players get on with playing football. Wolves are only ahead of bottom placed West Ham on goal difference and will need to turn recent good performances in to results very soon. Stephen Hunt is back from injury and he could well make a difference for them in the coming months.
Man City will feel the dismissal of Dedryk Boyata at home to Arsenal last week cost them the chance to stay in second place in the league and they will be looking to make up for it in this game. With Carlos Tevez doubtful their hopes could rest with Emmanuel Adebayor and that’s not something that any team would want to depend on. I think City are just too good for Wolves and will win this game.
Man Utd v Tottenham
“Manure” got things back on track with a victory over Stoke RFC last week thanks mainly to Javier Hernandez. With “Shrek” still injured the striking duties will fall to him again and he’s in a rich vein of form. Nani is another player that they have become dependant on this season and I have been impressed with him both attacking and defensively. They would like to think that they are very difficult to take points off at Old Trafford but West Brom showed that it’s not necessarily the case.
It’s a big week for The Spuds with Inter Milan visiting them in the Champions League during the week. I’m sure they will look to attack a suspect “Manure” defence and if Gary Neville is playing, Gareth Bale should tear him a new one. With Van Der Vaart in midfield they will look to put the ageing Van Der Saar under pressure and hope for a few errors from him like the one against West Brom. I think The Spuds can get a draw which would see both teams lose a little more ground on the leaders in all probability.
Aston Villa v Birmingham
I’m not convinced by Aston Villa at all this season and in my opinion any team with Emile Heskey in it can’t be considered good enough to challenge for a top four place. However they should be well up for this local derby and if they can get Stephen Ireland playing to his potential they will improve an awful lot.
Birmingham got a much needed win over Blackpool last week and a win in this game will lift them above Villa in a very tight table. I’m sure the gigantic Nikola Zigic will cause the Villa defence a lot of problems in the air and Brad Friedel will have to be at his usual best to keep him out. Despite the fact that I don’t particularly rate Villa I still think they will have too much for Birmingham.
Newcastle v Sunderland
Newcastle have had an up and down season so far but the away victory at West Ham last week has put them in a healthy position in mid table. With home advantage and a very loud crowd behind them I expect them to throw the kitchen sink at a Sunderland team who have a fairly good defensive record.Newcastle will be looking to Andy Carroll to get them the goals but I’m not sure if he’s as good as some people think he is.
If you don’t have any Sunderland defenders in your Fantasy team it might be a good idea to buy at least one of them while they’re still cheap. They are all the way up in seventh place in the league and a win here would leave them almost challenging the top four. I think that the home advantage will count for Newcastle but that it won’t be quite enough as the sides will end up even.
Bolton v Liverpool
Bolton are apparently sitting pretty in eighth place in the league with Liverpool in the relegation zone. However, a win for Liverpool would have them level on points in a very congested mid table. With their mixture of football and their old style hardness Bolton are not easy to beat but they still don’t score enough goals.
Liverpool actually played well last week and maybe they have turned the corner at last. With Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard in their team they can only stay in the relegation zone for so long and I think that stay will end when they beat Bolton narrowly.
Blackpool v West Brom
Monday night football is back with the clash between Blackpool and West Brom who were both promoted from the Championship last season. It’s very hard to write Blackpool off as they have had some very impressive results so far but I think their lack of real quality is starting to catch up with them.
West Brom continue to impress and their results so far have been excellent. They play attractive football and work very hard for the cause too which is a good combination. In Chris Brunt they have a player who should be in every fantasy team as he costs so little but performs so well. I think West Brom will continue their good run with a hard fought win in an open attacking game.
That’s it for this week’s predictions but feel free to agree or disagree with me in the comments if you like. You can of course still read my daily blog about all things Arsenal from my point of view and you’re welcome to tell me what you feel about my efforts if you feel inclined to do so.
See You Next Week,
Note: If any of you want to share your views/opinions on the club from N5 (read: Arsenal!), leave Us a comment at the bottom. We’ll get back right away & be glad to give you a chance. Keep Gunning..