The Unofficial Arsenal Blog
It’s that time of the week again when I attempt to predict the outcome of this week’s Premier league games. I had a fairly good week the last time out when I managed to get two perfect results, five correct outcomes and only three wrong outcomes. Here we go again. Thank God It Is Friday!!!
Arsenal v Birmingham
Arsenal have taken only one point from their last three Premier league games and they need to get back on track immediately. They still have no Cesc Fabregas, Robin Van Persie or Tomas Vermaelen but Kieran Gibbs, Niklas Bendtner and Theo Walcott should be available after injury. Bakari Sagna is another player to be added to the injury list but they should still have a strong team available.
Birmingham have had a fairly average start to the season but they now find themselves a point off the relegation places in a very close Premier league table. They don’t travel too well and they will find this a hard trip for them. Arsenal will look to dominate possession and break Birmingham down while their opponents will be hoping to get some joy at set pieces or on the break as is the norm for any team visiting the Emirates. I expect Arsenal to get back on track with a 3-1 win.
Bolton v Stoke
Bolton are trying to play more football under Owen Coyle but they can still mix it with the best and Stoke RFC are fond of kicking anything that moves as well. It could make for a very physical battle but the chances are it won’t make for good viewing.
Until a few weeks ago Stoke RFC were struggling at the bottom of the table but three wins has left them just a point behind Arsenal and a win could put them in the Champions league places which would be a travesty for all but the Stoke RFC fans. With that in mind I’m predicting a win for Bolton as anything else is unimaginable.
Fulham v Tottenham
Fulham remain unbeaten after seven league games but they have only won one of them as they have become the draw specialists in the Premier league.
The Spuds will be happy with their start to the league as they are in fifth place and challenging yet again. At the same time they have taken four points in their first two Champions league games but their real test comes in their next two games as they have current holders Inter Milan away this week and at home in two weeks. Will their manager rest some players ahead of that game or will the players’ minds be on what is their biggest game in a very long time. I think they have to play their strongest team and hope for the best with injuries but I can see Fulham getting yet another draw.
Man Utd v West Brom
“Manure” have a 100% record at home in the league but they have drawn all four of their away games so far. They will be pleased that this game is at home against ever improving West Brom. The big question for me is if Rooney will play or not and if he doesn’t the rumours of a rift may well be true. He has been off form this season and no play is beyond being dropped.
West Brom had a great result away to Arsenal a few weeks ago and they will be looking to do the same in this game. It won’t be easy for them and they have a few injury worries too which won’t help. I can’t see them pulling off another famous victory no matter how much I would like it and I think “Mnaure” will win comfortably enough in the end.
Newcastle promised so much when they beat Aston Villa 6-0 but they haven’t really lived up to that promise. It’s hard to know what to expect from them but surely they can score against Wigan.
Wigan, on the other hand, started so badly that they seemed certain to be relegated but they have managed to turn things around and in fact have become quite tight at the back since Kirkland was dropped. I have a feeling that Newcastle will get themselves another win at last though.
Wolverhampton v West Ham
Wolves will be without their hard man Karl Henry, so the chances of a leg break in this game are greatly reduced at least. They have lost their last four games and find themselves ahead of West Ham only on goal difference at the bottom of the table.
West Ham have found some form at last after a dismal start and they will be hoping for a result to lift them off the bottom of the table but it won’t be easy for them. I think Wolves will just edge a tight affair but in the long run I think both teams will struggle all season.
Aston Villa v Chelsea (1730 BST)
I’m not so sure about Aston Villa this season and I thought the way they collapsed against Newcastle was very poor. Maybe they will improve with Houllier in charge but this is one game where they won’t find it easy to take points.
Chelsea have won all but one of their seven league games so far and they will be looking to make it seven wins out of eight in this game. It would be great if Villa could take some points off them but i just can’t see it happening and I predict a comfortable win for Chelsea.
Everton v Liverpool
Everton seem to have turned things around a little after their poor start and it’s no coincidence that the return of Tim Cahill to their team has come at the same time. Their biggest problem seems to be scoring goals but if they can overcome that in this game they have to be favourites.
Liverpool are lurching from crisis to crisis both on and off the pitch and they find themselves in the bottom three at the moment. It’s not a position they are used to but if attitudes and commitment from the players don’t change soon they had better get used to it. They have had the best of this local derby for a few years now but I fancy Everton to change that and leave Liverpool in even more bother.
Blackpool v Man City
Blackpool have had a great start to their first ever season in the Premier league and with the exception of the thrashings at Arsenal and Chelsea they have performed excelently. The home fans will be right behind them for this game but it will be far from easy for them against second placed Man City.
Man City have a lot of expectation on their shoulders but they have already beaten Chelsea and they are now in second place in the Premier league. If they can keep as tight at the back as they have been up to now they will be very hard for any team to beat. I can’t see Blackpool managing to get anything out of this game but you never know what can happen.
Blackburn v Sunderland.
With Blackburn you know what you will get as the ball will probably spend more time in the air than on the ground. Having said that they are very difficult to beat at home and their opponents don’t travel too well either.
Sunderland have a great home record against the top teams in the league but they need to raise their game against the other teams too. They don’t travel too well and I feel that will be their downfall in this game as i think Blackburn will get a win.
Well that’s my predictions for this week. Feel free to agree or disagree with them and to comment on them if you so choose. I’ll be back next week for the next instalment.
See You Then.
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..