English Premiership Correct Score Predictions: Week 19 – 16/01/10
Premiership football returns after a weekend decimated by snow. Owen Coyle takes charge of relegation-threatened Bolton, whilst Patrick Viera makes a return to the EPL at Manchester City.
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Saturday, 16 January 2010
Chelsea v Sunderland – Chelsea remain top of the league, in pole position to take the title; a point above nearest rivals Manchester United and with a game in hand. The match against Sunderland is the Blue’s first Premiership fixture of 2010 after Saturday’s postponement, and they will be looking to extend an unbeaten start to their home campaign. Sunderland begin 2010 in eleventh, with just one away win all season and seven games since their last victory. Verdict 2-0.
Everton v Man City – Everton contested one of last weekend’s unaffected fixtures, drawing 2-2 against Arsenal at the Emirates. The draw leaves the Toffees in twelfth spot, and unbeaten in the league in six matches. City are looking impressive under the stewardship of Roberto Mancini, and will have ex-Arsenal stalwart Patrick Viera in the squad after his transfer from Inter. Verdict 0-1.
Man Utd v Burnley – Despite an awful run of form, including defeat in the FA Cup to League One leaders Leeds, United remain in touching distance of leaders Chelsea. Their match against Birmingham survived the weather, with the Reds lucky to leave the midlands with a share of the points. Burnley start life without manager Owen Coyle, who left the Clarets for life at Bolton. A win at Old Trafford would mean them doing the double over the reigning champions. Verdict 1-0.
Portsmouth v Birmingham – Portsmouth begin 2010 rooted to the bottom of the table and in dire need of three points. Only once has a team bottom at Christmas escaped relegation, and for a team with Portsmouth’s well publicised financial problems, the consequences of that could be catastrophic. Birmingham are the in-form team at the moment, unbeaten in twelve, and consolidated eighth spot with a 1-1 draw against Manchester United. Verdict 1-2.
Stoke v Liverpool – Stoke made a winning start to 2010 with a 3-2 home win over Fulham, a victory which leaves them in tenth spot. They host a Liverpool side who have yet to play Premiership football this year, after their home match against Tottenham was postponed due to snow. Rafa’s Reds notched up an important victory over Aston Villa in their last match of 2009, and will hope to keep their momentum going into the new year. Verdict 0-2.
Tottenham v Hull – Spurs match against Liverpool was a victim of the snow, with what could be a crunch fixture postponed. Harry Redknapp’s men still sit in fourth position, occupying the last Champions League spot, and will hope to consolidate with a home match against struggling Hull. Spurs have not conceded in five matches, which will be a concern for the Premierships second from bottom team. Hull have failed to win in seven, and have so far failed to win away from home. Verdict 2-0.
Wolverhampton v Wigan – Wolves continue to flirt with the relegation zone after two successive defeats. They edged the corresponding fixture at the beginning of the season 1-0, and will look to duplicate that result against the team who sit below them on goal difference. Wigan continue to be a hard team to predict, following a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Manchester United with a 4-1 victory over Hull in the FA Cup. Verdict 2-2.
Sunday, 17 January 2010
Aston Villa v West Ham – Villa suffered a set-back in their quest for Champions League football with defeats against rivals Arsenal and Liverpool in their last two matches of 2009. Martin O’Neill has tipped his team to bounce back in the fixture against West Ham, who continue to struggle at the wrong end of the table, and will go to the midlands without the services of the injured Carlton Cole. Verdict 2-1.
Blackburn v Fulham – Blackburn followed draws against Wigan and Sunderland with defeat in the FA Cup at the hands of Aston Villa. They will be without the suspended Diouf after his sending off in the third round tie. Fulham sit comfortably mid-table, despite suffering defeat in their first match of 2010, 3-2 away at Stoke. Verdict 1-1.
Bolton v Arsenal – New manager Owen Coyle will have had a week with his squad before the visit of third placed Arsenal. The former Burnley man has been tasked with taking the Trotters out of the relegation zone, and will need to inspire the Trotters to only their third home win of the season if he is to make early progress. Arsenal missed the point to go within a point of leaders Chelsea with a 2-2 draw at home to Everton. It took a late equaliser to give the Gunners a share of the spoils, in a match which saw them suffer several key injuries. Verdict 0-1.