English Premiership Correct Score Predictions: Week 8 – 17/10/09
The Premiership’s elite return after the international break to concentrate on domestic matters. Can Chelsea extend their lead at the expense of Aston Villa? Will Portsmouth be able to drag themselves off of the foot of the table?
Comments (6)|6 Liked It
Note: these matches have now been played. For this weeks predictions, click here.
Saturday, 17 October 2009
Arsenal v Birmingham- The international break couldn’t have come at a worse time for Arsene Wenger, after seeing his side thrash Blackburn 6-2 in their last outing. That win sent the Gunners fifth, with nine points and eleven goals from their last three games. The fact that Blackburn twice took the lead suggests that there are still defensive frailties for the manager to assess, but up from, the Gunners are firing on all cylinders. Birmingham should have new owners in place by kick-off, although they will have to wait until the transfer window to take advantage of any new spending power. At present, they sit fourteenth in the table, a 2-1 defeat at Burnley making it three games without a point. Verdict 3-1.
Aston Villa v Chelsea – Villa currently sit seventh in the table, their last match being a 1-1 draw against big-spending Manchester City. Had it not been for the surprise loss at Blackburn the week before, Villa could have been level on points with third placed Spurs. Chelsea sit top of the pile, courtesy of a 2-0 defeat of fellow title challengers Liverpool. The Blues will hope to add more points to their tally now, before the African Nations Cup relieves them of their star players. Verdict 1-1.
Everton v Wolverhampton – After a poor start to the season, Everton have started to climb the table, sitting in tenth position. A tight 1-1 draw at home to Stoke in their last match ended a run of three straight wins. The Toffees have the measure of weaker opposition, having beaten Portsmouth, Blackburn and Hull, and will look to dispense with struggling Wolverhampton. Wolves are just one spot above the relegation zone, although, with the bottom half of the table tightly congested, a win would put them level on points with Everton. Defeat to Portsmouth in their last game made it three defeats out of three. Verdict 2-1.
Man Utd v Bolton- Manchester United dropped two home points in their last game, leaving it late to secure a 2-2 draw against Sunderland. It may not have been quite as late as the dramatic derby winner against Manchester City, but was still well into time added on when Anton Ferdinand directed the ball into his own net. Bolton are moving away from the relegation zone, with their eight points having all been collected in the last four games. They too drew 2-2 at home – to Tottenham – although Gary Megson will have been happy with a share of the spoils. Verdict 2-0.
Portsmouth v Tottenham- Portsmouth finally got off the mark with a 1-0 win over Wolverhampton. That win ended a sequence of seven straight defeats. A win at home to Spurs would not lift them out of the relegation zone, but it would help to lift some pressure from manager Paul Hart’s shoulders, especially after the arrival of Avram Grant as ‘Director of Football’. Spurs are still flying high, occupying third spot after their 2-2 draw at Bolton. Although they have suffered defeats at the hands of Manchester United and Chelsea, Harry Redknapp’s men still have a sixteen point haul. Verdict 1-2.
Stoke v West Ham- Stoke continue to grind out results, their last match a 1-1 draw away at Everton. The majority of their matches have been tight affairs, and this is unlikely to be any other. West Ham are desperate for points, with Gianfranco Zola’s men sitting second from bottom. A draw in their last match ended a run of three straight defeats, and only a win at the Potteries will lift them out of the relegation zone. Verdict 2-1.
Sunderland v Liverpool- Sunderland were desperately unlucky to leave Old Trafford with a single point, conceding a late own goal to take the match to a draw. That display is a prime example of the standard of football that the Black Cats have produced this season, especially since the acquisition of striker Darren Bent. Liverpool have already lost more games this season than they did in the whole of last year, and a win is vital if they are to get their faltering campaign back on track. Rafa Benitez will be sweating on the fitness of a number of players after the international games, but will aim to leave the Stadium of Light with all three points. Verdict 1-2.
Sunday, 18 October 2009
Blackburn v Burnley - Blackburn continue to struggle at the wrong end of the table, their last run out a humiliating 6-2 defeat at the hands of Arsenal. Manager Sam Allardyce is one of the bookies favourites to be the next Premiership manager to get the chop, and defeat at home to Burnley would only hasten his departure. Burnley continue to make steady progress, sitting ninth on twelve points. Their home form has been impressive – a 100% record was maintained at the expense of Birmingham - and if they can carry it on their travels, they will be one step closer to Premiership safety. Verdict 1-2.
Wigan v Man City- Wigan fans have endured a strange few weeks – a comprehensive defeat away at Arsenal was followed by a stunning 3-1 win over leaders Chelsea. However, instead of gathering any momentum, the Latics fell to a 2-1 defeat against struggling Hull in their last match; the kind of inconsistency that they will need to iron out if they are to survive in the highest league. They will not be offered any favours by a Manchester City side who will be keen to get back to winning ways after a draw against Aston Villa. Though they still sit in the top four, they are now five points behind leaders Chelsea and they will be keen not to see the gap widen any further. Verdict 1-3.