Friday, 13 August 2010

Premiership Predictions

The Premiership is finally back tomorrow and it promises to be yet another thrilling season. This weekend, it is back with a bang with huge games like Spurs v Man City, Liverpool v Arsenal and Man. Utd. v Newcastle. Here are my opening day predictions.

Tottenham v Man City Prediction: 2 - 1

In a repeat of the game that decided the final English team to participate in the Champions League last season, Tottenham and Man City do battle again as the Premiership season starts with a bang. Tottenham won that game and I think that the outcome could be the same this time around.

A lot has changed since then at the City of Manchester Stadium. As expected, lots of money has been spent and many big name players have arrived at Eastlands. Man City could have the strongest squad on paper in the Premiership next season but nothing is won on paper and the players need to gel as a team. Roberto Mancini won't know what his best team is yet and many of their players will be unsure if their future.

In contrast, Harry Redknapp has been frustrated by his side's lack of activity in the transfer market but this could help them get off to a good start as they don't have the same problems that City have. With Tottenham playing at home as well, I think Spurs might edge it and get their season off to a very good start.

Aston Villa v West Ham Prediction: 1 - 0

Aston Villa have been shocked by the sudden departure of Martin O'Neill and it is difficult to know how this will have affected their team. They are a group of professionals and with Kevin MacDonald they will look to put that behind them and start the season positively.

West Ham will be harder to beat under Avram Grant this season but this is a tricky opening day fixture for them and I can't see them winning it.

Blackburn v Everton Prediction: 0 - 1

Blackburn improved a lot under Sam Allardyce last season and their home form in particular, was very impressive. They will once again be a difficult team to beat but could struggle to score goals this season and they have struggled to strengthen in the transfer market.

Everton have had a positive pre-season and will be pleased with the signing of Jermaine Beckford and Mikel Arteta recently signing a new contract. Everton had a fantastic end to last season and will be going into the season full of confidence. It's going to be close but I think Moyes's men may win it.

Bolton v Fulham Prediction: 1 - 1

Bolton are steadily improving under Owen Coyle who has made some good signings this summer and should comfortably avoid relegation. Fulham have lost Roy Hodgson to Liverpool and have replaced him with Mark Hughes. He has inherited the same squad from last season but it is still unlikely that they will be able to repeat last season's successes.

These two teams shouldn't have too many problems with relegation and are both contenders to be mid table by the end of the season. Therefore, it should be an even encounter and looks quite likely to end in a draw.

Sunderland v Birmingham Prediction: 2 - 1

Birmingham were a surprise last season as they surpassed all expectations by finishing 9th. Sunderland started well but then faded and ended the season in a slightly disappointing 13th. This should be a close one with Sunderland improving under Steve Bruce and Birmingham unlikely to repeat last season's achievements but Sunderland's home advantage tips the result in their favour.

Wigan v Blackpool Prediction: 2 - 0

I think that both of these teams could be in a relegation fight this season. Blackpool have added 5 new players to their squad this week but still they are short of quality and Wigan's porven quality and Premiership quality should be enough to see off Blackpool.

Wolves v Stoke Prediction: 0 - 1

Wolves have been busy improving their squad with Mick McCarthy attracting the likes of Stephen Hunt to Molineux. Mick McCarthy willl be hopeful that his team can improve after a good first season in the Premiership.

Stoke have been less busy but their recent capture of Kenwyne Jones could be a fantastic buy. He has struggled to fulfil his potential at Sunderland but, given Stoke's style of play and of course Rory Delap's long throw, Stoke may be the place for Jones to fulfil his potential.

Stoke are a well-organised team and proved hard to beat on the road last season. This is a difficult one to call but Stoke have a few matchwinners in Fuller, Etherington and Jones and I think they could snatch it.

Chelsea v West Brom Prediction: 2 - 0

Chelsea begin the defence of their Premiership title at home to newly promoted West Brom. Chelsea will be keen to get off to a good start in the league after a disappointing result in the Community Shield against Man Utd.

West Brom will hope to be more resilient and harder to beat than the last time they were in the Premiership with Tony Mowbray and Chelsea are generally slow starters. Nevetheless, I fully expect Chelsea to take all three points but don't think it ill be as convincing as some may think.

Liverpool v Arsenal Prediction: 2 - 1

This should be an enthralling contest as Roy Hodgson celebrates his first game in charge at Anfield. There will also be some new faces on the field for Liverpool with Joe Cole likely to make his debut.

Arsenal have also made some additions to their squad. Marouane Chamakh and Laurent Koscielney have arrived as Arsenal attempt to win their first trophy since 2005 and their first Premiership title since 2004.

This is almost an impossible one to call but I'm going to put my neck on the line and say that Liverpool will win in Hodgson's first game in charge and with the home crowd on their side.

Man Utd v Newcastle Prediction: 2 - 0

The opening weekend to the new Premiership season will be rounded off in style as Newcastle visit Old Trafford. Newcastle will be rejuvenated and confident after a successful season in the Championship but it could still be a tough season for them.

One thing that is for sure is that this will be a very tough game. United will be looking for revenge after missing out on the title to Chelsea and will be keen to make an early statement to their rivals.

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