Sunday, 31 October 2010

Premiership Review

Arsenal v West Ham Prediction 3 - 0

Actual Score: 1 - 0

Arsenal had to rely on a late Alex Song header to overcome a spirited West Ham side. Song's goal means that Avram Grant's side remain rooted to the bottom of the Premier League but will be encouraged by their performance and, in particurlar, the performance of their goalkeeper Rob Green who's confidence seems to be returning after his disastrous World Cup. If it wasn't for Green I may have got the exact scoreline correct but atleast I correctly predicted the result.

Blackburn v Chelsea Prediction 0 - 2

Actual Score: 0 - 2
As I anticipated, a trip to Ewood Park was a tough test even for high-flying Chelsea. I expected Chelsea to edge but it took another late goal from another unlikely source for Chelsea to ensure 3 points. Branislav Ivanovic's late header rescued the points for Chelsea after Blackburn had taken the lead through Benjani before Anelka equalised.

Everton v Stoke Prediction 1 - 0

Actual score: 1 - 0

For a change, I got the scoreline exactly right in this one. This was never going to be a classic with Stoke always difficult to be on the road but I predicted that Everton would edge this one with their recent good form and home advantage. It was Yakubu who scored the decisive goal in the second half after Tim Cahill's shot rattled the woodwork. Stoke may have felt aggrieved after seeing what looked like a perfectly good goal from Tuncay disallowed.

Fulham v Wigan Prediction 2 - 1

Actual Score: 2 - 0
Onc again I'm pleased to be on target with another prediction although the scoreline wasn't exactly right. It is generally quite difficult to predict Wigan's result as they are so unpredictable under Roberto Martinez but Fulham controlled the game despute their recent poor form. Clint Dempsey sored both goals in the 1st half for Fulham.

Wolves v Man City Prediction 0 - 2

Actual Score: 2 - 1

Wolves surprised me with a great result at Molineux. Despite the fact that City were without Tevez and Wolves's recent performances against Chelsea and Man Utd suggested that a result like this might be around the corner, I still thought that City might edge this one. Wolves proved me wrong with goals from Milijas and Edwards after Adebayor had given City the lead.

Man Utd v Tottenham Prediction 2 - 1

Actual Score 2 - 0
Man Utd's returning confidence and form suggested that they would see off a tough Tottenham side at Old Trafford and managed it even more comfortably than I had expected. However, that was due to a controversial own goal scored by Nani. Vidic gave Man Utd the lead with a magnificent glancing header after both Park and Van der Vaart had struck the post before Clattenburg allowed Nani's goal to stand despite the fact that he had clearly handled the ball.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Saturday's Premiership Predictions

Add VideoArsenal v West Ham Prediction 3 - 0

Arsenal have yet again found their best form at the Emirates this season where they have comfortably beaten most of their opponents. Their brilliant midweek Carling Cup performance against Newcastle mean they will be full of confidence.

West Ham also enjoyed success in midweek over Stoke after recovering from going 1 - 0 down early on to beating Stoke in extra time. However, that is where the similarities in fortunes end between these two teams this season. West Ham sit rock bottom of the Premiership table and, despite their spirited comeback against Stoke, will be short of confidence and still look shaky at the back.

West Ham will take positives from their midweek win and will be buoyed by the fact that West Brom have beaten Arsenal at the Emirates this season but I can't see this game being anything other than a comfortable Arsenal win.

Blackburn v Chelsea Prediction 0 - 2

Chelsea continue to look impressive as the season continues. They sit comfortably at the top of the table and will expect their good form to continue despite a potentially tricky trip to Ewood Park.

Sam Allardyce's teams are always well organised and hard to beat. Another of Blackburn's strengths is their physical prowess but Chelsea have got plenty of players who can cope with this and I expect their quality to show in a fairly comfortable win.

Everton v Stoke Prediction 1 - 0

Everton are beginning to find some form after their Merseyside derby win and a strong performance at White Hart Lane last weekend which saw them gain a well-deserved point. In contrast, Stoke have had a tough few weeks. They have now lost their last three games and have been unable to beat Everton since their promotion to the Premier League. I still expect it to be a close game but Everton should edge it.

Fulham v Wigan Prediction 2 - 1

I expect another home win despite Fulham's recent poor form. Wigan's form continues to be unpredictable but I think that home advantage will be key once again for the Cottagers. Mark Hughes's side are in need of some points and will see this game as a good oppurtunity to record a win.

Wolves v Man City Prediction 0 - 2
This could be an interesting battle as Kark Henry and Nigel De Jong, who have both been criticised for their tackling, go head to head. Wolves have lost their last two games but should still feel quite upbeat after a positive performance at Stamford Bridge in their last league game and after giving Man Utd a fright in the Carling Cup. I have been particurlarly impressed with he contribution of Ryan Jarvis who was outstanding at Old Trafford.
Man City continue to impress and are beginning to prove to everyone that they can be considered as genuine title contenders. However, they have relied heavily on Carlos Tevez and his goals and could be without him today. If he does miss out, it could be closer than many would expect, but I think that Man City will grind out a win against Wolves.
Man Utd v Tottenham Prediction 2 - 1
Man Utd have had a turbulent few weeks but it looks as if they can put the Rooney saga behind them and concentrate on the football. Spurs are the visitors to Old Trafford for the day's late kick-off which means that they will need to be at their very best to keep Harry Redknapp's men quiet. But United have been showing signs of returning to their best with two late strikes from Hernandez which has seen them record wins over Stoke and Wolves.
This should be a close one but I think home advantage and United's returning confidence will mean 3 points for the Red Devils.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

England v Montenegro

England will go into their third qualifying match on Tuesday as clear favourites against Montenegro. Not only will they be cheered on by another big Wembley crowd, but they have the advantage of a longer rest while Montenegro played against Switzerland just a few days before the game. Qualifying has not been a problem for England under Fabio Capello. They comfortably qualified for the World Cup and have started well with impressive wins over Switzerland and Bulgaria so all the signs are good going into the game.

The squad includes recalls for Joe Cole, Robert Green, Rio Ferdinand, John Terry and Aaron Lennon and there is a surprise selection in the shape of Kevin Davies. The 33 year old was selected with concerns over the fitness and form of Wayne Rooney and injuries to Bobby Zamora and Gabby Agbonlahor, despite admitting that he had given up on an international career. The Bolton striker has been a great servant to English football and perhaps deserves his chance but, at his age, he isn't going to be a part of England's long term future.

Full squad:
Ben Foster (Birmingham City), Robert Green (West Ham United), Joe Hart (Manchester City); Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Joleon Lescott (Manchester City), John Terry (Chelsea), Stephen Warnock (Aston Villa); Gareth Barry (Manchester City), Joe Cole (Liverpool), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Tom Huddlestone (Tottenham Hotspur), Adam Johnson (Manchester City), Aaron Lennon (Tottenham Hotspur), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Aston Villa); Darren Bent (Sunderland), Peter Crouch (Tottenham Hotspur), Kevin Davies (Bolton), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
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