1- BLACKBURN VS ARSENAL The early kick off this weekend is at the Ewood park where the big Sam’s Blackburn will entertain the north London giants Arsenal. After a bizarre goal against Liverpool that earned arsenal a late draw at anfield, they hammered blackpool by six goals to nil. Theo Walcott scored his first hat-trick in the premier league and everything fell into the right place for them. With Fabergas and Van Persie gradually returning to full fitness and new defensive cover in the shape of Squillaci, things are looking rosy for the gunners.
Blackburn however do not have the luxury of world cup finalists at their disposal. However, we all know how Big Sam’s teams are i.e; big, strong and physical. This type of football has been the downfall of arsenal before but the current form that they are in and with a full week of rest in my opinion they will nick this one.
MY CALL: BLACKBURN 1-2 ARSENAL
2- CHELSEA VS STOKE After two rounds of matches, surprisingly Chelsea is the only team in the division with a 100% record. What is not surprising though is that Chelsea are scoring goals at will after scoring a record 103 last term. The likes of Drogba, Malouda, Anelka and Lampard have all hit top form already and only after two games the west Londoners have six different goal scorers. To add more to that, the last time they played stoke at home they shot seven past Sorenson.
On the other hand stoke city have had a poor start to their season. With two defeats in two matches and an injury to their main summer signing Kenwayne Jones. Their next task takes them to Stamford bridge from where they’ll be happy if they return with pride only.
MY CALL: CHELSEA 4-0 STOKE
3- TOTTENHAM VS WIGAN The last time these two locked horns at white hart lane there were 10 goals in the match, nine of them were ofcourse scored by Tottenham. Wigan have had a woeful start to the season conceding 10 goals in two home matches without scoring themselves. They have let their best defender from last season Titus Bramble to leave for Sunderland and their manager is already bookies favorite to be sacked first this season.
In stark contrast these are great times if you are a spurs fan. The place is buzzing after their heroic entry into the group stages of the Champions League where they have been drawn against the reigning champions Inter Milan. They’ll worry about that later for now they are huge favorites to pile further misery upon Roberto Martinez’s side.
MY CALL: TOTTENHAM 3-0 WIGAN
4- WOLVES VS NEWCASTLE
For starters Joey Barton has a moustache no more. Thanks to a whopping six nil hammering of an Aston villa side which is aspiring for a top six finish atleast. Chris Houghton has risen from the shadows of the various managers he has worked under at St. James Park and is now certainly in charge of what happens at Tyne side. In Andy Carroll they have the next best thing in English football according to many and with the support of their fans they might well finish in the top ten.
However, this match is at the Molineux where Mick Mcarthy’s men are solid to say the least. They got a good win against stoke in the first match and then followed it up with a hard earned draw away at the Goodison Park. I will sit on the fence for this one.
MY CALL: WOLVES 1-1 NEWCASTLE
5- BLACKPOOL VS FULHAM Blackpool in the space of two weeks have already witnessed the very highs and the very lows of the premier league. Starting with a four nil demolition of wigan at the DW stadium they themselves got demolished seven days later by the brilliant arsenal side at the Emirates Stadium. This however is at Bloomfield road and I expect the atmosphere to be nothing short of electric for the first ever EPL match at the stadium.
Fulham were very poor away from home in the last season under Roy Hodgson. Something they’d like to improve under Mark Hughes. Last week they gave Manchester United a good run for their money to earn a deserved 2-2 draw. This however will be a very difficult task infront of a very hostile crowd. I think Hughes will be happy with a draw.
MY CALL: BLACKPOOL 1-1 FULHAM
6- MANCHESTER UNITED VS WEST HAM Nani missed a glorious opportunity to put united level on points with Chelsea after two matches. He missed the penalty which eventually allowed Fulham to equalize late on at Craven Cottage. Back at Old Trafford and with a possible start for Wayne Rooney on the horizon united should be feeling pretty confident going into this weekend’s clash against Avram Grant’s West Ham.
Speaking of West Ham they have had a horrid start to the season with six goals conceded in the first two matches and two smashing defeats. Their star striker Carlton Cole also missed a penalty that could have made all the difference against Bolton. This however is too difficult a fixture for redemption. I expect their woes to continue.
MY CALL: MAN UNITED 3-0 WEST HAM
7- BOLTON VS BIRMINGHAM Bolton have had a very good start to their season. With four points from two matches they lie fifth in the table one place above their rivals this weekend courtesy of a better goal difference. Owen Coyle has certainly changed some of their football style as its not always long balls into Kevin Davies now. In Martin Petrov they have signed someone with genuine quality and with Elmander now showing the promise which led Gary Megson to sign him they are looking good going into this weekend’s fixture.
Birmingham city are a good solid disciplined side. Alex Mcleish has certainly done extremely well by first getting them promoted and now making them a reasonably tough to beat mid table side. However their away record still demands improvements and this might not be the fixture for that.
MY CALL: BOLTON 2-1 BIRMINGHAM
8- ASTON VILLA VS EVERTON Just as I write this down, the news is that Villa have been dumped out of Europe after a 3-2 home defeat to Rapid Vienna. This is a huge below to the villa side that needed that financial boast of playing in Europe. This also shows that the departure of Martin O’ Neill is now having its effect. After a comfortable three nil win over west ham on the opening day they have now lost six nil to Newcastle and as discussed earlier to Rapid Vienna at home. They need a new manager and Kevin Macdonald needs to return to his coaching job.
Everton have also had a bad start to the season. After an opening day defeat at Ewood Park they had to settle only for a draw against wolves at home. This however is a perfect opportunity to get their season on track and pile further misery upon the Villans, which I think they will.
MY CALL: ASTON VILLA 1-2 EVERTON
9- LIVERPOOL VS WEST BROM Liverpool didn’t risk Gerrard and Torres for their europa league qualifier in Turkey. As things turned out the decision didn’t backfire as Liverpool won a tough match 2-1 in the end. Both star players are expected to be back for the clash on Sunday and that can only be good for Liverpool. Last week Liverpool were found out against man city and they need to sort out the Mascherano situation as quickly as possible. They also need atleast three new signings to give them a good chance to break into top four this year.
West Brom have been termed as a ‘Yo Yo’ side due to their frequent promotions and relegations. They were hammered by Chelsea on the opening day which shows they are not good away from home and although the last time they visited anfield they held on for a nil nil draw, this time however it will be a little too much to call for.
MY CALL: LIVERPOOL 4-0 WEST BROM
10- SUNDERLAND VS MAN CITY Sunderland are yet to settle as a side in this season. They gave away a two nil lead on the opening day against Birmingham and then came up unstuck against West Brom last weekend. Last season Darren Bent scored a lot of goals for them and after the departure of Jones they need him to step up again.
Manchester City as we all know have spent fortunes in the transfer market to literally buy their way into the English elite of football. They showed their credentials last weekend against Liverpool as they efficiently put them away infront of their owner Sheikh Mansour. Playing away from home is always tricky and with a new bunch of super stars yet to properly gel together this might be a banana skin for the city side. However I think they will get a draw just like last season.
MY CALL: SUNDERLAND 1-1 MAN CITY