Another exciting weekend of Barclay’s Premier League action gets underway with intriguing battles all over the country, from St. James’ Park to Stamford Bridge.
COS looks ahead to find the winners and losers:
Barclay’s Premier League tickets are available at Tixdaq.com
Stoke City v Sunderland, Saturday 12.45
The Britannia Stadium has not been the fortress of recent seasons while Steve Bruce’s Sunderland away form has improved. The loss of Darren Bent will affect the young team and it will depend on Asamoah Gyan and Jordan Henderson taking up the reins to soften the loss. Tony Pulis wants his team to push on in the second half of the season and secure a top 10 finish.
Predicted result: 2-1
Aston Villa v Fulham, 15.00
Both managers were busy in the January transfer window and both will be looking for a stronger finish to the season. Gerard Houllier will rely on new signings Darren Bent to score the goals and Jean Makoun to anchor his midfield. Mark Hughes’s side have had encouraging results of late and will look to carry on the trend when they visit Villa Park.
Predicted result: 2-2
Everton v Blackpool, 15.00
David Moyes’ team have taken over from Fulham as the draw specialists of the Premier League. Their lack of fire power has cost them important points but the return of Tim Cahill from Asian Cup duties strengthens their cause. The Seasiders’ fairytale may be beginning to end with results not going their way of late. Want-away midfielder Charlie Adam will be key to Blackpool staying up.
Predicted result: 3-1
Manchester City v West Brom, 15.00
The battle of the Roberto’s. Roberto Mancini will hope his Manchester City side improve on recent results. No clean sheet in six and two wins from those games have raised doubts about their ability to challenge for the title. His namesake, Di Matteo, has watched his team’s encouraging start to the season deteriorate and he now faces a relegation battle.
Predicted result: 3-0
Newcastle United v Arsenal, 15.00
Newcastle pulled off the shock result of the season when they beat the Arsenal 1-0 at the Emirates. The difference that day was Andy Carroll, but he is no longer at St. James’ and Alan Pardew knows his side will face an uphill battle to stop the Gunners from putting more pressure on Manchester United in the fight for the title.
Predicted result: 0-2
Tottenham v Bolton Wanderers, 15.00
Owen Coyle will relish taking his team to White Hart Lane and will hope new on-loan striker Daniel Sturridge carries on his goal-scoring run. ‘Arry Redknapp knows nothing else but three points are needed to keep pushing Chelsea for the final Champions League place.
Predicted result: 1-1
Wigan Athletic v Blackburn Rovers, 15.00
On paper not a game for the purists, but both sides have young managers at the helm and are trying to play a more aesthetically pleasing style 0f football. Roberto Martinez needs the points to stay away from relegation, whilst Steve Kean needs to keep his team’s form going to secure a top 10 finish.
Predicted result: 1-3
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester United, 17.30
Mick McCarthy now understands the folly of the Premier League. Last season he kept Wolves up with a style some called over-aggressive. This term sees his side’s football hailed but they now sit at the bottom of the table. Sir Alex Ferguson must see this game as three points needed but their away form has been patchy.
Predicted result: 0-4
West Ham v Birmingham City, Sunday 13.30
Avram Grant may have League Cup revenge on his mind but more importantly at stake at Upton Park could be league survival. Defeat for either team will see them dragged deep into the relegation zone, whilst victory could see daylight emerging. To the victor goes the spoils.
Predicted result: 3-2
Chelsea v Liverpool, 16.00
What a prospect we have on our hands. Fernando Torres facing his old club may steal the headlines, but a spare a thought for Steve Clarke who returns to the ground where he made his name as a coach and helped bring unprecedented success to Chelsea. But would it not be like the Premier League to have Torres score the winner?
Predicted result: 2-1
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