Friday, September 21, 2012

Rational Predictions For This Weekend's Premier League Fixtures or Lesson Learned

Last week I said some insane shit. That Dimitar Berbatov may be a vampire - or Daywalker, more accurately - was not one of them. Still, I was pretty close to making some dead on calls and I stand by much of the not-so-insane analysis from many of the other matches. What I won't do again is pick Wigan at Old Trafford no matter how much I love Roberto Martinez. Call me, Roberto!

I'm too sexy for Wigan

On to this week's fixtures!

Southampton v Aston Villa - Christian Benteke and Rickie Lambert in a striker's dual. Not that either will get bags of goals, but whoever is sharper on the day will win this one for his club. Southampton 2-1. 

Chelsea v Stoke - Stoke gave City a run for their bags and bags and bags of money last weekend so they shouldn't sneak up on Chelsea this weekend. On the other hand, Chelsea was in midweek Champion's League action and you never quite know how that's going to affect a team. Plus, they drew with QPR last weekend and that's a little bit like not scoring with a hooker. I'm trying not to over think this one but I want to. Let's go 2-0 Chelsea at The Bridge.

Wigan v Fulham - This is a trap game for Fulham. Everyone loves Dimitar and show zero inclination to chase him to his castle with torches and pitchforks and drive a wooden stake through his undead heart. Wigan just got thrashed by a less-than-classic United side. This is where Wigan pulls a Wigan and runs out 3-1 winners at home...Wait, what's happening to me?! I can't help it! [Head spins around and spews vomit] Aghhhhhhh!!!! I must have ONE insane prediction!! Fulham shake their road woes and trounce Wigan 5-1. Berbatov gets a hat trick. Martin Jol eats a crepe on the sideline. Roberto Martinez calls Owen Hargreaves after the match. 

Phew! I'm back. Sorry about that...

West Brom v Reading - All I can say about this match is, "Meh." 0-0

West Ham v Sunderland - I hate to say it, but so far Steven Fletcher looks to be worth 14 million pounds. Who'd have thunk? If he has shaken off the knock he took in last week's match against Liverpool I look for Sunderland to outclass West Ham in a scrappy affair. 1-0 Sunderland. 

Liverpool v Manchester United - Everyone is expecting Suarez and Evra Handshakegate II. If you watched last week's United match, you won't be surprised if Evra doesn't even get the chance to retaliate for Suarez's handshake snub. Buttner looked class. As for the Hillsborough/Munich Air Disaster chants, there will probably be a minority of pint pickled fans who do or say something stupid; we'll here about it on Monday; and that will be the talking point. During the match, no one, especially those watching on TV, will have any idea anyone has done anything other than support his club.

If I'm a betting man, and I'm not, I don't think there's any way Liverpool go down like a bunch of Young Boys against United at Anfield in such an emotionally charged match. A win here could save Brendan Rodgers' early season blushes. I call 'Pool 2-1. 

Newcastle v Norwich City - Demba Ba is a house on fire. Norwich City is a leftover turkey breast. Newcastle 3-0. 

Tottenham v QPR - I'm still unconvinced by Spurs and I remain even more so now that Lloris, Friedel, and Barthez are in a three way lovers' quarrel. Did Lloris not think to ask, "Hey, you've got three keepers on the roster already. Where, exactly, do I fit in," before he signed on the dotted line? Is he so French that he just assumed he'd slide right in to the first team? I want to start a "USA" chant right now and slow clap Brad Friedel while I watch reruns of the 2002 World Cup and listen to Lynryd Skynryd. 

I think this match winds up much like Tottenham's last match, a misleading score line in an uninspired victory against weaker opponents. Deuce Face to make an appearance (and score a goal). AVB with two days' fashion stubble. Gareth Bale is teased by his teammates to come up with something other than that ridiculous heart symbol should he score a goal. 2-0 Spurs. 

Manchester City v Arsenal - Tasty match, this. Is Arsenal as good as their record? Can City keep a clean sheet? How will the Real Madrid loss have affected the Sky Blues? I can't see this being a low scoring affair...which is probably why it will be. 1-1, honors even.

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