Friday, September 28, 2012

The Insanity Is Back! Wenger as Colonel Kurtz! Rodgers Is Fidel! QPR And West Ham As Bedroom Furniture! Premier League Predictions

Last week I reined in my insane Premier League predictions and went with a more rational, measured approach, and I did quite well if I do say so myself. Unfortunately, the population of professional and amateur hacks out there making predictions is pretty much enormous and unless I got my hands on Biff Tannen's future sports almanac and called every match score, scorer, card, and substitution the interwebs would largely ignore me. And even if they didn't, I'd probably only garner a digital raised eyebrow from Eric Wynalda's Twitter account (He hands those out pretty freely).

So I say, "Bring back the insanity!"

I've got a goblet of absinthe, a divining stick, and a Magic 8 Ball with me right now and I'm here to tell you exactly what will happen in the Premier League this weekend. Call your bookie. Manage your fantasy team. Katy bar the door.

Arsenal v Chelsea - Lots of ins. Lots of outs. New shit has come to light, man. Arsenal are coming off an encouraging draw against Man City (which I called...just saying), but they're still stuck with Vito "He Sleeps With The Fishes" Mannone in goal. Chelsea sit top of the table and drubbed the bejesus out of Wolves midweek in the Capital One Cup, but then there's all of that extra hullabaloo with John Terry The Courageous Racist. I'm utterly unconvinced by Chelsea so far this season and it seems like such an Arsenal thing to get rid of your best player, not replace him, not address any pressing team needs, lose your starting goalkeeper, and then suddenly wind up in contention for the league title. At this point in his career, I see Arsene Wenger as a sort of football
Giroud, Giroud. This is my nightmare. 
Colonel Kurtz and like maybe chopping off all of those heads and talking about snails on straight razors will eventually luck him back into a Premier League title. The horror...the horror.

Predictions: Gervinho's headband falls off and we finally all learn that his hair was actually a black mop head attached with a rubber band. John Terry and the word "courageous" are used in the same sentence by the broadcasters at least four times. Ashley Cole is not the most booed man on the pitch. Torres is in fact not back. Arsenal win, 2-1.

Fulham v Manchester City - Dimitar Berbatov is out for this match after picking up an injury in training, although I suspect the Fulham nutritionist accidentally added some garlic to Berba's post training meal and part of his face turned to ash and fell off. He's recovering in his coffin at the moment and will awake in two weeks time to again rule the night and bathe in the blood of young virgins. For now, Fulham seem well and truly fucked playing against the defending league champions...or do they? City can't keep the ball out of the net and Craven Cottage is a notoriously difficult place to take points. A loss for the Sky Blues on the banks of the Thames would be one step closer to the wheels falling off for City and Mancini actually starting a slapping fight on the sideline with Martin Jol and/or the fourth official. Sadly, I just don't see it happening, although I suspect City will experience more difficulty than they probably should. 

Predictions: Petric returns and gets on the score sheet. Mancini wears Prada Infusion and smells delicious. Balotelli and/or Tevez come on as subs, get a goal, and do something Balotelli and/or Tevez to celebrate...maybe point at an imaginary watch or something. City win, 3-1.

I smoke Canaries for desayuno!
Norwich v Liverpool - Liverpool have to win this, don't they? Borini is out and no one knows who is going to play at left back with both Enrique and Kelly crocked. Shelvey is suspended. The Rodgers Revolution is looking pretty threadbare. In historical context, if The Rodgers Revolution was the Cuban Revolution, this would be the moment where the Granma has wrecked in a Mangrove swamp, Batista's men have killed or captured many of the revolutionaries, and Che and Fidel have high tailed it to the Sierra Maestra to regroup and figure out what to do next. Rodgers' Reds (see what I did there?) are in an equally desperate situation and a dismantling of Norwich, whose
Hughton Revolution is more of a Hughton Sit In, would win them the support of the locals and establish a guerrilla vanguard which could; as a mobile, agile, attacking unit; harass and harry the ruling might of the Big Clubs and bring about a regime change. Revolucion!!!!!!!!!

 Too much?

Predictions: Suarez pauses at least once during the match to contemplate getting his overbite fixed. Sterling has a monster of a match and rakes in fantasy points for his delirious owners. Norwich wonders why Liverpool finally woke up against them. Liverpool, 2-0.

Stoke v Swansea - I'm not entirely sure what to say about this one. A quick, possession oriented, attacking team takes on a physical, foul oriented, scrappy team. Swans are coming off some disappointing results and got absolutely housed by Everton last weekend. Stoke are coming off negative, but encouraging results against two of the best teams in the league and they're at home. I think the Potters kick Swansea up and down the field in this one.

Predictions: Crouch gets on the score sheet. Little Mickey Owen comes on, gets an assist, and hurts himself in the celebration. One red card in this match. Geoff Cameron plays at least one new position for the Potters. I think goalkeeper, forward, and winger are all that's left. Stoke win, 2-1.

Sunderland v Wigan - Roberto Martinez, the love of my life (Call me, Bobby!), is without Antolin Alcaraz and Franco Di Santo for this trip to the Stadium of Light. I read somewhere that Mauro Boselli is in contention to start after scoring two against West Ham in cup competition and that Roberto announced all Wigan starting berths were open for competition. I was encouraged by this and phoned the Wigan front office to see if I could come over on trial, but I haven't heard anything back yet. Seriously though, it's only a matter of time. I'm off to the gym later on just in case. In Sunderland news, is it just me, or are they, you know, pretty freakin' good? Lee Cattermole is serving a suspension - of course he is - and there are a couple of guys with little, niggling injuries, but I don't expect that to be any big deal if the most threatening attacking player in a blue jersey is Mauro Boselli.

Predictions: Martin O'Neill leaves his rugby jersey at home and has to wear a track top. This causes him serious discomfort throughout the match and his increased irritability leads to a sending off. Steven Fletcher bags a hat trick and continues to stake his claim that he is, in fact, worth 14 million pounds. Roberto Martinez further enhances his reputation as the nicest guy in the Premier League by bringing the referees tea at halftime. Sunderland win, 4-1.

Reading v Newcastle - Demba Ba is still a house on fire. Reading are a meatloaf you left in the freezer last October that you've just now uncovered. Also, Yohan Cabeye may miss out due to a mouth infection. A Mouth infection?! Yohan, you dirty dog!

Predictions: Alan Pardew lets his assistants manage the whole match. When they ask him what to do, he just chuckles and says, "Eight year contract, bitches!" Pavel Pogrebnyak wins a penalty, steps up to take it, points at Harper, and then says, "I will crush you." He misses, but all of his teammates call him Drago anyhow. Demba Ba brace, but the match still ends in a draw. 2-2.

Everton v Southampton - Is there any reason to expect Everton won't continue playing beautiful football against one of the weakest sides in the league at Goodison Park? Personally, I don't think so. Rickie Lambert is only one man.

Predictions: Everton roll. Not much insane to say here...other than the score line! 6-1. Gotta pour one out for Lambert.

Manchester United v Tottenham - This is where AVB proves once and for all that he is absolutely good enough for sixth. I want this to be a classic match between two of the class teams in the league, but I think this will be the match in which Spurs fans finally utter what they've been thinking all along: "What the fuck is AVB doing?" I had a coach in college who would give rambling, non-sensical team talks. Typically, you want to share three or four points with your players at halftime so as not to confuse them. He would usually average between twelve and fifteen and start half of them with, "As my good friend Sir Alex Ferguson would say..." As far as we could tell, he had a buddy send him a book he got signed by Sir, but that's about it. Once we got on the pitch, one of the captains would usually say something like, "Forget all that shit and do this instead." We won a lot of matches that way and I don't think the coach ever even noticed, such was his ineptitude. Mercifully, he got fired when I was a junior because he told some female student she had wonderful tits. I guess what I'm trying to say here is, here's to hoping AVB tells some Spurs exec she has wonderful tits. 

Predictions: Spurs look tentative and confused. United takes the space they're given and never look like losing at Old Trafford. Friedel lets in a few, but they're not really his fault. Minimum four shots of Lloris looking upset and French on the bench. AVB's beard at one day's growth. Dempsey to get a goal after the game is decided. United win, 3-1.

Aston Villa v West Brom - This has to be a draw, doesn't it? Are there two teams in the league more difficult to wrap your mind around than Villa and West Brom? You thik they should lose, they win. You think they should win, they get ridden hard and hung up wet. I'm at a loss and can't muster much excitement for this match...which is why it'll be a back and forth barn burner.

Predictions: This match will have everything. Cards. Drama. Goals. Women weeping. Grandstand finish. Who'd have thunk, right? Insanity. Draw, 3-3.

QPR v West Ham - This is the only match less tantalizing than Aston Villa v West Brom. It's like Let's Make A Deal and behind door number one was a washer/dryer set and you decided to go for door number two (Was that Let's Make A Deal?) hoping for a bitchin' Camaro and instead you got a couple of dressers. QPR and West Ham are a couple of dressers. And I'm not talking Ethan Allen dressers but Value City dressers. QPR and West Ham are Value City dressers. Having said that, if I'm in Value City and I have to buy a Value City dresser, I'm buying West Ham. QPR are without most of their defenders and blue and white stripes look tacky in the bedroom.

This is how they'll line up. 

Predictions: West Ham, 2-0. Insanity.

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