- Posted by Geoff Reid
- On September 23, 2011
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- 2011 EPL Season, Geoff Reid
By Geoff Reid
Manchester City vs Everton from the Etihad Stadium, Manchester
City’s fast start to this season has cooled a little with Roberto Mancini’s men dropping two points away at Fulham last weekend, and it was especially disappointing being 2-0 up and letting a two goal lead slip. It’s one of those games where if they want to be title challengers come May, they need to hang on to leads like that. Striker Sergio Aguero will also look to keep up his excellent start in English football. For the visiting toffees, Everton will look to build on their good recent run that has had David Moyes’ men collect seven points from their last three games.
Prediction: Manchester City 3-1 Everton
Arsenal vs Bolton Wanderers from the Emirates Stadium, London
The gunners poor start continued with an astonishing 4-3 defeat to Blackburn Rovers last weekend, and currently Arsene Wenger’s lads have the worst defense in the Premiership, and sit in 17th place in the table. With only one win on the season to date, it’s clear an improvement is needed, and it couldn’t be a much better time to play Owen Coyle’s Bolton side. The trotters have lost four in a row after a very positive start beating QPR 4-0 on the opening day. The good news for Bolton is American midfielder Stuart Holden made his return from injury in midweek during the Carling Cup which is a massive boost for a squad that needs encouragement.
Prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Bolton Wanderers
Chelsea vs Swansea City from Stamford Bridge, London
The blues will look to get back on track after last weekend’s defeat at Old Trafford to Manchester United. Manager Andre Villas-Boas felt his side was hard done by with some officiating, and decided to lodge a complaint to ref’s chief Mike Riley. The story for Chelsea was striker Fernando Torres, after scoring a nice goal, and playing very well, missing an open goal makes us question if he is back to his best. For Swansea City, this could be a harsh reality check for Brendan Rodgers’ men, but after their first win back in the top flight last weekend with a home win against West Brom, confidence should be high for the Welsh side.
Prediction: Chelsea 3-0 West Brom
Liverpool vs Wolves from Anfield, Liverpool
After a very bright start, Liverpool have lost their last two league games, and will be looking to get back on track. The good news is club captain and talisman Steven Gerrard has returned from a long injury layoff, and should make the match day squad on the bench. This game should be the perfect match to get back to winning ways and try and keep pace with both Manchester clubs. For Wolves, they have also lost their last two games after great start, and Mick McCarthy’s side will not be push overs after winning at Anfield last season 1-0 when Roy Hodgson was Liverpool manager.
Prediction: Liverpool 2-0 Wolves
Newcastle United vs Blackburn Rovers from St. James Park, Newcastle
One of the surprises this season is how Newcastle is performing under Alan Pardew and are one of four sides that remain undefeated. Their Carling cup tie in midweek ended up going into extra time, which the magpies could have done without in all honesty, but should be pleased with the return of Hatem Ben Afra. After beating Arsenal 4-3 last weekend, Blackburn will look to keep up the momentum, and should give manager Steve Kean a little bit of breathing room after having come under pressure since he was hired.
Prediction: Newcastle United 2-2 Blackburn Rovers
West Brom vs Fulham from the Hawthorns, Birmingham
Albion manager Roy Hodgson will be going head to head against one of his former employers where he enjoyed much success. Both sides have only picked up three points so far this season after fives games, and will be looking to hit the ground running since their is still plenty of time to turn things around.
Prediction: West Brom 1-1 Fulham
Wigan Athletic vs Tottenham from the DW Stadium, Wigan
A point will be classed as a success for the Latics, and manager Roberto Martinez. The home side are coming off successive defeats and any sort of positive result will be good. Spurs on the other hand are coming off a 4-0 win against nine men Liverpool last Sunday, and after a slow start, Harry Redknapp’s side look to have finally started to come good. The DW Stadium has not been a happy hunting ground for the north London club over recent years with only two wins out of the last five visits.
Prediction: Wigan Athletic 1-2 Tottenham
Stoke City vs Manchester United from the Britannia Stadium, Stoke
Tony Pulis’ men will be looking to make amends after their sorry performance away to Sunderland losing 4-0. While that came three days after a Europa League encounter, and could be used as an excuse, their midweek Carling cup lie went to penalties to see off Tottenham so the situation will be no different here. Manchester United are the only club that has a 100% record in league play left, after the blue half of Manchester dropped points last weekend. United showed the size of their squad be easily dismantling historic rival Leeds United in the cup on Wednesday night.
Prediction: Stoke City 1-3 Manchester United
QPR vs Aston Villa from Loftus Road Stadium, London
After a nice 3-0 away win at Wolves last Saturday, QPR look poised to make a name for themselves in the Premiership this season. All their new signings, led by Joey Barton, look to be clicking nicely for manager Neil Warnock and it wouldn’t be a shock if they ended up finishing near mid table come the end of the season. For the villains, manager Alex McLeish may not be popular at all with the fans, but his side are unbeaten so far this season, and have quietly gone about their business in doing so. Four of the first five games have been draws, and the team currently sits in sixth place.
Prediction: QPR 1-1 Aston Villa
Norwich City vs Sunderland from Carrow Road, Norwich
A Monday night clash from east Anglia sees two sides that will be looking to find some consistency this season. After collecting a nice away win against Bolton last weekend, Norwich will be looking to go on a winning streak, and pick up their first home victory. The same can be said for Sunderland, who under Steve Bruce have been very inconsistent as well. After scoring four goals against Stoke last weekend, confidence will be high in the black cats camp, and will try and build on that.
Prediction: Norwich City 0-0 Sunderland