Prem Predictions: Torn ears, shot knees & punched faces

It’s a good weekend for Arsenal to catch Manchester United, who look vulnerable to a free-scoring Chelsea, writes Huw Davies.

And after their Hallowe’en nightmare at Fulham last weekend, Liverpool won’t want any fireworks against Birmingham in the wake of Guy Fawkes’ Night – just a nice, quiet win would do.

We shall see. Oh, and seven correct predictions out of 10 last week? I'VE ARRIVED. About bloody time.

Saturday

Aston Villa vs Bolton

Chocolate bars at the ready: these are two teams in need of a Boost.

Bolton essentially lost 8-0 to Chelsea in last week’s double-header, while O’Neill’s men failed to win any of their four consecutive games on the road.

On the plus side for Villa, John Carew found the net for the first time in approximately six years and even though Jamie Milner won’t feature, Still-here Petrov should limp onto the pitch for 90 minutes.

And you get to play Ashley Young Bingo, in which you mark every time he scores a free kick, misses a penalty and gets booked. If he does all three, stand up and shout ‘HOUSE’.

What won’t happen: HouseWhat will happen: A home win has the Villa flags flying through a giant sigh of relief

Blackburn vs Portsmouth

If you'd said a month ago that Pompey would notch up two 4-0 wins in a row, I'd have punched you in the face and called you a liar.

But times change, and the south-coasters will fancy their chances against a Blackburn outfit that has conceded 17 goals in its last five games.

They'd be better off with a back line of Sooty hand puppets.

So can they keep a clean sheet at home to last-placed Pompey? I'm going with no.

What won't happen: Theoretically, Portsmouth – who didn't take a single point from their first seven games – could move up to 16th with a win and other results going their way. Won't happen thoughWhat will happen: Confidence and a well-timed fixture against weak opposition – pomp and circumstance for Paul Hart. A point keeps the momentum going

Manchester City vs Burnley

When he saw a month of fixtures against Villa, Wigan, Fulham and Birmingham, Mark Hughes probably wouldn't have been wanting four draws.

The dropped points puts City further behind the league leaders than they'd like, but a home win over Burnley will help.

The Clarets, meanwhile, aren't fazed.

When asked about City's millions, Burnley boss Owen Coyle said his team would pay their opponents respect but concentrate on their own game – which may be the most boring pre-match statement ever made.

And you wonder why journalists want Mourinho back.

What won't happen: Coyle to celebrate a shock win by jabbing his finger in Hughes's face, shouting "WHO ARE YA? WHO ARE YA?"What will happen: Coyle to take defeat with a shrug and more statements to make people tear off their ears in boredom

Tottenham vs Sunderland

The Black Cats have been dark horses this season, sprinting into the top half like Usain Bolt.

Three games without a win has seen that pace slacken, though, and sick notes or suspensions for Lee Cattermole, Kenwyne Jones and Lorik Cana are the bullets to the knees that could see them stumble and fall.Uh, I'm not advocating Usain Bolt or Sunderland players should be shot in the kneecaps by the way.

Please don't take that as incitement to do so. Guns don't kill people – bad metaphors do.

What won't happen: Steve Bruce to take defeat like a manWhat will happen: Spurs get back on track; Sunderland do not. Steve Bruce has a whinge

Wolves vs Arsenal

In the nine games left before the first decade of the 21st century ends, Wolves have to play every one of the top six – and it starts with an Arsenal side who couldn't stop scoring if you shot them all in the kneecaps.

Three consecutive draws has kept Wolves' total ticking over, and although they'll want a win sooner rather than later, a draw against a rampaging Arsenal would make them very happy indeed.

Sadly, the odds on anything other than an Arsenal win are longer than a particularly long piece of string.

What won't happen: Wenger’s boys to be as generous in the last 20 as they were with West HamWhat will happen: Wolves to put in a brave underdog performance but come away empty-handed

Sunday

Chelsea vs Manchester United

It's The Big One.

Yes, I know I said that last week about Arsenal-Spurs, and that was A Big One, but this is A Bigger One – THE Big One – unless of course you're an Arsenal fan or a Spurs fan, in which case The Big One was last week and indeed A Big One and A Happy One it was if you're an Arsenal fan but if you're a Spurs fan maybe not so much

So... yes.

The pressure is on United for a change, as defeat would leave them five points adrift of Chelsea at the top.

With Drogba scoring goals faster than the tabloids can think of annoying dog/Drog puns, Nemanja Vidic is returning to a baptism of fire, with no Rio to extinguish the Blue flames.

And although Chelsea are unlikely to bang in the four goals a game they've been averaging recently, victory over Fergie's men is, for once, the likely outcome.

What won't happen: What I think will happen, which is a Chelsea winWhat will happen: More Drog headlines. Top Drog? Every Drog Has His Day? Or will it be a Drog's Dinner?

Hull vs Stoke

New Hull chairman Adam Pearson this week: "Phil [Brown] will be manager on Sunday but there's no point me saying he's got a job for life – that's not the case. We need results quickly, and that puts pressure on everyone at the club."

Ah yes, the lesser-known meaning of 'everyone', in this case meaning 'Phil Brown'.

What won't happen: Anything but an away winWhat will happen: A certain headset-wearing permatan to be seen asking for directions to the JobCentrePlus

West Ham vs Everton

There are so many out-of-form teams in the Premier League it’s amazing one ever manages to beat the other.

Everton are one of these strugglers, having not won in any competition for eight matches.

The Hammers, meanwhile, are jubilant.

No doubt about it: their win over Villa midweek was an absolutely massive result – their first triumph since the opening day of the season and their first home win in the league.

But with goal-getter Carlton Cole in a race to be fit, they’ll struggle to keep the momentum going – even if Hinez meanz goalz.

What won’t happen: Frankie Zola to bring out his famous Godfather impression in the post-match interview. “Callum Davenport – he sleeps with the fishes,” the Italian announces to a bemused Garth CrooksWhat will happen: Zola and Moyes finish content with a draw

Wigan vs Fulham

When you bag the big fish (3-1 over Chelsea; 1-1 with Man City) but get swallowed by the minnows (0-4 Portsmouth; 1-2 Hull), it's not easy for a Wigan fan to predict how his team will perform against a slippery eel like Fulham.

And I'm not even a Wigan fan.

So I'm going with a Fulham win, because the voices in my head told me to and they're what I really base these predictions on. Don't act so surprised.

What won't happen: The Duffless Cottagers to fall to a sobering defeatWhat will happen: Fulham to take suitable revenge on Roma by, er, beating Wigan

Monday

Liverpool vs Birmingham

It's probably for the best that Liverpool have to wait until Monday to have a go at grabbing their first win in four matches.

After crushing disappointment against Lyon the Reds need as much recuperation time as possible, for psychological reasons as much as injury-related ones.

These are bitter times for Benitez, but Superbad McLeish is McLovin' it.

A win over Sunderland, a draw with Man City... do they dare to dream of three points at Anfield?

Well, why the hell not? Liverpool are missing Carra through suspension as well as possibly Torra and probably Gerra. What better time to play them?

What won't happen: Ryan Babel, bless him, to score two stunners in two games. More likely to see a repeat of the hilariously awful free-kick that followedWhat will happen: A narrow win to save Rafa's skin

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