Premier League Previews: Swearing, shaving and scoring
ItÃ¢ÂÂs been a hectic old week here at FourFourTwo.com towers.
Still reeling from Arsenal messing up our Footy15 coupon, we were further antagonised to learn that the website of a national newspaper had half-inched a large portion of our exclusive interview with Eric Cantona (him from that old Eurostar advert), without having the decency to credit FFT at any point (incidentally, the November issue of FourFourTwo is available now).
We then laboured like caffeine-fuelled beavers (or at least the techno-bods did) to complete improvements to our sister sites WeekendWonders.co.uk and FootballTalentSpotter.com before FourFourTwo FC set off to batter Zenit St Petersburg (or was it Zenith OptimediaÃ¢ÂÂ¦) 5-1 at Rushden and DiamondsÃ¢ÂÂ Nene Park.
Rushden's Nene Park: Home of FFT's humbling of Zenit(h)
But enough about usÃ¢ÂÂ¦
Much like two weeks ago, this weekend sees the balance of Premier League matches weighted towards Sunday, with six of the weekends 10 clashes taking place on the Sabbath, thanks again in no small part to the weekÃ¢ÂÂs UEFA Cup action.
One team who wonÃ¢ÂÂt be playing on a Thursday night again this season will be Everton.
Out of two cup competitions by the first weekend of October and with no points from three Premier League home matches, a win in this weekendÃ¢ÂÂs game at Goodison is crucial if the Toffees are to turn their faltering start to the season around.
Thankfully for David Moyes and his charges, itÃ¢ÂÂs elaborately-fringed sweary non-cockney Joe Kinnear and his Newcastle side that travel to Merseyside on Sunday afternoon, so the points look safe already.
"Don't give it away Taylor, you ******* **** ****!!!"
Kinnear did little to ingratiate himself to the cynical local press corps in his Thursday morning conference, using what can only be described as Ã¢ÂÂnaughtyÃ¢ÂÂ language when addressing two particular hacks (just type Ã¢ÂÂKinnearÃ¢ÂÂ and the rudest word you can think of into Google and you should find the full transcript).
His bizarre rant perhaps put paid to the suggestion that the nature of his appointment meant there was no pressure on Kinnear, with the former Wimbledon and Forest boss seemingly already feeling the heat of life in the Ã¢ÂÂgoldfish bowlÃ¢ÂÂ.
Another side who have made a poor start to their league campaign are bottom-of-the-league Spurs (you may have heard about it). Fortunately for them, and indeed typically, they seem to be just about keeping it together in the cups, having progressed to the fourth round of the Milk Cup and the group stages of the Europa Liga. So, every cloudÃ¢ÂÂ¦
They host form side Hull on Sunday, still looking for their first league win of the campaign and despite Thursday afternoonÃ¢ÂÂs scrappy draw in Poland doing little to boost the sideÃ¢ÂÂs confidence, there is at least one factor that will almost certainly work in the LilywhiteÃ¢ÂÂs favour against the Tigers and end their winless league runÃ¢ÂÂ¦
Hull boss Phil Brown has shaved off his goatee, a beard that has overseen wins at both Newcastle and Arsenal along with a home draw with Everton.
If you needed any more convincing of the power of the almighty beard (as if you would), the two matches prior to its stubbly birth saw Hull humbled by Swansea in the League Cup and given a 5-0 hiding at the hands of Wigan.
Hair today, gone tomorrow...actually it was gone Wednesday
Speaking of the Latics, Steve BruceÃ¢ÂÂs side have made a steady start to the season and continue to enhance their reputation as the role model to all promoted clubs.
Fresh from beating Manchester City, who according to one fansite are Ã¢ÂÂdestined to become the biggest club in the worldÃ¢ÂÂ, Wigan face another home tie, this time against Gareth SouthgateÃ¢ÂÂs Middlesbrough.
The Latics currently sit 10th in the Premier League but are unbeaten in four matches having lost their first two (away to West Ham and at home to Chelsea), and with the aforementioned wins at the KC and over City under their belts, will be full of confidence against a Boro side who took a grand total of zero points from four matches in the month of September.
Amr Zaki looks like being one of, if not the signing of the season with five Premier League goals to his name already, and with support coming in the burly form of Emile Heskey and service being provided by Antonio Valenica and Wilson Palacios, Wigan certainly look like a decent outside bet for European qualification.
Zaki milks it like an Egyptian
FourFourTwo.com Premier League Predictions:
Saturday, October 4Blackburn 1-3 Man Utd (Live on Setanta Sports 1, 5:30pm) Sunderland 1-2 Arsenal West Brom 1-1 Fulham Wigan 2-0 Middlesbrough
Sunday, October 5Chelsea 2-1 Aston VillaEverton 2-0 NewcastleMan City 1-2 Liverpool Portsmouth 1-1 StokeTottenham 2-1 HullWest Ham 1-0 Bolton
Footy15 PunditÃ¢ÂÂs Premier League Predictions:
(winners in bold, draws in italics)
John BarnesBlackburn v Man UtdSunderland v Arsenal West Brom v Fulham Wigan v Middlesbrough Chelsea v Aston VillaEverton v NewcastleMan City v Liverpool Portsmouth v StokeTottenham v HullWest Ham v Bolton
Tony CascarinoBlackburn v Man UtdSunderland v Arsenal West Brom v Fulham Wigan v Middlesbrough Chelsea v Aston VillaEverton v NewcastleMan City v Liverpool Portsmouth v StokeTottenham v HullWest Ham v Bolton
'Chappers'Blackburn v Man UtdSunderland v Arsenal West Brom v Fulham Wigan v Middlesbrough Chelsea v Aston VillaEverton v NewcastleMan City v Liverpool Portsmouth v StokeTottenham v HullWest Ham v Bolton
Kevin DayBlackburn v Man UtdSunderland v Arsenal West Brom v Fulham Wigan v Middlesbrough Chelsea v Aston VillaEverton v NewcastleMan City v Liverpool Portsmouth v StokeTottenham v HullWest Ham v Bolton
ÃÂ£15 FREE when you spend ÃÂ£5 on Footy 15 with FourFourTwo and The New Football PoolsTerms and conditions apply