The Cross-Breeding, Locker-Haunting Premier Previews

We are part of The Trust Project What is it?

Well, anyone who still believed in the holy sanctity of football has had their childlike innocence dumped on from a great height.

John Terry and his other woman, Avram Grant and his "masseuses"... it's enough to make you wish for the simpler days of George Best and his vow of chastity.

Modern footballers are putting holes before goals and the reason is plain – or rather, not plain enough.

Why are footballers and models doing the nasty, often literally behind each other's backs?

Because the temptation's there: they're too good-looking. But not the WAGs – the players.

Adonis-like strikers with flowing locks, midfielders with rippling muscles, defenders and goalkeepers with piercing eyes and jaws chiselled out of marble... no wonder the women are dragging them away.

Sure, there are exceptions: Rooney's a goblin and Tevez a gargoyle.

Peter Crouch, bless him, is doing his utmost to keep everybody's morals in check with his daddy-long-legs body and face of a boy caught in the middle of making a magazine very crinkly, but he's still got a lingerie model fiancée – although that relationship's had its ins and outs.

Footballers are idols to worship at the sex altar. The beautiful game is finally just that.

And where has it got us?

An England captaincy crisis. If we were still in the days of Aldridge and Rush's porn moustaches, we wouldn't have this problem.

Macca the meat in a muzzy sandwich


Bolton vs Fulham

Now this is more like it: none of that sexy nonsense here, thank you very much.

Can you imagine Roy Hodgson... no, that sentence is better left unwritten.

Fulham's much-needed if less deserved win over Portsmouth eased the nerves a bit, but it's still a case of Don't Mention The War Wounded.

Andrew Johnson is being sent to America for a knee op and is likely to miss the rest of the season, while Clint Dempsey and Zoltan Gera are also injured and Diomansy Kamara is playing for Celtic after an ill-judged loan offering by Hodgson.

Fortunately, Erik Nevland and Bobby Zamora are still around and new signing Stefano Okaka is, well, alive.

Still, Bolton can be relatively confident of a result here.

What won't happen: Okaka turns out to actually be Kaka's more talented Irish cousin.

What will happen: Uneasy draw.

Burnley vs West Ham

Almost unbelievably, just two points separate half a dozen teams surrounding the drop-zone.

With Wigan in 14th on 22 points and West Ham, Bolton, Wolves and Hull all tied on 21, 19th-placed Burnley are only a win away from leapfrogging the lot, like some unethical hybrid of flea, frog, kangaroo and Tim Cahill (have you seen that boy jump?).

That's just how important this relegation six-pointer is.

There's one every week now, it's true, but it doesn't take a bombastic Sky Sports preview to see this one matters.

What won't happen: Clarets loanee Jack Cork to come flying out of the blocks – he's a fantastic young talent but not ready for Premier League football just yet.

What will happen: You have to admire any new owners who can bring Mido in on loan and pay him a mere £1,000 a week (Emmanuel Adebayor earns almost exactly that every hour) – but Burnley take the spoils.

Hull vs Manchester City

Dear Santa,

I notice that for Christmas you didn't bring me Phil Brown's testicles on a plate as I asked. Could you possibly see your way to banishing him to the Championship instead?

I'd really appreciate it and I was, after all, a very good boy last year.*

*Terms and conditions apply.

What won't happen: Hull to go down or Brown to be sacked, because Santa doesn't exist (sorry, kids).

What will happen: Away win.

"Bog off, Davies, I'm off-duty"

Liverpool vs Everton

It's hard to imagine Merseysiders even care about this season any more, but at least this derby should get the passions flowing (not like that, JT).

Also, putting cynicism aside for a moment, both teams are on a decent run of form in the league.

Everton's, in fact, is nothing short of remarkable, with their last five matches bringing four wins and a draw.

Well done. Here, have a biscuit.

What won't happen: The game, as Alan Hansen says in his preview, to be "literally played at a hundred miles an hour."

What will happen: A tempestuous and entertaining draw.

Manchester United vs Portsmouth

The Nani state may have helped of late, but Rooney is on fire. This is not a good time for Portsmouth to face him.

Especially as there's no Asmir Begovic for Pompey, the Bosnian 'keeper moving to Stoke despite the man he was meant to replace, Thomas Sorensen, staying put.

All in all it's a touch harsh on Stoke's Steve Simonsen, relegated to third choice after impressing when called upon.

David James, therefore, will play his third match in a week after spending quite some time twiddling his thumbs.

Given he once developed repetitive strain injury playing video games, he's probably safer on the pitch.

What won't happen: After the success of signing Michael Owen (snigger), Alex Ferguson brings David James to Old Trafford for the Indian summer of his career.

What will happen: 3-0 home win.

Stoke vs Blackburn

So Wales travel to Twickers in the big showdown of the 2010 Six Nations' opening weekend.

Explosive full-back Lee Byrne has been cleared to play for the visitors, while England's selection of yet more rugby league converts has raised a few eyebrows.

What? You can't possibly expect even feigned interest at the prospect of Stoke vs Blackburn.

What won't happen: The dullest game of the season, because that was almost certainly Sunderland-Stoke on Monday. That physically hurt. Another bore draw here won't help the ticket sales.

What will happen: Another bore draw, and Wales snatch a tight victory in the rugby. Go on the boys!

Sunderland vs Wigan

It'd be fascinating to know if Steve Bruce, when he moved from Wigan to Sunderland, wondered if things would get better – or if he thought his new team would be in virtually the same position as his old one.

And to think Sunderland's season started so well. Suddenly it's 10 games without a win and if they sink much faster they'll get the bends.

Will the signing of Benjani halt the tumble? Or will Wigan bounce back from their shock FA Cup defeat to Notts County?

And most interestingly of all, will Victor 'Allegedly scouted by Real Madrid and Barcelona' Moses find his true home in, er, Wigan?

Asking questions is much easier than attempting to answer them.

What won't happen: An accurate prediction based on analysis and research, so the coin says...

What will happen: ...tails – away win. A draw was always unlikely, given that the coin would have had to land on its edge.

"Things are looking up, right, Niall?"

Spurs vs Aston Villa

Harry Redknapp takes the biscuit and the award for most bizarre transfer window shenanigans.

He's a wheeler-dealer, we all know that, but unless he knows something we don't, the wheels came off this time around.

After publicly criticising his work ethic and practically begging clubs to take the Russian striker off his hands, Redknapp kept Roman Pavlyuchenko at White Hart Lane, turning down an offer from Birmingham.

Then, because he'd signed Eidur Gudjohnsen and can't handle the concept of five strikers (it's a big number), Redknapp offloaded Robbie Keane, easily a more promising prospect than Pavlova when it comes to making a second-half substitute.

Oh, and that's not forgetting the decision to loan out two of the team's three half-decent right-backs (Alan Hutton to Sunderland; Kyle Naughton to Boro) so there's no back-up in the event of an injury to Vedran Corluka.

And £5 million for Younes Kaboul? Really? When someone calls Portsmouth a charity case, Harry, it's just a figure of speech.

What won't happen: Brilliant though it is, the term Nikoluka Hudjenios to describe Spurs' midfield to catch on. Advice on how to get Lennon and Bentley in there as well would be very much welcomed.

What will happen: Quite possibly, Spurs' top four challenge to gurgle gleefully down the plughole. If Gudjohnsen doesn't settle and one of Defoe and Crouch gets injured, they're knackered. The slide starts here against a rejuvenated Villa.


Birmingham vs Wolves

A second city derby of sorts, though Birmingham's incredible season means their real derbies against Aston Villa actually carry more weight these days.

And how much Wolves would have loved to see Stephen Hunt and Kevin Doyle playing together at Molineux. Hull are such bastards, aren't they, Mick?

What won't happen: This blog to stay shorter in length than your average novella – it's growing out of control.

What will happen: Wolves hold Brum to a surprising draw

Chelsea vs Arsenal

Of course, relegation battles aren't the only six-pointers in the Premier League.

Chelsea enter this game knowing a win will effectively wipe Arsenal off the face of the planet (well, the planet of the title race at least), while Arsenal prepare knowing exactly the same thing.

Chelsea win and Arsenal are nine points off the pace, waving a despondent goodbye to the title while bracing themselves for an assault from behind from the big four fluffers.

Arsenal win and they're right back in it.

And as sure as every single Oscar is going to be given to a film that stole its plot from a Disney movie, the Gunners are likely to bounce back after being slightly humiliated by Manchester United.

They were outclassed, outpassed – outeverythinged. Like the glasses worn by some lucky viewers, the Red Devils took it to another dimension.


What won't happen: Hopefully, any more chat about Gael Kakuta and the Chelsea Transfer Ban (one of Enid Blyton's less successful children's books).

The ban's been lifted, thanks to a simple legality – Kakuta's Lens contract being invalid – that should have been spotted months ago. Who was in charge of this case, Chilcot?

What will happen: Arsenal fight back and Chelsea stumble to a lucky draw, certain to prompt more talk about an uncomfortable dressing room atmosphere.

Rumour has it that Terry's locker is haunted by the ghost of Wayne Bridge's manhood

------------------------------------------------ More to read...
Club news * Blogs * News * Interviews * Forums * Home
Follow us: Twitter * Facebook