The sun-blocking, heart valve valuing Premier f**king Preview

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So hang on – what you’re saying is, this blog has to preview and predict every Premier League game this weekend without swearing even once?

This’ll be short.


Wolves v Everton (12.45pm, Sky Sports 2 & HD2, 5 Live Radio)

It looks like draw central here. Wolves are unbeaten in three at home; Everton unbeaten in five in general. And the last three matches between these two ended in stalemates.

Wolves continue to lack that bite upfront, their teeth corked by Kevin Doyle’s injury. Sylvan Ebanks-Blake looks ready to seize his chance, though, to the despair of penny-pinching parents of Wolves fans who want his name on their shirt regardless of the cost per letter.

Everton are rapidly running out of squad players who aren’t apprentices, physios or local children – injuries to the tremendous trio of Cahill, Coleman and Rodwell may keep any or all of them out of this match.

What won’t happen: Many more televised lunchtime kick-offs for Wolves, unless Sky invests in some more Championship matches next season

What will happen: A draw that satisfies neither team, greedy gits that they are at this stage of the season

Blackburn v Birmingham (3pm)

This game doesn’t look destined to have people scribbling furiously into their diaries by tomorrow night, though it could see the departure of Steve Kean – depending on how nutterific Blackburn’s owners are feeling.

Rovers recorded a good draw away to Arsenal last week but still find themselves in the precarious position of 14th; indeed, they actually fell a place for not winning that match. Tch, what can you do?

Win at home, perhaps. Kean’s men have taken just two points from a possible nine at home of late, and haven’t won a league game anywhere since January, within the confines of Ewood Park or on the road.

That 27-and-a-half-year contract is looking a bit silly now.

Time for Brum to take advantage? They may have to do it without Obafemi Martins and Nikola Zigic, who are, according to the club, “so-so”. Oh, sorry, that’s “50-50”. Eyesight isn’t what it used to be.

What won’t happen: Kean wins adopting the ‘false nose and glasses’ approach to avoiding detection by the sniper-holding Venky’s, and announces a new strategy for winning games: Operation Wig

What will happen: Birmingham put the boot in with a win to lift them further away from the relegation zone

Bolton v West Ham (3pm)

It would be very harsh on West Ham if they went down this year, seeing as they have enough points to their name to have kept them up last season (in fact, every team in the league now has the 31 that would have kept them safe 11 months back).

It’ll be harsh on any club, seeing as this could be the first time every Premier League team finishes with 40 points or more, but it would bring back especially bad memories of 2002-03 for the Hammers, when they were relegated despite reaching the magical number of 42.

But as long as Demba-ba-ba Ba and Li’l Scotty Parker remain fit and happy, they should stay in the top flight for a bit longer.

A point or even a win here wouldn’t go amiss, though. Bolton may have won their last three home games but they come into this game off the back of two defeats, and 9ft 8in Zat Knight is back, meaning darkness in the penalty area as he blocks out the sun.

What won’t happen: Avram Grant, banned from the touchline, to fall asleep in the stands and be poked with a stick to make substitutions, eventually falling to the evil machinations of Bolton fans who truss him up as a marionette and make him dance as their puppet

What will happen: The Trotters make it seven league wins in a row over the Hammers

Chelsea v Wigan (3pm, Absolute Radio)

A thumping, right? Not necessarily.

Wigan’s away record isn’t actually as woeful as you might expect, given they’re bottom: they’ve taken more points from journeys than Aston Villa, Wolves, Fulham, Bolton, Stoke and Blackburn, and as many as Birmingham and West Brom. Not bad – they should become professional hitch-hikers.

The problem is that they can’t score away from home, registering just 11 goals in 14 matches. Chelsea’s defence is sufficiently tight to keep things that way, though they may rest a few players – and if Paulo Ferreira plays, Wigan need to take advantage of his utter inadequacy at football and, indeed, life.

And get this: Yossi Benayoun may actually make it onto the field of play. Remember him?

What won’t happen: Over 90 minutes, Wigan to overturn the 14-0 aggregate scoreline across their last two fixtures against the Pensioners

What will happen: Chelsea to do the job

Manchester United v Fulham (3pm)

Inside sources say that Manchester United are likely to rest a few players afore the Chelsea game on Tuesday, so expect some big names to be absent.

Rooney is out (did you hear about that?) and Fulham are likely to be without Damien Duff, who is impersonating Achilles’ later efforts in the Trojan War. Bobby-Z is back tho’, innit.

What won’t happen: The entire United XI show their solidarity with Rooney, uniting to bellow one gigantic curseword into the pitchside mics when they take the lead. “They can’t send us all off!” announces one player, but the ref does just that and Wigan win by default. Spartacus Fail

What will happen: Normally, 2-0, but allowing for the ‘managers that played under Fergie always roll over’ effect, 3-0

Sunderland v West Brom (3pm)

The Black Cats’ latest run of form is slightly akin to that of a dead man’s at living, while West Brom are unbeaten in the five games since our Woy took over. No clean sheet in 29 matches, mind.

That may change here, unless Sunderland can find some firepower, fast. At least Titus Bramble is out for the season, so their defence...well, exists.

What won’t happen: A thrilling, gung-ho piece of attacking football from the visitors

What will happen: Draw

Tottenham v Stoke (3pm)

What can you say about Spurs, except that they’re the architects of their own downfall?

A run of games against Blackpool, Wolves, West Ham and Wigan should really have yielded four wins out of four, looking at the fixtures individually. Even if that wasn’t to be the case – thought it would have put them joint-second – three points from 12 certainly wasn’t enough.

This is Spurs’ last ‘gimme’ – Stoke’s away record is usually poor, but especially shocking of late (six losses on the trot) – before they play Arsenal, but at the moment they are to winning what Charlie Sheen is to actually winning at life.

Spurs did a similar thing last season, leaving it to victories against Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City to claim fourth spot. They don’t look likely to do it again, but do at least have four home games in a row coming up. To have a chance of another humiliation at the hands of Real Madrid next season, they have to win this match.

Stoke will be without Danny Higginbotham for six months now, a massive blow to their lofty ambitions of finishing mid-table. Sorensen, Faye, Pennant and Carew all return to the squad, possibly with a burning sense of injustice after their opponents’ fortuitous win over them back in August.

What won’t happen: Tottenham to have the same luck this time around

What will happen: A fourth draw in a row for the home side, all in games they should be winning to finish in the top four


Blackpool v Arsenal (1.30pm, Sky Sports 1 & HD1, TalkSPORT Radio)

Attacking football, vibrant, exciting, etc. etc.

You just know that Blackpool don’t have it in them to batten down the hatches if they need to, and their home record is so woefully poor – the worst in the Prem, indeed – that they might have to do just that. But they won’t. So they’ll lose.

But hey, Matthew Gilks could be back! Bad news for the neutrals, certainly, but a good missive for those Tangerines fans who value their heart valves. Richard Kingson is great fun; however, ultra-reliable he ain’t.

It’s a good thing Arsenal have that in their keepers, isn’t it?

What won’t happen: Jens Lehmann to play, save four penalties, score a winner in the last minute and get sent off for streaking in front of the away end

What will happen: Ian Holloway to talk utter balls before, during and after the match – it’s actually getting really tiresome now, which we weren’t expecting

Aston Villa v Newcastle (4pm, Sky Sports 1 & HD1, 5 Live Radio)

After the attacking, vibrant, exciting inevitable Arsenal victory before it, this game could be a bit of a comedown.

But why? If there’s one thing we’ve found, it’s that you can’t predict that Gerard Houllier and Alan Pardew are going to do on a day-to-day basis. They might kiss on the pitch and announce a civil partnership in charge of Notts County.

What won’t happen: Hatem Ben Arfa, back in training, to sadly watch his leg fall off during a casual warm-up

What will happen: Marc Albrighton to make the squad again after impressing in a reserves’ win over Liverpool, but he can’t prevent the Villans from taking only a draw at home


Liverpool v Manchester City (8pm, Sky Sports 1 & HD1, 5 Live Radio)

Seemingly everyone is predicting a draw in this classic case of big teams facing off for some Monday Night Footbaaaaaall.

Liverpool have the much better record, taking 10 points from a possible 12 in their last four games at Anfield. Citeh, meanwhile, haven’t won in their last five sojourns out of Manchester.

Pablo Zabaleta returns for the Fragrant Blues after a long period of compassionate leave. Micah Richards and Jerome Boateng, injured, remain at each other’s bedside.

Liverpool have had some terrible injury news of late: Steven Gerrard and Daniel Agger are out for the season, and Glen Johnson out for a month (so, basically, the season except maybe the last game or two).

Fortunately, new stakeholder in the club LeBron James comes straight into the starting line-up. He’ll be leading the line with Andy Carroll, with their tactics being to keep heading the ball to each other until the City defence dies of old age.

What won’t happen: That

What will happen: Hate to be predictable and boring and that, but draw. What? F***ing WHAT?