The uncharacteristically brief, 17 syllable Premier Preview

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Although we always appreciate the multitudes of you who lend us your time to read our ramblings (we say 'lend', you aint getting it back), there have been complaints, mainly from the magical pixies round the back of the website that upload it, that this Premier League preview blog, frankly, goes on a bit.

So for one week only – promise – the previews will be reduced to 17 syllables, in haiku form.

Don’t say we didn’t warn you.


Aston Villa v Arsenal (12.45pm, Sky Sports 2 & HD2, 5 Live Radio)

Tale of two Fabs: Cesc
Hammyknack; Almunia
Not Fabianski?

What won’t happen: A red card: though games involving Arsenal games have produced more reds this season than any other team (eight), Villa spectators haven’t seen one (except on the telly)

What will happen: Fabianski to keep his place in an away win despite return of Collins and Carew for Villa

Bolton v Blackpool (3pm)

Wow – Bolton are good!
But ‘Pool love the North: wins at
Wigan, Toon, Anfield.

What won’t happen: Bolton to let up their amazing run

What will happen: Charlie Adam to score from outside the box: he’s had 26 shots from that distance already. Home win

Everton v West Brom (3pm)

No Baggies win at
Goodison since ‘70s
And Brunt out too. Ouch.

What won’t happen: An exciting high-tempo game between these two out of form teams

What will happen: This haiku thing to get really old really quickly (sorry, but in the words of the sadly departed Magnus Magnusson, we’ve started so we’ll finish). Bore draw

Fulham v Birmingham (3pm)

Few injury woes
For either side, but Fulham
Hardly the form team.

What won’t happen: Lee Bowyer to score again. Ever.

What will happen: Fulham struggle to bounce back from last week’s thrashing but claim an important draw against an improving Birmingham

Manchester United v Blackburn (3pm, 2nd half only on 5 Live Radio, full commentary on 5 Live Sports Extra)

Man United not
On the telly? Surely not.
Who watches Roo now?

What won’t happen: Blackburn, looking so poor until recently, make it four wins from five

What will happen: United do the job with little fuss

Stoke v Manchester City (3pm, Absolute Radio Extra)

What? Man City not
On the telly? Surely not.
Two such graceful teams!

What won’t happen: Stoke’s new proposal to the Premier League to be implemented: just count the second half. They’d be top

What will happen: The grumbling around Mancini to die down a touch after another good away win

West Ham v Wigan (3pm)

Victor Obinna
Shot Count: 47. Goal
Count: big fat zero.

What won’t happen: Golazooooo! This pair have the two lowest shots-to-goals ratio of any team in the league this season. Cows arses need not fear banjo players

What will happen: A painful game but a crucial three points for West Ham

Wolves v Sunderland (3pm)

“Remember us, Mick?
“We Black Cats were crap with you;
“Now we’re good; how’s Wolves?”

What won’t happen: Sunderland’s impressive seventh place to last into the New Year

What will happen: Big Mick to taste relegation yet again? It’s looking increasingly likely, especially after an away win here


Newcastle v Chelsea (1.30pm, Sky Sports 1 & HD1, TalkSPORT Radio)

Coloccini banned
And Williamson too, so
First Toon start for Sol?

What won’t happen: Chelsea haven’t lost three league games on the trot since the last millennium. Expect it to stay that way

What will happen: No Essien, Terry and Lampard spells trouble for Chelsea, but they muddle through to a draw

Spurs v Liverpool (4pm, Sky Sports 1 & HD1, 5 Live Radio)

Stoke loss, West Ham win:
Reds veer from crisis to joy
As per. Calm down, dears.

What won’t happen: A calm, reasoned, long-term review of Liverpool’s fortunes from their fans, instead of week-by-week schizophrenia

What will happen: And indeed, as Spurs win it’s back to ‘The biggest disaster in the club’s history’ and calls for Hodgson’s head