Hey all. Sorry for the slow posting week but quite busy with my own football team. But the soccer season waits for no man and not only is there a full slate of Premier League action but the Italian Serie A and Spanish La Liga kick-off as well. Will do a small preview of the Serie A and La Liga later this week.
As for the Premier League let’s briefly look at the games. Gonna change it up with a 2 sentence preview of each.
Sunderland v Liverpool Roy Keane’s Sunderland started the season well but beating LP is a tall order. Look for Rafa to play with perhaps 3 strikers (Crouch, Torres, Kuyt) up-front as LP look to score early to end any hope of a Sunderland upset.
Arsenal v Manchester City Will Arsene Wegner start error-prone Jens Lehmann in goal as Arsenal look to end top of the table Man City’s winning streak? Arsenal captain and central defender William Gallas is out until October with a groin injury but still can’t see Man City winning this one despite their recent good form.
Aston Villa v Fulham Villa, searching for their 1st win, host Fulham who’ll be without the services of their American captain and striker Brian McBride until Christmas because of a knee injury. Fulham look much improved from last season but the jury’s still out on Villa.
Bolton v Reading Winless, bottom-dwelling Bolton are desperate for some points as rumors abound about a very poor atmosphere at the club. Reading continue to impress and must like their chances at Bolton after playing Man United, Chelsea and Everton already.
Chelsea v Portsmouth Sevilla turned down Chelsea’s 24million offer for Daniel Alves while Chelsea has sold Dutch winger Arjen Robben to Real Madrid. Chelsea wins this easily as Jose Mourniho reaches milestone of managing 100 games in a row at home without a league defeat with Porto/Chelsea.
Derby v Birmingham Derby as added American midfielders Benny Feilhaber and Eddie Lewis in an effort to bolster their roster. Big game for both clubs as they are rivals in the relagation battle.
West Ham v Wigan Wigan continues to defy the odds, the pundits and the average fan who’d prefer this club from a rugby town get relegated. Hammers looked dreadful in opening lose to Man City but rebounded to beat Birmingham in a solid performance so who knows which team will show up?
Everton v Blackburn Two clubs with European ambitions meet at Goodison Park in game that sums up the hard-tacklin’, hard-charging, hard-nosed and hard-fought Premiership. Both teams are slowly shedding their reputations as hack artists and becoming more fluid, varied sides.
Middlesbrough v Newcastle Don’t like this Boro’ team and my bet would be that they go down unless stalwart centerback Johnathan Woodgate returns soon from his knee injury. Newcastle is quickly reaching the level of consistency, especially defensively, under their new manager Big Sam Allardyce that it takes to compete in this league.
Manchester United v Tottenham A pair of early season dissapointments square-off at Old Trafford in a game that United must fancy as Tottenham have been horrible defensively this season. Tottenham playing under a cloud of uncertainty as every European manager was linked with the Tottenham job this week and now under-fire manager Martin Jol must coax a good performance out of his struggling team.
Enjoy the games.