Wolves 2 – 1 Liverpool
Wolves are winning alternate games, recently (last six games), and have beaten Liverpool and Chelsea in the chain. They were impressive even in the high tempo 4-3 defeat at Eastlands last week. Same can’t be said about Liverpool. They started their Merseyside derby well but once Moyes sorted out Martin Kelly by long balls and Krygiakos had a horror night, Everton dictated play. Wolves would be the more desperate team to win this one.
Arsenal 3 – 1 Wigan
Wigan have drawn four of their last six games, including a 2-2 thriller vs Arsenal at home. At Emirates, it should be one way traffic, although Arsenal had to play a needless additional game vs Leeds in midweek. Wigan are better away from home, expect them to score atleast.
Blackpool 2 – 0 Sunderland
It remains to be seen how Sunderland react to their star striker Darren Bent’s departure. It could work either ways as Bent wasn’t at his best and this gives Gyan and Wellbeck to add to their impressive tally this year. Blackpool had won the reverse fixture and I expect them to do the same this time, with simillar scoreline too.
Everton 1 – 0 West Ham
This one shouldn’t be tough to call, even with Pienaar’s departure. West Ham come at the back of eight goals hammering in last two games. A clean sheet in itself should make Avram Grant happy, but that might not be the case. The reverse fixture was a 1-1 draw.
Fulham 1 – 1 Stoke City
Stoke are also losing and winning alternate games, recently, but by that pattern they are due to lose this game. Fulham have a 2-2-2 record in last six games and there is no pattern to their results, as home and away they have been 1-1-1 in this period, except for the fact that Fulham are now better than what they were a couple of months ago. The reverse fixture was a shock 2-0 win for Fulham away from home. Stoke would like to see this as a revenge game and set that record straight and this one could be a tight match.
Man Utd 2 – 0 Birmingham
United’s unbeaten run will continue and clean sheet is expected. This will be a routine performance from the reds. Nani as captain in your fantasy team is a smart choice, as just back from injury, he is expected to feature in both games. The reverse fixture was a 1-1 tie, you can rule that out.
Newcastle 0 – 2 Tottenham
Tottenham scored in all their recent matches but couldn’t find the net in the game that mattered the most, last week vs United. This ensures their decade long wait to beat United at OT, gets extended. They will be favourites vs Newcastle (had also won the reverse fixture comfortably) and am going with my first away win this game week as well a clean sheet for Totts (with Caroll still injured) . Keep an eye on Defoe, he is due his share of goals.
Aston Villa 1 – 2 Man City
Did Villa bend the rules to get Bent? Who cares, Bent will start and starts the journey to prove he is more than just a high paid football mercenary. City’s new signing Dzeko was impressive and gave glimpses that he was worth the price. Tevez is expected to be more dangerous once the burden of getting goals is off his shoulders. City were toying with Villa in the reverse fixture which ended 4-0 and promised a lot more.
Blackburn 3 – 1 West Brom
The Rao brothers, Blackburn’s owners, are throwing more names up in the air. Now it’s Riquelme who is being wooed after, and trust me their attempt at signing Diego Maradona, is far from over. Blackburn had beaten WBA away from home and I see repeat of that scoreline.
Bolton 1 – 2 Chelsea
Chelsea are now concentrating game by game and this one may not be as easy as it sounds. Bolton were impressive even in the 1-0 loss in the reverse fixture. Even in the interim Chelsea haven’t improved with a 1-1-1 record despite two home games vs teams in bottom half of the table. Bolton have been worse though, collecting just four points off last six games. Bolton have lost bite ever since Chung Yong Lee departed for AFC Asian cup, they are going through a trough. This is where Chelsea are lucky to play them now and am going with my second away win of the week.
Blackpool 1 – 2 Man Utd
This one on paper is tough one to call, but going by United’s well known penchant for grinding out results cometh the time, they should nick this one. I don’t rule out a draw too considering Blackpool’s rollicking soccer displays, but since away wins seem few this week, by the general theory of 30% away wins every GW, am going with United.
Wigan 2 – 2 Aston Villa (Put insurance)
Wigan continue to be unpredictable at home, even after their influential winger N’Zogbia returning (and keeping ears open to transfer offers). Villa managed two draws in their last two away games and Bent would be due to enter the score sheet. I keep this as a high scoring thriller. Second game in four days, put insurance!
Liverpool 2 – 0 Fulham (Put banker bonus)
This one deserves your banker bonus. King Kenny at home, the roaring reception he gets, vs a weaker opposition, Gerrard back in the mix – this one has all ingredients of a win and a comfortable one. So popular and trusted King Kenny is that suddenly no one questions why Ngog isnt even on bench (despite 9 goals in all competitions this season), why Glen Johnson is being posted as left back often, why Jovanovic, Shelvey and Poulsen are getting playing minutes? I guess at Anfield its ‘In Kenny we trust”.