Weekend In Preview Round 13

10 November 2007

Before I get started, I need to get a little bit off my chest.
The last forty-eight hours have been nothing more than pure torture. I found out Thursday afternoon that my dad had 2 total blockages in his legs, one arm with a 40 percent blockage in it, and an aneurysm above one of the legs and that he needed surgery as quick as possible. They scheduled surgery for today and I happy and relieved to report that surgery went about as well as surgery of this sort can go. They put two shunts in his legs, one stent in his leg, one stent somewhere in his abdomen and removed the aneurysm. If everything goes according to plan, he will be home on Monday. It's always a good sign when he's trying to chase down nurses and they are having to shoo him away.
I say that to say this. I would like to personally extend a hand of thanks to those who have kept him in their thoughts, said kind words, and kept my spirits high throughout the last year. It's hard for me to still fathom the genuinely nice people that I have come in contact with. You've refused to let me get down and have been encouraging at times when I simply thought about giving up. The nice words, the positive feedback, and being the most understanding people I've ever met have willed me on. I hope within the next couple of weeks that I will be able to get too the schedule I wrote up a few weeks ago, but until then I should be able to get to more match reviews then I have been.

All of that, for this, the weekend in preview. I also will be giving you what I think the result will be.
Sunderland v Newcastle United: Sunderland get Phil McShane back while Newcastle get back Mark Vaduka. While this game is always exciting, the results have been generally one sided. Craig Gordon will keep Sunderland in this game, but until they are able to get Michael Chopra consistently into the match, the best they can see is a draw. Newcastle after getting taken to the woodshed against Portsmouth will have a point to prove, and no better way to prove a point than in a derby match. Sunderland 0 Newcastle United 2.
Derby County v West Ham United: There's a chance Kenny Miller could come back for Derby, but they still Davis and Todd out at the back. West Ham are the current walking M*A*S*H unit of the Premier League, and that has to give Derby County some hope. However Derby County's back five is just not that good and West Ham can still create from nothing. Don't expect West Ham to blow a game like they did last weekend. Derby County 0 West Ham 1.
Liverpool v Fulham: Rafa Benetiz found a starting eleven that clicked midweek, however with rotation policy still in effect, Fernando Torres could get back into the lineup. To be frank, I would make sure Torres is 100 percent before I even thought it. Fulham would be wise to give Kuqi a run out as his partnership with Healy was a spark. If Healy and Kuqi get enough chances, they can keep it close. Though Liverpool won't match 8-0, it will still be a comfortable walk in the park before the international break. Liverpool 3 Fulham 1.
Birmingham City v Aston Villa: Birmingham City have three key injury worries as Villa only have Ashley Young to worry about. Without Jerome, O'Connor, and McSheffrey, this could be a very long afternoon for the Blues, though they can capitalize on Villa's inconsistent scoring form. Villa have the quality, but Birmingham City can grind out results at home. This may not be the prettiest football, but it sure will be physical. Birmingham City 1 Aston Villa 1.
Chelsea v Everton: This has draw written all over it. Chelsea will miss Cech in goal (if you saw Carlo against Schalke, he was beaten twice, but the woodwork saved his blushes) and John Terry isn't around. With Ferreira out as well, Chelsea's defenders could resemble swiss cheese. Everton also have their injury concerns, but should still be able to get chances on Chelsea. One thing is for sure, this will be up and down the pitch, just may not be the prettiest football you've ever seen. Chelsea 1 Everton 1.
Bolton Wanderers v Middlesbrough: Bolton actually have something positive to build on, a remarkable draw against Bayern Munich. Boro still most likely will be without Woodgate and Mido, the goals going with Mido. This has all the makings of one of the dullest nil-nil's the world has ever seen as Megson has brought back the physical defending back, just where will they get the goals from? Anelka will be a marked man. Bolton 0 Middlesbrough 0.
Manchester United v Blackburn Rovers: Not having Wayne Rooney means they only won't win another game 4-0. It does give them a chance to see how the partnership of Tevez and Saha will work out. Blackburn will more than likely feature the same 11 that got the point against Liverpool. If this game was at Ewood Park, I could see the same game Blackburn played last week playing out, however with Mark Hughes putting so much pressure on himself to get a result at Old Trafford, Blackburn could have a long day at the office. Manchester United 2 Blackburn Rovers 0.
Tottenham Hotspur v Wigan Athletic: Tottenham have an opponent where they can get all three points from, however with their woeful defending, manager less Wigan are still in with half a chance...right? That said, Wigan are in bad enough shape Spurs should get a victory in the game I'm going to bank on. You may all question my pick when it fails. Tottenham Hotspur 2 Wigan Athletic 1.
Portsmouth v Manchester City: Hermann Hreidarsson looks set to return as Pedro Mendes will more than likely replace the banned Diop. Micah Richards appears ready to return. This could be the match of the weekend as Portsmouth can get goals, and with Manchester City's countering style should see plenty of the ball. With both sides getting quality chances on goal, this is a can't miss game. Fratton Park though will be the big equalizer. Portsmouth 2 Manchester City 1.
Reading v Arsenal: With as bad as Reading's defending is, this is going to be one very one sided match. I'm at the point now I don't feel bad for Marcus Hahnemann. The only question for Arsenal is how much do they take the 0-0 midweek out on this side. Reading 0 Arsenal 3.

See you all in the EPL Talk Chat!

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Johnathan Starling, the self proclaimed 'most brutally honest man on the net, dishes out his own unique brand of opinions, and analysis on the Premier League, Bundesliga, and all things US Soccer.

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