Weekend Preview: Will The Relegation Battle Sort Itself Out?

01 May 2009

This weekend in the Premier League for me is seeing if we will see those relegation spots sort themselves out. With the top four locked in their places, again the Premier League is only interesting at the bottom. So let's take a look at my thoughts.

On Setanta Sports from 7:45 am Saturday morning is Middlesbrough v Manchester United from the Riverside. Gareth Southgate claims he is safe even if Boro go down, I am not so sure about that. They will be without Pogatetz and will have to rely on a striker in Alves that has simply gone ice cold up front. Wes Brown returning for Manchester United will be a major boost for a side that will make a few changes to keep players fresh for their Tuesday night Champions League return leg. Middlesbrough are good for a top four shock at home a season...and they already have it against Liverpool. Expect Boro to close shop and hope for a draw and won't have a prayer in doing so. My Prediction: Middlesbrough 0 Manchester United 2

Setanta Sports will be airing Tottenham's 10 am clash with West Brom at 8:30 Saturday night. Jermain Defoe will make an emotional return after the death of his half-brother. Add Roman Pavlyuchenko who's back has healed to a Tottenham side taking on a very weak West Brom back line that will be without Meite and it spells disaster. Don't get me wrong, I think West Brom will put up one hell of a fight, but watch Scott Carson make a bigger mistake than Gomes to cost his side three points. My Prediction: Tottenham 2 West Brom 1

Setanta Sports airs Newcastle United's visit to Liverpool live Sunday morning at 8:30 am. Forgive me for not spending too much time on this one. Newcastle United have no chance. In fact I would recommend sleeping in or even going to church. My Prediction: Liverpool 4 Newcastle United 1

Fox Soccer Channel screen's Everton's trip to the Stadium of Light Sunday live at 11:00 am. This is a tough one to honestly call. Everton haven't won a match away in 2009, Sunderland were just taken behind the woodshed by West Brom of all teams. Yes it will be tight and cagey, but I don't expect to see a goal. My Prediction: Sunderland 0 Everton 0.

Setanta Sports airs Hull City's trip to Aston Villa Monday at 3 pm. Nothing much for me to say about this one except Hull City stays out of the relegation places because those below them are worse. Villa could probably sleep though the second half. My Prediction: Aston Villa 3 Hull City 0.

Quick Thoughts On The Other Games
If you're a gambling man, bet on Fulham to get a draw against Chelsea (Live 10:00 am on Setanta Sports). I think Chelsea will have their minds more drawn to their midweek Barcelona clash. My Prediction: Chelsea 1 Fulham 1.

I know the public are saying that Stoke City are safe, however I don't think Pulis thinks that way. With that in mind, I expect them to finish their quest to safety and beat West Ham at home this weekend (10 am Saturday, on Fox Soccer Channel at noon Saturday). My Prediction: Stoke City 1 West Ham United 0.

My gut says that Arsene Wenger will rest key players in their clash against Portsmouth live on FSC Saturday morning at 10:00 am. Even still, I only expect Portsmouth to get a point out of the battle. My Prediction: Portsmouth 1 Arsenal 1.

Setanta Sports Xtra airs Manchester City's home tie with Blackburn Rovers on Saturday at 10 am and on Setanta Sports at 6:45 pm. Call it a guy feeling, but I'm picking the mild upset. My Prediction: Manchester City 1 Blackburn Rovers 2.

And Finally, wake me when the highlights from MOTD are over between Wigan and Bolton's 10 am Saturday clash that will air on Fox Soccer Channel on Saturday 4:30 pm. My Prediction: Wigan Athletic 0 Bolton Wanderers 1.

Here's hoping to an exciting weekend of football!

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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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