Premier League Preview: Curious Tests Await the Manchester Sides

04 October 2013

Before I begin, I want to apologize for the lack of posting over the last week. I've been a little bit under the weather. I cannot promise normal service next week either as life has gotten in the way of what I love to do. I will try and get something up this weekend, but I can't promise it. If you want my thoughts on the games I can follow as they happen, check out my Twitter feed throughout the weekend. With that said, onto my thoughts and predictions on this weekend's fixtures.

Kickoff times are EDT. PLET stands for Premier League Extra Time. All games available on NBC Live Extra. Check your provider for availability.

Manchester City v Everton (Saturday 7:45 am, NBCSN): I expect Joe Hart to start this weekend. Another saving grace for the hosts is that Gareth Barry cannot play for Everton this weekend. With the form Barkley and Lukaku are in, I can't pick Manchester City to win. However, I see Everton's unbeaten run continuing with a draw. Prediction: Manchester City 1 Everton 1

Liverpool v Crystal Palace (Saturday 10:00 am, NBCSN): This could be the easiest preview I write. With the Sturridge to Suarez combination already in perfect sync, it's going to be an extremely long afternoon for Ian Holloway's side. I see no way Palace score. Prediction: Liverpool 4 Crystal Palace 0

Hull City v Aston Villa (Saturday 10:00 am, PLET): I see Stephen Quinn replacing Robbie Brady for Hull City, while Benteke is still out for Aston Villa. I expect this to be a stalemate of the ugliest sort. I do expect Aston Villa though to get the breakthrough and get another three away points this season. Prediction: Hull City 0 Aston Villa 1

Cardiff City v Newcastle United (Saturday 10:00 am, PLET): With Newcastle having faced back to back 3-2 defeats, they must be hoping Cabaye can play from the start. His inclusion made the difference against Everton, and I expect it to be the difference here. David Marshall has had a bit of a blinding two weeks. However, I don't expect that to continue this weekend. Prediction: Cardiff City 1 Newcastle United 2

Fulham v Stoke City (Saturday 10:00 am, PLET): If Fulham cannot beat Stoke City at home this weekend, then I will join the ever growing chorus asking for Martin Jol to be sacked. I have a bad feeling for Fulham fans I'll be joining that chorus by noon on Saturday. Fulham have key players injured (Hughes, and Parker come to mind), while Stoke City only have Walters to worry about. I expect this to be another dodgy game. Stoke City are still in transition, but Fulham are in full-fledged free fall. While it won't be easy, I do expect the score line to look a little more comfortable than the 90 minutes will reflect. Prediction: Fulham 0 Stoke City 2

Sunderland v Manchester United (Saturday 12:30 pm, NBCSN): It just continues to get worse for Manchester United. Back to back losses, matched with a poorly played draw midweek, see the visitors needing a desperate three points just to kick start their season. While it may be quaint to say 'at least they are playing the side that are bottom of the table', Sunderland played with a fight last week that hasn't been seen all season. If Kevin Ball wants to be a serious candidate for the job on a permanent basis, it wouldn't hurt to get a result in this game. Unfortunately I just don't see that happening. In a sense, I expect this to be a repeat of last week's fixture. Sunderland will get forward, but Manchester United will get enough goals to win. Prediction: Sunderland 1 Manchester United 2

Norwich City v Chelsea (Sunday 8:30 am, NBCSN): While this game is on the road, I could see this playing out almost identically to how Chelsea's opening fixture against Hull City played out. By the time Norwich City start to play football, this game could easily already be over. Jose Mourinho has finally woken up to what Juan Mata brings to the squad, but he'll wish Samuel Eto'o would play to the non scratching levels Fernando Torres had been lately. Prediction: Norwich City 0 Chelsea 2

Southampton v Swansea City (Sunday 8:30 am, PLET): Southampton have been a dark horse this season, with only bad performance to their name. Swansea City are slowly adapting positively to their new European scheduling. Southampton's fixtures slowly get more competitive from here, so it will be curious to see if they their defense can keep up their greedy goals against record (only conceded two goals so far this season). Unfortunately, I don't see that happening here. This is a Swansea side that can score goals; it will just be a matter of if Southampton can keep up? I expect this to be the most exciting game of the weekend. Prediction: Southampton 2 Swansea City 2

West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal (Sunday 11:00 am, NBCSN): What a perfect opponent for West Bromwich Albion to have a major letdown against. Arsenal is flying high, and with a makeshift front line, this is going to be one long early evening for the hosts. Ozil has taken to the Arsenal way like a glove, and I expect him to have easier than normal distribution. Long story short, I see this over with by halftime. Prediction: West Bromwich Albion 1 Arsenal 3

Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United (Sunday 11:00 am, PLET): Tottenham may have a few injuries, but with Andy Carroll not in West Ham's lineup, I don't see them scoring against Tottenham's brick wall defense. The only question I have is how many Spurs will score themselves? I see one in each half. Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 2 West Ham United 0

These are my thoughts/predictions on this weekend. What are yours? Let me know in the comments below.

1 comments:

todd mintz October 4, 2013 at 10:36 PM  

I agreed on 7 of the 10. I like Cardiff to frustrate with the tight organization and Defense and get the 3 points. I see Man City and Fulham getting STATEMENT victories. A rough week for City. Everton has done great but no Barry will hurt. I think Man City is due for an explosion. Look for a big game from Aguero I see a easy Man City win. I also will see a bit of payback for Fulham against ex Boss Mark Hughes. I see Fulham having a spirited win to take some heat off Jol.

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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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