Thankfully there are plenty of football matches this weekend to distract us pommes from our woeful cricket team and their Ashes humiliation. The Premier League has given us an absolute gem with Arsenal taking on Manchester United at the Emirates this weekend. While cross town rivals Manchester City look set to continue their winning ways against an underperforming West Ham. Many Hammers fans have already accepted their fate and are bracing themselves in the fetal position for the inevitable battering that's coming their way. So, despite the fact that the Premier League winners are starting to look as obvious as the Ashes winners, here is how I see this weekend's games going down.
Chelsea vs Newcastle
Seeing Newcastle get relegated made Chelsea fan’s heart’s sing: they always used to get an unexpected win against us and it is not beyond the realms of possibility that it will happen again. However, I don’t believe that it will, and my prediction is that Chelsea will win 3-0.
Stoke vs Swansea
Swansea needs to win, they are desperate for points, and Paul Clement is fast losing much of the goodwill that he built up last season. I don’t think that he has lost the dressing room yet, so I think that they will come up big for him, with Swansea winning 2-1.
Leicester vs Burnley
Leicester have recovered from their poor start and look set for mid-table obscurity, while Burnley surely can’t remain at the lofty heights that they have achieved so far. The fact that both teams are doing alright, would suggest to me that this game will end in a 1-1 draw, but if I am honest I could see this game going either way.
Everton vs Huddersfield
Everton are surely too good to go down? Despite the humiliating defeats, despite their poor form, despite shipping about 10 goals in a week they are surely too good to go down? If they are going to stay up, then they must beat Huddersfield at home and I reckon that they will: 2-0 Everton.
Brighton vs Liverpool
Brighton are tricky customers, and I don’t think that Liverpool is consistent enough to get 6 points from their two games: a bit like the England batting line-up, they are good one game and bad the next. However, I have predicted that they will fail to beat Stoke, meaning that I am saying that they will win this game 3-1: although, it could just as easily be the other way around.
West Brom vs Palace
West Brom seems to be trying to do things the Palace way, for some unknown reason, given the mess that Palace is in at the moment and most people are mystified that they think swapping Pulis for Pardew is a good idea. Still, Palace is pretty bad, so I think the teams will battle it out to a 1-1 draw, which will of course help neither.
Watford vs Tottenham
Much like the England cricket team, Tottenham is a bunch of chokers: as soon as things seem to be going their way, they will conspire to mess it up in some crazy way. Think how different the table would look if they hadn’t taken just 1 point from their past two winnable games. Watford will be another tough game and I fancy them to prevail in an exciting match: 3-2 Watford.
Arsenal vs Manchester United
In years gone by, this game would define where the title finished up, and the fact that it hasn’t for the past couple of years illustrates the decline of these two erstwhile giants. This year is different and both teams look like they might be in the conversation come Christmas, as long as City haven’t already won it by then. I think that Manchester United is good enough to beat Arsenal, however, given Mourinho’s attitude to the big games, thus far, it is hard to predict that United will even try to win. But, it is against Wenger, and we all know how much the two men dislike each other, meaning I am predicting that United get a massive 3-1 away win, catapulting them towards their top of the table clash with City.
Bournemouth vs Southampton
A derby match without any fire, between two mid-table teams who aren’t going anywhere slowly, I still think that this will be a good game. Bournemouth, who were bottom only a few games ago, have hit form and look too good to get relegated, while Southampton finally managed to score some goals against a lowly Everton. I am plucking for Bournemouth to win an exciting game 3-1, but in truth, it could go either way.
Manchester City vs West Ham
The only question that really matters in this game, is how many will City score, and I think that the answer is a lot, against a West Ham team that can’t defend. Provisionally I am going to say 6-1, but if I am being honest I wouldn’t be surprised if it went into double figures.