Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Premiership Predictions--Midweek, Round 2

1. Tottenham vs. Everton (Tuesday, 3:00 PM, Setanta): Tottenham will be out to avenge their disappointing loss at Sunderland last weekend while Everton tries to build off a dominating performance against Wigan. Leighton Baines has been ruled out of the Everton lineup again due to injury, and the Toffees won only 4 away games in 2006-07. Tottenham have injury problems of their own, which forced them to field a less-than-optimal lineup against Sunderland. It'll be a raucous crowd at White Hart Lane but at the end of the day, it's not the fans that win games. Tottenham-1, Everton-1

2. Fulham vs. Bolton (Wednesday, 5:00 PM, FSC): This game involves teams seemingly headed in opposite directions. Fulham looked very impressive against Arsenal on Saturday and were unlucky to come out of the game without points but Bolton came out flat and got hammered (at home) by Newcastle, 3-1. Unfortunately for the Cottagers, David Healy probably won't be gifted another goal ths time around. El Hadji Diouf should start for Bolton as Kevin Davies and Ricardo Vaz Te are both injured and he could be the difference in what should be a low-scoring affair. Fulham-1, Bolton-1

3. Manchester City vs. Derby County (Wednesday, 2:45 PM, Setanta Xtra): Both teams achieved positive results over the weekend with Manchester City blanking West Ham on the road 2-0 and Derby coming back to get a 2-2 draw against Portsmouth. Sven-Goran Eriksson should be pleased with how well his new signings jelled together and found their rhythm. Play like that again and they shouldn't have too much of a problem against Derby, but it's tough to find consistency when you haven't played together for that long. I like Derby County and the feistyness and resolve they showed against Portsmouth, a better team than City. Manchester City-1, Derby County-1

4. Portsmouth vs. Manchester United (Wednesday, 2:45 PM, Setanta): It's the first game of two months' worth of matches without Wayne Rooney for Manchester United, but Carlos Tevez will make his first start for the Red Devils in this game. Portsmouth came out of Pride Park with a draw on the weekend and now they come home to Fratton Park, never an easy place to play (11 wins, 5 draws, 3 losses there in 2006-07) and the site of a 2-1 win over United last season. I think 'Arry's boys can make it two home wins in a row over the defending champions. Portsmouth-2, Manchester United-1

5. Birmingham City vs. Sunderland (Wednesday, 2:45 PM): I'm still shaking my head as to how Birmingham scored twice at Stamford Bridge last weekend. Sunderland beat Tottenham 1-0 on Michael Chopra's 2nd half injury time winner and will look to carry that momentum into St. Andrews. All I can say is, if Colin Doyle is in goal again for Birmingham, give this game to Sunderland. Keane-O, Keane-O!! Sunderland-2, Birmingham-0

6. Reading vs. Chelsea (Wednesday, 3:00 PM, FSC): I find it amazing that you can get a red card not even a minute after you came on the field, yet Dave Kitson found a way for Reading in their 0-0 draw with Manchester United on Sunday. The Royals sat 10, and then 9, men behind the ball and scratched out a point, while Chelsea took advantage of some horrific goalkeeping to beat Birmingham 3-2. Didier Drogba may start in this game after coming off the bench Sunday. Both teams like to grind out results and one thing is for sure: this will be an ugly, ugly game. Chelsea-1, Reading-0

7. Wigan Athletic vs. Middlesbrough (Wednesday, 3:00 PM): Here's another game that won't exactly be a glorious sight for viewers' eyes. Wigan had a chance to snatch a point at Everton over the weekend but came up short and Middlesbrough squandered a 1-0 lead in their home loss to Blackburn. Wigan were awful at the JJB last season (5 wins, 4 draws, 10 losses), but Middlesbrough were even worse on the road (2 wins, 7 draws, 10 losses). Ah yes, mediocrity at its finest. Wigan-0, Middlesbrough-0

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