West Ham United v Fulham: 2-2
West Ham will be smarting from a game in which they were vastly outplayed at the Liberty stadium. The Hammers are not the most intricate passing team so they may need to rely on putting themselves about to worry Fulham.
The signing of Andy Carroll will form a formidable partnership with Cole but will he make his debut tomorrow? Will the pair even be played together as they display similar abilities? I assume the answer will be yes regardless as the team play to the strengths of their strikers.
Fulham have played well in their opening two games but have lost a big impact player in Moussa Dembele. The Cottagers have vastly more players departing than coming in which will be a worry for their fans. Their final day of transfer dealings may reroute this result.
Swansea City v Sunderland: 3-1
If the Swans could maintain this early season form, they could better their league position of last season. What the previous managers had them doing down at the Liberty hasn’t gone even with the exodus of several backroom members.
Unlike last season, however, their possession football seems to be translating into goals all of a sudden with the signing of Michu acting as a major catalyst for the goal glut.
Sunderland have had a week off with the postponement of their match against Reading. In midweek, they turned their attentions to the Capital One Cup in which they beat League Two side, Morecambe at the Stadium of Light. It’s lowly opposition but a confidence booster.
Wigan Athletic v Stoke City: 2-0
Wigan were immense away to Nottingham Forrest on Tuesday.
They have lost a big player in Moses but have shown signs that they will be able to cope without him. It’s still early doors though and I expect that the Nigerian international’s presence will not be sufficiently replaced anytime soon by a club like Wigan. I believe even Martinez conceded this possibility.
Stoke are struggling to find a potent attacking force with Crouch and Walters yet to get off the mark and Stoke’s lack of creativity in midfield is well documented, bordering on legendary. They have completed the signing of Charlie Adam which will definitely add some ingenuity in the middle of the park but Stoke just don’t have enough to trouble teams offensively this season for me.
Tottenham Hotspur v Norwich City: 3-1
Spurs have bolstered with the impressive signing of Dembele. Slowly they are filling the gap that was left by Luka Modric. It’s predicted that they have a busy transfer deadline day ahead of them and if there is any substance in half of the names being linked to White Hart Lane, then those associated with the club will be very excited.
Spurs always look like scoring with their potency in attack whilst Norwich always look like conceding. Norwich now have a really good player in Javi Garrido – who many will remember from his time playing for Manchester City – so their defence is slowly improving.
Hughton’s side just about beat Scunthorpe but they won’t get their first Premiership win at the Lane.
West Bromwich Albion v Everton: 2-0
Going for a shock result here considering Everton’s recent form. Yet, it’s not much of a shock if you consider West Brom’s form has been pretty good too.
Everton have a strong attack with Jelavic, Fellaini, Pienaar and Osman but Steve Clarke’s side appear to have a defence designed to counteract their big frontline with each defender well over 6ft. Unless Everton show the guile and precision to play through the eye of a needle, they may struggle to score.
West Brom have tallied two arguably even better results than Everton against Liverpool and Spurs away. It’s a battle of two of the early in form teams.
Manchester City v Queens Park Rangers: 2-0
A rerun of last year’s dramatic closer except you’d never think QPR were the same team with all the changes they have rung in. With the completed signing of Esteban Granero, the Hoops have now made an entire starting eleven of transfers this summer. Speaking of Granero, the former Real Madrid defensive midfielder – nicknamed ‘El Pirata’ (The Pirate) – will have to be at his swashbuckling best in order to nullify the threat of the City midfield.
After conceding another two goals in City’s match against Liverpool, Mancini will work hard to prevent his team’s growing habit of having to come from behind to get something from matches. The defensively-obsessed Italian was left seething after the match at Anfield, displaying more irritation at his team’s defensive frailties than Rodgers did at two schoolboy errors made Kelly and Skrtel.
QPR have been unable to contain neither Swansea’s or Norwich’s attacks – how will they cope against the likes of Tevez, Silva, Nasri and Yaya for 90 minutes?
Liverpool v Arsenal: 2-1
Liverpool were desperately unlucky not to leave Anfield with all three points over the champions last weekend. One thing about Brendan Rodgers is that he analyses every incompatible detail within his team’s setup. He would have made serious notes regarding Skrtel’s mistake and he will know that it came in accordance with sticking to his passing philosophy.
The Merseysiders are still shockingly lax in front of goal - a feature they once again showed against Hearts on Thursday night - but if they can fix that, they will definitely win this tie, in my opinion. It may only be fixed by purchasing a more free-scoring striker which Rodgers looks set to do today. Who it will be is still subject to speculation, however.
Goalscoring profligacy seems to have leaked over to Arsenal who are struggling to find the net without RVP. They’ll break that duck on Sunday but it will not be enough.
Southampton v Manchester United: 1-2
RVP is off the mark so there’s no telling what heights his abilities will reach in 2012/13. United fans have already taken immediately to him – so much so that they seem unperturbed by the lengthy loss of Wayne Rooney.
United are uncharacteristically leaky at the back whilst still coping with a excess of injuries to key players. With Kagawa and Van Persie on their best form, the Red Devils will have too much in attack for the Saints’ young defence.
Rickie Lambert to score if he plays.
Newcastle United v Aston Villa: 2-0
Villa’s current form looks like they are good early bets for relegation. The Villans couldn’t have imagined that they would struggling this much come the start of the season.
Newcastle have been relatively quiet in the market by their standards. Mark Ashley appears to be unwilling to aid Pardew financially whilst the teams around them are ringing in the numbers. As a consequence, Newcastle could see themselves pushed out even further than they were in the final months of the prior campaign.
Still, even without the lack of additions, they already have too much quality to not win against an unimpressive Villa team. Cisse, Ba and Ben Arfa will give Lambert’s side a torrid time.
Let us know your predictions ahead of the weekend...
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