Thursday, August 30, 2007

Week 4 preview and predictions:

Courtesy of the former Liverpudlian and BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson:


Bolton v Everton

It's an improving Bolton side against difficult-to-beat Everton.

A real doughty, northern derby, and I can only see one real outcome, a draw.

Prediction: 1-1

Fulham v Tottenham

Tottenham had a couple of decent results at Craven Cottage last season, and their performance at Old Trafford last week will give them heart.

Fulham certainly haven't had the rub of the green so far - poor old Lawrie Sanchez must be wondering what's he's done to deserve it.

Prediction: 1-2

Liverpool v Derby

So far this season in the Premier League, Derby have been so poor at the back, it's frightening.

Liverpool have now got strength in depth, and they'll be able to freshen up and change the team that beat Toulouse in the Champions League.

Prediction: 3-0

Middlesbrough v Birmingham

Mido has come in and lifted everyone at Middlesbrough, and made a big difference to the club. They're also getting one or two injured players back.

Birmingham will scrap and battle, as they know they will have to do all season long. I'm not expecting a classic match.

Prediction: 2-1

Newcastle v Wigan

It's been a good start for Chris Hutchings as Wigan have beaten the teams expected to be with them around the bottom of the table.

But I expect Newcastle to win, they're unbeaten and Sam Allardyce has got competition for places.

Prediction: 2-0

Reading v West Ham

West Ham have made a stuttering start but they also have personnel returning.

Reading had been quite phenomenal before Saturday's 3-0 defeat and I can see them getting back on track with a draw at the Madejski Stadium.

Prediction: 1-1

Man Utd v Sunderland (1715 BST)

The return of Roy Keane to Old Trafford. But he's now had a realisation of what it will take to stay in this division. He's addressed that by bringing in a few new players this week.

I expect Sunderland to battle and scrap as their manager did when he played, but Man United will just have too much quality.

Prediction: 2-0


Arsenal v Portsmouth (1330 BST)

It's been softly-softly, catchee monkey Arsenal, who have quietly made a good start and are just starting to click.

This will be a tough game for Portsmouth, coming so soon after their trip to Chelsea, where they played well without reward.

Prediction: 2-0

Blackburn v Man City (1500 BST)

I was impressed with the way Blackburn played at Everton. They get criticism at times, but they are a good team, with good players who work hard.

Man City have made a spectacular start, but this will be a tough test for them. I also think it will be a more open game than you might think.

Prediction: 2-1

Aston Villa v Chelsea (1600 BST)

Chelsea just have this amazing way of not getting beaten, they're strong through the middle and they know how to win.

If Villa sit back, Chelsea can dominate them, if they attack, Chelsea can hit them on the break.

Prediction: 1-2

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