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Midweek Premiership Preview: 13/08/07


For our 100th post……

After an entertaining first round of fixtures, the return of the Champions League qualifying campaign sees a reduced fixture list this coming midweek, although there are still important games on offer for viewers.

Liverpool face Toulouse on Wednesday afternoon, and their game against West Ham is thus postponed. Alan Curbishley will rue the clash of these fixtures as West Ham need to get back on a pitch fast to erase the memories of Saturdays capitulation to Man City. Arsenal avoid a tricky trip to Newcastle, who outplayed Bolton at the Reebok on Saturday, but face an equally tough test in an away first leg with Sparta Prague. With Edouardo and Adebayor likely to be missing from the squad, Wenger’s boys will surely be happy to come away with a draw.

In the Premiership on Tuesday, Spurs, who suffered a surprise last minute defeat to new boys Sunderland on Saturday, host Everton who seemed impressive in their win over Wigan. This is already a must win game for Spurs, as ridiculous as that sounds. Had it not been for their awful start last season, Spurs could have realistically challenged for fourth, maybe even third last season. As it was they were always playing catch-up, a result of numerous changes to the squad, in similar circumstances to this season. Jol was critical of his frontline of the slightly moody Berbatov and the more impressive Keane, and has hinted that Defoe and Bent will be given their chance against the Toffees on Tuesday. Everton will be looking for more from the inspirational Mikel Arteta, but boss David Moyes will surely be concerned as to where the goals are going to come from with both Vaughan and Cahill out injured. Andy Johnson will shoulder a lot of the responsibility, probably starting with a penalty on Tuesday.

Wednesday sees a cracker at St. Andrews as promoted teams Bimingham and Sunderland meet in what could be a feisty affair. Contrasting fortunes at the weekend mean Sunderland may be favourites, but Steve Bruce will be happy with how his team (bar Colin Doyle) played, and with the first game at home on Wednesday, expect Birmingham to be formidable opposition for Keane’s boys. Sunderland though, will be looking to get off to a flying Premiership start with a second win in two games. Reading proved last year that a good start is half the battle, and Keane will be reminding his players of the last time Sunderland were in the Premiership and didn’t do themselves justice.

Elsewhere, Portsmouth entertain Man Utd with Carlos Tevez set to make his long-anticipated debut for the away team. Rooney’s injury is a blow to Utd but expect the fiery forward to be back playing within six weeks. In the meantime, Tevez, Anderson and….John O’Shea (?) all come into contention for the striking roles, with Solskjaer and Saha perennial injury victims. Utd don’t enjoy playing at Fratton Park, in fact none of the big teams do, and Ferguson will be all too aware of their reverse to Portsmouth at this venue last year. Harry Redknapp’s team suffered a late equaliser to Derby on Saturday, while Utd were held to a disappointing 0-0 draw at home to Reading. Both teams will look to get their first win in Wednesdays encounter in what should be another entertaining encounter.

Reading host Chelsea, days after a trip to Old Trafford. Chelsea looked good on Sunday, but will find it tough to break down a better-organised team than Birmingham in Steve Coppell’s Reading.  Wigan host Middlesbrough, a game that could prove to be a battle between two relegation contenders. Wigan have a real battle on their hands this year and new boss Chris Hutchings will be desperate to get a first win under his belt. Middlesbrough, still looking to add Mido to their ranks, should perform with more confidence this season with manager Gareth Southgate entering his second year in charge. Fulham Vs Bolton has ‘worst game of the year’ written all over it, and with Kevin Davies ruled out for six weeks through injury, replacement and former Fulham man Heidar Helguson will be desperate to score on his return to Craven Cottage. Fulham should prove difficult to beat at the Cottage this season though as Lawrie Sanchez will try and recreate the siege mentality of Windsor Park (as well as taking all of Nortern Ireland’s players). Manchester City Vs Derby completes the list; Eriksson’s debut was an impressive one away to high-spending West Ham and few would bet against City doubling their points tally on Wednesday although Derby performed well against Portsmouth on Saturday and will be thrilled to secure their first point in the first game of the season.

Predictions:

  • Tottenham  V Everton….home win
  • Birmingham V Sunderland…..home win
  • Man City V Derby….draw
  • Fulham V Bolton….home win
  • Portsmouth V Man Utd….draw
  • Wigan V Middlesbrough…draw
  • Reading V Chelsea…away win


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  1. August 14, 2007 at 7:35 am

    come on man city!!!!!!!!!!!

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