Saturday’s Premiership preview: 10/09/10


Thank god for that we can stop talking about Rooney and his effect on the England team and can start talking about…Rooney and his effect on the Man Utd team…

Everton V Manchester United

After surprising no-one here at TheFC100 by scoring first against Switzerland, Rooney will be Man Utd’s star man against Everton tomorrow in the early kick off on Sky Sports. The Everton fans quite rightly get stuck into Rooney whenever he returns to his boyhood club due to the fact he buggered off just after breaking onto the Everton first team in a big money move to Manchester. However he has stuck the boot in several times since with the usual badge-kissing, Moyes-bashing shenanigans and now the Everton fans will be relishing their chance to chant several brands of filthy at the former Toffee.

This game is more interesting in determining Rooney’s state of mind. The England fans gave him a great reception on Tuesday but tens of thousands will be doing their best to wind him up. That Everton have had a nightmare start to the season makes the pressure fall on both Rooney and Everton. A good start to the game for the home side is crucial, if they can get their noses in front and get Rooney and company frustrated then this could be a bad day for Man Utd fans. In fact, despite their problems so far, we fancy Everton to nick something here and we’ll throw in a card for Rooney at the same time
Prediction: Everton 2 Man Utd 1

Arsenal V Bolton

Arsenal have lost another few players for their game against Bolton (what are they feeding them at Arsenal, cereal with barbed wire?). Walcott, van Persie and Thomas Vaermaelen all miss out this weekend, however Samir Nasri could return from injury sustained against Liverpool on the opening day. Bolton are missing their inspirational keeper Jussi Jaskelaainen though, after the Finn was sent off last time out.

Arsenal will be particularly disappointed that Walcott has picked up an injury, given his recent excellent form. However youngster Jack Wilshere could return after changing England’s U21 game against Lithuania in midweek with his performance from the bench. Gary Cahill will be feeling good after seeing some game time for England, but Cahill’s team will need an inspirational performance from Adam Bogdan in his Premiership debut in goal.
Prediction: Arsenal 2 Bolton 0

West Ham V Chelsea

West Ham need something, anything from their clash against Chelsea to put to bed any doubts about Avram Grant’s tenure as boss of the club, with rumours about his future already circulating after just three games of the season. Scott Parker  has this week signed a new deal which will be a boost to the Hammers fans, while Kieron Dyer was named player of the month at the club after failing to pick up an injury in the opening three games.

Chelsea stars Frank Lampard and John Terry have seen their England stock fall after pulling out of the squad for the qualifiers with injury and seeing the hype start to build about their successors. The fact that they are both expected to be fit just four days after the Switzerland clash for the game against West Ham is unlikely to win them too many more fans so expect boos from the home support (Lampard expects them anyway as he always does).

Unfortunately for West Ham, they aren’t going to win this game. Chelsea are looking very strong. However an international break may make things harder for the Blues. Carlo Ancelotti would not have wanted the break after Chelsea steamrollered their opposition with a +14 goal difference in three games. This game may be tighter but Chelsea should emerge with their 100% record.
Prediction: West Ham 1 Chelsea 3

Elsewhere……

Newcastle hope to carry on their honeymoon period with home victory over Blackpool. Sol Campbell and Marseille playmaker Hatem Ben Arfa expect to be involved while Blackpool can call on new signing DJ Campbell after he completed a move from Leicester with a glowing endorsement from boss Ian Holloway. This could be a cracking game but Newcastle look to have that bit of swagger that means going forward they can do more damage.

Man City will look to get back to winning ways with a home game against Blackburn while Spurs injury problems mean Dawson and Defoe are out for the next two months at least. New signings Rafael van der Vaart and William Gallas should make their debuts in a tough away game against West Brom who have recovered well from an opening day 6-0 defeat to Chelsea. Steve Bruce brings Sunderland to his old side Wigan who secured an outstanding win at Spurs last time out. Ghana star Asamoah Gyan will start. Finally on Saturday, Fulham take on Wolves with Mark Hughes enjoying his second game at Craven Cottage as boss after last month’s enthralling 2-2 draw against Man Utd. Wolves have started the season well but we fancy Fulham to get their first victory under Hughes here.

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