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All eyes on the lane as Premier League resumes

September 11, 2009
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Ferdinand could be back to boost United

Ferdinand could be back to boost United

Attention has turned back to the Premier League for this weekend following a 2 week break for the International schedule. A great week for England finishes with the news that centre-half Rio Ferdinand could be back to face Tottenham at White Hart Lane tomorrow. Ferdinand will no doubt be keen to stake his claim to be included back into Fab Cap’s team.

Spurs go into the match with the reigning champions with a 100% this season under Harry, and this is without question their biggest test yet. A backline that continues to be questioned faces up to a bang in-form Wayne Rooney, and a Dimitar Berbatov just starting to find his feet at Old Trafford. No doubt he’ll be receiving a mixed reception on his return to the club he was so prolific for.

Spurs, of course, have their own in-form striker in Jermain Defoe, who despite having little impact in midweek against Croatia, has netted 4 times in the opening 3 PL games, including a hatrick against Hull City at the KC Stadium. With United’s backline experiencing a few injury worries recently, Defoe will be hungry for more, but should Ferdinand make a return, even a striker of Defoe’s obvious ability will have a tough time. Rio may not be at his fittest however, which could allow Defoe to use his pace and exploit that slight weakness.

A pretty even contest looks on the cards then, with two sides renowned for scoring plenty of goals.

Prediction: 2-1

Struggling Portsmouth have a massive game at home to Bolton, a clear 6-pointer there. Should Pompey fail to bag their first 3 points of the season against their fellow-strugglers, big questions will be asked about Paul Hart’s position. Not given a huge budget, but at the same time not a poultry one, Hart has failed to get his boys firing so far, and after losing Glen Johnson, Jermain Pennant, and now Niko Krancjar in the transfer window, their squad lacks the depth to be able to break into the top half.

As for Bolton, their form in front of goal is leaving much to be desired. The much hyped, yet disappointing Johan Elmander is looking dreadfully short of confidence, and they’re struggling to provide many chances either, without the likes of Kevin Nolan in the side. A long hard season looks on the cards or both these sides.

Prediction: 0-0

Another 6-pointer at Ewood park sees Sam Allardyce’s Blackburn taking on resilient Wolves, who have made a decent, yet not spectacular start to their new PL campaign. Andy Keogh’s header at Wigan ensured their only win of the season so far, but a positive, confident display against Rovers this weekend may just see them secure a very handy win.

Prediction: 0-1

Wigan Athletic have had a mixed start to the new season, impressively defeating Aston Villa on the opening day before being beaten by Wolves and hammered by United at the newly named DW Stadium. Hugo Rodallega is the man to watch for the Latics, impressing most with his pace and agility as well as THAT strike at Villa Park.

They take on West Ham at the DW tomorrow who themselves have had an interesting start to the season, perhaps marred by the events of two weeks ago – violent crowd trouble in the League Cup against Millwall overshadowed a good cup win. 3 points here would be very welcome, although a point wouldn’t be a disaster.

Prediction: 1-1

Rafa Benitez’s Liverpool play host to Burnley who have shocked everyone with their enigmatic forward play and not least their brilliant defeat of United at Turf Moor. Another huge test for Owen Coyle’s men, against a Liverpool who will be looking to make up for a beleaguered start to the campaign.

Prediction: 3-0

Chelsea travel to the hostile Britannia stadium to take on a Stoke side exceeding expectations. Carrying on from a very good season last term, Pulis’s boys have looked equally solid, apart from the one setback at Anfield a few weeks ago. You wouldn’t bet against City claiming at least a point in this one.

Prediction: 0-1

Not one of the weekends immediate highlights, but Sunderland v Hull should still provide us with some entertainment. Since acquiring American teenager Jozy Altidore from Villarreal, Hull look rejuvenated, whereas Sunderland’s start to the season has been mightily impressive. Steve Bruce has built a decent unit at the Stadium of Light, and another 3 points here would consolidate their position well inside the top half of the table at this very early stage.

Prediction: 2-2

Last but my no means least is the biggy on the blue side of Manchester. Arsenal are the visitors to Eastlands, to take on a Manchester City side boasting Carlos Tevez and former Gunner Emmanuel Adebayor amongst their starting XI.

Arsenal’s lack of depth in the central of defence may prove a problem, although William Gallas and Thomas Vermaelen have looked more than solid so far. Goals won’t be a problem, that’s for sure, with Arsenal hitting six against Everton followed by four against Pompey the following week. Definitely one for the neutrals.

Prediction: 2-2

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. September 11, 2009 3:56 pm

    United to lose? HAHA

    • Shallowgirl permalink
      September 12, 2009 7:22 am

      “And can I assure Mrs Soandso from Wales, that there is definitely no hurricane on the way!”

  2. September 11, 2009 4:00 pm

    Arsenal without Arshavin to Draw against A team that has spent over 100mill this Summer? Doubt it too…..

    theres a correction there- Tevez is not playing, He’s injured……

  3. maserati4200 permalink
    September 11, 2009 4:01 pm

    Vidic doesn’t like forwards with pace and movement and Rio is inclined to nod off from time to time. The flip side is that Spurs’ defensive qualities are still a worry.

    Modric is a big loss. Up front Defoe is on fire, so is Rooney.

    Predition: A low scoring draw – 1 each.

    Some on you Spurs!!

    • maserati4200 permalink
      September 11, 2009 4:11 pm

      Bugger!

      Meant to say “Come on you Spurs” – soz!!

  4. September 11, 2009 5:54 pm

    Battle between the team I love, and the team I occasionally support in CL (since Spurs never make it!)

    Its definitely not one of those occasions!

    So come on you Spurs!

  5. George permalink
    September 11, 2009 8:45 pm

    I have a feeling United will lose, yes.
    Losing Arshavin is a blow for Arsenal but that doesn’t mean they’re going to lose.. They’re in great form, scoring goals, and look solid at the back.

  6. September 12, 2009 4:17 am

    I hope this is not one of those occasions when Spurs get robbed of a goal when it clearly crossed the line, or when we go 2-0 or 3-0 up and end up conceding 4 or more goals. Its happened b4 I tell ya. Everytime against Man Utd.

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