EPL: Who you pickin’ for the weekend?

West Ham United vs. Manchester City
10am EST, FSC

Both teams spent a crapload and look to reap the benefits. Overall, the new Citeh boys have looked quite effective so far – with plenty of secret weapons in tow. Martin Petrov, Gelson Fernandes, and Geovanni have shown promise but Rolando Bianchi is easily the star of the bunch. Valeri Bojinov, Vedran Corluka, and Javi Garrido could . The Hammers haven’t brought in anything particularly foreign to the Premiership – Scott Parker, Marlon Harewood, etc. My guess is that this year’s big breakout will be a Hammer – former Watford man – Ashley Young.

Prediction: Man City 2, WHU 1 – Bianchi and want-away Samaras grab the goals. West Ham’s Young grabs the consolation goal.

Aston Villa vs. Liverpool
12pm EST, FSC

After watching the first test for Sven Goran Eriksson’s shopping spree, you should watch the same of Rafa Benitez’s. Quite possibly the best contest of the day, it will be interesting to see Torres and Kuyt against the unchanged Villa backline. Villa is still pissed they missed out on Craig Gordon – especially to recently promoted Sunderland – and as Sorensen won’t be ready to go, you’ll see Stuart Taylor in goal. The Reds could potentially take advantage. Along with Ashley Young above, Gabrial Agbonlahor looks to avoid a sophomore slump after a great 12-goal breakout season.

Prediction: Liverpool 2-1, Agbonlahor grabs the first but Torres and Gerrard respond furtively

Derby vs. Portsmouth
2:30om EST, FSC

As Benny Feilhaber has clearance, will he be in a Derby County kit ready to contribute come Saturday? Most likely not, but we’ll see. He should see significant time right away, especially since boss Billy Davies has said that the Rams are less than 75% of his required ‘quality rate’. It should be a troublesome first couple games (i.e. season) for Derby and the first match-up will see Dave Nugent and John Utaka trying to establish themselves immediately in the Premiership. I fully expect them to do so. A reinvigorated Sol Campbell – on the national team radar yet again – will lead a Pompey backline, even without an injured Linvoy Primus.

Prediction: Portsmouth 1-0…the goals don’t come in droves for either team, but Pompey grabs the only one that matters…Kanu does what he’s got to do.

Sunday, August 12th

Arsenal vs. Fulham
7:00am EST, FSC

Fulham always seems to get the results against the big teams – often falling to the fellow strugglers. Brian McBride has been named outright captain of the Cottager squad and, as it stands, all three Americans could make the start against Arsenal. The Gunners will start their post-Henry era and it could go either way. With William Gallas and Kolo Toure in the back, I’d say at least you have a defense to count on. The thought of Hamuer Bouazza and Clint Dempsey on the same field together makes me a happy man.

Prediction: Fulham 2-1, Diomansy Kamara and McBride shoot Fulham ahead.

Reading vs. Manchester United
11am EST, FSC

At not one point this pre-season did the Red Devils look vulnerable…(except against Italian teams). Rooney and Ronaldo look to be ready to go – while Giggs doesn’t look a step older. For Reading the absence of Leroy Lita is crucial (out with an injury from ‘stretching in bed’), as Kevin Doyle and Dave Kitson will most likely be swallowed up by the size and tackling of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand. The saving grace could be the return of Bobby Convey, who has not completely regained form but has certainly look presentable in his first preseason games back – scoring 2 goals.

Prediction: 2-0, Man Utd – Rooney and Ronaldo strike.

Other games (not televised in the US)…

Tottenham vs. Sunderland
Everton vs. Wigan
Middlesbrough vs. Blackburn
Bolton vs. Newcastle
Chelsea vs. Birmingham City

What match-ups you looking forward to the most?

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3 Responses

  1. I’m looking forward to Newcastle, which IS televised in the US on Setanta!

  2. I’m going

    West Ham
    Liverpool
    Portsmouth
    Arsenal
    Man U
    Draw Tottenham Sunderland
    Everton
    Blackburn
    Newcastle
    Chelsea

  3. you lucky souls that have it or can get to a bar to see it………enjoyyyy. i’m gonna like that Tottenham/Sunderland match-up. the spurs normally start out slow and it’s keane’s premiership managerial debut. good stuff…

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