Game Week numero uno in the Premier League and these are my predictions.
Arsenal vs Sunderland
All the chatter has been about the departure of Van Persie, but the more level headed in the audience may wish to dwell upon the arrivals of Olivier Giroud, Lukas Podoloski and Santi Cazorla which is about £40m worth of improvement into a side that finished as some of you might recall last time out finished top 4.
Sunderland haven’t spent a nickel, all the players that left them went to – without being overly unkind – no mark sides. Which is to say they didn’t even have any cherries worth picking.
Prediction? Possibly a gooner landslide 3-0 is 15/2.
Fulham vs Norwich
Poor old Martin Jol. Clint Dempsey has been struck down with ‘I’m Brilliant I Am Disease’ and is pulling the same sulky stunt as Modric. Dempsey looks half good at Fulham but the truth is so would my nan. In the wings waits Hugo Rodallega who could just do the business. Maybe.
Norwich were good value last season.Not so hot away from Carrow Road, but their fans travelled in number and it will be interesting to see if the series of low key/budget signings have been worthwhile. There’s a cut the mustard gag in there somewhere but I’m not going in looking for it.
Prediction? Fulham were occasionally perky last term but this Dempsey business will definitely have got under their skin. 1-1 is 6/1.
QPR vs Swansea
I was a quite pleased to see QPR come up. Loftus Road was one of the first away grounds I went to. But any charm soon wore off down to a whole host of issues. Hysterical pricing, Joey Barton er…Joey Barton. The fact they took Ryan Nelson and Rob Green in just about completes the picture of a side destined to get up your nose.
Their entire season was built around home form. So if that can be cracked I’d put a few sheckles on them getting relegated.
Swansea have been burgled. Manager gone. Joe Allen gone. Gylfi gone. Laudrup’s made some potentially canny low key signings. Jose Manuel Flores (Genoa), Jonathan de Guzman (Villarreal) Michu (Rayo Vallecano) but whether they sink or swim in the Premiership will ultimately decide if they were canny, or just moderately priced Euro trash. Prediction? A 1-1 draw awaits if Swansea haven’t already given up it’s 11/2.
Reading vs Stoke
Reading have been squirreling away a right old rag tag collection of transfer junk. Pierce Sweeney (Bray Wanderers), Danny Guthrie (Newcastle) Nicky Shorey (West Brom, free) and Chris Gunter (Nottingham Forest). Looks to me like they’re preparing to scrap it out. Presumably Stoke will play to type and hoof it up to 3MP. I won’t be frantically looking for a stream for this one Prediction? Stoke to nick it by a goal and 0-1 is 7/1.
West Brom vs Liverpool
West Brom’s ace in the pack for this and perhaps their entire season is Blue Racist loanee Romelu Lukaku. Liverpool fans will be fascinated to see what a Swanseapool side looks like in the flesh. If Rodgers really is planning to implement a revolution then this will be a big opportunity to show it off as West Brom are highly likely to be a quite gormless. Prediction? 1-3 is 14/1 possibly for a reason.
West Ham vs Aston Villa
How in the name of god do people follow rubbish clubs like this? West Ham are still trying to flog tickets for their first home game of the season. Yet they think they will fill Wembley. Absolute jokers.
Villa fans are still bemoaning the departure of Martin O’Neil. The ‘Ammers have of course spent the entire window so far linking themselves to every player going and in reality have signed the usual selection of inexpensive hackers. Villa’s premier signing is a £3m defender Ron Vlaar who took about a month to thrash out a deal for. Joyless, joyless, joyless clubs. Prediction? 0-0 is a banker at 9/1 sell furniture and invest in your children’s future.
Newcastle vs Spurs
Lots of ‘never an easy game’ mutterings coming from Spurs fans. The rage that will be unleashed online if we don’t at least get a draw will be a sight to behold. Newcastle haven’t really been very active in the market, Pards still saying he wants two or three more in before the close of play. But then he doesn’t have ‘t.b.a’ where his strikers names are.
With Defoe and van Der Vaart the only Tottenham men with passports state occupation as ‘Striker’ the onus will be on Bale to pull something out the hat here. Prediction? A shock win! 1-2 is 17/2 and would be a quality start.
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