Well here we are then ladies. This week’s runners, riders and me the mug punter’s mug punter guiding you down the quickest path to bankruptcy and daytime drinking.
Arsenal vs Tottingham Hotspur
This is rapidly becoming an game of last man standing. We know who we are without. This is Arsene Wenger on his own physio room woes: “Apart from long-term injuries I get a bit confused because we have so many players who come back with injuries or small injuries. We need to see how they are today. Szczesny, Sagna, Walcott, Chamberlain, Arteta, Giroud – there are so many – I think I will need a few doctors this morning.Arteta has a little hip problem and Giroud has come back with a hamstring and calf problem.”
So what’s the prediction? I said 5-5 on the podcast and I’ve no inclination to try and guess again. Our problem beyond having an iffy midfield will be playing for the full 95 minutes or whatever we get.
Liverpool vs Wigan
Two of the greatest football managers in living memory go head to head in what experts are already calling ‘the three o’clock game at Anfield.’ Bob Martinez travels still with the scent of his last away win fresh in his hooter.
David Brentdon Rodgers is unbeaten in 6 and has perfected talking to the press in deep, reverential and breathtakingly over sincere tones. The Rodgers drinking game ‘hot words’ are ‘respectful’, ‘fans’, ‘tradition’, ‘belief’ and ‘felch’.
This has a barely legible 1-1 through it like a morbidly dull past it’s sell by date, bit chipped and the wrapper coming away stick of rock.
Manchester City vs Aston Villa
Villa mope 5th from bottom. A bit early for a relegation scrap but if they think they have more to offer the world than the likes of QPR, Reading or Southampton they might be in for a shock. City have yet to click through the gears. Which if you are sitting second in the Premier League ain’t no disaster. Predicting a walloping is hardly the work of a genius. Prediction 2-1.
Newcastle United vs Swansea City
Alan Pardew is looking more and more Phillip Schofield’s older brother. The one that went into a different strand of show business. Think £10 for a room temperature bottle of beer, £15 for a flute of something fizzy being passed of as Champagne. Micheal Laudrup looks like an area manager for Knickerbox. This game looks like a 2-2 draw.
QPR vs Southampton
For those who delight in slowing down to gawp at car crashes and significantly sized bits of roadkill etc this is a much watch. Who’ll win? Dunno. What is 100% nailed on is that the post match presser from the losing manager will be the prayer of a condemned man. My perception is that Saints fans don’t want Adkins’ head on a plate. They’ve just kinda overshot the club’s abilities. Mark Hughes could be replaced by Henry James Redknapp before he gets home and has a chance to start necking whiskey out of the bottle. Prediction? 1-1.
Reading vs Everton
The unchecked arrogance of some Spurs fans kills me. That David Moyes would’ve sacked off Everton and joined us if Levy & Co. had clicked a finger. Yeah, right. Critics of AVB might wish to wait until the poor schmuck has a proper first XI to field. But until then Moyes is a darling. McDermott will have his work cut out. Prediction 1-2.
West Brom vs Chelsea
Funny old game, eh? Steve Clarke is a man who like say Roy Hodgson – despite a decent CV – has slipped under the radar. Yet 11 games in and with 20 points under his belt it’s not looking like a fluke. The Blue Racists have already won away at Spurs and Arsenal so this will be what we call in the trade, ‘interesting’. Prediction 1-2.
Norwich vs Manchester United
Clipboard Chris takes on the most successful functional alcoholic ever or at least he’s up there with the bloke who devised the 20 Chilli Cheese Bites box for Burger King. Prediction? I’d love a 2-2, but it won’t happen. 1-4
The Sunday games – tomorrow.