This weekend sees all twenty Premier League teams in action and the highlight is far and away the North London derby between Arsenal and my club Tottenham. Honest, that will be the highlight. No bias. Well, no bias yet anyway.
Arsenal 2-2 Spurs
The two teams of North London always put on something of a show and I don’t expect the first derby of the season to be any different. Arsenal have had a pretty good defensive record up until last week’s 3-3 draw with Fulham and Spurs have been very up and down. Hopefully the loss of Jack Wilshere won’t affect the game too much and a 2-2 draw could be on the cards.
Liverpool 2-1 Wigan
With Liverpool only one place above Wigan in the Premisership table, this game is not as clear cut as it would normally be. Wigan scored a superb win away to Spurs a couple of weeks ago, but I would still marginally back Liverpool to take the win. It should be a good game of football with both Rodgers and Martinez favouring a passing game and Suarez should be the difference.
Man City 3-0 Aston Villa
City are just two points behind United at the top of the table and are going well. Villa, meanwhile, have been pretty toothless this season and I can’t see them breaching the home defence at the Etihad. City’s midfield will run riot and that should set up a comfortable win.
Newcastle 2-0 Swansea
Swansea are without a win in three games and I am afraid it looks like that run will continue. Newcastle, while erratic, are pretty strong at home and Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse should provide the firepower to cement the Magpies’ position in the top half of the table.
QPR 1-1 Southampton
6-pointer? Must-win? I know it’s only November but with QPR and Southampton five and four points from safety respectively, their form needs to pick up. Goals will be scored but I don’t think the Hoops will pick up their first win of the season yet.
Reading 1-3 Everton
Everton are unbeaten since the second game of the season and that run looks like continuing against a Reading side yet to win on their return to the top flight. Marouane Fellaini is in red hot form and England’s newest cap Leon Osman could inspire his team to victory.
West Brom 2-2 Chelsea
West Brom have been this season’s surprise package, with Steve Clarke excelling in his first season in the hotseat. Chelsea, after a superb start, have been on the slide a touch and with the loss of captain John Terry for three weeks, they could concede at the Hawthorns. Expect excitement, goals and a high-scoring draw.
Norwich 1-2 Man United
Manchester United’s defence has been unexpectedly porous this season but they have scored the highest number of away goals in the division so I anticipate an away win for the Red Devils, although Norwich should put up a bit of a fight.
Fulham 2-0 Sunderland
Sunderland have been poor this season and Martin Jol has marshalled Fulham into a difficult side to beat, especially at Craven Cottage. Following last weekend’s 3-3 draw with Arsenal, Fulham’s tails should be up for this match, with Sunderland set to extend their winless away run.
West Ham 2-1 Stoke
The Hammers have impressed on their return to the Premiership and should have enough to beat Stoke in East London. With Sam Allardyce and Tony Pulis in the respective dugouts, necks will probably be stuck in the ‘craned upwards’ position by 10pm Monday night.