Both teams are languishing at the foot of the table on five points hoping for a second win of the season. Erratic Wigan are looking for their first win on home soil in the new campaign, having only notched up a point to Sunderland at the DW stadium. Six games in, and Roberto Mancini’s side have only managed to score two goals whilst conceding thirteen.
Wolves are in a similar predicament as they search for their second win of the season. Mick McCarthy’s men travel to Wigan on the back of three defeats. Their rate for conceding is far less alarming, though holding on to a lead has proved far more problematic. Nevertheless:
Wigan 0 – 2 Wolves
Birmingham go into this game ruing the loss leading scorer Craig Gardner who is suspended following the straight red received in last weeks draw at home to Wigan. Alex McLeish’s side hope to build on the unbeaten run of 18 Premier League matches at home that they’ve amassed.
David Moyes’ side have still yet to win a game this season, despite that tantalising draw at home to Manchester United. The Toffees looked like they were going to steal the three points last week and would have had it not been for the fine acrobatics of Mark Schwarzer. I’ve got a feeling they’ll break their duck this week in a tight encounter.
Birmingham 0 – 1 Everton
Victory at St. James’ Park gave Tony Pulis’ side their second win of the season, and Kenwyne Jones his fourth goal in four games. The Trinidadian looked a constant threat against Newcastle, and could be the difference between the two physical sides.
It’s probably not going to be the prettiest of games, but my thoughts suggest that there could be a few goals. Sam Allardyce will no doubt have his ‘Galacticos’ well organised, and in his eyes victory will be the only possible outcome. Well Big Sam, I’m going to be against you.
Stoke 3 – 1 Blackburn
It’s been a while since Sunderland beat Manchester United at home in the league. 13 years to be precise. The Black Cats were still playing their football at Roker Park, and Peter Reid was still in charge. In fact, it’s the only victory Sunderland have had over Manchester United in the league whilst Fergie’s been in charge.
Steve Bruce’s men have done alright so far, especially against the ‘top’ teams. Beating Manchester City and collecting a point each from a home game to Arsenal and an away draw to Liverpool respectively. Darren Bent has hit the back of the net five time already in the new campaign, with Asamoah Gyan the only other Sunderland player to score this season. The Black Cats will be without Danny Welbeck, ineligible for the match.
Manchester United haven’t reached their high standards away from home so far with Bolton, Everton and Fulham keeping the Reds at bay. Nani and Berbatov will pose the biggest threat to the Sunderland defence.
Sunderland 1 – 1 Manchester United
Following their big European win midweek, Tottenham could suffer from tired legs with Ledley King struggling to start against Villa. ‘Arry’s boys will hope to extinguish any momentum gathered by Gerard Houllier’s first game and first win in charge of the Villains last week.
The last time Villa attained successive victories was back in April. Houllier’s honeymoon period could take a dent at White Hart Lane, but the return of John Carew and Richard Dunne from injury could be a boost.
Tottenham 2 – 1 Aston Villa
Roberto Di Matteo’s side will have to be on guard as Bolton look to bring West Brom back down to earth following last weeks victory over Arsenal. The Baggies are unbeaten at home following victories against Sunderland and Birmingham, and a draw to Tottenham.
Owen Coyle’s men will also be full to the brim with confidence after their more than convincing draw to Manchester United last week. Having only been beaten once this season, Bolton search for their second win in a game that I think has a bore draw written all over it. But that’s just my opinion.
West Brom 0 – 0 Bolton
The Hammers have steadily learnt how to win games again and they go into this all-London fixture with perhaps the more confidence of the two sides. Scott Parker will hope to continue his good form to lead West Ham out of the relegation zone.
Fulham are still unbeaten this season, but have only managed a single victory so far. Without Demele, Johnson and Zamora upfront, the Cottagers look weak up front. Goals might be hard to come by upfront, but Fulham certainly have goals in midfield and have the ability to break up West Ham’s flow.
West Ham 1 – 1 Fulham
Mancini’s team go into this game off the back of a victory against the current league champions. They also haven’t lost at home this season.
Having lost at home to Stoke last week, Chris Hughton will expect the same character that Newcastle showed when they beat Everton following a defeat to Blackpool a week earlier. James Milner faces his former team, whilst Shay Given looks set to watch from the bench.
Manchester City 3 – 0 Newcastle
The Reds know that they rode their luck last week as they hope to take the negative speculation surrounding the uncertain future of the club and replace it with a convincing win over Blackpool. Another sit-in protest will follow the 90 minutes.
Blackpool face a slump after a positive start to the season has been tainted with two defeats. The Tangerines have produced their best football away from home, and with Roy Hodgson’s team bereft of any confidence, it could be the perfect opportunity for Blackpool to get back on track. Though common sense tells me:
Liverpool 2 – 0 Blackpool
Best saved until last. The ‘Super Sunday’ game will separate the men from the boys as both sides go into this fixture on the back of defeats. Chelsea’s was a bit more dignified considering they were beaten by a proposed title contender.
Arsenal on the other hand were well beaten, at home, to a newly promoted West Brom. The draw at the Stadium of Light seemed to have knocked the Gunners of course as they were a shadow of the team that beat Braga 6 – 0 in the Champions League. With Fabianski set to replace the injured Almunia between the sticks, it could look like yet another high scoring game for the home team.
Chelsea 3 – 0 Arsenal
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