Saturday Premier League Match Preview
A Saturday without Arsenal football simply means that I’d have to turn into a neutral spectator today and focus my mind on other proceedings in the Premier League. With the Gunners playing on Monday, there’s a lot of time for the lads to recharge their batteries and take on Swansea before that sweet encounter against Manchester United at Old Trafford coming up next week Sunday.
So what’s gonna happen today?
Everton begins the action with a lunch time kickoff against strugglers, Sunderland. The Black Cats continue to scrap for their Premier League lives and it’s a classic story of the same story every season for the club. Under Steve Bruce, Paolo di Canio, Gus Poyet and more recently, Dick Advocaat, Sunderland has always been battling on relegation waters and a time would come when they’d get caught up in the mix, especially with the forms of teams above them.
After Everton locks horns with West Brom, there would be five games on the bounce with viewers spoiled for choice on the game they intend to watch.
Aston Villa would want to continue their resurgence against West Ham and quite frankly, the Villans recent performances has given me a cause for concern in the upcoming FA Cup final with them. Tim Sherwood has converted them to an attacking force and Christian Benteke is back to his scoring best again, after such a torrid spell under Paul Lambert when he returned from his long-term injury.
Hull vs. Burnley will be a relegation six pointer for both sides. The Tigers had picked up some good form with back to back wins over Crystal Palace and Liverpool but their progress was halted by Arsenal last week Monday. Burnley comes to town with the Clarets staring relegation in the face so I expect a very feisty encounter at the DW Stadium.
Leicester City is one of the form teams in the Premier League, winning four of their last five games. The Foxes were rooted to the bottom of the table for a considerable chunk of the season but Nigel Pearson’s men found the best possible time to pick some great form and they’re currently 16th on the table. The Foxes are set to welcome a Southampton side that has struggled to pick up points in recent weeks and have become a mere shadow of the side that was second for many weeks. The Saints would be hoping that Arsenal does them a favor by beating Aston Villa in the FA Cup so that they could get a chance of going to Europe next season.
Newcastle would hoping to end the rot at home to Weat Brom today. John Carver hopes of getting the job on a permanent basis will be severely dented by the fact that the Magpies have lost eight consecutive games which has seen them creep slowly into the drop zone. They come up against a West Brom still buzzing from their huge victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford. Boaz Myhill put up an outstanding performance on the day and with that form it would be hard for the Magpies to get past him.
Those Spurs from the lane are going to face a Stoke side with a formidable home record and Charlie Adam hitting the back pages for all the right reasons. With Liverpool not playing till tomorrow, Tottenham would have a chance to put them under some pressure as a win would see them go level on points with the Reds but Brendan Rodgers men have a better goal difference. Tottenham would still have faint hopes of qualifying for the Champions League in the wake of Manchester United’s poor form.
Finally, the proceedings will end when Crystal Palace and Manchester United play at Selhurst Park. Alan Pardew began his Eagles career like a house on fire but he has lost three games on the bounce. Like Crystal Palace, Manchester United is also in very poor form so its going to be very interesting to see how these teams play each other.
Well, that’s a wrap.