September 14, 2012
Having an international break this early in the English Premier League season might be frustrating for the fans – especially if the international teams struggled in their matches. But, it does allow the other players some extra time to recover from any niggles they have picked up. Also, managers have more time to work on any problems highlighted in the first batch of fixtures and integrate any new signings into the squad.
After three games, Chelsea are sitting proudly at the top of the Premier League, with a 100% winning record and 9 points. Title rivals Manchester City and early season surprise packages, Swansea and West Brom, are close behind on 7 points. At the other end of the table, Liverpool are stuck in one of the relegation spots along with QPR and Southampton, who have the ignominy of being the only team with a 100% losing record.
Norwich v West Ham
Norwich are still looking for their first victory of the season, but two successive draws are a great improvement from the opening day debacle. West Ham have had a great start to the season with two victories at home, but they lost their first away game at Swansea. Norwich are desperate for the points and might have enough to take the early kick-off game on Saturday.
Last Season: Did not play
Prediction: Norwich 1 – 0 West Ham
Arsenal v Southampton
Arsenal have had a disappointing start to the season by their high standards, and could only manage a goalless draw in their first home game. This match against strugglers Southampton should allow them to record their first home victory, but it will be a difficult game against a team that faced some of the hardest fixtures to start the season. The battled well and were unlucky to lose to Manchester City and Manchester United with both teams coming back from 2-1 down to record 3-2 victories.
Last Season: Did not play
Prediction: Arsenal 2 – 0 Southampton
Aston Villa v Swansea
After starting with two defeats, a draw in the last game gave Aston Villa their first points under new manager Paul Lambert. At the same stage, Swansea dropped their first points with a draw after two victories. Both teams will try to get the victory, but a draw is likely.
Last Season: Aston Villa 0 – 2 Swansea
Prediction: Aston Villa 1 – 1 Swansea
Fulham v West Brom
Fulham have struggled since opening the season with a 5-0 victory before losing the next two games while West Brom remain unbeaten and hold third spot in the table. Both teams have 100% records in home games, and Fulham have a great chance to carry this on.
Last Season: Fulham 1 -1 West Brom
Prediction: Fulham 2 – 1 West Brom
Manchester Utd v Wigan
Manchester United will be overwhelming favorites to take the points in this game, but Wigan are unbeaten away from home and playing well. In the reverse game last season, Wigan took the points in the shock defeat that started Manchester United’s dreadful run-in when they lost the league title. Manchester United should get revenge at Old Trafford, but the game might be closer than the 5-0 thrashing last season.
Last Season: Manchester United 5 – 0 Wigan
Prediction: Manchester United 2 – 0 Wigan
QPR v Chelsea
This game last season was infamous for John Terry allegedly racially abusing Anton Ferdinand during the game. In the court case, Terry was found not guilty but the bad feelings still rumble on. Chelsea are still to drop a single point and should be too strong and beat a QPR team that lost badly in their first home game.
Last Season: QPR 1 – 0 Chelsea
Prediction: QPR 0 – 3 Chelsea
Stoke City v Manchester City
A trip to Stoke is always difficult these days, but they will be disappointed to start the season with three successive draws. Manchester City have recorded two victories so far, but both of those were at home and they could only manage a draw away from home. Manchester City should have the strength to record their first away victory in this game.
Last Season: Stoke City 1 – 1 Manchester City
Prediction: Stoke City 1 – 2 Manchester City
Sunderland v Liverpool
Liverpool have had their worst start to the season in over 50 years and the fans are already unhappy about performances on the pitch and the management of the club off it. Sunderland are another team who have yet to record a victory this season, but are difficult to beat. It does not look like either team are good enough to record a much needed victory in this game.
Last Season: Sunderland 1 – 0 Liverpool
Prediction: Sunderland 1 – 1 Liverpool
Reading v Tottenham
Tottenham are still struggling under new manager Andre Villas-Boas but will hope to find their feet against a Reading team that only managed to secure a draw with a 90th minute penalty in their first home game. If the Tottenham players turn up then they should have enough to take all three points from this Sunday game.
Last Season: Did not play
Prediction: Reading 0 – 2 Tottenham
Everton v Newcastle
The Monday night match pitches a resurgent Everton team against a Newcastle side that is struggling to match the high standards of last season. This will be a close game, but Everton could have enough to take the points to continue their challenge at the top of the table.
Last Season: Everton 3 – 1 Newcastle
Prediction: Everton 2 – 0 Newcastle