Everton v Manchester United (12.00)
Lets get something out of the way first, Goodison Park is never an easy place to go. Everton claimed many scalps at home last season and although they have the leagues smallest squad and have yet to get out of third gear, I think the champions are in for a tough afternoon.
Wayne Rooney always receives a hostile return to his boyhood club and I expect nothing less on Saturday. Manchester United will be looking to bounce back from a thumping from the "noisy neighbours" and I think they'll pinch the 3 points in this game. Sir Alex Ferguson will expect nothing less than a win here, he won't care how he gets it, but I can see United scraping over the finish line. The forgotten man Dimitar Berbatov threw his hat into the ring with a good performance in the league cup in midweek and I'm predicting a surprise start for the Bulgarian.
Everton's problem is that their squad is paper thin. Louis Saha continues to struggle with match fitness and there's only so long Tim Cahill can lead the line for the Toffees. If Moyes can guide Everton into a Europa League position this season then his name will be on the tip of people's tongues for the manager of the season award yet again, however the champions have a point to prove and I think they'll be just too strong for Everton on Saturday.
Chelsea v Arsenal (12.45)
The 'racism row' still looms over John Terry but Andre Villas-Boas has backed his captain and I expect him to start this game. Chelsea will be without the suspended Jose Bosingwa and Didier Drogba but will welcome back in form Fernando Torres to the squad. Torres and Mata linked up beautifully against Genk in the Champions League so the Gunners defence will need to be strong to dampen this fuse.
Arsenal will once again, as they have done so many times this season, be looking to the wonderfully in form Robin Van Persie to get the goals to worry Chelsea. Wenger's summer signing's have yet to sparkle this season, although Gervinho is looking increasingly dangerous in his last few outings. I do believe though that this Arsenal defence is far too limp to keep Chelsea at bay and I can see them shipping a few goals at Stamford Bridge.
Manchester City v Wolverhampton
In this reverse fixture from Wednesdays Carling cup tie I don’t see anything other than an emphatic win for Manchester City here. They won that game 2-5 with a second string team that included Edin Dzeko, £20m Samir Nasri, Adam Johnson and I can see a similar score line at Eastlands. City will welcome back Sergio Aguero, Mario Balotelli and the majestic David Silva and will be full of confidence after thrashing neighbours United last weekend.
Wolves will be cursing their luck drawing City in consecutive games but Mick Mccarthy will set his team up looking not to concede early because if they do it will be game over. The fans were on the managers back at half time against Swansea and 5 losses on the bounce isn’t helping Mccarthy’s cause and I don’t expect things to get better for him or Wolves Saturday.
Norwich City v Blackburn Rovers
Both teams will go into this game with some confidence. Norwich have picked up 4 points in their last 2 games and gave a great account of them selves at Old Trafford against Manchester United. To salvage a draw against Liverpool would have given them an incredible boost and I fancy them to nick this one at Carrow Road. Anthony Pilkington has been in fine form for the Canaries and he’ll be looking to add to his tally against Rovers, while Grant Holt will be pushing for a start after his equaliser at Anfield.
Blackburn will also be going into this match fairly confident after their extra time victory over Newcastle on Wednesday night. I do worry for Rovers though because I don’t think the squad nor the manager they have are quite good enough and the table highlights that. I think this will be an open game and with it being at Norwich I’m going for a high scoring home win in this one.
Sunderland v Aston Villa
This is a big game as Darren Bent returns to The Stadium of Light for the first time since his £22m signing last January. Sunderland have most certainly struggled for goals without him and the loss of Asamoah Gyan has not helped the cause. They have only picked up 9 points from a possible 27 but last weeks away win at Bolton will have boosted their confidence and they’ll be looking to give the fans something to cheer about.
Expect to hear some loud jeers for every touch of the ball by Bent. Villa themselves are going into this game off the back of two defeats and the pressure will be increasing on Alex Mcleish if they suffer a third straight defeat but I'm going to stick my neck out and predict an away win with the winner coming from none other than Darren Bent.
Wigan Athletic v Fulham
Wigan are the most unpredictable team in the League. They recorded wins against Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal last season but they are not consistent enough and I think that may see them relegated this year. Roberto Martinez is a good manager but I don't believe he has the squad to match his ambitions. Saying that, I am predicting a home victory in this game. Wigan do have the ability to stun opponents and they now have Hugo Rodellega back injury I think they can pinch the 3 points here.
Fulham have started cautiously under Martin Jol and he has maintained the spine of the team that was so successful under Roy Hodgson and then Mark Hughes. They have however looked suspect away from home and I think the fans at the DW Stadium will spur the Latics to victory.
Swansea City v Bolton Wanderers
Swansea's main problem is converting chances into goals and if you don't score enough goals in this league you will struggle. I think they will be in danger of relegation come the end of the season because of this reason
Bolton will be looking to pick up their third win of the season at the Liberty Stadium but I do think they'll find it tough because their opponents do maintain possession well and will see a lot of the ball. If things don't turn around for the trotters then Owen Coyle will be under pressue in a few games time. I see the points being shared in this game though.
West Bromwich Albion v Liverpool
West Brom have started this season impressively under former Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson and sit pretty in mid table. Shane Long was a very good signing from Reading and slowly but surely Hodgson is starting to build his own team after taking over from Roberto Di Matteo last season.
Similar to the job Hodgson is doing at the baggies Kenny Dalglish is moulding his own team after spending £100 since January. Some of his signings have yet to come to fruition but one signing that has definitely made an impact at Anfield is Luis Suarez. He scored 2 against Stoke in midweek to ensure Liverpool are in the quarter finals of the Carling Cup and Dalglish will be looking to this dynamic attacker to fire the Reds into that sought after 4th Champions League with a win at the Hawthorns.
Tottenham Hotspur v Queens Park Rangers
Spurs have recovered tremendously well after 2 straight defeats to start the season. Those defeats did come against the current top 2 teams in the league but Spurs have now gone 6 games undefeated and I fancy them to pick up another victory at White Hart Lane Saturday. Rafael Van Der Vaart proved to be a brilliant piece of business from Harry Redknapp last summer and he grabbed the 2 goals to give Spurs the win against Blackburn last time out.
QPR will be buoyed by their 1-0 win over 3 times Champions Chelsea but I can't see them getting anything here. Neil Warnock made some great signings this summer and the unpredictable Adel Taraabt can turn a game at the drop of a hat but is too unpredictable. Spurs for all 3 points here for me.
Stoke City v Newcastle United
This should be a tight game between 2 of two of the leagues most improved teams. Stoke City have managed to find a good balance between playing in Europe and in the league and that has helped them start this season well. Stoke offer a great attacking threat from wide with Crouch and Jones up front acting as target men.
The Magpies are one of two undefeated teams this season and Alan Pardew must be congratulated for his effort since taking over. Demba Ba has proved to be a great signing to replace Andy Carroll and Cabaye also looks a promising talent in midfield. The Britannia Stadium is a notoriously tough place to go and I think this one will end honours even.
Well there you go, thanks for reading. If you enjoyed this blog please sign up and follow for future posts about all things football this season. All comments and feeback are welcome. Thanks.