College Times Premier League Preview

and with that we it's straight into this weekends Premier League action we go ......


Sunderland vs. Southamption 12:45pm BT Sports 1

Following last weekend's 4-1 trouncing of Fulham, Sunderland will go into the lunchtime kick-off full of hope that they can turnover the inconsistent Saints. Ki Sung-Yueng is making a strong case to be the season's sneakiest signing, with his thrust and energy making Swansea's decision to release more baffling by the week. Rumblings in the boardroom at Southampton may manifest onto the pitch, with Nicola Cortese's resignation leaving Mauricio Pochettino's future in doubt. 2-1
Arsenal vs. Fulham 3pm
A routine victory at Villa Park, barring a nervy last quarter hour, leave Arsenal as league leaders going into what can only be described as a mulligan at home to Fulham, The phenomenal central defensive partnership of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny will look to continue their 2 year unbeaten run when both complete the 90 minutes. Fulham have actually won 3 away games this season, which in the past they wouldn't manage in 3 years. Arsenal at a stroll. 4-1
Crystal Palace vs Stoke 3pm
Current Palace manager Bony Pubis had created a monster in Stoke and seems to be in the process of creating another at Selhurst Park. The laughter generated at Jason Puncheon's skied penalty at White Hart Lane last Saturday hides the fact that Palace had by far the better of the first half and 2-0 did not reflect the balance of play in the slightest, with 14 shots on goal to Tottenham's 10. Stoke now boast the league's second leakiest defence and a pretty blunt attack, so Palace would be the bet here. 1-0
Manchester City vs. Cardiff 3pm
10 wins from 10 for City at home this season, 1 win from 10 from Cardiff away from the imaginatively titled Cardiff City Stadium, I don't think this game even merits a preview. The brief honeymoon period enjoyed by Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer will be well and truely over if City keep up their average of 4 goals at game in all competitions, 64 in 16, this campaign. The return to fitness of Sergio Aguero will further boost Manuel Pellegrini's already vast attacking options. 5-0
Norwich City vs. Hull City 3pm
Chris Houghton is one of football's nice guys. In fact, he is probably one of life's nice guys. But as I continually observe and am told, nice guys finish last. He is currently the 8/11 favourite to 'win' the sack race, a market that derives pleasure from someone losing their job (albeit with a substantial payout for their troubles) and defeat here could see his price drop further or even see him out of work. Mrs. Doubtfire (Steve Bruce) has gotten 2 late Christmas presents in the shape of Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic and will hope they can add to their miserly goal return of 7 goals in 10 away games. 2-2
West Ham United vs. Newcastle United
Two of football's, actually life's, less likable characters go head to head at Upton Park. Fresh from calling a man 7 years his senior a 'f***** old c***', the delightful Alan Pardew will be on the charm offensive for the cameras and media alike. There will be handshakes, back-slaps, even a tinge of regret in this voice and then his patented hung-dog facial expression. His foul-mouthed outburst has hidden the fact that Neuchateu have lost 4 on the bounce. Andy Carroll may start his first game of the season and will have many points to prove. 1-1
Liverpool vs. Aston Villa Sky Sports 1 5:30pm 
There were signs of life from Villa during Monday's 2-1 home defeat to Arsenal, with Christian Benteke scoring his first goal in 11 league games. He returns to the scene of arguably his greatest afternoon in England. His double in this fixture last season and the manner in which he beasted the Liverpool defence and midfield was a turning point in his career and also Brendan Rodgers'. Liverpool were too often a soft touch last season, but that has changed for the most part this time out. Daniel Sturridge will return for his first start since November to link up again with the irresistible Luis Suarez. Be afraid Villa, very afraid. 5-1


Swansea vs. Tottenham Hotspur Sky Sports 1 1:30pm
One of the most analytical minds in football against a certified member of the old school. Laudrup/Sherwood. It rolls off the tongue, like Ali/Fraser, Borg/McEnroe, Johnson/Bird, one of  sports true great rivalries. Tim Sherwood's Radioactive Man tactics (Up and Atom), along with his impressive array of touchline gestures, have brought Spurs points for now, but the plan long-term is not the slightest bit clear. Swansea will more than likely play with an extra midfielder and circulate the ball around until Spurs run out of legs and the Swans prevail. 3-2
Chelsea vs. Manchester United Sky Sports 1 4pm
 The reverse fixture in August was quite possibly the most boring thing that ever happened, both managers terrified of losing a game to rival so early in the season. Not that these sides are rivals in terms of league position anymore. This is an opportunity for Chelsea to completely end any lingering hopes of United retaining their league title by mid-January, one I can't see Jose Mourinho let slip by. Que more shots of David Moyes looking gormless on the touchline. 2-0


West Brom vs. Everton Sky Sports 1 8pm

A testing managerial debut for new WBA boss Pepe Mel. A published author, in the style of Dan Brown according to the man himself, it is not clear what the Spaniard has planned for the midlands side. There are all ready murmurings of discontent before even his first game, with Mel threatening to leave in the summer unless he can appoint his own backroom team. Everton on the other hand are riding on the crest of a wave, 1 point off 4th place Liverpool. Even the loss of Ross Barkley for 6 week has not dampened the Toffee’s spirits and they should maintain their solid away form this season. 1-3

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Paul Morris
Article written by
Full-time football fanatic, part-time fund administrator. Biased towards certain players, clubs, managers etc, will become evident in time

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