So we are moving closer to the opening of the “Real Football” season and I can honestly say I am nothing but excited. Will United win a 4th straight? Will Hull avoid the drop again this season? Does money buy success in Manchester? And who wins the sack race this season? All entertaining questions, and I know everyone has their own set and I know I could add many more, but what is the point right now when we are about to see it start to play itself out? So in keeping with the times I am going to throw out my weekend predictions for the opening round of the EPL season. Now hopefully this goes better than my MLS predictions, as a league of parity does not help in the prediction game. So to start it off here is week one followed by a few words on why I picked what I did. Keep following and feel free to bust my chops when I am wrong or you think I am way off.
**winners in bold, lack of bold represents a draw
Chelsea v Hull City
Aston Villa v Wigan
Blackburn v Manchester City
Bolton v Sunderland
Portsmouth v Fulham
Stoke City v Burnley
Wolves v West Ham
Everton v Arsenal
Manchester United v Birmingham
Tottenham v Liverpool
There are a few close ones this week and I believe at least one upset of the big four in the opening weekend. Chelsea should walk right through Hull on the opening weekend, coming off a successful preseason compared to Hulls to little to late offseason signings. Villa should make it easily past Wigan on the opening weekend with the Latics getting used to a more slimmed down roster that lacks quite a bit of experience. Blackburn will be the first victims of cash happy City this season as City take down Blackburn in the end. Bolton will play tough at home as always but I see Sunderland getting a goal in this one and drawing with Bolton at the Reebok. Portsmouth will fall week one to Fulham. This could be the beginning of a long season for Portsmouth, but Fulham will struggle and barely pull out 3 points in this one. Stoke City will start with the young boys from Burnley and while I do not feel Stoke are a dominant side in the EPL, they are strong at home and will serve the young kids their first defeat of the new season. Newly promoted Wolves will welcome West Ham to the Molineaux Stadium on the opening weekend and receive their first point with a draw against Zola’s Hammers. Everton will come out strong and healthy in the first weekend of the season and shock the struggling Arsenal by taking all three points at Goodison. United are known to start off slow but I am not sure we cannot expect anymore than three points on opening weekend as Birmingham travel to Old Trafford to take on the Champions, will be a new look for United but Birmingham do not have a chance in this one. White Hart Lane looks to be housing a strong side this season, and with Gerrard possibly missing and Alonso now out, Liverpool look ripe for the picking on the opening weekend.
So there is a look at the opening weekend’s schedule and here are 5 matches to look out for this weekend. Check out the list and enjoy a good weekend of football, as I know I will.
- Aston Villa v Wigan – A new look at Villa without Barry and Wigan’s new boss with an almost completely new side.
- Blackburn v Man City – Does money buy success? Everyone will have an eye on City this weekend.
- Everton v Arsenal – Do Everton look to unseat Arsenal in the top 4, starting on opening weekend?
- Manchester United v Birmingham – How is the new look United? Can they do it without Ronaldo?
- Tottenham v Liverpool – Are Tottenham the dark horse this season? How will Liverpool cope with their offseason personnel losses?