Arsenal vs. Birmingham City
The international break gave Arsenal some much needed time to get over a tough stretch in the last two weeks of Premier League play. After dropping an embarrassing three points at home to West Brom, the Gunners fell 2-nil to Chelsea.
Facing struggling Birmingham, who have just one point in the last three games, could be the much needed confidence boost Arsenal needs. On top of that, manager Arsene Wenger is expecting to get three top players, Fabregas, Walcott and Bentdner, back from injury. Having the captain back will re energize the squad, and they will control the game.
Prediction: Arsenal 2 - Birmingham 0
Bolton vs. Stoke City
Stoke City heads to Bolton with a league unbeaten streak of four games, three of which were wins. Bolton has yet to record a win since beating West Ham in the second game of the season. However, they find themselves with eight points out of the first seven games. Neither team is very dangerous offensively, so look for this to be a game dominated by the defenses.
Prediction: Bolton 0 - Stoke 0
Fulham vs. Tottenham
Fulham have yet to lose a game in the league this season. Having claimed three points in only one game, they are considered somewhat of a draw machine. They are struggling to find a scoring spark, netting only eight in the first seven games.
The visitors come in on a two game win streak that they hope to extend in order to give them confidence going into their Champions League bout vs. Internazionale next Wednesday. Don't expect Tottenham to look beyond this weekend's fixture, especially van der Vaart, who will miss the midweek game due to suspension. Tottenham will be Fulham's first real test. The possibility of moving to second in the league table will propel Tottenham to a victory.
Prediction: Fulham 0 - Tottenham 1
Manchester United vs. West Bromwich
Manchester United is another team that was glad to see the international break. They managed just ties in two of their last league games against bottom of the table opponents. West Brom is coming off of a very impressive start to their Premier League campaign, but their luck may be over heading into Old Trafford.
Manchester United have too much firepower for West Brom to deal with. United have 16 wins in their last 18 league matches at Old Trafford, where it seems they score at will. Don't look for that superb home form to end this week.
Prediction: Man U 3 - West Brom 0
Newcastle vs. Wigan
Newcastle have yet to post another performance like their 6-0 shellacking of Aston Villa back in August. Their return home after losing to Manchester City pits them against road warriors Wigan Athletic. Wigan have not conceded a goal away from home this season.
Newcastle is hoping they can change that statistic as striker Andy Carroll is set to get the start. However, Wigan are very good in the air where Carroll specializes. Wigan will once again frustrate a home opponent and walk away with a good result.
Prediction: Newcastle 0 - Wigan 0
Wolverhampton vs. West Ham
This game will feature the clash of the bottom dwellers. Both Wolves and West Ham sit in the relegation zone with just five points each. However, West Ham have gained those five points in their last three league games, whereas Wolves have dropped their last four. It will not be a thriller, but West Ham should be able to build on recent form, and take at least a point in this fixture.
Prediction: Wolves 1 - West Ham 2
Aston Villa vs. Chelsea
Any game in the Premier League featuring Chelsea is set to be entertaining. This matchup will not disappoint.
Villa midfielder Albrighton has confidently claimed that he is not afraid of matching up against Ashley Cole. To add to the story-line, it looks as if Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard will miss the match with an injury, and as of now, John Terry should be fit.
Aston Villa have had time to recover after losing to a tough Tottenham side, while Chelsea's players have been off at international duty. Aston Villa will be well rested and the home crowd will propel them to victory against the league leaders.
Prediction: Aston Villa 2 - Chelsea 1
Everton vs. Liverpool
Everton could not be happier about all of the controversy surrounding Liverpool of late. Both clubs are in an unfamiliar place towards the bottom of the table with only six points each. It is without doubt that this fixture will not look like a battle to stay above the relegation zone, but that is where each squad find themselves.
Both teams will hope to turn things around following the international break, but look for Liverpool to find themselves in a bit of turmoil, at least for now. Everton will take advantage and hope that it propels them back towards the top of the league where their talent dictates.
Prediction: Everton 1 Liverpool 0
Blackpool vs. Manchester City
Manchester City find themselves in second place with a chance to gain on leaders Chelsea. Blackpool are surprising so far, although they have dropped two of their last three. Blackpool will be rested thanks to the break that saw City send their stars to fulfill international duties. It would not be a shock if City failed to get 3 points from the fixture, yet their offensive prowess and good form will most likely overpower Blackpool.
Prediction: Blackpool 0 - Manchester City 1
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