English Premier League: Week 7 Previews and Predictions
Here we go again football fans. Last weekend saw some great matches with Norwich City getting their first win of their first Premier League Campaign of the new millennium and Stoke City getting a draw against Manchester United at the Britannia.
This weekend we have two major matches with the first rounds of the Merseyside Derby between Liverpool and Everton, and also the first match of the North London Derby between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.
With even more action happening around the league as well lets get to the previews for Round seven of the 2011-12 EPL season.
Game of the Week 1: Everton vs Liverpool in Merseyside Derby Part 1
Kenny Dalglish will lead the Reds to Goodison Park for the first time since retaking the helm at Liverpool. He will do so hoping that Steven Gerrard will boost his team who have failed to win in the last three Merseyside Derbies.
Dirk Kuyt and Gerrard are both hopefuls to be in the starting lineup for the match and have both been tipped as major players due to their history as clutch performers in the derby.
David Moyes continues to find ways to get success out of whatever he can scrape together as a squad. Despite loosing Mikel Arteta his team has seemed to only have started building for more success. However, the lack of a striker is starting to show and could prove the difference in Liverpool's favor.
Match Prediction: The Reds are inspired by the return of Gerrard and Kuyt and take a tough 2-1 victory at Goodison.
Everton Starting XI: Tim Howard, Tony Hibbert, Sylvain Distin, Phil Jagielka, Leighton Baines, Marouane Fellaini, Phil Neville; Jack Rodwell, Tim Cahill, Leon Osman, Denis Stracqualursi.
Liverpool Starting XI: Pepe Reina, Martin Kelly, Jamie Carragher, Martin Skrtel, Jose Enrique; Lucas Leiva, Charlie Adam; Dirk Kuyt, Steven Gerrard, Stewart Downing; Luis Suarez.
Players to Watch: Steven Gerrard and Tim Cahill.
Aston Villa vs Wigan Athletic
Charles N'Zogbia takes on his former club at home with Aston Villa this weekend. The Villains are still undefeated after slumping to a draw on Monday night due to an extra time goal from Queens Park Rangers.
Wigan will be hoping to find a lifeline to keep them moving forward as they are slowly starting to drop down the table as they are feared to be relegated with the new comers like Norwich City and Queens Park Rangers making great starts in their first seasons back up.
Match Prediction: Villa continue to be successful with a 2-0 win at home.
Aston Villa Starting XI: Shay Given; Alan Hutton, James Collins, Richard Dunne, Stephen Warnock, Fabien Delph, Stiliyan Petrov, Jermaine Jenas, Charles N'Zogbia, Darren Bent, Gabriel Agbonlahor.
Wigan Athletic Starting XI: Ali Al Habsi, Adrián López Rodríguez, Maynor Figueroa, Gary Caldwell, Emmerson Boyce, James McCarthy, Ben Watson, Shaun Maloney, Victor Moses, Franco Di Santo, Hugo Rodallega.
Players to Watch: Gabriel Agbonlahor and Franco Di Santo.
Blackburn Rovers vs Manchester City
Blackburn Rovers followed up a surprise win over Arsenal with a 3-1 loss courtesy of a Demba Ba Newcastle United debut hat trick. Needless to say Rovers need some points but wont see them against City.
Carlos Tevez has been the headliner this week looking like a guaranteed exit is finally going to happen in January or as soon as possible. David Silva, Samir Nasri, Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero will be sure to take the assault to the opposition at Ewood Park.
Match Prediction: Manchester City are unrelenting and take a solid 3-1 victory.
Blackburn Rovers Starting XI: Paul Robinson; Michel Salgado, Scott Dann, Chris Samba, Gael Givet; Steven Nzonzi, David Dunn, Mauro Formica; Ruben Rochina, Yakubu, David Hoilett.
Manchester City Starting XI: Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany, Micah Richards, Joleon Lescott, Gaël Clichy; David Silva, Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri, James Milner; Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko.
Players to Watch: Yakubu and David Silva.
Manchester United vs Norwich City
Manchester United come into this weekend match after two frustrating draws against Stoke City and FC Basel. The injury to Wayne Rooney will also more than likely continue to frustrate Sir Alex Ferguson but Ashley Young and Nani have looked bound and determined to carry the Red Devils and will surely do so against Norwich.
However, Sir Alex Ferguson has been reported by Goal.com as stating that both Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez will be fit for the Norwich game, but I am not certain that means he will throw them straight on the pitch after the form Danny Welbeck has displayed once again after returning from injury.
Norwich City enjoyed a ventilating 2-1 victory over Sunderland this past Monday. Despite Kieran Richardson's consolation goal near the death, the Canaries were on top of their game. Their new look attack is almost certain to be seen at Old Trafford as their first term back in the top flight is already going better than expected.
Match Prediction: Manchester United are frustrated at times but see off the little birds 3-1 at home.
Norwich City Starting XI: John Ruddy; Leon Barnett, Kyle Naughton, Marc Tierney, Russell Martin; Bradley Johnson, David Fox, Elliot Bennett, Wesley Hoolahan, Anthony Pilkington; Steve Morison
Players to Watch: Danny Welbeck and Steve Morrison.
Sunderland vs West Bromwich Albion
Steve Bruce continues to have a hard start to the season with his completely revamped Sunderland squad. The majority of the constant set backs seem to possibly be thrown up to an entirely new team pretty much having to learn each other. If there is a game that has potential to get them back on track it is one against another club just as frustrated.
Ben Foster played an excellent match last week against Fulham helping the Baggies finally earn another point in the table with a draw at the Hawthornes.
Match Prediction: The Black Cats finally get another point drawing 1-1 at home.
Sunderland Starting XI: Simon Mignolet; John O'Shea, Wes Brown, Titus Bramble, Kieran Richardson; Sebastian Larsson, Lee Cattermole, Jack Colback, Craig Gardner; Stephane Sessegnon, Nicklas Bendtner
West Bromwich Albion Starting XI: Ben Foster, Jonas Olsson, Nicky Shorey, Gabriel Tamas, Steven Reid, Paul Scharner, Graham Dorrans, Chris Brunt, Somen Tchoyi, Peter Odemwingie, Shane Long.
Players to Watch: Nicklas Bendtner and Peter Odemwingie.
Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Newcastle United
Wolverhampton wanderers suffered another loss at the hands of Luis Suarez and Liverpool last weekend. The return of Matt Jarvis for the second week should start to once again have a positive effect on the club but the Magpies are flying high.
Demba Ba opened his account for his newest club with a hat trick making him nearly an instant hero for the Toon Army. He will lead the line again this weekend at Molineau Stadium and will hope to keep the Magpies undefeated for another week.
Match Prediction: Newcastle are too hot right now, 2-0 over the home team.
Wolverhampton Wanderers Starting XI: Wayne Hennessey, Stephen Ward, Christophe Berra, Roger Johnson, Richard Stearman: Adam Hammill, Jamie O'Hara, Karl Henry, Matt Jarvis; Kevin Doyle, Steven Fletcher
Newcastle United Starting XI: Tim Krul, Danny Simpson, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Ryan Taylor; Jonás Gutiérrez, Yohan Cabaye, Ismael Cheik Tioté, Hatem Ben Arfa, Leon Best, Demba Ba.
Players to Watch: Matt Jarvis and Demba Ba.
Bolton Wanderers vs Chelsea
Bolton Wanderers continue to struggle so far this season after another disappointing weekend. This week again they were hit with bad news as Stuart Holden looks to be out for even longer just when the Trotters could use their American midfielder more than ever.
Chelsea are on the rise and despite missing Fernando Torres while he serves his suspension for his Red Card last weekend, the Blues are not likely to have much trouble.
Match Prediction: Chelsea continue their race for the top 3-0 at the Reebok.
Bolton Wanderers Starting XI: Jussi Jaaskelainen, Paul Robinson, Gary Cahill, Zat Knight, Dedryck Boyata, Nigel Reo-Coker, Martin Petrov, Fabrice Muamba, Chris Eagles, Kevin Davies, Ivan Klasnic.
Chelsea Starting XI: Petr Cech, Jose Bosingwa, John Terry, David Luiz, Ashley Cole, Juan Mata, Frank Lampard, Ramires, Raul Meireles, Nicolas Anelka; Daniel Sturridge.
Players to Watch: Martin Petrov and Daniel Sturridge.
Fulham vs Queens Park Rangers
Fulham were dealt a draw against West Bromwich last weekend when they looked like they were going to take all three points if it had not been for Ben Foster playing one of his best games.
Queens Park Rangers pulled a late draw back on ten men against Aston Villa at Loftus Road on Monday evening, and should be up for another great match in the EPL.
Match Prediction: QPR upset the Cottagers at home 1-0.
Fulham Starting XI: Mark Schwarzer; Stephen Kelly, Brede Hangeland, Chris Baird, John Arne Riise, Damien Duff, Danny Murphy, Steven Sidwell, Clint Dempsey; Bryan Ruiz, Bobby Zamora.
Queens Park Rangers Starting XI: Patrick Kenny; Luke Young, Anton Ferdinand, Daniel Gabbidon, Fritz Hall; Shaun Derry, Adel Taarabt, Joey Barton, Alejandro Damian Faurlin; DJ Campbell, Shaun Wright-Phillips.
Players to Watch: Clint Dempsey and Joey Barton.
Swansea City vs Stoke City
Swansea got handed a beating by ten man Chelsea at Stamford Bridge over the weekend and now face another tough test against the traveling Britannia club Stoke City.
The Potters earned a much deserved point at home against Manchester United in a ventilating match at the Britannia in the late Saturday game. Peter Crouch opened his account and will hope to extend his run this weekend in Wales.
Match Prediction: Stoke keep riding the high from their United result and knock off the Europa League hangover to beat the Swans 2-0.
Swansea City Starting XI: Michel Vorm, Neil Taylor, Steven Caulker, Ashley Williams, Angel Rangel, Nathan Dyer, Leon Britton, Kemy Agustien, Joe Allen, Danny Graham, Scott Sinclair
Stoke City Starting XI: Asmir Begovic; Jonathan Woodgate, Ryan Shawcross, Robert Huth, Marc Wilson; Jermaine Pennant, Rory Delap, Wilson Palacios, Matthew Etherington; Peter Crouch, Jonathan Walters.
Players to Watch: Michel Vorm and Peter Crouch.
Game of Week 2: Tottenham Hotspur vs Arsenal in North London Derby Part 1
The weekend comes to a close the second major derby of the week as Arsenal travel to Tottenham Hotspur for the first North London Derby of the season. Spurs are on a three game wining streak in the league and will hope that translates into a tough challenge against the Gunners.
Emmanuel Adebayor will be the most recent player to have switched sides to start for Spurs and he will be hoping to peg back a few against his former club.
Arsenal final got another victory against Bolton Wanderers thanks to a Robin Van Persie brace. However, the drama over RVP possibly leaving the club has many fans worried about his commitment and about what that says about the club.
Match Prediction: Arsenal are still having trouble and Spurs recent form continues as they take a tough home victory 2-1 over the Gunners.
Tottenham Hotspur Starting XI: Brad Friedel; Kyle Walker, Ledley King, Sebastian Bassong, Benoit Assou-Ekotto; Rafael Van Der Vaart, Luka Modric, Scott Parker, Gareth Bale, Jermain Defoe, Emmanuel Adebayor.
Arsenal Starting XI: Wojciech Szczęsny, Kieran Gibbs, Per Mertesacker, Johan Djourou, Bacary Sagna, Mikel Arteta, Alex Song, Aaron Ramsey; Gervinho, Robin Van Persie, Andrei Arshavin
Players to Watch: Emmanuel Adebayor and Robin Van Persie.
Two derbies coming in the opening and closing matches of the weekend definitely makes this a great two days for football on the way.
With the international break on its way teams are most likely to pull out all the stops to try and get victories with two weeks of recovery time on the way.
Steven Gerrard will most likely make his full return and is the biggest name slated to for return to full game action this weekend, while Emmanuel Adebayor's debut on the opposite side of the North London Derby will be another great story line to follow on Sunday.
It looks to be a great weekend of football as always in the EPL and I look forward to bringing you the previews for Round 8 in two weeks.