Friday, 1 April 2011

Rejoice as the Premier League returns.....

YES! The Premier league returns this week as the few final furlongs approach before we crown the season's Champions and Losers!!!!
League leaders Manchester United travel to London to face a re-juvinated West Ham. A four-game unbeaten run has seen Avram Grant's team climb out of the relegation zone on goal difference. But they are still only two points off the bottom of the table and Grant will be desperate for inspirational midfielder Scott Parker to be fit and repeat his performance from England's win over Wales. My prediction here, narrow 2-1 win for the league leaders.
If United are successful, closest rivals Arsenal could begin their match against Blackburn eight points behind Ferguson's men and under big pressure. Wenger praised the character of his squad after they battled back to a 2-2 draw at West Brom in their last match, but it was two points lost as far as the Arsenal faithful were concerned. Blackburn sit one point off relegation so they will want to put in a performance to underline their intent to stay in the top flight. I can see this one being a home win, also by narrow margin, I'll plump for a 2-0 Arsenal victory.

Roy Hodgson will be reacquainted with Liverpool when West Brom play hosts at The Hawthorns. It will be the first time the former manager of the Anfield club meets his ex-employers since he was sacked in January just six months into the job. Hodgson's time as Liverpool boss was hugely disappointing and Kenny Dalglish has since made a good start in the task of rebuilding fortunes to ensure that fifth place is not yet out of reach. But, despite an insistence that he has nothing to prove, Hodgson is expected to provide stern opposition, as, four matches into his quest to save West Brom from relegation, he remains unbeaten. Given the Baggies good hame record this looks a tough task for the visitors, but saying that, I feel Andy Carroll is gaining fitness and will be inspired by his classy finish in Englands friendly with Ghana, and I believe this may give them the edge. My Choice is 3-1 to the Red's.
Roberto Martinez insists his Wigan side will continue to fight in what is proving an incredibly close scrap to survive in the Premier League and they could be quietly confident when Tottenham arrive at the DW Stadium. They stunned Spurs at White Hart Lane earlier in the season and, with Harry Redknapp's top-five team possibly distracted by next week's UEFA Champions League first leg against Real Madrid, Martinez will be plotting another upset. I can't see Harry letting his team take the eye off to much, 2-0 Spurs here for me.
Defending champions Chelsea have still to give up hope of retaining their title and a deserved victory over Champions League hopefuls Manchester City last time out means Carlo Ancelotti's men are nine points behind United with a game in hand. A win from a difficult trip to Stoke is a must, but Tony Pulis' hosts are still to reach the 40-point mark this season, which will be the minimum required to avoid the drop. It remains to be seen if Ancelotti keeps faith in misfiring £50million man Fernando Torres, who in my opinion can't go without scoring for much longer, and therefore i see him notching in this, 1-2 Chelsea.

Roberto Mancini's future hangs on the reality of Manchester City's pursuit of a place in the Champions League. The club currently sit in fourth position, but Tottenham are chasing and it appears that there could be another end-of-season showdown between the two teams. Mancini will know that it will be essential to take three points from Sunderland especially being at home, but Steve Bruce will be demanding a response after the disappointing defeat to Liverpool last time out. Sunderland's Ghanaian contingent are expected to continue a battle from the midweek friendly against England, and James Milner and Joleon Lescott in particular. Gyan was impressive against England and I think he could cause City some real problems here, if City set out as they have in many games and sit tight I can see Sunderland nicking a point, 1-1.

Yes there are a few other games and a lot of things still to be decided, one remaining question is, Who is going to take control of the fight for the championship? And even bigger question is when???? Because we have been waiting all season for someone to grasp it with both hands and not a slippery hand!!!!

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