Premier League Preview – Gameweek 9

Here is another short preview of this Saturday’s six games in the Barclays Premier League. Although there isn’t any stand out fixtures here, you can always rely on Manchester United to give us some entertainment this season – long may that last!

Crystal Palace v Arsenal: This weekend’s early match could be one Arsenal run away with if Palace’s caretaker staff don’t have a great impact from their team’s shameful 4-1 defeat to Fulham last Monday. After going 1-0 up at home, to then end up losing comfortably in the way they did was pretty embarrassing, though it’s fair to say the Cottagers were outstanding at times. Since the start of March when Spurs beat the Gunners 2-1, Wenger has only seen his side lose twice in all competitions. Arsenal have also managed to improve on winning second balls, an area where smaller sides have enjoyed taking advantage of Arsenal in the past. With that in mind, this screams away win all day long. Score Prediction: Palace 0-2 Arsenal.

Norwich City v Cardiff City: Both sides still struggling and are in need of a win with just a single point separating these sides, although they won’t seem so close for the Cardiff fans travelling to Norfolk. The Canaries put in decent shifts against Chelsea and Arsenal recently and managed to score against both sides, this coming after criticism of their ability to be clinical in front of goal. Cardiff’s season has been all about their home shock win over Manchester City and not much else really, leaving many wondering if they have the ability to stay up. We’ll certainly get a better picture of the Welsh side after this weekend. Score Prediction: Norwich 1-0 Cardiff.

Man Utd v Stoke City: United may have talked about their missed chances on Tuesday night, spoke about how on another day they would have destroyed Real Sociedad and said that the amount of chances they had deserved more goals – but in the end they had to rely on an own goal for victory. This looks like yet another stonewall home win, yet that’s exactly what everyone said prior to United’s defeat to West Brom and last week’s draw against Southampton. Surely, they can grind out a win without relying on Inigo Martinez… Score Prediction: Man Utd 2-0 Stoke.

Southampton v Fulham: Martin Jol has been under some heavy stick over the course of this season, but if a 4-1 away win at one of your London rivals can’t keep Fulham fans happy then nothing will. Saints, however, seem to be in a different league to their opposition and are looking a decent bet for European football.  This comes as no surprises to their squad who have been saying it all along – they are here to challenge the elite. We’ve seen Newcastle and Aston Villa attempt this feat, and look at them now, unable to kick a ball at the best of times. Score Prediction: Southampton 2-1 Fulham.

Liverpool v West Brom: The new ‘S&S’ partnership [apologies for calling it that] looks to be working a charm with eight goals being scored in their last three games, all featuring Sturridge and Suarez in Liverpool’s attacking line. West Brom, however, have been quietly going about their business recently, leaving themselves unbeaten in their last 5 since the 2-0 defeat to Swansea. Score Prediction: Liverpool 3-1 West Brom.

Aston Villa v Everton: Things haven’t really got going for Villa, yet Everton are enjoying a very good beginning to the new campaign, something which was a rarity under David Moyes. Martinez will be without Darren Gibson for most (if not all) of their remaining games this season, though James McCarthy has shown he can be just as good as a replacement in midfield. Playing at home has usually been something of an inconvenience for Villa for many years, with the Villains preferring to grab more than their fair share of points away from home. Score Prediction: Villa 1-1 Everton.

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