After two wins in two Wolves open the weekend with a trip to West Midlands rivals Aston Villa. The home side have had a good start as well with a win last weekend against Blackburn to leave them on four points. This is the first Midlands derby and set of bragging rights and Villa will want revenge after Wolves beat them at Villa Park 1-0 last season.
Aston Villa will be favourites going into the game although Wolves have already shown this season how dangerous they are on the break with Matt Jarvis and Stephen Hunt hitting teams hard from the wings.
Wigan play their third relegation battle in as many weeks with two draws to show from the previous two. This week they host a buoyant QPR team who will be full of confidence after a surprise smash and grab 1-0 win away at Everton. Wigan will be favourites as after a decent second half performance against Swansea but QPR will see this as a winnable game.
Blackburn face Everton in a local clash which sees both sides looking to bounce back from defeats last weekend. Even though they were beaten on the opening day by Wolves at home, Blackburn still have an outstanding record losing only once in their last six games at the Ewood. Everton will be favourites coming into the game as they did everything but score last weekend although a draw is the most likely result.
Chelsea play Norwich at home on Saturday after struggling through their opening two fixtures. Norwich will be happy with their two opening draws and will have nothing to fear as they go to Stamford Bridge. Chelsea fans will be looking for their team to show a little bit more class than against Stoke and West Brom who were both very resilient. This could end up in a goal fest for Chelsea who will be clear favourites as Fernando Torres will look very stupid if he doesn’t get a goal on Saturday.
Swansea have their second home game in as many weeks and host Sunderland on Saturday. Swansea will be a little bit worried that it could become a long season after they were lucky to get a draw against a poor Wigan side. Sunderland’s manager may also be under pressure in the coming weeks if results don’t start coming after a crushing loss against rivals Newcastle last week. They completely changed their squad over the summer with 11 new players in and 15 departures mean that Bruce could come under fire if they lose many more games in the opening months. My favourites for the match are Sunderland although I think it will be a very close game.
Another local game finishes off Saturday’s fixtures as Liverpool host Everton in the evening kick off live on ESPN. Liverpool are on a real high after an incredible win away at the Emirates and are starting to look like the top four side they used to be.. Liverpool will clearly be the favourites going into this evening kick off as Bolton have looked very average so far this season.
Newcastle host Fulham in the first game on Sunday after both teams had opposite performances last weekend. Newcastle will be on a high after an epic win at local rivals Sunderland which was as a high-tempered as they come. But behind the scenes this week things have not been well and Joey Barton is set to sign for QPR. The departure of Barton will upset both players and fans as he has been the centre of the squad so far this season. Fulham were accused of already looking tired after a 2-0 loss at Molineux last Sunday and with another European game this week could have the same problem. My favourite for this game is Newcastle as they have a good home record of three wins and only one loss in the last six games.
Tottenham host Man City in an eagerly awaited first home game for Spurs which is set up to be a cracking game. Both Manchester sides are playing their London challengers in a weekend which could prove vital in giving teams an early advantage. Tottenham suffered a defeat to the champions last week and will be wary of the talent in the Man City side after two outstanding wins in their opening games. Man City are my favourites coming into this game although Tottenham are very capable of causing an upset.
West Brom host Stoke in the second televised game of Sunday in a big Midlands derby which is always anticipated. West Brom have lost their two opening matches against Chelsea and Man United although this was expected, they woke up both sides and made them work for the three points. Stoke have drawn both games but looked tired after their European adventure last week and already have injury worries. My favourites going into this one is West Brom who have played some good football in their opening two matches.
The closing game of the weekend is the most anticipated with Man United hosting Arsenal in the Sunday evening kick off. Man United have looked convincing in their opening two games with an opening day win against West Brom then a great performance and win against Tottenham. Even though Evra and Ferdinand are injured the young United players have shone through. Arsenal have come under criticism after letting Nasri and Fabregas depart which leaves them without two of their top players of last season. My favourite for this one is Man United as they are playing really well this season and rarely drop points at Old Trafford.