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English Premier League Weekend Preview: The Big Boys Battle it out

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With the Premier League hotting up the fifth set of fixtures may again bring us the twist and turns we have learnt to expect from the League which intrigues so many.

Arsenal kick off the weekends action away with a lunch time kick off on Saturday at Blackburn as they look to build on the confidence after a solid win against Swansea last weekend. Blackburn could again be in big trouble after two home defeats it would take a massive turn around to get anything from the match.

Aston Villa start the 3 o’clock offs with a match against Newcastle after an encouraging start. Six points in four games is a good launch point for Alex Mcleish and has quieted his doubters for the time being. After a good start Newcastle will also be chasing the three points at Villa Park but dropped points on Monday against QPR, a game they would have looked to win. This will be a close one but my favourites will be Aston Villa.

Bolton host Norwich after a poor start after a hard run of fixtures and a battering by Man United last week 5-0. With only one win in four this will be an opportunity for another three points on home turf. Norwich have not started the season well enough with only two draws to their name and will need pick start picking up points quickly if they don’t want to fall behind the pack. Bolton will be the odds on favourites in this game and anything else will be a shock result.

Everton face Wigan in another opportunity for the fans to show their displeasure with the chairman. Everton hushed their doubters somewhat with a good comeback last week against Aston Villa and if they play like that they should beat Wigan. Wigan are looking like they will be struggling again to stay in the league although they have picked up five points from an easy set of fixtures.

Swansea have another opportunity to pick up their first Premiership home win with a tie against a mixed West Brom. The promoted side have found life tough so far with only two points from an average set of fixtures and have looked lively at times. West Brom have started to pick up points after a hard opening with a win last week away at Norwich but looked far from convincing. This could be a very close one to call but I think West Brom will come out on top.

The final 3 o’clock fixture is Wolves v QPR which could be another close contest. Wolves were brought back down to earth after a great start with a 2-0 defeat against Tottenham last week so it will be interesting how they respond. QPR are shaping up to be the best of the promoted sides and have invested in quality players but still lack depth in quality. Wolves are my favourites for the game as they play free flowing football at home which should be enough for the win on Saturday.

There is a further four fixtures on Sunday this week with Tottenham v Liverpool kicking off the action. This could be the game of the weekend with both sides evenly matched and have hit mixed form in the early part of the season. Spurs were back to winning ways and were patient and impressive against Wolves. Whereas Liverpool were the latest side to fall at the Brittania showing that they still have work to do. My prediction for this game is for a Tottenham win although it will be a very close encounter.

Fulham host Man City in another game that could turn into a goal fest in a game where Man City could take the advantage over their rivals. Fulham have been very poor so far this season and are in serious need of an in form striker after a draw against Blackburn last week. Man City have hit the ground running so far with no team even coming close to challenging them in their first four matches. Man City will be the favourites in this one and it could be 3, 4 or 5 goals.

Sunderland face Stoke in a game which could really put them under pressure with their fans. After only two points in four games fans around St James’s are getting anxious. But this will be a tough match against a very stubborn and still unbeaten this season. My prediction is for a Stoke win and for some massive pressure on Steve Bruce.

The weekend ends with a bang with the first real battle of the title contenders when Chelsea host Man United in a big show down. Both sides have started well although Chelsea have dropped two points against Stoke. Man United have matched their Manchester rivals point for point with four wins in four but this is their biggest challenge yet. My prediction is for a Man United win as I think they are a class above Chelsea this season.

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