Selected Weekend Match Previews


Arsenal vs Aston Villa

Arsenal have not had the best of times recently culminating in the dreadful injury suffered by their striker Eduardo Da Silva at Birmingham but I expect them to get back on track and win this game.

Aston Villa by contrast are going through a purple patch but I just cannot see anything other than an Arsenal victory as they would want to put the last few weeks behind them.

They have answered their critics every time with bouncing back with wins and this should be no exception.

The only drawback is that they might be distracted by the fact that they have to play AC Milan on Tuesday.

Birmingham City vs Tottenham Hotspurs

Both teams would be coming into this game with confidence after having rather interesting and headline grabbing weekends.

City would be buoyant as they grasped a draw from a game they should have lost and Spurs would still be on a high from their Carling cup success.

All would depend on how much celebrating Spurs have been doing and if the exertions of playing on Thursday and Sunday including extra-time would affect them.

If they are fresh and mentally attuned enough then I expect Spurs to win, if not then a draw is on the cards.

Fulham v Manchester Utd

This game should be anything other than an away win as Fulham are just a dreadful side and are now genuine relegation candidates.

It would not be a 5-1 victory as United enjoyed against Newcastle because Roy Hodgson is more astute than that but I expect a win nonetheless.

Newcastle United v Blackburn Rovers

I bet when Kevin Keegan was appointed as manager of Newcastle that none of the fans would have envisaged that he would have gone this long without a win.

They certainly would not have banked on Dennis Wise being appointed director of football and Chris Hughton at football coach. Neither of this 2 men have an affiliations with Newcastle whatsoever.

The fans are entitled to wonder just what is going on at the club. The good news is that they have a decent record over Blackburn and if they do not win this 1 then they are in big trouble.

West Ham v Chelsea

It would be interesting to see just how Chelsea bounce back from their disappointment in the Carling cup final.

This is not going to be an easy game for them and it is 1 they cannot afford to lose either.

I think this may end in a draw or Chelsea may even nick it whilst boring the pants of the viewers but it all depends on how fit they are and which players Avram Grant decides to put out.

Bolton v Liverpool

Amazingly Bolton have a good recent record against Liverpool and it would not surprise me in the least if they come away with a good result against the Reds.

A lot would depend on what side Rafa Benitez decides to put out and also the effects of Steven Gerrard’s outbursts with his frustrations of their not being nearer the title chase thereby undermining the manager’s work so far.


Juventus vs Fiorentina

This is the game of the day in Italy as the 2 sides will be battling out for the champions league spots that are still up for grabs as it looks like the championship is staying for another year at Milan with Inter Milan.

Juventus should be billed as favourites but they tend not to play well whenever they have had a midweek game because of the age of the squad.

They would be looking to bounce back from 2 disappointing results in the last week whilst Fiorentina would be looking to hammer down their credentials for a champions league spot with Ac Milan bearing down their throats.

The loss of Adrian Mutu is huge for them but Juventus would be missing key players in Christian Zanetti, Giorgio Chiellini and Pavel Nedved; all sitting out bans.

It should end in a draw.

Ac Milan vs Lazio

Milan have had a very wretched season so far and trying to predict the outcome of their games is extremely difficult as they draw games you expect them to win easily and then win big in games you expect them to struggle with.

Lazio have had an even worse season thus far and are looking at the real possibility of relegation and I expect Milan to win this even if they would have 1 eye on their games against Arsenal.

Then again they could draw this game like they always seem to do at home.

Roma vs Parma

Roma have had a mixed weekend as they defeated Fiorentina on Sunday only to be denied at the death against runaway leaders Inter Milan with the game ending 1-1.

They have not been playing well, especially captain and inspiration Franceso Totti who is struggling for form and fitness.

They also have 1 eye on their champions league 2nd leg tie against Real Madrid in Madrid to come.

They should win this game though.

Napoli vs Inter Milan

Inter have been dicing with defeat for a few games now and they are bound to lose sometime.

They are not playing well at all at this point in time and Napoli are very strong at home but I do not think they would lose against Napoli but they would be once again unconvincing and would be hoping for no more controversies involving their games.

La Liga

Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona

Barcelona are in relatively good form as they demonstrated against Valencia and Celtic whilst Atletico are not.

Atletico are a very strange side as they good football for about 15 minutes and that’s about it. They either score against the opposition then do nothing for the rest of the game or struggle to create chances if they have not scored yet.

They have so many good players that you wonder why they should struggle so much and going out in the UEFA cup to a team like Bolton must be very embarrassing to their fans.

They however have a good record against Barcelona and could nick a draw at least from this game.

Recreativo de Huelva vs Real Madrid

Real Madrid have lost 4 games out of 5 in la liga and champions league and that is not a very good sign.

They have not been playing all that badly in games but have not exactly set the world alight either.

They would want Robinho to be back as soon as possible as they are missing his creative spark.

Recreativo have had an up and down season so far and would not be pushovers but Real’s needs might be the more forceful of the 2 sides and they just might want it more.

Deportivo La Coruna vs Sevilla

This game is too hard to call as it could go either way because both sides are in very good form with Sevilla being perhaps the most in-form side in Spain at the moment.

The 1 thing that may turn it in the home side’s favour is the fact that Sevilla would be distracted by their champions league tie against Fenerbahce during the week as they trail 2-3.

Espanyol vs Valencia

At long last Valencia are in good form and that has coincided with the return of star striker David Villa to the side and goal scoring form.

Unfortunately the same cannot be said for Espanyol, who just seem to be in free fall as they are just losing matches everywhere and it is difficult to fathom why.

Valencia though do not score a lot of goals so they may either win narrowly or even draw this game.

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