Monday, December 24, 2007

Premiership Boxing Day Preview

So Facebook has this nifty little application that lets you pick the winner of each Premiership match. Every game as a -0.5 spread, so if you pick the underdog it means that they’ll at least tie or win (thus beating the spread). And because I’d rather not post on Christmas, here’s my Round 19/Boxing Day Preview:

(n.b. this totally rips off Bill Simmons, so I'll probably change the format next week. Home team in caps)

Aston Villa (-0.5) over CHELSEA
The keeper situation for the Blues could be troubling, even though they’re at home. Hilario looked really shaky against Blackburn, and Aston Villa’s attack is much more potent. Even with Drogba and Terry still out, it’ll probably come down to a Zat Knight gaff to determine the outcome.

Fulham (-0.5) over TOTTENHAM
This prediction wholly depends on whether the rumors of Jol going to Fulham are true or not. Although reports have been varied, Al-Fayed may give him a big enough salary that he’ll join. And if so, I expect Jol to be double flipping off the entirety of White Hart Lane for the entire match, and at its conclusion he’ll probably fire a rocket at Daniel Levy’s booth ala the Italian Ultras. If he isn’t hired, then Ramos’s squad should win handily.

WEST HAM over Reading (-0.5)
Reading only has two points on the road, and one of those points came on opening day. So three points for Elijah Wood!

BIRMINGHAM over Boro (-0.5)
McLeish should have the Blues rebound from last week’s embarrassing collapse at the Reebok. And Boro’s run of good fortune has been running on borrowed time for too long.

Liverpool over DERBY (-0.5)
The Reds will probably will handily, further solidifying Rafa’s grand illusion.

...But they could also lay an egg and only come away with a point...

Bah, I hate betting on Liverpool so lets move on.

EVERTON over Bolton (-0.5)
Bolton are arguably more pathetic on the road than Reading, only claiming points against Derby and West Ham. And Everton are probably in the best form outside of United and Arsenal. Arteta’s return should provide a boost.

PORTSMOUTH (-0.5) over Arsenal
Pompey haven’t won at home since that 7-goal fiesta against Reading in September. But this will be Arsenal’s eighth game this month and eleventh since the last international break. Add into the mix Fratton Park’s lack of a friendly confines and it’s a recipe for dropped points.

Manchester United over SUNDERLAND (-0.5)
As much as I enjoy the Keane-o dynamic to this match, United are just unstoppable. Can we just fast-forward to May and (yet again) give them the trophy already?

Newcastle over WIGAN (-0.5)
Honestly, who even cares about this one? There aren’t any Wigan fans, and I’m sure many Geordies are gunning for dropped points so Big Sam can get the axe. The only thing I’ll be looking for is to see whether or not Alex Smith still has the skunk-inspired hairstyle. And then proceeding to vomit, again.

MANCHESTER CITY over Blackburn (-0.5)
Sven’s men are unstoppable at home. Blackburn aren’t playing well. What else needs to be discussed?

On that note, have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays all!