Premier League Week 5 Preview
September 21, 2012 in Uncategorized
The terse start to the season thus far has been somewhat orthodox. If by the end of the season you were to say that the top four teams and the relegated teams are what they currently are at present, I would hardly be surprised. This weekend however will give the clearest indication yet of who can seriously put a challenge on Man City’s title, and who will face an extremely long and challenging season ahead.Challenges such as squad depth, overall fitness and physical adaptability will come into question for the seven respective Champions League and Europa League teams, and look no further than the Etihad Stadium as this comes into effect this weekend. Arsene Wenger’s team visit the blue of Manchester, and Wenger has said himself that the result here will give them an idea of their title credentials for the season. I personally believe it’s too soon to tell; a defeat won’t give way too much, but perhaps an away victory will. Alas, I think City will take this one, but not convincingly. 2-1 for me.The other big ‘European’ clash is Liverpool v Man Utd. It’s one of the great English rivalries, one which never ceases to maintain its level of antagonism. Both teams will believe they can win it. We know that the Reds have lost their ability to be consistent, so for them now it’s more about throwing the odd surprise. I think they’ll come close as a result, but I’m settling for the draw.At the other end of the table there’s potentially a very interesting clash as Southampton host Aston Villa. Villa to me appear a team that will settle for mediocrity this season. The Saints will be desperate to get their first points on the board, and there’s no better opportunity for them here. If they don’t win this, then I can’t see where they’ll get 40 points from to stay up. In the interest of the Saints having something to work with towards the back end of the season, I’m going for the home win.I expect home wins for Chelsea and Newcastle against unflattering Stoke and Norwich sides. I’ve got a feeling Swansea will grab all three points against Everton. They have a talented bunch of players and should be comfortable at home.Wigan’s bogey team has been Fulham in recent times. For such a poor side away from home, the Cottagers don’t seem to be troubled too much by the Latics, so I’m going for a 1-0 away win, Berbatov to grab another goal from nowhere.Finally, the challenges I questioned earlier might just sneak into effect at White Hart Lane. Spurs have a tricky clash to overcome against Lazio in Europe, so their minds are currently abstracted from the fixture against QPR. Come Sunday, the Hoops will throw everything at the game that Spurs would have had just over two days to prepare for. QPR will get better with every game with the stars that they have, and I’m going for a shock away victory, a draw at the very least.In summary, I reckon there will be the odd surprise here and there, motivated by the opening week of European football. Five weeks in, and some teams might just be wandering if the early signs depict the rest of the season. Southampton could very well be one of them come Saturday evening.