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Premier League: Our predictions, your predictions — Update
UPDATE: Now with added rollcall of shame! Click here for full details of just how badly our panel did…
The new Premier League season is upon us and this year we at the Reuters Soccer Blog have decided to stick our necks out as never before.
Instead of the usual season previews, picking one of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal or Liverpool to win the league and the new arrivals to struggle, we’re doing this the hard way and giving our predictions on a match by match basis.
So without further ado, here are the predictions from a random group of Reuters bloggers. Couldn’t agree more? Couldn’t agree less? Give us your predictions too and see if you can do better than our own modest efforts. We may even keep a running score…
Chelsea v Hull City: Hull escaped relegation despite a disastrous run in the second-half of last season. That was down to their great start but surely they’re not going to come up with another shock here, are they? Worryingly for Hull, Chelsea looked in tune with Carlo Ancelotti’s diamond formation in the Community Shield win over Manchester United.
Predictions: Paul Radford: 3-0; Miles Evans: 4-0; Mike Collett: 3-0; Mitch Phillips: 2-0; Patrick Johnston: 3-0; Owen Wyatt: 2-0; Simon Evans: 2-0; Kevin Fylan: 4-1
Aston Villa v Wigan Athletic: Two sides that have suffered in the close-season. Villa lost captain Gareth Barry to Man City and defender Martin Laursen to retirement; Wigan lost their manager Steve Bruce and midfielder Lee Cattermole to Sunderland and winger Antonio Valencia to Manchester United and there are fears for their survival this year. New manager Roberto Martinez has a big job on his hands.
Predictions: Paul Radford: 1-0; Miles Evans: 1-1; Mike Collett: 1-0; Mitch Phillips: 2-1; Patrick Johnston: 2-0; Owen Wyatt: 1-1; Simon Evans: 2-0; Kevin Fylan: 0-0
Blackburn Rovers v Manchester City: All eyes will be on Ewood Park to see how Man City, the Galacticos Lite, do in their opening fixture. Sam Allardyce made Blackburn a tough nut to crack in the second half of last season. Robinho, Tevez, Adebayor, Wright-Phillips and co must fancy their chances, but their pre-season form wasn’t great, was it?
Predictions: Paul Radford: 1-2; Miles Evans: 1-1; Mike Collett: 2-3; Mitch Phillips 0-0; Patrick Johnston: 1-2; Owen Wyatt: 1-0; Simon Evans: 0-2; Kevin Fylan: 3-3 (humdinger)
Bolton Wanderers v Sunderland: A new manager and a record signing add up to high hopes at Sunderland but this is a fiddly fixture to begin their campaign. Bolton never make life comfortable for visiting teams.
Predictions: Paul Radford: 1-2; Miles Evans: 1-1; Mike Collett: 1-0; Mitch Phillips: 1-0; Patrick Johnston: 1-1; Owen Wyatt: 0-0; Simon Evans: 1-1; Kevin Fylan: 0-1
Portsmouth v Fulham: Portsmouth fans were overjoyed at the prospect of a mega-bucks new owner but with players leaving and few new faces it could be easy pickings for Fulham on the opening day.
Predictions: Paul Radford: 1-3; Miles Evans: 0-2; Mike Collett: 0-2; Mitch Phillips: 0-0; Patrick Johnston: 0-2; Owen Wyatt: 1-3; Simon Evans: 2-0; Kevin Fylan: 0-4
Stoke City v Burnley: Stoke offered Burnley the blueprint of how to survive last season but beginning your first top-flight campaign in 33 years without three first choice defenders through injuries is a bit unfortunate. James Beattie, who made an instant impact after joining Stoke in the January transfer window, must be looking forward to the opening day.
Predictions: Paul Radford: 1-1; Miles Evans: 3-1; Mike Collett: 1-1; Mitch Phillips: 0-0; Patrick Johnston: 3-0; Owen Wyatt: 1-0; Simon Evans: 1-1; Kevin Fylan: 2-3
Wolverhampton Wanderers v West Ham United: Wolves are back but how long will the yo-yo club survive this time? Mick McCarthy has a good track record of getting teams into the Premier League but surviving is another matter. Gianfranco Zola managed a ninth place finish with West Ham last year despite money problems but can they push on?
Predictions: Paul Radford: 3-2; Miles Evans: 1-3; Mike Collett: 1-1; Mitch Phillips: 1-0; Patrick Johnston: 2-2; Owen Wyatt: 0-2; Simon Evans: 1-2; Kevin Fylan: 1-2
Everton v Arsenal: This is a tough ask first up for an Arsenal side without a big name signing but they do have a proud opening day record under Arsene Wenger and were leading scorers away from home last year. And Everton are struggling with injuries in attack and defence…
Predictions: Paul Radford: 0-1; Miles Evans: 0-1; Mike Collett: 2-1; Mitch Phillips: 1-1; Patrick Johnston: 0-2; Owen Wyatt: 0-3; Simon Evans: 0-0; Kevin Fylan: 1-1
Manchester United v Birmingham City: Cristiano Ronaldo is gone, so has Carlos Tevez, but United still looked pretty dangerous in the Community Shield last weekend. Birmingham’s promotion to the Premier League was built on a solid defence – but they didn’t have to face Rooney, Berbatov and Owen last year.
Predictions: Paul Radford:1-1; Miles Evans: 2-0; Mike Collett: 4-0; Mitch Phillips: 3-0; Patrick Johnston: 4-0; Owen Wyatt: 2-0; Simon Evans: 3-0; Kevin Fylan: 3-0
Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool: Liverpool begin life without Xabi Alonso, and with an injury crisis affecting their defence this could be an uncomfortable start. They lost at Spurs 2-1 last season, in Harry Redknapp’s first game, and you can bet Peter Crouch and Robbie Keane will be looking to prove a point.
Predictions: Paul Radford: 2-2; Miles Evans: 2-1; Mike Collett: 1-2; Mitch Phillips: 1-1; Patrick Johnston: 2-1; Owen Wyatt: 1-1; Simon Evans: 1-0; Kevin Fylan: 2-2
So go on then … give us your predictions.
(Mini-previews by Patrick Johnston)
PHOTO: Michael Ballack wins friends at the Community Shield, Wembley Stadium, August 9, 2009. REUTERS/Darren Staples