Football editor's Premier League predictions

Thomas Woods, The National's football editor, predicts the outcome of the third weekend of Premier League fixtures which includes Manchester United v Arsenal, Manchester City's tricky visit to Tottenham and two West Midlands derbies.


Aston Villa v Wolverhampton Wanderers

A midlands derby, which means you can't pay quite as much attention to form. That said, Wolves have flown out of the blocks with two victories, albeit against Blackburn Rovers and Fulham. Aston Villa version 2011/12 are not a patch on the 10/11 team and I expect Wolves to do enough for at least a draw. 1-1

Wigan Athletic v Queens Park Rangers

QPR will be buoyed by last week's win at Everton. Wigan have made a solid enough start to the season, with two draws. A key factor in this one is that Hugo Rodallega should be available to start for Wigan. The Colombian forward is the class act for the home team and could be a matchwinner. 1-0

Blackburn Rovers v Everton

A sombre mood hangs around both clubs after poor beginnings to the campaign and a lack of investment in each squad. Though I expect Everton to at least finish in the top half this season, something tells me that this is the kind of game where they might slip up again. Blackburn to grind out a victory and boy do they need it. 1-0

Chelsea v Norwich City

The Londoners stuttered last week against an impressive West Bromwich Albion side, coming from behind to win 2-1. However, as Andre Villas-Boas gradually stamps his mark on the team, expect them to become much more efficient at home. 3-0

Swansea City v Sunderland

A Michel Vorm penalty save earned Swansea a point in their opening home match against Wigan. Brendan Rodgers will be looking for his side to take points from this kind of game, against the league's second tier sides, at home if his men are to stay up. 1-1

Liverpool v Bolton Wanderers

Bolton impressed despite losing 3-2 to Manchester City on Sunday. Liverpool were relatively comfortable, if not spectacular, in beating Arsenal away. And that will please manager Kenny Dalglish as they definitely have a couple more gears to find. Bolton's record is terrible at Anfield, home win. 2-0


Newcastle United v Fulham

Newcastle are very unpredictable, yet they will suffer from the possible loss of midfielder Joey Barton to QPR. Sometimes the expectation of the home crowd gets to them, yet they host a Fulham team low on form and with a woeful away record. 2-1

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City

City have started the season with a bang, now comes the biggest test so far. Tottenham also have title aspirations, and while they lost 3-0 at Manchester United in their first match, they still have a quality squad. Last season's match finished 0-0 and City will want to put on more of an attacking show this time. 1-1

West Bromwich Albion v Stoke City

West Brom can count themselves unlucky to have lost both their games so far - against Manchester United and Chelsea - and, given their attacking prowess, they could put that right in a big way against Stoke. Tony Pulis' side are strong defensively, but lack a little imagination. 3-1

Manchester United v Arsenal

Most pundits are expecting United to bring Arsenal straight back down to earth after their midweek Champions League win at Udinese. And all the signs - loss of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, major suspensions and injuries, poor league form - point to a United win. Plus their recent record against the Gunners at Old Trafford is very good. 2-0

Last Week our football editor managed to predict the outcome of seven out of the 10 fixtures with none the correct score. It takes him to 10/19 for the season and 0/19 for correct score.

Agree/disagree? Have your say and put our predictor right.

Published: August 26, 2011 04:00 AM


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