Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

Steven Beacom's Premier League predictions

Remember the days when all football matches started at 3pm on Saturday?

This weekend only three start at the old traditional time. That’s TV and the UEFA Cup being played on a Thursday for you.

Sports Editor Steven Beacom gives his verdict on all the Premier League games while Paddy Power provides the odds for each fixture.

All games start at 3pm on Saturday, unless stated!

BLACKBURN v MAN UTD|(Saturday 5.30pm)

The self styled Guvnor versus the real one. For the first time in his managerial career, Paul Ince takes on Sir Alex Ferguson and I can only see one winner. And he didn’t play for Inter Milan!

Fergie, while disappointed to have seen Paul Scholes pick up a serious injury in the Champions League in midweek, will have been delighted that Dimitar Berbatov opened his account for the club against Aalborg.

You get the feeling that with Berbatov and Wayne Rooney now scoring and Cristiano Ronaldo nearing full fitness, United are getting into their stride.

That good be bad news for Blackburn and a certain Mr Ince.

Beacom Prediction: 1-3

PADDY POWER ODDS: Blackburn to win 5/1, United to win 8/13, Draw 13/5.

SUNDERLAND v ARSENAL

Roy Keane had many a great battle with the Gunners as a player and I’m sure he would relish taking on and stopping Cesc Fabregas in midfield tomorrow.

Arsenal were excellent against Porto on Tuesday but that home defeat to Hull City last weekend still hurts.

Sunderland will make it tough and they are a decent 5/1 with Paddy Power to win, but Arsenal should still be too good.

Beacom Prediction: 1-2

PADDY POWER ODDS: Sunderland 5/1, Arsenal 8/13, Draw 13/5.

WEST BROM |v FULHAM

After a decent start, Fulham are stuttering a little while West Brom are going in the opposite direction. Despite a buoyant atmosphere though, Fulham’s experience may earn them a point.

Beacom Prediction: 1-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: WBA 13/10, Fulham 21/10, Draw 9/4.

WIGAN v MIDDLESBROUGH

Wigan are one of the least interesting sides in the top flight, but they were great to watch in their win over Man City last week. They showed tremendous heart. I see an after the Lord Mayor’s show scenario going on here though.

Beacom Prediction: 1-2

PADDY POWER ODDS: Wigan 6/5, Boro 12/5, Draw 9/4.

CHELSEA v ASTON VILLA |(Sunday 3pm)

This should be a tasty little affair. Villa’s power and pace in attack is sure to test John Terry (pictured) and co. Chelsea’s remarkable home record remains intact though Spurs and Manchester United have taken points from them at the Bridge this season.

Villa would settle for a 1-1 draw, but I think Chelsea will edge it.

Beacom Prediction: 2-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: Chelsea 4/9, Villa 15/2, Draw 3/1.

EVERTON v NEWCASTLE |(Sunday 4pm)

Another week has passed and the rumours have continued. One is that if Kevin Keegan doesn’t return to Newcastle, Everton boss David Moyes will end up there.

Everton fans would hate that. I doubt Moyes is that silly. As for Newcastle, well, Michael Owen might score. They will surely get a decent result soon. If they don’t get it on Sunday, I’m finished with backing them for wins or draws.

Beacom Prediction: 2-2

PADDY POWER ODDS: Everton 4/5, Newcastle 7/2, Draw 12/5.

MAN CITY v LIVERPOOL

(Sunday 3pm)

Along with Villa’s trip to Chelsea, this is the best match of the weekend.

City, having lost to Wigan, will be determined to bounce back and with memories of their last home game - a 6-0 success over Portsmouth - no doubt refreshed by Mark Hughes, Liverpool could be in for a rough ride at Eastlands.

Chelsea, though, showed earlier this season that if you are title material you go to places like City and win.

Liverpool might have to settle for a draw which, when all things are considered, won’t be enough to win that elusive 19th league title next May.

Beacom Prediction: 1-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: City 21/10, Liverpool 13/10, Draw 9/4.

PORTSMOUTH v STOKE (Sunday 3pm)

Harry Redknapp’s men have had a mixed season, but they’ll win more than they lose, such as this one.

Beacom Prediction: 2-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: Pompey 4/6, Stoke 9/2, Draw 13/5.

SPURS v HULL (Sunday 3pm)

Could Hull City do a north London double? Well, the way Spurs are in the league, I guess anything is possible.

I have to say that last weekend’s victory for Hull City at Arsenal was the result of the season; indeed I’d say it was the result of the last two seasons.

Hull were superb and deserved their celebrations at the end.

That Hull victory gave Spurs fans something to smile about.

Much as Arsenal supporters would love the boot to be on the other foot, I fancy Tottenham to emerge with all three points.

Beacom Prediction: 3-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: Spurs 4/5, Hull 7/2, Draw 12/5.

WEST HAM v BOLTON (Sunday 1.30pm)

Fresh from seeing that outrageous penalty given against them at Old Trafford, Bolton will be up for the visit to Upton Park. But the magic of Gianfranco Zola may just see the Hammers through.

Beacom Prediction: 3-2

PADDY POWER ODDS: West Ham 4/5, Bolton 7/2, Draw 12/5.

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