Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Steven Beacom's Premier League predictions

It's back to Premiership action after the international break. And we have one of those rare weekends when the ‘big four’ all play on Saturday. We haven’t quite got them all starting at 3pm like the old days, but three out of four is progress.



Sports Editor Steven Beacom gives his predictions for all the games with Paddy Power supplying the odds.

All games kick-off at 3pm on Saturday unless stated.

ARSENAL v BIRMINGHAM

The Gunners were starting to find some form before the international break. Don’t worry Arsenal fans, it shouldn’t be too difficult to pick it up against Birmingham. The Midlands outfit may have new owners but the players are still the same and they are destined for a relegation fight they may not win.

Beacom Prediction: 3-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: Arsenal to win 1/6 Draw 11/2 Birmingham 15/1

ASTON VILLA v CHELSEA (Saturday 12.45pm)

Chelsea fans are still full of the joys of winter having beaten Liverpool 2-0 in their last outing. Didier Drogba made the goals for the Blues then, and there is no doubt about it, he is a terrific player. But in my opinion he is the worst I’ve ever seen for rolling around the ground when there is absolutely nothing wrong with him. He’s a joke. Surely even the Chelsea players get embarrassed by his appalling antics. Having said all that, he’ll probably score the winner for Chelsea at Villa — if he stays on his feet of course.

Beacom Prediction: 1-2

PADDY POWER ODDS: Villa 10/3 Draw 12/5 Chelsea 5/6

EVERTON v WOLVES

After a really indifferent start the Toffees have moved up the table lately. Expect that to continue.

Beacom Prediction: 2-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: Everton 2/5 Draw 16/5 Wolves 15/2

MANCHESTER UNITED v BOLTON

Kevin Nolan used to give Manchester United real problems when he was at Bolton. With him being at Newcastle these days (that move turned out well), United should roll over the men from the Reebok without too much fuss. I see Bolton boss Gary Megson has been suggesting Sir Alex Ferguson has been hung out to dry over his comments about the fitness of referee Alan Wiley. Piece of advice Gary; just because you lick up to Sir Alex, it doesn’t mean he or his team will go easy on you.

Beacom Prediction: 4-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: United 1/5 Draw 5/1 Bolton 13/1

PORTSMOUTH v SPURS

Although I predicted that Pompey would win their first league game of the season last time out against Wolves, I reckon a few Portsmouth fans would have gladly waited a couple of weeks as long as they were guaranteed a victory over Spurs. Reason? Harry Redknapp. Good old ‘Arry, who won the FA Cup with Pompey, goes back to Fratton Park with a Tottenham team dreaming of glory this season. And he’ll take with him half of his old Pompey side.

Beacom Prediction: 1-2

PADDY POWER ODDS: Pompey 10/3 Draw 5/2 Spurs 4/5

STOKE v WEST HAM

The Hammers are not so happy at the moment, struggling to scratch a result out of somewhere.

Beacom Prediction: 1-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: Stoke 11/10 Draw 9/4 West Ham 5/2

SUNDERLAND v LIVERPOOL

So, what’s the story with Darren Bent? He scores lots of goals but has no chance of making it to the World Cup with England. Maybe he should do what Emile Heskey does, never look dangerous in the box, go out wide a lot and moan about his club situation every five minutes. Oh I forgot, that’s what Bent used to do at Spurs. Sunderland has certainly changed him. He looks a player all of a sudden. Liverpool will have to watch him on Saturday. They’ll also have to watch themselves. If they lose at the Stadium of Light, they can forget winning the title. Indeed they could almost rule out finishing in the top four.

Beacom Prediction: 1-2

PADDY POWER ODDS: Sunderland 15/4 Draw 5/2 Liverpool 8/11

BLACKBURN v BURNLEY

(Sunday 1pm)

If you want an atmosphere over the weekend get yourself to Windsor Park for tomorrow’s Big Two battle between Linfield and Glentoran. Failing that tune in to see Blackburn and Burnley go toe-to-toe. Beacom Prediction: 1-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: Blackburn 3/4 Draw 12/5 Burnley 15/4

WIGAN v MAN CITY

(Sunday 4pm)

I know Chelsea lost at Wigan recently, but I can’t see City doing the same.

Beacom Prediction: 1-3

PADDY POWER ODDS: Wigan 4/1Draw 5/2 City 7/10

FULHAM v HULL

(Monday 8pm)

Should be a home win. Could be Phil Brown’s last game in charge of Hull.

Beacom Prediction: 2-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: Fulham 7/10 Draw 5/2 Hull 4/1