Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

Steven Beacom's Premier League predictions

After a two-week break and numerous internationals in between, the Premiership returns tomorrow and if the season so far is anything to go by, it will come back with a bang.

Sports Editor Steven Beacom gives his verdict on all the top flight games while Paddy Power supplies the odds. All matches kick-off at 3pm on Saturday unless stated.

BIRMINGHAM v FULHAM

Alex McLeish’s men will enter this fixture on the back of draws against Manchester City and Liverpool, so I’m sure the Scot will be looking to kick-on with a home win over Fulham. Easier said than done. Roy Hodgson’s men continue to impress, even with Europe as an added distraction. They’ll finish mid-table come May. Birmingham would take that right now even with the influx of cash in January courtesy of new owner Carson Yeung, who seems to have a permanent smile on his face.

Beacom Prediction: 1-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: Birmingham to win 6/4 Draw 11/5 Fulham to win 9/5



BURNLEY v ASTON VILLA

As we all know Burnley’s home record is extremely impressive. Just ask Sir Alex Ferguson, David Moyes and Steve Bruce. I have a hunch we won’t be adding Martin O’Neill to that list of beaten bosses at Turf Moor this season. With Villa’s pace they will love counter attacking Burnley. Away win on the cards.

Beacom Prediction: 1-3

PADDY POWER ODDS: Burnley 12/5 Draw 23/10 Villa 23/20



CHELSEA v WOLVES

Even without the injured Frank Lampard, this is the ideal opportunity for Chelsea to improve their goal difference. They weren’t anything like their best against Manchester United a fortnight ago, but they got the win and that’s all that counts. Five points clear of United, Carlo Ancelotti will want that gap to remain or increase as his team enter 2010. There should be no problems at the Bridge for the home side in keeping their manager happy on that score tomorrow.

Beacom Prediction: 3-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: Chelsea 1/7 Draw 6/1 Wolves 20/1



HULL v WEST HAM

I get the feeling that it is only a matter of time before Phil Brown loses his job at Hull. Basically the end will come the next time he loses a game, or even if he draws one. It’s ridiculous really when you think about it. Wasn’t it Brown who got Hull into the Premier League in the first place? And wasn’t it Brown who kept Hull in the Premier League last season? And isn’t it Brown who is keeping them out of the bottom three this season? The Hammers, who are in the relegation zone, might just put Phil out of his misery.

Beacom Prediction: 1-2

PADDY POWER ODDS: Hull 9/5 Draw 9/4 West Ham 6/4

LIVERPOOL v MAN CITY |(Saturday 12.45pm)

Massive match for both sides. Back in August I stated that if Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard played 35 games each Liverpool would win the title. The way things have been going for Rafael Benitez he’ll be lucky if they play 35 games between them. It all adds up to Liverpool battling it out for fourth rather than first and in that battle with them is City. Both have under-performed in the last few months and both will feel this is the type of encounter that can kick-start their campaign. Former Liverpool player Craig Bellamy will be a key figure. He gave the Reds a tough time last season and is capable of more of the same helped by the likes of Carlos Tevez and Emmanuel Adebayor. It’s a tricky one to call but if Gerrard plays he could inspire the home side, just as Torres did against that other club from Manchester a while back.

Beacom Prediction: 2-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: Liverpool 10/11 Draw 23/10 City 16/5



MAN UNITED v EVERTON |(Saturday 5.30pm)

The second in the double bill of Manchester v Merseyside. This one is a little easier to predict. Had Liverpool not been in such a mess this season, questions would be being asked of United right now. Three defeats and, bar a brilliant display at Spurs, they have stuttered along. Everton don’t have what it takes to make it four defeats tomorrow.

Beacom Prediction: 4-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: United 4/11 Draw 7/2 Everton 8/1



SUNDERLAND v ARSENAL

There is always one club hit by international football and this time it has been Arsenal with Robin van Persie injured playing for Holland. That’s a big blow but given the confidence the Gunners are playing with at present they should still sneak it.

Beacom Prediction: 1-2

PADDY POWER ODDS: Sunderland 5/1 Draw 14/5 Arsenal 4/7



BOLTON v BLACKBURN (Sunday 1.30pm)

The Sunday games aren’t too exciting this week. This one is the pick of the bunch with Sam Allardyce returning to the Reebok.

Beacom Prediction: 1-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: Bolton 6/5 Draw 9/4 Blackburn 23/10



STOKE v PORTSMOUTH |(Sunday 4pm)

As Pompey continue their attempts to climb away from the bottom of the table, they should look towards Stoke for inspiration.

Beacom Prediction: 2-2

PADDY POWER ODDS: Stoke Evens Draw 23/10 Portsmouth 11/4

SPURS v WIGAN (Sunday 3pm)

This is the sort of game that Tottenham have been prone to slipping up in during past seasons, but they should be okay this time in a great chance for them to put down a marker for finishing in the top four.

Beacom Prediction: 3-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: Spurs 4/9 Draw 3/1 Wigan 7/1

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