Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Steven Beacom: Premier League predictions

Sports Editor Steven Beacom gives his verdict on all this weekend’s Premier League fixtures, complete with Paddy Power’s odds for each game.

The Champions League was the focus of footballing attention during the week, and no doubt the little matter of last season’s final will be brought up before Sunday’s crunch clash between Chelsea and Manchester United.

The Stamford Bridge outfit will be out for revenge after what happened in Moscow, but will they get it?

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

BLACKBURN v FULHAM

Blackburn are struggling which made it all the more remarkable that Paul Ince was top of the Newcastle wanted list when Kevin Keegan walked away. Then again with Newcastle anything goes!

Beacom Prediction: 2-2

PADDY POWER ODDS: Blackburn to win Evens Fulham to win 11/4 Draw 9/4

BOLTON v ARSENAL (Saturday 5.30pm)

The trick with Arsenal is not to let them get ahead in the first half. Otherwise you are in trouble. Not sure Bolton will master it, even though Arsenal’s long trip home from Kiev will hardly help their cause.

Beacom Prediction: 1-2.

PADDY POWER ODDS: Bolton 5/1 Arsenal 8/13 Draw 13/5

LIVERPOOL v STOKE

It’s been a good week for Liverpool coming from behind to defeat bitter rivals Manchester United at home and Marseille in Europe. The perfect way to finish it would be to go top of the table. That’s what they will do if they beat Stoke. Looks easy on paper, but it was games like this that Liverpool slipped up in last season. They can’t afford to do that this time around. Rafa Benitez’s selection will be interesting. Liverpool fans will pray he puts out his top guns, rather than take a determined Stoke side lightly. Might be tighter than many think with Rory Delap’s outrageous throw-ins causing a few problems.

Beacom Prediction: 2-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: Liverpool 2/9 Stoke 12/1 Draw 9/2



SUNDERLAND v MIDDLESBROUGH (Saturday 12.45pm)

A tasty north east derby between two sides who probably deserve to be higher up the table than they are. I fancy a score draw and wouldn’t it be ironic if David Healy pounced for the Black Cats given that last season, playing for Fulham, he netted a perfectly good goal against Boro only to see it disallowed, because the linesman couldn’t spot the ball was over the line even though it was virtually nestling in the back of the net!

Beacom Prediction: 1-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: Sunderland 7/5 Boro 2/1 Draw 11/5

WEST HAM v NEWCASTLE

This one is almost impossible to predict. You just don’t know what you will get from these two on or off the pitch. Gianfranco Zola’s (pictured) first match in charge is sure to inspire the Hammers and if they play the type of classy football he was famous for, they’ll be great to watch. Even so, I’ll back the Toon to somehow earn a point.

Beacom Prediction: 2-2

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

CHELSEA v MAN UNITED (Sunday 2pm)

What should happen is John Terry scoring the winner from the penalty spot. Don’t bet on it though. Chelsea have started the season superbly. United have yet to get going but if this game doesn’t get Red Devil juices flowing, I’ll be amazed. Chelsea have a sensational home record, however, I just have a hunch Fergie’s boys might bring it to an end. And it wouldn’t stun me if Cristiano Ronaldo hit the winner. By the way that was some reception Ronaldo received at Old Trafford when he came on in midweek from the same fans who were lambasting him in the summer for wanting to go to Real Madrid. Clearly all is forgiven - or was it just because United were desperate for a goal against Villarreal?

Beacom Prediction: 2-3

PADDY POWER ODDS: Chelsea 5/4 Man United 9/4 Draw 9/4

HULL v EVERTON (Sunday 3pm)

Having beaten two promoted sides on the road already, the Toffees will make it a hat-trick.

Beacom Prediction: 1-3.

PADDY POWER ODDS:

MAN CITY v PORTSMOUTH (Sunday 3pm)

After a poor start to the league, Pompey are up and running. There will still be plenty of optimism swirling around City after that monumental cash injection, but Harry’s boys are good enough for at least a point.

Beacom Prediction: 1-1

PADDY POWER ODDS: Man City 11/10 Portsmouth 5/2 Draw 9/4

SPURS v WIGAN (Sunday 3pm)

Bottom of the table despite being the only team to stop Chelsea winning this season. That’s Tottenham for you. Expect their first win on Sunday...at

Beacom Prediction: 3-1.

PADDY POWER ODDS: Spurs 8/11 Wigan 4/1 Draw 12/5

WEST BROM v ASTON VILLA (Sunday 12 noon)

The atmosphere at the Hawthorns will be just as hot as at the Bridge, but whether it’s enough to stop Villa remains to be seen. I’ve already said that if any side can break into the “top four” this season , it will be Martin O’Neill’s improving men.

Beacom Prediction: 1-2.

PADDY POWER ODDS: WBA 2/1 Villa 11/8 Draw 11/5.

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