Writer: Andy Jackson
Date:Friday March 13 2009
A new feature here on Vital Wigan is previewing all the weekends Premier League games and our new colleague Andy Jackson takes up the mantle, so lets look at the previews:
Manchester Unitedtd v Liverpool (ko 12.45)
Certainly the game of the weekend, and the first of the day`s fixtures.
Both teams ensconced into the Champions League quarter finals with ease in midweek and confidence in both camps will be sky high.
This clash never disappoints and Manchester United will be looking to extinguish the faint fire that is Liverpool`s title bid once and for all with a victory at Old Trafford. Rooney thrust extra spice into this already fiery affair, with his comments after the Inter game.
We are yet to hear whether Benitez opts for another pre-match rant as a pre-match aperitif, but even if Rafa though it may be a foolish to move to take on Sir Alex again.
Despite a Liverpool master class in midweek, the nation is not naïve enough to expect a repeat on the domestic scene. It is likely Man Utd will continue their inexorable title push with another win.
Arsenal v Blackburn Rovers
"0-0 to the Arsenal" has been the mordant chant from the opposition in recent weeks, but Arsenal will look to feed off their midweek euphoria with a home victory.
With rivals for 4th place, Villa facing a difficult tie against Spurs, many fans will be facing mixed emotions.
Arsene will expect his side to claim all 3 points against a Blackburn side who broke out of the bottom three with a win away at Fulham in midweek.
Big Sam is no stranger to frustrating Arsene and his side, and I could see this being an onerous challenge once again for the Gooners.
Bolton Wanderers v Fulham
Not the most attractive of the day`s fixtures and it will be a toss up with our game at the Stadium of Light for the penultimate spot on Match of the Day.
Fulham have struggled of late, surrendering a usually sold home form with two disappointing losses to sides battling against relegation.
Bolton should not be underestimated by any side when they step out into the Reebok Arena, and with their goal scoring troubles behind them, I can see this going only one way.
Everton v Stoke City
I don`t see a surprise here. Stoke shocked many with their determined and admirable comeback at Villa Park a few weeks ago, however I do not expect a repeat.
Everton are a strong side, and I expect a professional job from Moyes`s men. Everton have scored more headers than any other Premier League side this season. However, Stoke`s aerial presence is their main strength, and this could help to diminish much of Everton`s threat from set pieces.
Nonetheless, an Everton side revitalised with the return to fitness of French striker, Louise Saha, should prove too much for the Potters.
Hull City v Newcastle United
It is a surprise to see both of these clubs have been dragged into relegation dogfights, but for different reasons.
Newcastle fans appear to consider their club too illustrious for the fall, and Hull started so very brightly.
Hull may have shocked many with their last gasp winner against Fulham away from home, but their form recently has been shaky, and the club will be desperate to crawl over the 40 point finishing line as soon as possible.
Middlesbrough V Portsmouth
Another pair in dire need of a win.
Despite beating Liverpool 2-0 a few weeks ago, Boro have been hunched down at the bottom of the table and their survival hopes will rely on a strong home form.
The misfiring and expensive Alfonso Alves needs to finish the season on a high, and regain his Dutch league scoring exploits.
Tuncay too is better than his recent form suggests, and I expect Boro to build on a fantastic outing against Liverpool last time round.
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Date:Friday March 13 2009
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