All you Rascals out there in need of a cash injection look no further, we have bought in Betto to run through the Premier League fixtures for Saturday to help with what’s shaping up to be two very expensive weekends. The sun is shining and the last place you want to be is stuck indoors because you have no cash! So let’s get it started in here with my round up and Betto’s tips…SHOW ME THE MOOOONNNNEEEYYYYY!!!
Man United v Everton
12.45pm Kick Off
Live from ye Old Trafford and also live in your front room/public house on Sky Sports 2
What a big game to kick off our Saturday football fest. Fergie is back in the dugout for this Scot v Scot match up. Manchester United cannot afford another slip in this title race and will have to put in a big performance in this must win game. But they are coming up against an in-form Everton, who have managed to put a run together to push them up to 7th in the table just behind Merseyside neighbours. In the last 7 matches the toffees have won 5 and drawn 2 and have only failed to score in one league match since New Year’s Day. Manchester United have taken an amazing 52 points from 54 in their league games at Old Trafford this season.
United Team News: Things aren’t looking great for United with Scholes suspended, Berbatov and Ferdinand doubtful, and Fletcher and Rafael both out.
Everton Team News: Cahill and Heitinga doubtful and Arteta, Fellaini, and Saha all out.
Betto: What a game football lovers, always a spicy affair and Manchester United don’t fair too well against Everton. But injuries are taking their toll on both teams, this one is certainly hard to call. With Rooney ready to lead Manchester United’s charge to the finish line the winning mentality should be too strong, but you can never discount Everton. Man United win, cover bet of draw.
Aston Villa v Stoke City
3.00pm Kick Off
Live from Villa Park
These two teams meet at Villa Park both having picked up their form of late. Villa come off the back of a good win against West Ham, a game that seemed destined for a draw until the last minute goal. But Stoke hammered Bolton 5-0 in the FA Cup semi final and will be full of confidence. Stoke’s form of late has been impressive, only losing to Spurs narrowly in the last 4 league games and holding Chelsea to a draw. It is usually a narrow game at Villa park, but with Houllier in hospital and big G-Mac in charge will they have enough to turnover Stoke?
Villa Team News: Houllier out.
Stoke Team News: Higginbotham, Sidibe.
Betto: Hard to call, two teams both with similar form and reasonably similarly matched. Can Villa cope with the physical battle? Can Stoke handle the pace and extra class of players like Young? Houllier out is a massive factor. Draw.
Blackpool v Newcastle
3.00pm Kick Off
Live from beside the seaside
What better way to kick off your bank holiday weekend Newcastle fans, than a trip to Blackpool for a long weekend. There will no doubt be a lot of fish and chips, beer, and donkey rides on the agenda…let’s just hope the Newcastle team don’t have to wheel out their own donkey Shefki Kuqi. Newcastle are having a good season and are currently sitting in 9th spot, but their form of late has been all over the place, even though they did manage to hold United to a draw in the last game. Blackpool’s form hasn’t been much better, they have conceded 3 goals in the each of the last 5 matches and the defence needs to shore up if they want to stay in the league. Home games are vital for Blackpool, but they have lost 3 out of the last 4.
Blackpool Team News: Big news is Charlie Adam is fit and Vaughan should be fit.
Newcastle Team News: Harper out, Ireland should be ready to start. Guthrie out.
Betto: Tough one to call, obvious choice is a Newcastle win, but Blackpool need this and have scored in every home game this season in the league. The key here will be the midfield, it is where Newcastle win and lose most games, if Blackpool score early Newcastle could struggle. If Newcastle score early, this could be a rout. Not a great one to bet on as anything could happen; I was going for a Newcastle win, then changed my mind from a draw.
Liverpool v Birmingham
3.00pm Kick Off
Live from Anfield
What a transformation Liverpool have made under Kenny Dalglish, and it showed how far they have come after a hard fought draw last weekend at Arsenal. Birmingham’s early season promise is now a distant memory, and with Hleb gobbing off this week that their style of play is pretty much uncultured and rubbish, all does not seem well in the Midlands. Birmingham’s form is up and down to say the least, but they arrive at Liverpool only losing only 1 out of their last 4 matches. Liverpool have been a busy pressing side of late, so this game should be a good match up.
Liverpool Team News: Agger, Gerrard, Johnson & Kelly are out. Aurelio, Carragher, and Carroll doubtful
Birmingham Team News: Dann, Zigic, Martins, McFadden, Taylor, and Valles all out.
Betto: Tough call this one, Birmingham are desperate for the points, but have a lot of players out. Liverpool could also be missing some key men and I think this one will come down to starting line-ups. If Carroll and Carragher start for Liverpool, I would say a home win. But with a lot of youngsters playing and experience missing they could come unstuck to the hustle and bustle of Birmingham. Bet late, I am going for a draw.
Sunderland v Wigan
3.00pm Kick Off
Live from The Stadium of Light
A matchup of two pretty awful teams, but the signs are that Wigan could be turning the corner after their 3-1 win at Blackpool. Sunderland have been free falling losing 8 of their last 9 games, a record that the Elephant Man can’t be proud of. With Steve Bruce facing his old club and both teams scrapping for points, we have a big battle on our hands. Both sides will see this as a good opportunity to take 3 points, but the home side will not want to be turned over in front of their fans again.
Sunderland Team News: Muntari, Richardson, Welbeck, and Ferdinand are all doubtful. Bramble, Campbell, Gordon, and Menseh are all out
Wigan Team News: Figueroa is suspended
Betto’s Beauty: I have given this game a ‘you beauty’ rating…could be a classic. That was obviously a joke and this is a hard one to call. Sunderland are struggling and have a lot of injuries, but they have to win at home some time. Wigan have been playing well and on form and on paper would probably be favourites. Sunderland Win as they have to win some time, that’s the only logic.
Tottenham v West Brom
3.00pm Kick Off
Live from White Hart Lane
This is a massive game for Spurs if they are to stay in the hunt for Champions League football this season. West Brom won’t be a push over and are currently on a great run under Roy Hodgson only losing one in their last 6, including results against Liverpool and Arsenal. Spurs should be in confident mood having battled so well at home against Arsenal in the week and will want 3 points for the home fans today. When West Brom play away they score goals and with Spurs leaky defence, they will think this is all to play for.
Spurs Team News: Bale is the major doubt for Spurs, whilst Palacios, King, Hutton, and Woodgate remain sidelined.
West Brom Team News: Dorrans and Cech are out.
Betto: This is a big game, Spurs need this, but so do West Brom who are surely only points from safety. If Spurs play like they did against Arsenal then West Brom should have no chance, but the Baggies will have different ideas. Spurs Win.
Wolves v Fulham
3.00pm Kick Off
Live from Molineux
This matchup is between two majorly inconsistent teams, but with Wolves rock bottom they will be desperado to take three points. Fulham have been a bit unlucky of late, narrowly losing 3, but winning two and drawing one in the last 6 games. Wolves have an almost identical record, swapping a win for a draw, but losing 3 in the last 6 games. Fulham have failed to win any of their last 7 away matches. A lot of stats there, but I am now clutching, so let’s check the team news.
Wolves Team News: Doyle, Edwards, Zubar, and Elokobi are all out.
Fulham Team News: Duff is doubtful, Senderos out.
Betto: Wolves need the points, but without Kevin Doyle I can’t see them providing too much threat up tops. Fulham aren’t much better. Draw.
Chelsea v West Ham
5.30pm Kick Off
Live from a sunny pub garden or your living room with a BBQ on ESPN
A big London derby rounds off our Saturday football and for both teams games don’t come much bigger than this. Chelsea have run out 3-1 winners in their last two games against teams towards the bottom of the league and will no doubt be looking to smash a few past West Ham. West Ham now haven’t won in the last 5 games, but will be hopeful of taking something away from the Bridge as they battle to escape the relegation zone. The big news for West Ham is that FWA Footballer of the Year is out against his old club, bad news.
Chelsea Team News: Cole is a doubt, but should feature. Alex and Ramires are both out.
West Ham Team News: Da Costa is doubtful. Dyer (surprise), O’Neil, and Parker are notable absentees.
Betto’s Banker: I am sticking my neck out calling this my banker, but it has to be. West Ham with no Parker is like a pen with no ink, bodger without badger, pie without mash…Chelsea are looking for a strong finish, Chelsea Win…maybe even a Torres goal. Actually, probably not the Torres goal.