Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Sanford's Premiership Predictions Results

Six right, four wrong, one perfect score...

A rather unispired performance, I'll admit.

OK, let’s start at the top. I had a pretty good feeling that Liverpool would be Arsenal. They had lost to them three times already this season and it’s tough to beat any team in the top flight four times in one year. ManU would struggle to beat Sheffield United four times in one season. Chelsea would struggle to beat Watford four times in one season. You get my point. But who knew the lethargy that the Gunners would show? They were so inept, slow, and just plain poor. Meanwhile, Liverpool look to be gelling just at the right moment. So my Uncle can knock off $10 from the mountain of cash I'm owed based on past Gunner/Reds encounters.

As for Bolton and Sheffield United, Bolton did get the win but I thought they’d get more goals. And although Le Sulk didn’t score, he was critical in the buildup to Davis’ fine finish. Bolton will play in Europe next year, but I wonder who will be playing for Bolton?

Kudos to Charlton for finding all three points in their match with Wigan. I was confident this would be a draw but a dodgy penalty allowed Darren Bent to score from the spot. It was a classic 50/50 call and Charlton got it and with it the victory. They’ll still go down.

I was also wrong about the Craven Cottage clash. Fulham could only salvage a draw. But it’s a huge point and they’ve got to feel comfortable.

Up in the northwest I thought Blackburn could pull one off at Old Trafford. They didn’t, of course. But they did score first and for a second I thought I might be right. But this is United’s year because of their ability to win in matches like this, even with patchwork squads. Scholes was magnificent.

Flip over the the northeast and you’ve got a rot in full effect. Just what is it about Newcastle? I thought they’d have the goods to take a team like City (woeful on the road) at St. James’ Park. But no. Their talented side is not a team that can flow at the moment and serious questions have to asked of Glen Roeder. I can’t see him lasting long if this continues. How can a team with Martins, Parker, Dyer, Duff, Given, etc. be crap so often?

I was right about West Ham, though. Tevez has found his feet and he’s got the skill and panache to take the Hammers to safety. There’s still time and I could see it happening. Boro are Boro. Like Man City, terrible on their travels. Blah, blah Boro.

I’d rather not comment on the Chelsea match. So I won’t. You can read about it elsewhere.

Spurs did their best Arsenal (this past Saturday aside) imitation by dominating play, creating loads of chances, and relying on a dubious handball penalty to beat Reading. I assumed they’d stroll at White Hart Lane, but man, Reading are a tough side. Anyway, it was just one-nil there thanks to Robbie Keane’s shot from the spot.

And then yesterday was my lone perfect score. A 1-1 draw between Villa and Everton that always looked to be headed in that direction. Everton will be upset that they didn't get the penalty but they can join Reading with their complaints. You win some, you lose some.

At this point the top two are set. I can’t see Chelsea catching ManU, nor do they deserve to. United have been the better side throughout the year and continue to play better than their West London rivals. Meanwhile, the fight for third won’t be a fight at all based on Saturday but Arsenal still have a game in hand and anything is possible. I don’t think anyone below will catch either Liverpool or Arsenal. That leaves the relegation fight to enjoy. My suspicion is that West Ham will carve a great escape, most likely at the expense of Sheffield United. -Sanford

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