01 April 2005

Premiership Preview

Well, internationals are done for now, and it's back to the leagues. What catches the eye for this weekend's games?

Arsenal, always first in my heart, are home to Norwich. Of course it's a disappointing year for the Gunners, yet they're still in third, and chasing Manchester United (two points ahead) for second. Norwich are running out of time; they're dead last, seven points from safety. With eight games left, there's not many points left on the table, and it's difficult to see how they take any tomorrow. Gilberto Silva is due to return for Arsenal, after missing six months due to a broken vertebrea. I think that time has taught the Gunners (and their fans) how much Gilberto contributes to the team. Anything less than a comfortable win will be a disappointment.

The Gunner's target, Manchester United, are home to Blackburn tomorrow. Rovers have been uneven all year, but their defense has solidified under the guidance of Mark Hughes. However, their goalscoring hasn't kept pace, and it's difficult to imagine ManU will go without a goal at home. Tough to see how Blackburn take any points from this one.

Chelsea are of course the class of the league at the moment, and only an historic collapse would see them yield the Premiership this year. They're away to Southampton tomorrow, who have been on a nice little run of their own, with no losses since 2 Feb. I thought Chelsea might begin to drop points when Arjen Robben went down, but Joe Cole in particular has stepped up and the attack has continued. Southampton are a tough team, and they will give Chelsea a fight. If Chelsea are caught looking ahead to their Wednesday Champions League clash with Bayern Munich, Southampton just might nick a point or three.

Other games of note:The Fox Soccer Channel schedule for the weekend:

Saturday 6:30AM: Charlton - Man City
Saturday 11:00AM: Southampton - Chelsea
Saturday 3:00PM: Arsenal - Norwich
Sunday 1:00PM: Fulham - Portsmouth

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