08 April 2005

Weekend Premiership Preview

What's on tap for this weekend's Prem games? Seven games left, and there are three races left: the race for second, the race to avoid the drop, and the race for Europe. So who's in play this weekend?

Middlesboro vs Arsenal: Both these teams are involved in races, with Arsenal dead even on points with Man Utd for second, and Boro fighting hard for a place in Europe. Right now they're in 7th, with 45 points, but only 5 points out of 5th and 6 points out of 4th -- so European competition is still possible. This could be quite a difficult game for the Gunners. The complementary match, back in August, was a real barn-burner: Arsenal won 5-3, but not before going down 3-1 early in the second half. Has the potential to be the game of the week.

Norwich vs Man Utd: Another pair of teams involved in very different races. Man Utd have every intent of taking second from the Gunners, and three points from this match. But, as I said on Sunday, Norwich are fighting hard to stay up, despite being 8 points from safety. They'll take the game to the Devils, which may leave them with a scoreline similar to last week's 4-1 defeat.

Blackburn vs. Southampton: With 27 points, Southampton is on the very edge of the drop zone, while Blackburn (on 33 points) are only one step back. So this game will do a lot in determining the relegated teams. A win for Rovers comes close to guaranteeing their survival. Last weekend's inspirational performance against Man U should do much to boost their spirits, and I'm sure they'll come out looking to take maximum points.

Everton vs. Crystal Palace: Life doesn't get easier for the Eagles, as they face yet another team with everything to play for. Everton are desperately struggling to hold on to the final Champions League position, with Liverpool charging from behind, so they'll be desperate for the points. However, Palace are only 3 points from safety, and they'll be fighting too. If Everton give them a chance, they'll jump on it. I would expect cagey play from Everton, with Palace desperately trying to crack them open.

Other games of note:

The Fox Soccer Channel lineup for this weekend:

Saturday 12:00PM EDT: Norwich vs. Manchester Utd
Saturday 3:00PM EDT: Man City vs. Liverpool
Sunday 1:00PM EDT: Aston Villa vs. West Brom

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