Saturday, December 11, 2010

On the Forecast: Gameweek 17

He must be extremely happy about Ferreira on the right
On this week edition of On the Forecast, there are at least five (5) local derbies within England. Can these be the highest number of derby in a week? Maybe someone can prove me otherwise.

Please do check an interesting geography lesson regarding the England local derbies on the header bar. Here the rundown of this weekend games; geographical style:-

West Midlands Derbies
All four (4) midlands team square off against each other; AST vs WBA Reunion gone bad for Houllier last time out and expect his team to respond positively with Downing and returning Ashley Young your main men; Same news resurfaced again as Baggies main players, Brunt & Odemwingie struggling to be fit this weekend; If both not playing, Villa have a high chance on winning; If they are fit, I still go with a win for Villa albeit a very tight one.

Comprehensively beaten by Blackburn last week, WOL vs BIR Wolves look to bounce back at home against their neighbor who will feel at home even though they haven't won an away game in six; Birmingham will relish the short trip and I expect one of their defender to score this week, Ridgewell maybe; Another draw to make it seven winless streak away.

Lancashire Derbies
Sam Allardyce to make a point against his former boss with a visit to The Reebok; But Owen Coyle's inspired Bolton will try to punish the visitors with attractive football; BOL vs BLA Elmander to break his goal scoring duck against Pedersen 'curvy' ammunitions; Play any of your attacking players and avoid both defenses if you can; I see another draw to be honest.

Everton played well and deserved their draw against Chelsea but facing unpredictable Wigan, anything is possible; EVE vs WIG Most will predict of Everton mauling (remember West Brom anyone?) but when Wigan do play they really run the show; I smell a draw but Everton have a bit of the winning edge; Nzogbia versus Cahill show.

Longest Trip of The Week

The Black Cats make the longest journey of the week by coming south to central London to meet winless in six Fulham; Mr reliable Clint Dempsey will again spearheads somewhat a depleted Fulham side; FUL vs SUN Expect no clean sheet for Sunderland but their own attacking trio (Gyan, Bent & Wellbeck) might click again to produce the necessary result. Current forms show that this fixture will likely be a draw. 

Allardyce in his early Bolton days

Cross Border Trips
Two teams (Blackpool & Manchester City) make a cross border trips to the south (to Stoke & West Ham respectively) while Liverpool go north to the freezing Newcastle; STK vs BLP Stoke have no problem scoring at home but The Tangerines will be firing on all cylinders after a two weeks rest; Neutral tend to choose a Stoke win but a draw will not be a surprising result. Just play all your Stoke players but no Blackpool defense please.

WHAM vs MANC The Hammers are improving but they still lack the cutting edge to be sustainable in the premiership; I'm not sure of Mancini men when the tend to not winning without Tevez services; High hopes for the expensive acquisitions Balotelli & Silva this week; One thing for sure, City defenses are really good; City to win it.

I said previously that I'm not surprised if they choose Martin Jol but Alan Pardew is quite a shock (Not really when I found out that he was drinking buddies with the owner); Nonetheless, the five and a half year deal was absolutely ridiculous; NEW vs LIV With the shock appointment and team morale a bit low after their favourite coach had been kicked out from the club, I give the advantage to Liverpool to get something; If Toon indeed put up a result, that will show their true character; If not, expect a media blast on Sunday; A tough one but I expect nothing less than a draw in front of the Newcastle faithfuls.

London Derby
After Ancelotti's Press Talk, I'm relishing the prospect of Bale terrorising handsome but slow Ferreira in this edition of North vs West derby of London; TOT vs CHE Please refer to this if you don't know what I'm talking about; We are still waiting for a blast by Drog & Co. but against a free-scoring side inside their own backyard, realistically a draw is the likely result; Chelsea's future look bleak unless they turn their fortune around this week as they have United & Arsenal next; VDV & Bosingwa are confirmed out.

From London to Manchester
Arsenal visit the town of Manchester to renew their own heated rivalry against The Red Devils; The prize of winning this fixture is top of the league (extra incentive for United with a game in hand); MANU vs ARS Van Persie is fit and he can be Arsenal secret weapon if Fab is unavailable; Nani to create plenty of goal scoring chances for the likes of Berba & Roon and expect them to make Arsenal fragile defense to concede; A tight United win with no clean sheets for both sides.

Enjoy your derby this weekend and good luck everybody...

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