Premier League preview

21 August 2009 01:32
// A bit of a hack but it works// The article snippet is wrapped onto a second line, even when #article-sub is emptyif( $("div#article-sub").children().length == 0 ) {$("div#article-sub").remove();} After an exhilarating opening week of Premier League action another full schedule promises further surprises and eye-catching results.

In midweek David saw off Goliath as Owen Coyle claimed the noticeable scalp of compatriot Sir Alex Ferguson, while Liverpool showed their blip at Tottenham was probably precisely that as they gave Stoke City a masterclass at Anfield.

Chelsea are already in the winning groove after settling quickly into the mantra of new boss Carlo Ancelotti, but it is Spurs that have raised the most eyebrows.

Saturday's action will delight the traditionalists as all six top-flight games are to kick-off at 3pm, with Arsenal, Manchester United and, whisper it quietly, Manchester City all looking to give their respective title tilts a shot in the arm.

Arsenal's stunning 6-1 win at Everton was followed by a comfortable victory in their all-British affair with Celtic on Tuesday night and thus, it is with no little trepidation Portsmouth travel to fortress Emirates.

Pompey boss Paul Hart looks like a man who's dropped a fiver and found a penny and given he's lost his first two games, doesn't know if any more of his stars will be sold and has no money to improve a depleted squad, it's no little wonder.

If he's looking for inspiration for a rousing speech he could do worse than cite Burnley's magnificent Turf Moor triumph over United. Sir Alex Ferguson is unlikely to panic given his side's panache for slow starts but nonetheless he'll be demanding United keep up their 100 per cent record against North West neighbours Wigan Athletic.

At Eastlands, Mark Hughes will parade his galaxy of stars for the first time in competitive action as Wolves - buoyed by a morale-boosting win at Wigan in midweek - are the visitors.

There has been scepticism over whether City will have the necessary grit to match their obvious talent this season, but an away win at Blackburn on the opening day owed as much to brawn as it did to guile. It will be with confidence that Hughes sends out his troops on Saturday.

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish will be a relieved man after getting his first points on the board courtesy of a late win over Portsmouth in midweek and he'll be looking for his side to emulate Saturday's visitors Stoke on their return to the big time.

The Potters demonstrated last term organisation and commitment count for plenty in the Premier League and it is like to be a feisty and physical affair that ensues at St Andrews.

Sunderland were soundly beaten in midweek by an excellent Chelsea side but Black Cats boss Steve Bruce will be reasonably content with what he has seen so far, with Darren Bent's two goals in as many games catching the eye.

The England international is revelling in the guarantee of regular playing time and will be quietly confident of notching again at home to Blackburn.

On Sunday, Burnley will be bidding to build on their headline grabbing victory over United by taking the points off an Everton side that were soundly thrashed on the opening day but impressed in Europe on Thursday. Joleon Lescott will likely watch the game from the stands with a face like the proverbial slapped derriere if events of this week are anything to go by.

A West London derby pits Roy Hodgson's Fulham with a Chelsea side that was slick and stylish on their travels to the North East in midweek, but less than convincing at home to Hull City.

The atmosphere in Craven Cottage is likely to be as cauldron like while remaining polite as possible; with bragging rights always worth fighting for in the capital, in a game that can be seen live on Sky Sports 1.

Prior to enjoying the battle for supremacy in West London it's over to the East End as West Ham and Tottenham go head-to-head.

Harry Redknapp's Spurs have started impeccably in seeing off Liverpool and running riot at Hull but a trip to Upton Park is never an easy proposition.

The Hammers may lack the financial resources of their capital counterparts but none of the style, as Gianfranco Zola's side aim to build on their winning start against Wolves at Molineux.

On Monday evening Aston Villa will attempt to rectify what was been a difficult start when they take the toughest of trips to face Liverpool.

Source: SKY_Sports

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
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