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Arsenal look to outgun champs

Arsenal look to outgun champs


Sir Alex Ferguson doesn’t want to see any more defensive errors. AFP
Bolton will hope striker Kevin Davies can continue his strong form up front during their away game against West Brom tomorrow. AFP

Wigan Athletic v Wolves
Saturday October 2 - 6:45pm
Dring’s prediction: 1-2
Key players: Charles N’Zogbia & Steven Fletcher

Wigan host Wolves in Saturday’s early kick off, eager to get their first home win of the season.
Apart from a shock away win at Spurs, Wigan have looked like relegation material and they’ve been dire in front of their home fans. Charles N’Zogbia is back in the side and the Frenchman is one of Wigan’s few creative influences.
Wolves have been playing better than their results suggest and Mick McCarthy will expect at least a point from this game. Fletcher and Jarvis will be a handful on the break and Wolves’ extra quality should make them favourites.

Stoke City v Blackburn
Saturday October 2 - 9pm
Dring’s prediction: 2-1
Key players: Kenwyne Jones & Christopher Samba

Blackburn visit the Britannia Stadium to play Stoke City.
Blackburn seemed to have turned the corner and it will keep them in good stead for Stoke’s onslaught. Chris Samba is in cracking form and he’ll be key, as the towering defender fights off endless crosses and the inform Kenwyne Jones.
Stoke have found a gem in Jones, with the gangly striker taking no time at all to adjust to his new surroundings. Stoke will pile on the pressure and hope their boisterous supporters can haul them to another three points.

Birmingham City v Everton
Saturday October 2 - 9pm
Dring’s prediction: 1-1
Key players: Alexander Hleb & Mikel Arteta

Everton travel to Birmingham rooted at the bottom of the table.
David Moyes’ side can’t seem to buy a goal for love nor money at the moment and they won’t find it easy at a stingy St Andrews. With Saha out, the Toffees are without a genuine goal scorer, so the likes of Mikel Arteta are going to have to produce some magic from midfield.
Birmingham should feel almost unbeatable at home, but they can struggle to open up opposing sides. Alexander Helb is just starting to find his feet at his new club and the Belarusian has the potential to offer Birmingham more imagination going forwards. Despite massive desire from both teams, this fixture has a draw written all over it.

West Brom v Bolton
Saturday October 2 - 9pm
Dring’s prediction: 2-1
Key players: Peter Odemwingie & Kevin Davies

High flying West Brom entertain Bolton Wanders at the Hawthorns.
Bolton managed to hold Manchester United last Sunday and they’re going to need another battling performance if they want to get anything out of this game. Bolton have two powerful strikers to aim for in Elmander and Kevin Davies and, as long as the likes of Petrov can get hold of the ball, they have half a chance.
West Brom fans must be on cloud nine and Roberto Di Matteo will want more of the same. I expect him to send his players out all fired up, ready to play attacking football. Odemwingie epitomises the Baggies self belief and if he can keep scoring, then West Brom should keep on winning.

Sunderland v Man United
Saturday October 2 - 9pm
Dring’s prediction: 1-2
Key players: Darren Bent & Dimitar Berbatov

Manchester United head to Sunderland ready to get their first win on the road.
Sunderland have performed well against the big teams this season and they’ll realise United are far from invincible. Darren Bent continues to be prolific in front of goal and with a jam packed Stadium of Light behind them, this one should be a fierce contest.
With Rooney out, Berbatov is likely to play up top on his own, and with Giggs and Valencia both in the treatment room, extra responsibility will be placed on Nani. Sir Alex will have been alarmed in recent games by the Red Devils careless defending but as long as they can cut out the basic errors, they should claim a hard fought victory.

West Ham v Fulham
Saturday October 2 - 9pm
Dring’s prediction: 1-1
Key players: Frederic Piquionne & Clinton Dempsey

Fulham take their unbeaten record east across London to take on West Ham.
Hammers fans were elated after they finally claimed their first three points of the season last week. They beat Tottenham through passion and energy. Scott Parker led by example in midfield and, along with Piquionne, he’ll need to inspire again.
Fulham almost seem to not want to come out of their shell. They might not be losing matches, but at the same time they look unlikely to pick up three points. Clint Dempsey is their likeliest match winner; however this game could be heading for another Fulham stalemate.

Tottenham v Aston Villa
Saturday October 2 - 9pm
Dring’s prediction: 2-1
Key players: Luka Modric & Emile Heskey

Tottenham host Aston Villa keen to get their league campaign up and running.
Villa are inconsistent right now, but they do have plenty of match winners in their side. Emile Heskey seems rejuvenated since his reunion with Gerrard Houllier, and his teammates will fancy a struggling Tottenham.
Spurs have been decimated by defensive injuries and it should make this game a cracker as Harry Redknapp has no choice but to go on the attack. Modric is slowly getting back to full sharpness and the diminutive Croatian is going to need to be at his majestic best if Tottenham are going to get back to winning ways.

Man City v Newcastle United
Sunday October 3 - 7:30pm
Dring’s prediction: 2-0
Key players: Carlos Tevez & Joey Barton

Manchester City play Newcastle adamant that last week’s win over Chelsea was no fluke.
Mancini believes he has the winning formula and his tactics won’t change for the game against Toon Army. Teves will once again lead the line on his own, and Mancini’s five man midfield should suffocate the life out of Newcastle.
Newcastle are capable of pulling off a shock and if they are going to upset the odds, then former hero Joey Barton is going to have to boss the midfield and hope they can hurt City on the counter attack.

Liverpool v Blackpool
Sunday October 3 - 9pm
Dring’s prediction: 3-0
Key players: Fernando Torres & Matthew Gilks

Liverpool simply have to beat Blackpool at Anfield on Sunday.
The Reds are a mess on and off the pitch. A failure to claim all three points this weekend is unthinkable. Torres will have no better chance than this to find the back of the net and I fancy him to terrorise Blackpool’s defence.
Blackpool have nothing to lose but at the same time it’s hard to see them being anything other than cannon fodder. Matthew Gilks will have to have the game of his life in goal for the Tangerines if they are to send Liverpool into even more turmoil.

Chelsea v Arsenal
Sunday October 3 - 10pm
Dring’s prediction: 2-1
Key players: Didier Drogba & Samir Nasri

Arsenal travel to Chelsea desperate to prove they can challenge for the title.
The Gunners were rocked by their home defeat to West Brom last weekend, and if they don’t improve defensively they’ll get tortured by Chelsea. Nasri and Wilshere will have to monopolise possession if Arsenal are to get anything out of this match.
Chelsea were under par at Manchester City and Ancelotti won’t want another wobble. Drogba was quiet last week and he should be hungry for goals. Both teams should make this game a cracker. Despite all that Arsenal have to offer, Chelsea’s superior defence makes them firm favourites in this Super Sunday showdown.


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