After a week of absence, your Front Money Friday is back in action. Looks to be an extra long "weekend" this time around with some excellent matchups in store. Without wasting anymore time, we'll get right to my predictions for this round of fixtures.
Arsenal vs. West Bromwich Albion
Although both clubs suffered a loss last time around, The Gunners seem to have been chipped away at more than West Brom. Losing to what has become a very strong Wales club in Swansea City is not something they are used to. On the other hand, The Hawthorns only suffered a narrow defeat to a Stoke City side on a strong streak. Will the coziness of Emirates Stadium save them this time?
The Gamble: West Bromwich Albion
Aston Villa vs. Stoke City
The Potters travel to Villa Park to take on none other than Aston Villa (didn't know if it was obvious enough). On quite good form and having taken 13 points in their past 5 matches, the boys in red and white look ready. The home club unfortunately is not looking as bright. Tickling with the bottom three spots is never a fun adventure. Will the boys in claret & blue salvage a point and climb out of reach of the relegation hands?
The Gamble: Stoke City
Southampton vs. Reading
Southampton: newly promoted & still stuck in red zone. Reading: newly promoted & still stuck in red zone. What can the former Championship sides do to get a break? One has the opportunity to move out of that relegation zone, as the other has the opportunity to move one step closer to that promised land. Will royal power push them through? Or a blessing from the saints?
The Gamble: Reading
Sunderland vs. Chelsea
After being knocked out of the Champions League group stage this past week, The Blues look to get back in the swing of the league. The London boys can only hope that the Stadium of Light shines on them and not the home club. Sunderland sit dangerously close to entering the red land. With a certain outcome of the match above and a win by Chelsea, they might just get that.
The Gamble: Chelsea
Swansea City vs. Norwich City
It's something out of Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (Google will help you with my hilarious reference, if you're confused). The Canaries take a flight across the border to take on The Swans. After taking down usual powerhouse Arsenal, last weekend Swansea has had a very solid season so far. Norwich have had their deal of great wins and down times as well. Look for a quality battle between to 2nd year top flight clubs.
The Gamble: Swansea City
Wigan Athletic vs. Queens Park Rangers
I'm just not sure what to say about Queens Park Rangers anymore, other than I feel kind of bad. Hopefully the other London lads can salvage a point to give them some hope of getting out of relegation, but the favor leans more toward Wigan moving up a spot in the table.
The Gamble: Wigan Athletic
Manchester City vs. Manchester United
The Red Devils on one side of Manchester might be currently at the top of the table, but that all could change as the sacred Manchester Derby kicks off this weekend. Being fellow citizens of Manchester, the City side shares something with it's "sister" (I use that word very lightly) club. Both have world-class quality up top. But.. but the boys in red are at times a little shaky in the back. This was shown once again last weekend as Reading were able to put 3 into their net.
The Gamble: Manchester City
Everton vs. Tottenham Hotspur
The Spurs travel to Goodison Park where time are tough for many clubs quite often. Although they put away Fulham at home, look for The Toffees to put up a fight and not let the boys in white escape with all three points. Tottenham have been in good form as of late, but so have Everton overall through the season.
The Gamble: A Draw
West Ham United vs. Liverpool
The Hammers got a stunning three points over Chelsea this past weekend. Liverpool pulled away with a win as well, but a slim one at that and against a newly promoted, relegation bound team. There is no doubt The Reds will put up a fight, but on top of good form West Ham will have the supporters of Upton Park behind them.
The Gamble: West Ham United
Fulham vs. Newcastle United
Both clubs faced a 3-0 scoreline on the previous weekend. Except each was on a separate end of the score. The boys of Craven Cottage went down a strong Tottenham side as Newcastle was successful against a weaker Wigan club. The Toon Army will come to West London ready for a fight. Will The Lilywhites hold their ground or suffer another agonizing defeat?
The Gamble: Newcastle United
Thanks for tuning in once again! Feel free to leave a comment or personal prediction below. Stay tuned Monday for a "special edition" of FMF!