The fifth game week of Barclays Premier League 2011/12 begins on Saturday 16 September 2011, when six interesting fixtures are scheduled to take place.
Blackburn v Arsenal – Kick-Off (BST) 12:45
Saturday’s early kick-off match sees two sides who have started poorly this season both looking to get their league campaign back on track.
Blackburn picked up their first point last weekend, following the three back-to-back defeats with which they opened their season, but still find themselves rooted to the bottom of the table. They’ll be hoping that Arsenal have still yet to recover fully from the humiliating 8-2 defeat they suffered at the hands of Manchester United a fortnight ago. With a squad somewhat decimated by injury and summer transfers, the Gunners, who sit 12th in the table going into this match, could be on course for another bumpy ride at Ewood Park.
A score draw could be the most likely result, unless Arsenal’s makeshift squad can find some of the flowing football that has eluded them to date this term.
Aston Villa v Newcastle – Kick-Off (BST) 15:00
Newcastle, who sit fourth, and Villa, who are eighth, have both enjoyed better Premier League opening matches than in recent seasons, so each will be keen to maintain momentum in this fixture at Newcastle’s St James’ Park.
Signs so far have been that Newcastle have tightened up particularly in defence, while perhaps lacking one golden touch up front. Villa, on the other hand, have remained strong at the back – indeed, they have added former Newcastle legend Shay Given in goal to their ranks in the summer – while possessing real goal threat through the trio of danger men Bent, Agbonlahor and Heskey.
Villa are expected to claim a narrow victory today, but will only do so if they can get more than one goal from Newcastle’s capable and organised defence.
Bolton v Norwich – Kick-Off (BST) 15:00
But for meeting Man City, Liverpool and Man Utd in their previous three matches, Bolton have shown signs this season that they are a top half outfit. Their current league position, of 14th after 4 matches played, looks a little false. Norwich, too, have had some tricky fixtures, but then, that’s the Premier League. If Nowich want to remain in this division beyond this season, they’ll need to get results at places like the Reebok Stadium.
Bolton will have identified this as three points they must take, however, so expect the home team to come out with all guns blazing this afternoon. Norwich have shown that they are no pushovers in their matches to date, however, so whether or not Bolton can break them down will dictate their points return today. Another draw would look to be Norwich’s best hope today, though, if Bolton score early, they could be in for a difficult afternoon.
A home win by two or so goals is expected.
Everton v Wigan – Kick-Off (BST) 15:00
Everton have been a little in-and-out to date this season, though they have got points from matches in which they have underperformed, so will be hoping for a more consistent application of effort in this home fixture with Wigan.
This match is a mid-table battle, for Wigan begin today placed 9th to Everton’s 10th, with just a point between the sides.
With home advantage, and cohesion beginning to come for the Toffees, plus Tim Howard in excellent form in their goal, Everton should have just enough to get a result today, though they’ll hope for more in front of goal this afternoon when opportunities do arise.
A marginal home win is predicted.
Swansea v West Brom – Kick-Off (BST) 15:00
Swansea have proved themselves to be tight enough at the back for this division, but have yet to score a Premier League goal, ahead of this home fixture against West Bromwich Albion.
Roy Hodgson’s West Brom, on the other hand, have been impressive this season, but fell to late goal defeats in their first three outings this term, before getting things back on track with a 1-0 away win over Premier League newcomers Norwich last week – with the goal coming for the returning Odemwingie.
A similar result is anticipated at Swansea: a narrow away victory.
Wolverhampton v QPR – Kick-Off (BST) 15:00
Mick McCarthy’s Wolves saw their flying start to the season checked by a resurgent Tottenham Hotspur last weekend, so will be hoping to get back to winning ways following the visit of Queens Park Rangers, who find themselves in 11th place in the league after gathering some good results thus far.
QPR, as with the other promoted sides, are finding goals a little difficult to come by, and are relying heavily on a well-organised defence. Wolves have added a little more backbone to what was already a strong attacking unit last season, so can be expected to make life difficult for QPR in this match: they are difficult to break down, and can produce goals from anywhere on the pitch.
Wolves are expected to win, though QPR’s chances increase the long the game remains goalless; a draw is not out of the question.
Barclays Premier League 2011/12 Fixtures, Saturday 16th September 2011
- Blackburn v Arsenal – Kick-Off (BST) 12:45
- Aston Villa v Newcastle – Kick-Off (BST) 15:00
- Bolton v Norwich – Kick-Off (BST) 15:00
- Everton v Wigan – Kick-Off (BST) 15:00
- Swansea v West Brom – Kick-Off (BST) 15:00
- Wolverhampton v QPR – Kick-Off (BST) 15:00