Prediction Panel 2007/8; Premier League 19 March - previews and predictions


Antony Melvin

Antony Melvin is the editor and spends his spare time sifting through needlessly abusive emails....
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19/03/2008 11:30:00.
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It's squeeky bum time and it is entirely possible that the top three could be level on points with the same games played at the end of tonight; and with eight games to go that will set us fair for the first three cornered title race since the first season of the Premiership of 1992/3 when Norwich City, Aston Villa and Manchester United could all win it in April. But to spoil this Manchester United could take advantage of Arsenal's fourth consecutive league slip by beating relegation threatened Bolton, but after the Derby near-disaster this is hardly guaranteed. In the other game the strong rivalry between Spurs and Chelsea could see Chelsea move alongside Arsenal if they beat a becalmed Tottenham outfit.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008; Barclays Premier League

Manchester United (1) vs Bolton Wanderers (18), KO 20:00

Before the Derby match this game looked like another that United would easily win to assert their advantage at the top of the table; but even after Arsenal slipped again at the weekend United played with such a slight cutting edge at Derby that alarm bells are jangling. Bolton were spineless against Wigan but Gary Megson will have to do little to lift them to play at Old Trafford - and for many of the group their Premier League futures. Bolton will look to their improved back four - Cahill looks the real deal already - to hold off the champions, and hit them on the break. United will be very short favourites but an early goal would be needed to ease any jitters in the crowd.

Time for Anderson to weigh in with goals for Manchester United

Paul Grech: Home Banker
Hugh Larkin; Home banker
Antony Melvin: Home

Tottenham Hotspur (11) vs Chelsea (3), KO 20:00

One of the biggest tests of Juande Ramos's managerial career faces him here. Can he inspire Spurs to a strong run-in when there is nothing to play for and there are few teams close enough to overtake? If Ramos could get Spurs to, say, eighth then the foundations for a more ambitious 2008/9 will be in place. Chelsea are not playing particularly impressively at the moment, but are winning matches and have stealthily rejoind the title race. Chelsea could draw level with the leaders tonight - or could slide to a probably fatal six points off the pace. This match will define Chelsea's mood and confidence for the 10-13 remaining games. Hollywood or bust?

Chelsea need to shed flat-track-bully theory

Paul Grech: Away
Hugh Larkin; Away
Antony Melvin: Away

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