Prediction Panel 2007/8; Premier League 23 March - previews and predictions


Antony Melvin

Antony Melvin is the editor and spends his spare time sifting through needlessly abusive emails....
[full biography]
23/03/2008 11:30:00.
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In some quarters this is being dubbed "The Second Massively Overhyped Always A Let Down Sunday"; OK mainly here. But the is so much potential for great football that the reality is bound to be a let-down. The earlier kick off sees Manchester United face Liverpool, and United have a great record in this fixture in recent years. At four o'clock, Arsenal travel to Chelsea and a loser could be all but eliminated from the title race if United have won earlier in the day.

Saturday's games
Sunday's games

Sunday, 23 March 2008; Barclays Premier League

Chelsea (3) vs Arsenal (2), KO 16:00

Chelsea seem to have the weight of the world on their shoulders at the moment with the players being blamed with bullying referees and their manager being accused of tactical ineptitude by a motley bunch of hacks and bloggers with practically no experience of what they are shouting about. No matter, if Chelsea lose here their long unbeaten home record will fall to the last team to win here 77 league games ago; and more importantly Chelsea's title challenge will be all but over. Five points behind Manchester United is not a disaster but being at least five points behind both Arsenal and Manchester United with seven games left will be terminal. So Arsenal can reduce the title race to just two horses if they can reverse a recent tendency to fail to close out games that they dominate and simply fail to win. A draw would be a decent result for Arsenal but would do little for Chelsea; so it will be up to Chelsea to force the issue and show that they can still win the title.

Chelsea v Arsenal Too Close To Call
Chelsea need to shed flat-track-bully theory

Paul Grech: Away
Colin Illingworth: Away
Antony Melvin: Home

Manchester United (1) vs Liverpool (4), KO 13:30

Manchester United would have enjoyed Chelsea's discomfort against Spurs, even if the club had largely struggled to overcome a very limited Bolton side on the same night. Sir Alex Ferguson is once again getting his side through games without playing well and now has a narrow but potentially significant points advantage in the title race. Ferguson's record against Liverpool down the years is better than anyone and his teams do tend to raise their game in what is a strong contender as the biggest grudge match in English football. Form and league position often counts for little in this fixture. For Liverpool their form is great and causing optimistic comments from the Liverpool camp - Liverpool proved they can beat anyone in seeing off Inter, and this match could be a marker for next season. Some optimistic types are saying that Liverpool are not out of this season's title race. But they are wrong, one of the top three will get at least 84 points, but that is not to say that Liverpool can't finish third or even second. Too close to call.

Manchester United vs Liverpool: Head to Head and Form Guide
Liverpool: More to Skrtel Than a Hard Act
An Unlikely Source for United Win

Manchester United recent form: Last 10; W6, D2, L2, F19, A6
Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Manchester United 02-02-2008
Manchester United 1-2 Manchester City 10-02-2008
Manchester United 4-0 Arsenal 16-02-2008
Lyon 1-1 Manchester United 20-02-2008
Newcastle United 1-5 Manchester United 23-02-2008
Fulham 0-3 Manchester United 01-03-2008
Manchester United 1-0 Lyon 04-03-2008
Manchester United 0-1 Portsmouth 08-03-2008
Derby County 0-1 Manchester United 15-03-2008
Manchester United 2-0 Bolton Wanderers 19-03-2008

Liverpool recent form: Last 10; W8, D1, L1, F22, A6
Liverpool 3-0 Sunderland 02-02-2008
Chelsea 0-0 Liverpool 10-02-2008
Liverpool 1-2 Barnsley 16-02-2008
Liverpool 2-0 Inter 19-02-2008
Liverpool 3-2 Middlesbro 23-02-2008
Bolton Wanderers Wanderers 1-3 Liverpool 02-03-2008
Liverpool 4-0 West Ham United United 05-03-2008
Liverpool 3-0 Newcastle United United 08-03-2008
Inter 0-1 Liverpool 11-03-2008
Liverpool 2-1 Reading 15-03-2008

Paul Grech: Home
Colin Illingworth: Draw
Antony Melvin: Draw

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