Premier League preview 21/22-11-09
Posted 19th November 2009
This weekend could be an ideal opportunity for Chelsea to stretch their lead at the top of the Premier League table. The Blues are five points clear of Arsenal and Manchester United, the former having a game in hand on Carlo Ancelotti's men. Chelsea host Wolverhampton Wanderers, whilst the Gunners travel to Sunderland and United entertain Everton.
It is virtually unthinkable that Chelsea will not pick up three points – they have won all six of their home assignments this term – against a Wolves team that could finish the weekend in bottom place. Defeat at Stamford Bridge, combined with a Portsmouth win at Stoke City will guarantee this.
Of Chelsea's main challengers the sports betting odds, Arsenal have the tougher task ahead of them on Saturday. Sunderland have won four of their six league matches at the Stadium of Light this season, with Chelsea the only team to come away with a win.
The Gunners have leaked 10 goals on their travels already and it is clear they will have to attack on their attacking prowess away from home this season. An entertaining score-draw might be the outcome in this one, which would suit Chelsea perfectly.
United have won 13 of their 17 home Premier League matches against Everton and there is no reason to think this dominance will not be maintained in Saturday's late kick-off. United were unlucky to lose at Chelsea last time out and they will get back to winning ways against the Toffees.
Two other matches catch the eye. Manchester City visit Liverpool in a battle of two teams expecting a top-four finish this season. The Reds are under more pressure and the good side of their Jekyll and Hyde persona should surface this weekend.
Hull City host West Ham United in the crucial relegation battle of the day. Phil Brown got a much-needed win under his belt against Stoke and another home win in this one might prompt the managerial spotlight to switch.
If the Hammers stay in the relegation zone much longer Gianfranco Zola will be under serious pressure. A scrappy draw might ensue, which suits neither team. Both face a long battle against the Premier League relegation odds at the foot of the table.