Who’s playing who
Sunderland v Newcastle
Local derbies don’t come as feisty as this one. There’s likely to be at least one red card, likely engineered by Joey Barton. It rarely fails to produce goals and if last season’s anything to go by then expect anything. Last season: Sunderland 1-1 Newcastle (it was 5-1 to Newcastle at St James’). This season: Still very hard to tell with these two. The Black Cats will sneak it though. 2-1.
Arsenal v Liverpool
Expect controversy especially a tiff on the touchline between the two OAPs that are managing each team. Luis Suarez could win this game single-handedly if he were fully fit. It will be interesting to see how Arsenal deal with their first 2011/12 meeting with Andy Carroll. Last season: Both games ended up 1-1 but were packed with incident. This season: another bore draw. 0-0.
Aston Villa v Blackburn
These two produced 11 goals in three matches last season. The two of them are far less potent going forward this season though and it may struggle to live up to the hype. Last season: Villa 4-1 Blackburn. This season: Another Villa win. 3-1.
Everton v QPR
The two stingiest sides in the league take each other on and there’s only going to be one winner if last weekend is anything to go by. Last meeting: 7/4/1996 – QPR 3-1 Everton. This season: Everton to win at a canter. 3-0.
Swansea v Wigan
The sub-plot is provided by Roberto Martinez’s return to the South Wales city. We will also be able to see how much of a fortress the Swans will make their home ground. Last meeting: Carling Cup last season where Wigan ran out 2-0 winners. This season: Swansea to record a narrow victory. 2-0.
Chelsea v West Brom
This is usually a cricket score as last season’s 6-0 will show you. The Bodog Baggies haven’t taken a point off Chelsea since Roy Hodgson was a hit with the ladies back in ’79. They have the best chance they’ve had for some time. Last season: Chelsea 6-0 West Brom. This season: Chelsea to win comfortably. 3-0.
Norwich v Stoke
Tony Pulis takes his rugby side to Norwich as they continue preparations for the upcoming World Cup in New Zealand. The Canaries haven’t lost a home game since 2010 and will be hard to overcome. Last meeting: 2008 – Norwich 0-1 Stoke. This season: Norwich with a narrow victory. 2-1.
Wolves v Fulham
It’s cool to like Wolves these days and Big Mick’s side could go further than they ever have in the Premier League this season. Martin Jol’s Fulham are no pushover though. Last season: Wolves 1-1 Fulham. This season: Wolves to nick it. 3-2.
Bolton v Man City
If you read the papers you’ll probably think that City have already won the league and Sergio Aguero is the player of the season. This is a top of the table clash and as such Sky should give it quite a billing. The reality is that it will be a boring Sunday afternoon nap for most. Last season: Bolton 0-2 Man City. This season: City will be too much for Owen Coyle’s men. 1-3.
Man Utd v Spurs
Spurs start their season at a venue where they quite simply never win – not since 1989. It’s not likely to change here. Last season: United 2-0 Spurs. This season: United to win easily. 2-0.
Player most likely to face Joey Barton’s ire?
It’s derby day in the North East meaning that any one of the opponents is probably fair game. There’s one player that sticks out like a sore thumb in this respect though and that is Lee “I want the most red cards of any player” Cattermole. He’s most likely to stamp on Barton and then face a barrage of abuse on Twitter. As far as someone diving and being red carded whilst looking like a kid on his first day at Kindergarten…Stephane Sessegnon. Just look out for a dive.
What will Wayne Rooney’s hair look like this week?
The summer saw Wayne sort out his barnet in a move that made him look, quite frankly, a lot like an idiot. So we’re challenging him to don a different hairdo each match. This week…corn rows please Wayne.
It will be the first time…
…in six years that people turn up on their tractors to watch a game (at Norwich of course)
…this season that two of the sides sponsored by gaming companies face each other when Swansea host Wigan
…that Premier League football has been hosted by a country other than England as Welsh side Swansea kick off at the Liberty Stadium for the first time.