And all is quiet... I've been away in Scotland, and did not expect to be double posting with a nine day gap!
I watched both England games while I was away- one encouraging demolition of the worst team in world football immediately followed by one of the most inept managerial displays I have ever witnessed. The following questions spring to mind:
1) If a team puts 8 past an admittedly dire opponent, playing full of confidence and style, why then change over half the players?
2) Why in the second half of a game in which your team is getting demolished and conceding a goal is increasingly inevitable, do you make no changes whatsoever? Why not bring on one of the players who did well in the last game? Or change the tactics? SOMETHING?!?!?
3) Having conceded and now staring down the barrel of defeat do you take off a player who has actually done well for one of the few players who was poor in the previous game? Gerrard and Carrick were anonymous, Lescott a complete liability and Hart playing the wrong game, aiming for touch with every single goal kick... why not remove one/all of them?
4) As England manager are you happy with a 1-1 draw with Montenegro? Because as a fan I am certainly not.
I can only hope that come the next game in September Wilshere is back to run the midfield, and the rest of the team have had a rest over the Summer and come back looking like new players. Otherwise second place in this group is a real possibility, and a place in the World Cup may be down to the luck of the draw. I do not fancy playing France over two legs.
Anyway, my return can only mean the return of the Premier League and predictions time! I'm making an unnpleasant habit of predicting first...
Sunderland 0-1 Man United
A weakened United side with the cup tie at Chelsea on Monday in mind, but Unnited always find a way to win. Annoyingly.
Arsenal 2-0 Reading
Banker of the week. Arsenal struggle for goals without Walcott, but Reading are relegation fodder and Arsenal need the win for a top 4 place.
Man City 1-1 Newcastle
Newcastle have more to play for as they look to climb the league. City are already on holiday.
Southampton 1-2 Chelsea
See the above comment for United. Chelsea's second string find a way to win.
Swansea 2-2 Spurs
The Spurs slide continues as Bale recovers from being a one man team all season.
West Ham 1-1 West Brom
Snore. Neither team has much left to play for. Bore draw.
Wigan 3-1 Norwich
The clocks change this weekend. That means Wigan will go undefeated from now to the end of the season to avoid the drop.
Everton 1-0 Stoke
The best of Everton is susended or injured. But as Stoke can't score, one goal should do it to maintain a challenge for Europe.
Villa 2-3 Liverpool
This could be anything. Villa have shown good form lately, but at any given moment can be dreadful. The same is true of Liverpool. I was tempted to let my cat predict this game, he would stand as much chance as anyone.
Fulham 2-0 QPR
Fulham are great at home, QPR are staring at the exit door. I don't see them getting anything here.