Premier League 2012, Week 1 Preview And Fixtures: Three Months Of Waiting Rewarded With The Return Of Sam Allardyce

FREIBURG IM BREISGAU, GERMANY - MAY 26: Robin van Persie (L) of the Netherlands celebrates his team's second goal with team mate Rafael van der Vaart during the international friendly match between the Netherlands and Mexico at the Badenova stadium on May 26, 2010 in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)

The Premier League is back once again, and pundits everywhere are asking the same question; will this be Stoke's year? Plus, Sam Allardyce is back and RvP plays for Manchester United now.

Ah, it seems like only yesterday that Sergio Aguero scored one of the most memorable goals in recent Premier League history to seal a comeback for the ages and clinch the title for Manchester City. That's probably because it was only three months ago, and with the Euros taking place over the past summer I'm already tired of like half of these people.

Arsenal vs. Sunderland

Emirates Stadium; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

Arsenal hasn't done much to upgrade this offseason, but there's so much parity in the Premier League these days that all you really need is that one special player and Arsenal has that one-oh.


Pick: Arsenal, 2-1

Fulham vs. Norwich City

Craven Cottage; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

I've seen this movie before; Clint Dempsey is going to score a ridiculous goal, celebrate half- heartedly, and be gone before Fulham's next match. Depressing. Update: Clint Dempsey won't be playing!

Pick: Fulham, 2-1

QPR vs. Swansea

Loftus Road; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

Blah blah QPR revolution blah blah. Wake me up when they sign someone that isn't 800 years old and/or a complete lunatic.

Pick: Draw, 1-1

Reading vs. Stoke City

Madejski Stadium; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

Hey Reading, welcome to the Premier League! Here are some guys that are going to kick the everloving fluids out of you.

Pick, Stoke, 2-0

West Bromwich Albion vs. Liverpool

The Hawthorns; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

The Brendan Rodgers era gets underway for the Reds, while the Baggies start anew under Steve Clarke. The odds are good that both teams will still be incredibly boring.

Pick: Liverpool, 1-0

West Ham United vs. Aston Villa

The Boleyn Ground; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

Sam Allardyce is back in the Premier League. This is just incredibly depressing. I think I need a drink.

Pick: Villa, 2-1

Newcastle vs. Tottenham Hotspur

St. James' Park; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/12:30 PM ET

Anyone that didn't follow the comings-and-goings of the off-season that happens to tune into this game is going to spend all afternoon trying to find Harry Redknapp's plastic surgeon.

Pick: Draw, 2-2

Wigan Athletic vs. Chelsea

DW Stadium; Sunday, 13:30 GMT/8:30 AM ET

I would give my firstborn for Chelsea to play this game the same way they played the last two rounds of the Champions League. Especially is Eden Hazard actually did play left back. The righteous outrage would be amazing.

Pick: Chelsea, 3-1

Manchester City vs. Southampton

Etihad Stadium; Sunday, 16:00 GMT/11:00 AM ET

Continuing on last season's theme, City will once again play like garbage against a poor, newly promoted side only to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in the dying seconds. It will probably be slightly less dramatic this time, though.

Pick: City, 3-0

Everton vs. Manchester United

Goodison Park; Monday, 20:00 GMT/3:00 PM ET

The Van Persie to this game will be for the Red Van Persies to effectively neutralize the threat Van Persied by Nikica Jelavic. If Van Persie United can manage to wrest control of the flow of the Van Persie, Wayne Rooney should really be able to operate.

Pick: Van Persie, 2-1

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