Hello preview friends! Aaron is occupied this week and so you're getting a lesser product in your Premier League preview this time around. That's ok, though - it's been so long since Premier League football last happened that I'm sure everyone's forgotten what it even is. International breaks are the worst. The worst!
Saturday October 15th
12:45 PM GMT (7:45 AM EST); Anfield
Don't worry if you miss this one, y'all. Nothing interesting has ever happened in a game between Liverpool and Manchester United..
Pick: 2-1 United.
3:00 PM GMT (10:00 AM EST); Etihad Stadium
Remember Aston Villa's unbeaten record this season? That was a nice little run for Alex McLeish's guys. Too bad it's over now, right? Sorry, I was speaking from after this game, which takes the p right out of preview. I don't even know what's going on in that last sentence. Sorry. What I do know is that Manchester City are going to crush Villa so badly they're going to be feeling it for a decade.
Pick: 4-0 City.
3:00 PM GMT (10:00 AM EST); Carrow Road
Is this the first game between newly promoted sides all season? My memory says it is, for what that's worth. These games are always fantastic, because both teams will be gunning for three big points - a draw does neither of them any good. Add in the natural attacking ability both teams possess, and we're in for a good one here. Swansea's poor away form will be the difference.
Pick: 3-1 Norwich.
3:00 PM GMT (10:00 AM EST); Loftus Road
Sometimes people ask me if there's a football team I really really don't like. Since I am a Chelsea fan, they expect me to say something like "Manchester United" or "Arsenal", and are pretty surprised when I say "Blackburn Rovers" instead. You can actually test the speed of someone's memory recall like this - the instant they remember a Blackburn game, comprehension dawns.
Pick: 1-0 QPR.
3:00 PM GMT (10:00 AM EST); Britannia Stadium
How am I supposed to make snarky comments about Blackburn and then Stoke back to back? They're the same team apart from the immensely likeable Rory Delap, who is enough to raise Stoke from the fiery pits of Ryan Shawcross's personal hell (I presume this involves books) to merely slightly dislikable. God help them when Delap retires. And no, Fulham aren't scoring six again.
Pick: 2-0 Stoke.
3:0 PM GMT (10:00 AM EST); DW Stadium
Here we have the second big test of Bolton's season. Although they've been pretty appalling, the Trotters have only had one bad result - the 2-1 loss at home to Norwich. Nobody was expecting much from the other games. If he loses at the DW Stadium, however, things are going to get really really ugly, even by Owen Coyle's face standards.
Pick: 2-1 Wigan.
5:30 PM GMT (12:30 PM EST); Stamford Bridge.
"Cast your mind back to the last time Chelsea managed to beat Everton."
-Stephen Spielberg's pitch for Terra Nova.
Yeah I guess that you're not going to understand this one unless you live in America. Whatever. It's still funny. Dinosaurs! Dinosaurs and people!
Pick: 1-1 Draw
Sunday October 16th
12:00 PM GMT (7:00 AM EST); The Hawthorns.
Pick: 0-0 Draw.
1:30 PM GMT (8:30 AM EST); Emirates Stadium.
It's the battle of the underperformers here in London. Rumour has it that the two clubs will battle for the signature of one Ian Maginary - Sunderland want to start up front while Arsene Wenger's looking to slot him into his defence.
Pick: 2-0 Arsenal.
4:00 PM GMT (11:00 AM EST); St. James' Park.
It's something fairly close to impossible to figure out just how good Tottenham Hotspur are - yeah, they've beaten both Arsenal and Liverpool, but they've also managed to get absolutely obliterated by both Manchester City and United in the early going. Making a prediction here seems entirely futile
Pick: We will all someday die. That's life.