Fortunately this probably won't happen again.

English Premier League Preview, Week #26: It's Manchester Derby Time

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English Premier League Preview, Week #26: It's Manchester Derby Time

After the madness of last weekend in the English Premier League (41 goals! United losing! A comeback from 4-0 down! Two teams playing 3-5-2 variants!) could we possibly see an improvement? Well, probably not, but instead of comparing the games today with last weekend's matches, why not compare them to today's instead? It will all seem a lot more entertaining, unless you're watching Blackburn.

Saturday

Manchester United vs. Manchester City

Time: 12:45PM GMT (7:45 AM EST)

Two teams of some renown play against each other this weekend - both Arsenal and Wolves have long and storied histories. Meanwhile, the Manchester teams will fight it out to see whether money can actually buy you happiness or not. Last season, this match ended up as a bizarre 4-3 United win. I think that's sucked all of the possible entertainment out of this fixture for the next several years.

Pick: 0-0 Draw.

Arsenal vs. Wolverhampton

Time: 3:00PM GMT (10:00 AM EST)

Can Wolverhampton keep up their giant-killing ways? Can Arsenal bounce back from a gut-wrenching four-goal collapse against Newcastle? Probably not; probably. That's statistics for you!

Pick: 2-0 Arsenal.

Birmingham City vs. Stoke City

Time: 3:00 PM GMT (10:00 AM EST)

This game is kind of like how I imagine wars were fought before the invention of fire. Big, ugly, burly men hitting each other with club like devices and grunting a lot. If that's your sort of thing, I guess... although I can't imagine Nikola Zigic being anyone's sort of thing. Ever.

Pick: 2-1 Stoke.

Blackburn Rovers vs. Newcastle United

Time: 3:00 PM GMT (10:00 AM EST)

I'm never going to watch Newcastle again, because every single time they are losing in a match the announcers will bring up last weekend's comeback. Forever. It was cute once and I never ever want to hear about it again, which makes their situation almost identical to the Boston Red Sox in 2004. Congratulations, I was really happy for you, and now I hate you. Also I hate Blackburn too.

Pick: 1-1 Draw.

Blackpool vs. Aston Villa

Time: 3:00 PM GMT (10:00 AM EST)

All-out frenetic central play with weak wing defence meets frenetic wing play with weak central defence. Who will triumph in this mad battle? I'm going with Blackpool, because the centre of the pitch is where the goals are, but hey.

Pick: 18-14 Blackpool.

Liverpool vs. Wigan Athletic

Time: 3:00 PM GMT (10:00 AM EST)

What could be easier than facing Wigan Athletic at home? Nothing. Liverpool win.

Pick: 3-0 Liverpool.

West Bromwich Albion vs. West Ham United

Time: 3:00PM GMT (10:00 AM EST)

West Ham will be riding him on the fact that they're done away with their souls to move into a corporate hellhole, while the Baggies exorcised themselves of Roberto di Matteo in similar fashion. These are two heartless automatons of teams now, and the only thing that can make this game interesting is Scott Parker's hair. Scott Parker has a reasonable claim for captaincy of the universe.

Pick: 2-1 West Ham.

Sunderland vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Time: 5:30 PM GMT (12:30 PM EST)

Spurs take their two uninjured players to the Stadium of Light and pray for a miracle. Again. It's worked the last couple of times, so why not now? Meanwhile, Sunderland are quite good at home. Should be fun!

Pick: 1-1 Draw

Sunday

Bolton Wanderers vs. Everton

Time: 4:00 PM GMT (11:00 AM EST)

Bolton play Everton on Sunday, which means that there are two teams I don't have easy jokes about going at it. I'll compensate via ridiculous earnestness. While this game might not be the in continental style the audience seems to prefer these days, these are two excellent teams led by top-class managers and it should be an absolutely splendid match. Look out for Johan Elmander!

Pick: 1-1 Draw.

Monday

Fulham vs. Chelsea

Time: 8:00 PM GMT (3:00 PM EST)

Have you ever had a little brother who you ruthlessly beat up when you were children? This will be the football equivalent, and Clint Dempsey elbowing everyone in the face will be that time they bit you and that's against the rules and it hurt and I'm going to kick you even harder now you little ****.

PS: Why is this game on Monday?

Pick: 3-1 Chelsea.

Appendix A

[redacted in solidarity with Luka Modric]

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