Premier League Preview, Week 4: Matches Resume After International Break

Yeah, domestic football's back after a week-long hiatus. Don't expect it to be any different though.

Aren't you glad that we're back from an international break? It was so awful not having any football at all to watch except for the two international football games that were played by most countries over said break. Utterly ghastly. Anyway, in week four of the Premier League season, the elite have already been established and it's looking a fair bet that a Manchester-based side will win the title. Meanwhile, Tottenham are starting horribly, Fernando Torres still can't score, and nobody is particularly interested in Fulham. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Saturday September 10th

Arsenal vs. Swansea City
3:00 PM GMT (10:00 AM EST); Emirates Stadium

What could be more embarrassing than losing 8-2 to Manchester United at Old Trafford? I'd say losing to a newly-promoted side at home, but it's not like Arsenal haven't done that recently either. Maybe those new signings will help out - Per Mertesacker alone has doubled Arsenal's average height.

Pick: 2-0 Arsenal.

Everton vs. Aston Villa
3:00 PM GMT (10:00 AM EST); Goodison Park

Now that Brad Friedel's gone, this contest loses the American goalkeeper battle that would guarantee huddles of USMNT fans getting together at silly times in the morning while pretending to care about the non-Yankees on both sides' rosters. And now Eric Lichaj is hurt. Shame.

Pick: 1-1 Draw.

Manchester City vs. Wigan Athletic
3:00 PM GMT (10:00 AM EST); Etihad Stadium

As they say in the business, 'LOL.'

Pick: 4-0 Manchester City.

Stoke City vs. Liverpool
3:00 PM GMT (10:00 AM EST); Britannia Stadium

Liverpool and Stoke have addressed the problem of a midfield in two completely different ways. Liverpool have bought four billion of them (and then sold one of their better ones to Chelsea), while Stoke have opted to ignore the idea entirely and use the central midfield to stash people who throw the ball really hard. Isn't football grand?

Pick: 2-1 Liverpool.

Sunderland vs. Chelsea
3:00 PM GMT (10:00 AM EST); Stadium of Light.

I like how both teams are supposed to be going through a scoring crisis this year. Chelsea have scored five times as many goals as Sunderland and are in the upper quartile of the Premier League in terms of scoring. In other words, things are relative, eh?

Pick: 2-0 Chelsea

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Tottenham Hotspur
3:0 PM GMT (10:00 AM EST); Molineux.

It's a team currently in a Europa League spot vs. bottom of the table relegation fodder. Just like we'd have expected, in other words.

Pick: 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur

Bolton Wanderers vs. Manchester United
5:30 PM GMT (12:30 PM EST); Reebok Stadium.

Bolton haven't exactly had it easy so far, have they? Ok, except for the 4-0 win over Queens Park Rangers. That was pretty easy. The Trotters have lost to Manchester City and Liverpool, and now they're going to make it three on the trot because United will go a-murdering. It's what they do.

Pick: 3-0 Manchester United

Sunday September 11th

Norwich City vs. West Bromwich Albion
1:00 PM GMT (8:00 AM EST); Carrow Road.

Norwich are a pretty interesting team in that they play football and therefore I have to write a two sentences about them. That was the first one.

Pick: 1-1 Draw.

Fulham vs. Blackburn Rovers
1:30 PM GMT (8:30 AM EST); Craven Cottage.

This appears to be the least interested Sunday in the whole history of the Premier League. I think I'd rather be on an international break. Can't they save some entertaining teams for this one?

Pick: 0-0 Draw.

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