Premier League 2012, Week 2 Preview And Matches: Liverpool-Manchester City Brings With It The Promise Of Schadenfreude

Carlos Tevez of Manchester City celebrates scoring the opening goal with team mate David Silva (R) during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Southampton at Etihad Stadium on August 19, 2012 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

If an asteroid destroys society as we know it before kickoff on Saturday, will the surviving remnants of society chisel Liverpool's name into a wall as having been relegated? Probably not since they'd be busy trying to figure out how to live off of plants requiring little light and how to supply their bodies with Vitamin D what with the black cloud of debris hanging over the earth and all, but you never know!

Swansea City vs. West Ham

Liberty Stadium; Saturday, 12:45 GMT/7:45 AM ET

West Ham opened the season with a nice 1-0 win at home against Aston Villa, but this week's opponent will offer a bit more of a challenge; Swansea put up five against QPR at Loftus Road, which will likely surpass Villa's output for the entire month of August. A clean sheet is likely going to be a tall order for the Hammers, and unless they show a bit more interest in attacking than they did in their first time out this season points may be pretty tough to come by as well.

Pick: Swansea, 3-1

Aston Villa vs. Everton

Villa Park; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

Aston Villa certainly did play much more attractive football against West Ham than was on display under Alex McLeish, but the end product was still ultimately bupkis. Unless Darren Bent has learned how to do things other than put the ball in the net from six yards out, Villa will need some contribution from their allegedly creative players if they hope to get things back on track. Meanwhile, Everton is fresh off of relegating Manchester United thanks to Marouane Fellaini registering the first-ever 12 rating in the history of the Premier League. Hopefully his newly-awarded Knighthood won't prove to be too much of a distraction.

Pick: Everton, 2-1

Manchester United vs. Fulham

Old Trafford; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

In week one, Fulham put up the kind of scoreline one would typically expect from Manchester United, thrashing Norwich City 5-0. United looked quite good at times but ultimately failed to create much of anything while going down in defeat to Everton. Neither of those things are typical and will have little if any bearing on this game, but both are still pretty fun to talk about.

Pick: United, 3-1

Norwich City vs. QPR

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

The combined -10 goal difference (after one week!) makes this the game with the most zanarchy potential. What new and exciting ways will these defenses manage to stand on their head? Tune in to find out! Or watch one of the other, better games and watch the highlights later when you've had some beers and feel like a laugh.

Pick: Norwich, 3-2

Southampton vs. Wigan Athletic

St. Mary's Stadium; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

I hate to be a negative nellie but I don't think this is going to be a very good game you guys.

Pick: Draw, 1-1

Sunderland vs. Reading

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

After grinding out the most Martin O'Neill road results of Martin O'Neill road results at the Emirates, Sunderland host newly-promoted Reading who may well have held Chelsea to a draw at Stamford Bridge if not for a Fernando Torres goal that never should have been. Reading will be motivated to put the injustice behind them with a win, but unfortunately they aren't very good so that probably won't happen.

Pick: Sunderland, 2-0

Tottenham Hotspur vs. West Bromwich Albion

White Hart Lane; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

Spurs are that really annoying (for fans of the team) kind of good where everyone knows they're good and they have high expectations but they're not so good that losing to pretty much any team in the league isn't that far-fetched. But they are good enough that when they do lose to lesser teams they get pretty thoroughly raked over the coals. Given West Brom's opening-week thumping of Liverpool they certainly look a threat, but then again Liverpool is kind of bad so who knows.

Pick: Spurs, 3-2

Chelsea vs. Newcastle United

Stamford Bridge; Saturday, 17:30 GMT/12:30 PM ET

If Papiss Cissé does not score a goal equally as ridiculous as the one he managed last time these two sides faced off, this entire season is a waste and it should just be cancelled.

Pick: Newcastle, 2-1

Stoke City vs. Arsenal

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

No matter what happens in this game, I cannot wait for Arsene Wenger's post-match conference. It is going to be so patronizing and either smug or bitter, depending on the result. This is one of my favorite fixtures of the year for that reason alone.

Pick: Draw, 1-1

Liverpool vs. Manchester City

Anfield; Sunday, 16:00 GMT/11:00 AM ET

The best thing about games like this is that someone you don't like is going to be really, really sad when it's over.

Pick: Sads!

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