The international break is now over and what a successful one it proved to be for England with victories over Bulgaria at home 4-0 and 3-1 away to Switzerland. Wayne Rooney once again showed his ability to to put his private issues to one side whilst delivering strong performances that were in sharp contrats to his sluggish outings at the World Cup in South Africa.
We can now look forward to England’s next match at Wembley Stadium against Montenegro on the 12th October. Montenegro are also unbeaten thus far and this match should be an early indication of the eventual group winner and automatic qualifier for the 2012 European Championships in Poland and Ukraine. Get more information on Euro 2012 Qualifying games at BritEvents.com
This weekend however, the focus shifts back to the Premier League with some exciting fixtures to look forward to: -
Saturday 11th September
Everton v Manchester Utd 12.45 kick off at Goodison Park, Liverpool – can Wayne Rooney help defeat his old club and his England colleagues Phil Jagielka and Joleon Lescott?
Arsenal v Bolton 3pm kick off at the Emirates Stadium, London – this is always a tough fixture for the Gunners against physical opponents and will be more so with the prolific (so far this season anyway) Theo Walcott and Robin van Persie missing through injury.
Fulham v Wolves 3pm kick off at Craven Cottage, London – Wolves will look to maintain their good start to the season with a win against Fulham who are still adjusting to life without Roy Hodgson.
Manchester City v Blackburn 3pm kick off at Eastlands, Manchester – new money versus old, footballing aristocrats against artisans – however you view this it is still likely to be a hard fought Lancashire derby settled by the odd goal.
Newcastle v Blackpool 3pm kick off at St. James’ Park, Newcastle – a battle of two of the promoted sides that should see some good attractive, attacking football if their early season form is any guide. Newcastle should sqeak it as they’re at home in front of their passionate Geordie following.
West Bromwich Albion v Tottenham 3pm kick off at the Hawthorns, West Bromwich – this match depends upon which Spurs side turns up. Will it be the smooth machine that drew with Man City and defeated Young Boys to progress to the league stage of the Champions League? Or will it be the desperate bunch that couldn’t handle Wigan? The Baggies hope it is the latter.
West Ham v Chelsea 3pm kick off at Upton Park, London – another 6 for the champions? Maybe if the Hammers don’t improve.
Wigan Athletic v Sunderland 3pm kick off at the DW Stadium, Wigan – can Wigan maintain the improvement they showed in beating Spurs or will they revert to the shambles we saw at the start of the season? A draw seems likely.
Sunday 12th September
Birmingham City v Liverpool 4pm kick off at St. Andrews, Birmingham – suprisingly this looks like a home win as the Blues are playing well whilst Liverpool are in a major rebuilding phase even with England hero Steven Gerrard.
Monday 13th September
Stoke City v Aston Villa 8pm kick off at the Britannia Stadium, Stoke on Trent – Villa urgently need to rediscover their form of last season and this won’t be easy at the Britannia Stadium with Stoke’s direct style and Rory Delap’s howitzer throw-ins. Villa may be well served by deploying barrage balloons around their penalty box.