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Dublin: 9°C Saturday 15 May 2021
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Fantasyland: Rich pickings to be had for the big guns

Let’s move on from that rather eventful international window, shall we?

Image: Stephen Pond/EMPICS Sport

PUT ALL THAT gloomy international stuff behind you.

We’re back for another run of glitz and glamour in the Premier League. Unfortunately, the glitziest and most glamorous fixture of the weekend will have come and gone by 3pm Saturday.

Thankfully, we’ll still have the rough and tumble of a Tyne-Wear derby to look forward to on Sunday.

Aside from Chelsea’s trip north (as far north as Tottenham) most of the league’s big guns will welcome their internationals back in time for fixture they really should win.

Let’s get to it, then, shall we?

Two players to pick this week

Santi Cazorla: The Gunners are in Norwich on Saturday evening against a side who are not only without a win in the league this season, but have also shipped nine goals in their previous two outings. Nobody in England’s top flight is better at picking out weaknesses in a defence than Arsenal’s little Spanish magician.

Wayne Rooney: He’s been widely criticised for his unconvincing display against Poland on Wednesday, but at home to Stoke will provide much richer pickings than the heavy sopping wet surface in Warsaw. Robin van Persie was also on target in midweek, but we reckon Rooney with a perceived point to prove will provide the ammunition here.

Two players to avoid

Steven Fletcher: His impressive goal-scoring streak finally came to an end in his last league outing against Manchester City and we  don’t expect Sunderland to create enough chances against their arch-rivals to help him reignite it. Maybe in upcoming ties with Stoke and Villa.

Sebastien Bassong: We mentioned the reasons above why we expect Norwich to endure a long evening tomorrow. So, with that in mind, we’ve decided to scapegoat the former Spurs defender who will be not-so-fresh from Cameroon’s defeat to Cape Verde, a result which ensures ‘The Indomitable Lions’ will not feature in the African Cup of Nations this January.

Predictions:

Tottenham 1 – 2 Chelsea

Fulham 2 – 0 Aston Villa

Liverpool 2- 1 Reading

Man Utd 3 – 0 Stoke

Swansea 1 – 1 Wigan

West Ham 2 – 1 Southampton

Norwich 0 – 2 Arsenal

Sunday

Sunderland 0 – 1 Newcastle

QPR 0 – 2 Everton

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How my team got on last week:

A paltry 48 points for me, most of them accrued by Bran the man Ivanovic.

Who’s leading TheScore.ie Primera Division?

Stephen Ruth and his Man Red team are still top of the pops after taking 69 points thanks to Ivanovic, Carlos Tevez and little Edin Hazard.

Trapattoni decision: A look at John Delaney’s text messages today* (*may not be real)

‘They won’t come and watch’ — Futbol Mundial profiles the League of Ireland

About the author:

Sean Farrell

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