English football is feeling rather sorry for itself right now. Relegated from prime position on the the back pages by the gentlemen in white and hammered by those who are still paying attention for yet another woeful display from an inept national side, it's currently slumped on a sofa and picking half-heartedly at a ready meal as it watches Kinight Rider repeats on Bravo.
Yet as football does its level best to dodge those slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, it will have a glint in its eye, for it knows that by Monday night, the cricket will be over for the summer and attention will turn to Upton Park, where Sky will be hyping up its live coverage of West Ham v Villa. Milan Baros! Tomas Repka! Eric Djemba-Djemba! The razzmatazz of the Premier League will be back and the viewing public will forget that we have the national team that our national league deserves.
Saturday's games will be largely overshadowed by events at the Oval, but there are a couple of gems in there....
Birmingham v Charlton
We've all been very impressed by Charlton 's fine start to the season, but tomorrow afternoon they come up against a Brum side who appear to have got over their mini-slump and are now due a home win. The Addicks will be hard-pressed to stop them. Home win.
Chelsea v Sunderland
Middlesbrough v Arsenal
Mark Viduka seems to have given up the pies for copious helpings of veg washed down with fruit smoothies, and he could give young Senderos a few problems. But to be honest we're more interested to see how England coaching genius Steve McLaren is getting on with that increasingly desperate comb-over. Draw.
Newcastle v Fulham
Last season, Fulham won 4-1 at St James Park and it would be marvellous if they could pull off another win tomorrow, especially with Newcastle's idiot chairman making rash demands for a top six finish. Sadly, we can't see it happening again, and instead we predict that Owen will cause Geordie hopes to sky-rocket by scoring the winner. Home win.
Tottingham v Liverpool
Bound to have top billing on Match of the Day and everyone will be expecting this to be a cracker. Might be, might not. What we do know is that Gerrard will have a point to prove and could turn out to be the difference. Away win.
West Ham v Aston Villa (Monday)
Anything could happen. What is certain is that Londonist will spend the game cheering on Teddy Sheringham, prompting longing memories of Euro '96 and an England team that could play. Keep an eye on Yossi Benayoun, West Ham's new inspiration We like him. Draw.
Image by Ross Kinnaird/ALLSPORT